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Pinterest adds article pins to its collection of rich content

article pinsPinterest announced on its blog last week that it would be expanding its current bundle of rich pins to include article pins. Article pins will contain additional information, like the headline, author, story description and link to the article, within the pin itself. The feature will be rolled out over the coming months, with larger publishers already seeing access to the new pins.

Previously, when a publisher pinned an article, the post would contain only a picture associated with the article and a link to the story. (Remember, always attach pictures to your blog posts and articles if you want to encourage pins.) People had to guess from that limited context whether the pin was relevant to themselves or their followers.

Pins present a particular challenge for attorneys, whose business is much more difficult to visualize than that of other industries, like fashion or food and beverage, that can garner large amounts of repins and conversions by posting high-quality pictures of clothing, accessories and recipes. Attorneys may create infographics or try to amass a collection of images – whether through stock, Instagram or hiring a photographer – to have at the ready when posting articles. But all of this takes time, and the reality is that even the best stock photo will not have as much pull as that delicious looking picture of Loaded Caramel Pumpkin Blondies.

By supporting additional pieces of information, article pins will allow attorneys to describe their posts in a way that helps their audience understand why the article is relevant, which may encourage more click-throughs. Pinterest is also marketing the new pins as a way to create reading lists. Users can, for example, create different article category boards and pin to them as a way to save articles for later reading. On the Pinterest blog, the company suggests building boards for things like “politics from the New York Times” or “technology from Wired” to collect lists of interesting stories.

Pinterest also recommends using article boards as a way to see what influential people are reading. If you have a favorite journalist or celebrity, you can check out what they find interesting by visiting their article pins. For attorneys, this is another way to build online reach. Try recommending relevant articles from other sources and populating your boards with a mix of your own writing and other content that is applicable to your practice area.

Pinterest returns one of the highest click-through rates (CTR) of any social media network. According to the marketing company Yieldbot, Pinterest accounts for 85% of all social media referral traffic, with Facebook coming a distant second at 8%. (These statistics are for desktop and laptop visitors; Facebook actually does slightly better than Pinterest with mobile referrals.)

Advertisers, however, do much better on Facebook. Facebook ads have a CTR that is three to five times higher than advertisers see on Pinterest. One theory for this discrepancy is that Facebook's ads contain a description, giving consumers a better idea of why they should take advantage of the offer. Pinterest appears to be responding to the need to balance short attention spans (and therefore short pins) with publishers' desire to present content in a format that is useful to their audience.

Attorneys currently have a hard time capitalizing on Pinterest's high organic CTR due to the nature and brevity of pins. It remains to be seen wither article pins will address this issue, but they appear to be a step in the right direction.

Photo courtesy the Pinterest blog.