FIVE THINGS I LEARNEDThe secrets of maximizing Pinterest from the #5 employee at Pinterest herself.

As a blogger, I’m invited to a lot of events.  And each of those events comes with an unspoken contract:  the sponsor will provide you with information or an experience of some kind, or some swag,  in exchange for you using your social media influence to help us get the word out about their product/brand. Some of these events  are good.  Some are mediocre.  Some aren’t worth the time it took on the train to get there. And then every once in a while there’s one that it so worthwhile that you run home, and before you’ve even looked at what’s in your swag bag, you boot up your laptop and start utlilizing the new skills you learned at the event.  That’s what happened to me at the Blogger Breakfast (they called it the Mommy Blogger breakfast, but I’ll ignore that slight, given how great it was) I went to on Thursday hosted by Andrea Smith at CE Week in NYC.

I learned a lot about the new LG G4 phone, with its beautiful leather back, swappable battery, and fully adjustable high -end camera that takes raw jpgs or regular ones, Lutron Products (you don’t have to be an electrician to install them!), and about irig mics from IK Multimedia (they offer incredible quality HD audio at a shockingly affordable price). I also learned about Shapeways, which sounds like lingerie for the larger gal, but in fact is quite possibly the most amazing 3D printing concept ever:  upload your own 3D designs and have them shipped directly to you, turn your 2d designs into 3d creations, or shop the many amazing designs online from Shapeways members.  This isn’t just 3d plastic printing — you can make your designs in silver, steels, plastic, nylon, porcelain — it’s kind of unbelievable. Check out their partner Nervous System to see designs so incredible, one was just put on display at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

But perhaps the most useful things I learned today was from Enid, a community manager at Pinterest.  Enid was a font of truly useful information about how to use Pinterest to boost your brand.

1.  Pinterest is about following topics, not about following people. This now-that-I’ve-Heard-it-It-Seems-Obvious phrase is kind of the key to understanding Pinterest.  Social media is mostly about the cult of personality.  But people – real people – not bloggers  or celebs or brands – use Pinterest to find out about STUFF – not about you.  Keep that in mind when you’re creating boards. Content truly is kind – not personality.

2. Keywords Matter, Hashtags Don’t. We’ve all been SO trained to used to hashtags on social media — but guess what?  They don’t count on Pinterest.  Instead, write descriptions — not too long, not too short – that utilitze keywords you think people will use to find the topic you’re pinning about.

3. Vertical Images Rule The best ratio is 3:2.  They work best on Pinterest and on mobile.  And the better your image, the more likely someone will click and look.

4. Updating your boards regularly is the best way to turn up in search.  Does updating your 47 boards seem daunting?  No doubt it is. that’s why Pinterest recommends no more than 25-28 boards.  You can keep up with those, rather than spreading yourself too thin to have any real idea what’s on any of your boards.  Once you’ve got a manageable number of boards, use clean, hi quality images, text overlay, and good descriptions.

5.  Check out business.pinterest.com for more tips and tutorials from Pinterest about maximizing your Pinning for the best results.

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