Pinterest and I have had a rocky relationship. It took me a long time to work out how to properly and effectively use it which is why I’ve jumped to be one of the first to work out their latest feature: Story Pins.
Story Pins are currently only available to certain users. However, as someone with a business account, Pinterest has allowed me early access to the feature. You might be wondering why you’d need to know about a feature you don’t yet have access to? Or maybe you also have early access but aren’t really sure what it’s all about or why you should care? Well, Pinterest has always been an effective way of generating blog traffic, so any other opportunities they give us to do so is something worth paying attention to. It’s not just blog traffic either, plenty of businesses, big and small, use it to attract customers.
WHAT ARE STORY PINS GOOD FOR?
Snapchat was once social media royalty, but since then, Instagram has taken the story concept and ran. When I first heard of story pins I assumed that they’d be similar to these types of social media uploads. Honestly, I wondered how on earth they could integrate into the world of Pinterest. It was only when I looked into it a little further, I realised that Pinterest Story posts are a whole different board game.
Have you ever found a tutorial, be that a recipe or makeup look, which just couldn’t be explained fully via one Pin? At the moment, for a lot of content types, Pins act as an introduction to an external source. They inspire us and give us an idea of what will be covered, but the Pin itself links to an article that holds much more detail and information. Pins are snippets of inspiration but don’t hold all of the information themselves for a few reasons, namely because there just isn’t enough room.
Story pins, on the other hand, allow us the opportunity to upload much more detailed content in the form of multiple pages within one Pin. They’re great for telling stories, round-up style posts, showing progression and step-by-step guides. So for example, instead of (or as well as) pinning a single picture of a finished makeup look, Story Pins allow the upload of a step-by-step guide, showcasing progress.
HOW TO CREATE A STORY PIN | STEP-BY-STEP
Story Pins currently allow a maximum of twenty pages within one story. You’re going to need to start by clicking the + Create button as if you’re adding a normal pin. It will give you a Story Pin option right underneath Pin and right above Board.
The image selection process defaults to all photos, nothing new there! You can choose another album instead, by hitting the downwards arrow. Then simply select the images you want to make up your story. You’ll need a minimum of two images/pages but don’t forget that twenty is the limit. Pinterest recommends using portrait images with a minimum 900×1600 pixel size.
Hit next when you’ve selected all of your images. It’s great if you can select them in order, but don’t worry if not as they can be dragged around easily. The first page requires a story pin title, but captions are optional on the images which follow.
To add a caption hit the little white button at the bottom middle of the screen. Right now you can’t add too many words so be aware that you might have to limit yourself. Of course, if more information is required, you can always play around adding text with Canva first.
To add a website link, hit the link image in the bottom left-hand corner underneath the caption. Paste, hit the search arrow and then select add. Links aren’t added to the entire story, rather, to each individual slide. One plus to this is that you can link to multiple blog posts or pages within one single story.
You can easily swipe backward and forwards to check through your story. To get back to the overview though, hit the four squares in the top left-hand corner.
All that’s left to do is hit publish! Don’t worry if you then spot an error, the only page Pinterest doesn’t allow you to edit is the front cover.
WHY WOULD ANYONE VISIT MY SITE IF IT’S ALL IN THE STORY?
If this is something you’re worried about, then you’re not alone. As a creator who wants to drive traffic to their own, external source, how much information you include in the story is key. This feature is still something I’m playing around with, but my approach has been sharing just enough to spark interest.
There is no right or wrong. The bottom line is, though, be aware of how much of your content you’re summarising. Ask yourself whether there’s any point in someone visiting your site after seeing your story pin? Have you given them a reason to click through or have you given them all of the value in a bite-sized format?
I’ve played around with story pinning only parts of an article. Instead of creating a summary of my city guide to Paris, I’ve summarised one part of the article: Where to eat. People who are searching where to eat in Paris are likely to be taking a trip there. As such they’re likely to be interested in the rest of the article, so hopefully, they’ll click through.
If your original post is already quite specific, then you’ll need an alternative approach. Instead, one idea would be to give them a single part of the article. For example, my post recommending high-end cleansers features four recommendations. I could create a story mentioning two, and end it with a Canva graphic which suggests heading over to the article for further recommendations.
WHY NOW IS THE TIME TO PLAN YOUR STORY PINS
Pinterest is still a wonderful place to generate traffic, but the competition has become more fierce. On any social media, our own accounts and content have to compete with others for followers and views. When story pins launch as a feature available to everyone, I suspect that Pinterest will help them along with views in order to promote the concept. As it’s a new medium, not everyone will have the hang of it straight away and so, to begin with, there will be less competition. That means more impressions for you, which in turn, will hopefully translate into more traffic.
If you don’t have the feature yet, you can still get started! Take a look through your evergreen content and start planning which images and snippets of content you’ll use. Remember, give them enough to spark interest but not so much that they no longer need the original content.