How To Boost Your Social Media Strategy With Visuals In 2020

By Ryan McCready, Sep 02, 2020

Social Media Strategy

Do you know what visuals I see a lot of brands share on social media? 

A simple featured image or boring stock photo like this: 

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And after sharing those for a few months, they are confused why their engagement is low…or nonexistent. 

That is not a social media strategy. It’s barely a half-hearted attempt at sharing something on social media. 

Now, these visuals have their place. But if you really want to build a social media strategy that boosts your social media engagement, I recommend creating a specific collection of unique visual content for each platform. 

In this guide, I’m not going to show you exactly how to grow your social media following with a few “viral” visuals.

That’s not sustainable, or scalable.

Instead, I will be focusing on the visual repurposing process that we use at Venngage. 

This process that I built as Social Media Marketing Lead at Venngage has helped us grow our social media traffic in the last year by:

  • 300% on Twitter
  • 200% on LinkedIn
  • 150% on Pinterest (2200% since 2018)
  • 100% on Facebook 

In fact, we now get 3x more traffic a week from Pinterest than we used to get in one month! 

Using content repurposing you can turn any article, blog post, webinar or more into a ton of sharable visual content for every platform.

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Our process can then be repeated with every piece of content you publish.

Once you implement it in your own social media marketing strategy, you will immediately see the difference.

 

Table of Contents

 

What is Visual Content Repurposing? 

Visual content repurposing is simply taking content that you have already produced and turning it into a visual format like an infographic, chart, or slide deck.

At Venngage we do a TON of visual content repurposing.

In fact, creating visual content strictly for social media is considered part of the blog post planning process. It’s truly that important! 

Here are some examples we have created lately for a data driven blog post:

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None of those visuals were included in the actual article! Instead we just repurposed the data, quotes, and information from that article into unique social media content.

As you can see, we created a unique visual for each social network as well.

Why should you repurpose your content for social media?

Let’s be honest from the beginning: there’s no one-size-fits-all social media strategy that will work for every brand.

But one thing that every brand can do is repurpose their content into visuals.

People love visual content, and we have built our entire brand on social media using unique visuals to be heard above the noise.

I mean you already have created a ton of content on your blog or site, why not use it? 

It doesn’t matter if you work in the marketing industry or the maritime industry, visual content can immediately and sustainably boost your social media growth.

If you want to increase brand awareness and get more backlinks, like we did with this infographic based on our graphic design trends article:

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If you want to boost engagement on your LinkedIn page, like we did with these many unique slide decks:

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Or if you want to simply drive more traffic back to your blog, like we did with this collection of resume design visuals:

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All of these goals in your social media plan can be achieved simply by repurposing your great content for each social media network.  

Also it should be noted, that I have designed all of the content that you have seen so far and I’m not a designer. If I can do it, with literally no design training, I know that anyone can do it with our templates.

How to identify social media content opportunities

Not all of your blog content is going to succeed on all social media channels. That is totally okay! Don’t try to force the wrong content into your social media strategy.

For example, this article about resume design has performed very well on LinkedIn, but not on Pinterest:

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That’s why I always recommend taking the time to identify content that you already know your followers or audience will love. 

This is an essential step before you jump into repurposing your content.

Not only will this help you find your initial top content, but also the content that you can repurpose next.

To find this content, I would recommend using Google Analytics, Buzzsumo or Ahrefs to:

  1. Find content that your audience is actually searching for. 
  2. Look at what articles generate the most shares on social media. 
  3. Identity what articles drive the most traffic to your site.
  4. Find the content that converts casual readers into real customers. 

Whatever your goals or social media strategy may be, find the content that helps you achieve them the best. 

 

Here’s an example from the Venngage blog:

After looking at all of our data, I have found that our “What is a Marketing Plan” blog post has a ton of repurposing potential!

It also happens to be one of our most popular articles on social media as well.

https://venngage.com/blog/marketing-plan/

Not only does it fit our marketing goals and speak to our audience, it’s full of content gold that you can turn into unique visuals. 

