MISSING: The Big Picture on Pinterest

Pinterest-logoMISSING: The Big Picture on Pinterest

You could hear a pin drop.

Normally, this cliché is evocative of silence, but knowledgeable social media marketers know the analogous sound is actually booming:

1,090 pins dropping every minute.

A “pin” in this case is an image added to Pinterest, one of social media’s fastest growing sites.

This image may either be from a link, from a site, or an uploaded image. The image should include captions; Pinterest actually won’t let users pin unless a brief description is provided.

If desired, each pin can be organized by a user on a unique topical board, creating a visual bookmarking system that has the potential to help market a business’ products, services, knowledge or interest in various topics.

It is a powerful, visually-motivated branding system that will only get more influential with the recent launch of Pinterest-based business pages.

Several prominent companies, nonprofits, news sites and blogs are missing out on the opportunity to have their stories visually represented on Pinterest.

Either their sites don’t include images on individual stories or their images are not recognized by Pinterest’s search system. Attempting to “pin” such a webpage may result in the dreaded “We Couldn’t Find Any Images: No Usable Images Found” error message from the popular site.

What’s the fix? Well, there are a few options.

1. Manually pin the image you’d like to represent your URL and link the site in the description. This requires you to do more than read and pin though. Instead you need to scan the page you’re trying to pin, pick out the image you want to represent your pin, download and save it to your own computer, and then upload the image as a file.

This method makes Pinterest lose some of its basic ease of use and clickable appeal though as viewers will have to read your image’s description and click through manually.

2. Use a third-party bookmarking app to save the page you want to add. There are several options out there for this, but in essence you’re using one bookmarking app to correct the image integration issues with another. Again, the effortlessness of the “pin” is lost in the re-direct from one bookmark app to another.

Here’s the solution I like best:

3. Encourage your site’s managers to make their individual pages more visual. If you publish a regular blog, check to see how it displays in Pinterest. If you’re publishing through a company, news source, or blogging community, be the voice of graphic reason. Demonstrate how utilization of “featured images” is degrading the site’s visual storytelling capacity. Share your concerns about the importance of “pin-ability.”

A few days ago Pinterest released updates to its mobile apps that included new features like search suggestions, push notifications and the ability to mention friends in posts. As a result of such expanding web and mobile features, social media marketers are anticipating that Pinterest may pass Twitter soon as the second most utilized social media platform (it already passed LinkedIn in 2012).

Now is the time to ensure your site is Pinterest-friendly because the visual platform’s media sway is almost certainly “sticking” around.


Vidyarthi, N. (2012). How many people use LinkedIn and Pinterest per minute [Infographic]. Social Times.

Adrienne Lewis-Wagner is a freelance fund development consultant living in Michigan. Her blog The Prospect can be found at


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