How to Choose the Right Images to Market on Pinterest - dummies

How to Choose the Right Images to Market on Pinterest

By Shiv Singh, Stephanie Diamond

At first glance, Pinterest might seem like a random bunch of images. As a social media marketer, it is important to know which images are the most beneficial to your business. On a typical Pinterest feed, most users see dozens of photos, and many of the same pins are repinned over and over.

Being random and repetitive might be okay for personal users, but a brand must make sure its pins are well thought out. Keep these points in mind when selecting an image to pin:

  • Images shouldn’t conflict with the message you’re trying to send. You want the viewer to be clear, not confused, about what you pin. For example, it wouldn’t make sense for a ravioli manufacturer to post pictures of vehicles — unless they were delivery trucks, made out of ravioli.

  • Images should make people feel good or evoke emotion. You want people to see the images and react with a comment, a like, or a repin. Just like with Facebook posts or Twitter tweets, you want to know your Pinterest community is paying attention.

  • Images must be eye-catching, engaging, and unique. You want your content to stand out, and you only have a small number of seconds for your pin to catch someone’s attention. If a viewer’s response isn’t positive and immediate, chances are your pin won’t get a second look.

  • Images should support your goals. If you want to drive sales, create pins with sales in mind. Create a board of images showing happy people using your product, or the end result of your service.

    If your goal is to drive traffic to a particular website, create one board with pins that link to the site. If every board you create and every image you pin is a link to your blog or website, you’ll lose followers — fast.

    The rest of your boards should represent what you do without pushing sales or traffic.


Just as there are many ideas for what to pin, there are also plenty types of pins to avoid. Because Pinterest is visual and pins appeal to emotions, pinning one of the following can lead to unfollows:

  • Photos that are out of focus: Images should be sharp and vivid.

  • Photos that have no rhyme, reason, or focus: Though not every pin should be about your brand, if you have too many pins that are off topic, you might confuse your followers.

  • Repins that everyone is repinning: If you pin the same things everyone else is pinning, there’s no reason to follow you.

  • Photos that are rude and offensive: Be considerate of your community. Leave swearing and vulgarity out of it, lest folks get the wrong message about you and your brand. If you wouldn’t say something to a customer in person, don’t say it on Pinterest.

  • Constantly spamming with sales messages: Very few people use Pinterest to receive sales messages. Avoid pitching to the Pinterest community. Instead, let your images be your pitch. If you’re known for making it all about the sale, no one will want to follow you.

  • Bait-and-switch images: Don’t mislead your followers. If you pin an image and it refers to an article called “10 Reasons to Paint Your Bedroom Purple,” that’s what people should see. Don’t reference one thing on Pinterest only to have users click through to something completely different, such as a sales page.

    Whenever you repin someone else’s pin, you should make sure the pin is legitimate: Test the pin by clicking through to the website. There is nothing worse than to repin something only to find out later that it’s one of those bait-and-switch pins that are so hated.