If you’re not familiar with content gold, here is a quick rundown of what you should look for in your articles: 

  • Facts, statistics & data
  • Expert quotes or opinions
  • Definitions of industry or niche terms
  • Tips tricks & hacks
  • Simple lists 
  • Step-by-step instructions

Each of those gold nuggets you can easily turn into an interesting social media visual in no time at all.

 

How to plan your social media shares

After you identify some blog posts or content nuggets that you want to repurpose into visuals, it’s time to plan out your shares. 

I have found it’s a lot easier to plan out your visual content for a certain time period, and then create it.

But so many social media managers do it the opposite way.

This approach will ensure that you are sharing the right content at the right time, and that you aren’t wasting time creating too much content. 

If you know exactly what content you need to create each month, you can sit down and create it all at once. Instead of scrambling each week for new content.  

I would recommend starting slow when you’re planning your first week or month of visual content. Then once you get a good cadence or process set up at your company, you can ramp up the sharing. 

Here is a very simple social media sharing plan that you can copy:

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As you can see I limited weekly sharing to:

  • 3 Twitter Visuals
  • 1 Facebook Visual 
  • 1 Pinterest Visual
  • 1 LinkedIn Visual

I think this amount of content is perfect for someone just getting started. Especially because you can use the same content nugget and repurpose it for a bunch of different social media platforms. 

Now as you probably know, not every social media platform is created equally so you need to take that into consideration when planning your visual content as well.

Something that works great on LinkedIn, might not do well on Pinterest. 

For example, this Earth Day infographic that blew up on Facebook and LinkedIn got almost no engagement on Pinterest.

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That’s probably because Pinterest is more similar to Google than it is to other social media networks. 

Usually people are searching for content or solutions when they need it on Pinterest, and not passively engaging with it like on Facebook.

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to create specific visuals for each platform, we are going to get into all of that below!

How to Boost Your Twitter Strategy With Visuals

Right now my favorite social media network happens to be Twitter. So let’s start there! 

It’s important to think about your audience before you start repurposing anything. 

A lot of marketers follow us on Twitter, and regularly interact with our posts. So when looking for content gold to turn into visuals, I try to avoid very basic marketing topics or ideas that the audience would already know. 

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In our social media content calendar, I identified a few visuals that we can create based on content repurposed from the Marketing Plan blog post.

Best size for Twitter images

Right now, Twitter recommends sharing images that are 1200px by 675px. 

You would be wise to follow these guidelines because otherwise, Twitter will randomly crop images and cut off half your info. Like this:

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Thankfully with Venngage, you can easily edit the size of your image with a few clicks:

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How to repurpose content for Twitter

Now that we got that out of the way, we can start creating content! Let’s start with the Marketing Design Tips graphic.

In this article there are a TON of great design tips like these: 

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A lot of people would just start designing after they find these pieces of content gold. 

However, I think it’s important to grab a few of them and put them in a simple Google Doc. That way you can use them to create another graphic very easily in the future. 

Use the social network to guide how much information you include in the graphic. Since we are creating an image for Twitter, I’m only going to include the tip header. But if we were working on an infographic, I would include a little more information. 

Now that I have identified the content I want to repurpose, it’s time to start designing! 

I always try to find a template that works best for the content, instead of trying to fit the content onto a random template.

This template will be perfect: 

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Now with just a few clicks, here is what I was able to create:

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As you can see in this graphic, I made sure to give the reader some context with a simple header:

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And boom! We have a completely unique graphic in about 5 minutes!  

I really like creating these simple tip graphics because you can use the same (or a very similar) template for each tip. 

Swap the background color, icons and font, and you have a completely different visual in a few seconds:

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Or you can use Venngage’s Brand Kit to automatically add your brand colors and fonts to the template with a single click! 

With this approach you now have content for the next few weeks. Plus, you can use those custom templates to create other social media visuals.

