Social Bookmarking 201: How Pinteresting Are You?

For quite a while in the past few years, lots of people were saying that social bookmarking was dead. Then along came a cute little website called Pinterest and threw common wisdom on it’s head the way the Internet is prone to doing on a regular basis. Now the question on everyone’s mind isn’t “is social bookmarking worth my time”, but rather “how can I make my site more socially bookmarkable?” (By which they really mean “worthy of Pinterest?”)

Making a Pinteresting Site
The first and foremost thing you need to get your site pinned is badass graphics. Pinterest is a social bookmarking site that is intensely graphics-centric — if you don’t give your customers something obvious to attach to their bookmark as their picture, they just won’t do it. On the other hand, if you give them some striking, meaningful, and otherwise attention-grabbing visual to attach to their pin, they won’t hesitate. (This does NOT mean you should blitzkrieg your surfer with dozens of crazy graphics — less is still more, just make sure that the few you have are truly appropriate for both your business and Pinterest.)

The second — and yet most obvious — thing you can do to get your site Pinned is to put a “PIN IT” button in an obvious but not intrusive place on your website. It should be clearly visible above the fold, but it shouldn’t take up real estate best used for more important elements. The “PIN IT” button acts a subtle call-to-action, encouraging people to pin your site, as well as making it easy for them to do so.

You might — depending on the design of your website — want to include a few “PIN IT” buttons for individual elements of your website as well. Just don’t overdo it — you probably don’t want a button for your on-site video, your testimonial panel, and the sweet picture you chose a couple of paragraphs ago. At some point, it’s just overkill. Just give your surfers the opportunity to pin the page itself and maybe the most interesting element on the page separately if it’s worthy, and you’ll be fine.

Finally, be sure that whatever you put a “PIN IT” button on, you also provide an easy to copy-paste description of nearby — Pinterest requires such a description, and people are much more prone to Pinning if they don’t have to think of one on your own. (You can also use this as a sneaky opportunity for some affordable SEO by sneaking keywords into your descriptions.)