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. These are such great tips. Found you on the Manic Monday Party. Pinned for future reference.

  2. These are fantastic tips!! Pinning!! 🙂

  3. These are some great tips! I’m definitely agree with not liking your own photos, or statuses or whatever. Pinning it and loving that you shared it at Link It or Lump It. Great blogging advice again 🙂

  4. 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

  5. These are really helpful! Thanks for posting!


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