Pinterest and Instagram: Optimizing for Visual Social Media

A few weeks ago, I attended the 2013 Type-A Parent Conference in Atlanta, GA.  It was a fabulous weekend filled with tons of useful content.  This is the first in a Better Blogging Education Series of posts where I’ll be summarizing my notes from specific sessions that I attended.  In each post, I’ll be crediting back the individual speakers and providing you with their social media channels so that you can follow them.  If you are looking for a fun weekend of bonding and great education, I would strongly urge you to consider attending the 2014 Type-A Parent Conference.  Also being held in Atlanta next year, you can find more information on the conference and the ticket availability HERE (affiliate link).

My notes from Pinterest & Instagram  Optimizing for visual social media from Type-A Parent Conference (


Pinterest Optimization for visual social media notes from Type A Conference (

  • Pinterest accounts for 25% of retail referral traffic
  • Pinterest referral traffic took over Twitter referral traffic in March 20213


  • Size matters
  • Width max = 736 max in lightbox, 200 minimim
  • Optimize first for blog, then pinterest
  • Less than 200 puts bars on either side.
  • Aspect ratio is more important than pixels.  The maximum aspect ratio for picture to show up in whole screen is 1:3.  Aspect ratio max approx 1:33 to show whole image in street.
  • Ideal image aspect ratio about 2:3
  • Have a Pin It Button on each post (use a plug-in), and in your Pin It Button Plug In – write a snappy description (max 500 characters)
  • When you put a Pin it button on your site, you are giving permission or people to pin them on Pinterest.
  • Specify which image from the post you want to pin.
  • Pick your featured image
  • More control over description
  • Watermark your image, include blog address – protect yourself from people who don’t use Pinterest properly
  • You tell a story on Pinterest through images
  • Overlay text on images
  • quote blog, title of recipe, what do you want to highlight
  • Name your image file descriptive (NOT image387438.jpg)
  • Use your alt tag in your image

Pinterest just implemented new meta tags

  • They are powerful and can fix all of the problems with people pinning the wrong image.
  • Look at Pinterest site for more information
  • Recipes, movies, products – there are already meta tags. Go to for more information


  • You need a business account that is verified in order to use Pinterest analytics
  • Referral traffic, hopefully you see that from Pinterest.  You can see the specific pins and which content
  • Other analytics options:
    • Google Analytics
    • PinLeague
    • Pinalalyzer
    • Curalate
    • piquora
    • Octopin
    • Richly

Tools for scheduling a pin

  • Pingraphy
  • Curalate

Build a Community on Pinterest

  • Well organized boards – people should be able to tell what your boards are about without too much trouble
  • Respond to comments if appropriate – asking questions, leaving a compliment, but never respond to hate.
  • Pin stuff you love
  • Don’t have separate accounts – have 1
  • Always write your own descriptions when you repin – have it come from YOUR voice.

Instagram Optimization for Visual Social Media from Type-A Parent Conference (

Things your profile should have

  • A Short bio
  • A link to your website – there is a clickable part, make sure that your website is in that part.
  • A photo of you – people want to connect with YOU, not your dog, cat, child, etc.

Let your photos do the talking

  • Get down low – sometimes that perspective makes the best picture
  • Make sure you move your body to block things if you need to
  • There’s no right or wrong way to take a picture
  • You want to take a picture that tells a story.
  • You don’t always need a filter
  • Practice

There are lots of outside apps to edit pictures:

  • Afterlight
  • Overgram
  • Beautiful mess
  • Rhonna designs
  • Photoshop express

When you post a photo

  • Include a short and sweet description
  • Use hashtags when desired, but don’t overdo it!
  • Don’t “like” your own photo
  • Send them to your blog by directing them to the link in your profile
  • Remember that your photos are searchable if you’re account is public

Things to Remember

  • Update your bio, photo and URL
  • Don’t include links in your descriptions
  • Use hashtags for inspirations
  • Participate in photo challenges to help with photography
  • Engage with your community
  • Have fun


  • Share your photo across every platform
  • Use lots of hashtags
  • Worry about the numbers
  • Post photos that you will regret posting later
  • Repost without permission

Do you have any tips or tricks that weren’t listed above?  I’d love to hear about them!



  1. says

    These are great insights!. I didn’t know about the imposrtance of the size of pictures until recently and it does make a difference. Vertical Photos get more exposure than Horizontal ones. Thansk so much for this tips there are a few that I have to put in practice!!!

    Cami @ TitiCrafty


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