They say you learn something new every day. I learned something about Pinterest the other day that blew my mind a little. Users like links. This might seem like a no-brainer to some, but it goes against what I’ve learned in my years on the various social networks. On most networks, there are images and there are links. Images normally perform the best across the board. Links, on the other hand, do not. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ all prefer images over links. It isn’t just the algorithms on Facebook and Google+, it’s also the overall community sentiment on all three, including Twitter.
Pinterest is different. People like links. They click through when they find something that interests them. It’s as if Pinterest itself is a large-scale thumbnail checker to give users a way to find links through which to click. I hadn’t been applying that to my own Pinterest. I’ve been uploading images directly the way that I do with other social networks. As a result, my profile’s performance wasn’t as good as it could have been.
If you have an image that you want to post to Pinterest, don’t upload it directly. If you have a blog or other website that you can post to that falls into the appropriate niche, that’s the place your images should go. From there, you can pin them onto your page and “double dip” between exposure and traffic to your websites. If you’re posting images that simply don’t have an appropriate venue through which you can post it, use Google+. Post it to G+, click through to the post, then pin it from there. It’s not as good as sending traffic to your website, but it’s better than nothing and people will be more likely to like or repin your post as a result.
Of all the networks, Pinterest has the highest potential in many industries for direct traffic generation. The idea that it’s all purses, hairstyles, and other things of interest to women is not true. This is a diverse world. The sexes have evolved. Some of the most popular pins I’ve seen have been classic muscle cars. Just because the majority of users on Pinterest are females doesn’t mean that you can’t have success with content that isn’t traditionally considered female-centric. Follow JD if you want to see these practices in action. You might as well follow my pins as well.