How to get the most engagement on your Twitter posts

There are a few ways that you can share these repurposed visuals on Twitter and boost your social media strategy.

Below are all social sharing strategies that we have used at Venngage over the past year to grow our Twitter traffic by 300%! 

Create a Twitter thread

Obviously you could just share an image with a generic Tweet, like so:

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But one of my favorite things to do with these repurposed visuals is turn them into a Twitter thread:

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https://venngage.com/templates/social-media/twitter

We have found that this approach will give your content up to 10x more impressions and engagement!

Break up your infographics into smaller graphics

Full-length infographics are basically impossible to share on Twitter because of their size. Twitter will crop them. But, we came up with a brilliant solution: break it up into smaller sections!

Once you break up the infographic into smaller graphics, you can share it in a Twitter thread: 

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Share expert quotes and tag the expert

If you are using an expert quote from an article, make sure to tag the person:

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Create a Gif

Additionally if you want to use a square image or slide deck, you can get around the weird cropping by turning into a GIF!

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Check out this article if you want to learn more about that approach: 

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How to Boost Your Facebook Strategy With Visuals

Next, let’s talk about using visuals to improve your Facebook strategy. 

Our audience on Facebook is not as singular or cohesive as it is on Twitter. In fact, there are a lot of students, teachers, marketers and other professionals that interact with our content.

This means that the content that we choose to share and purpose can be a little more diverse than other social media platforms.

This also gives us a lot more flexibility to both repurpose content from blog posts and from other social networks

Best size for Facebook images

Unlike Twitter, Facebook won’t randomly crop your images if they are not the exact recommended size.

I recommend using a square image, even though a lot of people will use one that is formatted 1200 x 600. 

For example, this statistic visual was originally created for a LinkedIn Slide Deck but can also be shared on Facebook without any edits: 

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When creating visual content it’s important to think about all the places you can reuse the visual too. 

Don’t just create it, share it and never use it again. We share some of our most popular visuals multiple times a month across each social network.  

Plus, a square image just takes up a lot more space in the feed and you can include more content!  

How to repurpose content for Facebook

Now that we got that out of the way let’s take another look at the social sharing calendar:

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In this calendar we identified that we wanted to create an infographic based on the essential parts of a marketing plan. 

Thankfully, this content gold is very easy to find! In this article, the brilliant author outlined each part in a list:

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Obviously, we will need to do a little editing to make sure we only include the essential elements from this list.

This leaves us with a nice outline that we can turn into an infographic in no time: 

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So let’s do that. I’m not going to get too deep into creating an infographic because we have a TON of content about that on our blog already.

But one thing that everyone should try to do when designing an infographic is pick a template that fits your content, not the other way around.

Because our outline had 6 points, that means I would look for an infographic with 6 sections.

I decided to use this simple list infographic template because it would allow the “6 essential parts” to be the main focus of the graphic: 

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All I had to do was add the essential elements from the infographic outline, update the title and add some more relevant icons. It truly took me all of 20 minutes to create an infographic that we have been sharing for over a year: 

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As you can see, with this infographic I kept the original color palette from the template. But you can add your brand colors to the template with one click using the Brand Kit:

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I like to create a few different versions of the same content, so if I want to reshare that infographic it looks new and fresh to our followers.

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You can also kick it up a notch and design a completely different infographic, but still use the same outline or group of content gold. This is another social media strategy that I like to use if the content is really resonating with our audience lately. 

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How to get the most engagement on your Facebook posts

A lot of the same social media strategies that we use on Twitter also work on Facebook. 

Create a promotional graphics for your blog post

Instead of sharing the generic blog header, you could share something like this:

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I like this type of visual because it takes up a lot more space in the feed, stands out from all the other boring blog headers and you can reshare it on Pinterest too.

The only problem with sharing visual content on Facebook, or really any social network, is that you will have to make sure people know where to click to view your blog post.

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So be sure to use a strong Call To Action or some emojis to direct people to the important link.

Some people may say that this approach decreases the amount of people that are going to visit the blog post, but I think those people who visit your site are a lot more qualified. 

If you want to create something for a trending hashtag or relevant holiday, be sure to actually commit to it. Don’t just say “Happy Earth Day,” create a interesting graphic that people will still be sharing weeks later:

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We actually made 4 individual infographics for Earth Day this year, and it turned out to be one of our most successful social media campaigns ever! 

It received almost 30x more impressions, engagements and clicks than any other campaign we have put out this year! 

Months later, the blog post and infographics still get shared all over the world. I think this was so successful because we identified a topic that every one of our followers were likely to engage with. 

When sharing longer infographics on Facebook, you can either share a smaller section of it, like we did with the Earth Day infographic.

Or crop it so only a small section of the infographic is seen:

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We have seen that more people click on the blog post to learn more when we crop it.

This is a very simple social media strategy that you can use to your advantage if your main goal is to get followers onto your site. 

Finally, remember that people are using Facebook to keep up with their friends and family, not read about marketing topics. 

So whatever you decide to share, make sure it’s easy to consume and someone can quickly get value from it. 

For example, this infographic isn’t anything special but could help someone create a better resume:

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Or just associate Venngage with a place that they can make their next resume when the time comes! 

How to Boost Your LinkedIn Strategy With Visuals

LinkedIn is one of the most underutilized and misunderstood social networks out there.

That said, it’s pretty hard to build up a huge following….but you don’t need it.

This is because you can build a small but mighty following on LinkedIn as long as you can consistently post great content.   

Actually let me rephrase that, you can build an amazing following if you consistently post a very specific type of content on Linkedin. 

Best image sizes for LinkedIn

Like Twitter, LinkedIn will automatically crop your images if you use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite. 

Unless you use the exact size they recommend, the image will be stretched or look weird. I had to learn that the hard way last year after scheduling a whole week of shares. 

Most people recommend using a 1200 x 628 sized image if you don’t want it to be cropped.

Also, it will randomly crop longer images like infographics so that you only see the middle sections of the graphic.

But if you’re sharing it organically from LinkedIn, I recommend using a square image for all the reasons I outlined in the previous section.

All of the images and visuals I share on LinkedIn are square, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon: 

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How to repurpose content for LinkedIn

Slide decks are the ultimate type of visual content for LinkedIn.

Yes, you read that right. We were able to triple our following and increase our referral traffic by over 200% from LinkedIn with simple slide decks. 

As you saw in the first section, you can create a slide deck about pretty much anything in your industry. 

Work with penguins? Slide deck.

Work with people? Slide deck. 

Honestly, that is about the only type of visual content that we share on LinkedIn because it has worked so well. 

Even if we want to share something that isn’t a slide deck, we take the time to convert it into one before sharing! Like the Earth Day slide deck: 

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Or the slide deck we made for an article about how search trends changed so drastically this year:

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Creating these slide decks are very easy, especially with Venngage. Basically you can use the same content and approach that you would to create an infographic. 

In fact, we are going to use the same repurposed content from the previous section:

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I have already written a very in depth article about creating these LinkedIn presentations before, check that out if you want to learn more!

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In that article there were a few quick tips that I think can help anyone who is creating a new slide deck.

First, start with a title slide for your deck. Don’t just jump into the content without any context. 

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Next, you should try to keep the layout of each slide pretty consistent. This will ensure that your content is the main focal point and the design elements are not a distraction.

As you can see, the only thing that really changes on each slide is the content and the icon. 

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I do recommend adding relevant icons to each slide, especially because they can add some quick visual context to each slide. 

After following those simple tips, we have a fully formed slide deck that is ready to be shared:

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One final tip, make sure to always download your slide deck as a PDF or it won’t upload correctly to LinkedIn.  

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Here is another example of slide deck that I created based on content from the marketing plan blog post:

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This one includes a little more written content but it can still be consumed very quickly. Also the text is large enough to read on a mobile device, which is very important these days.

We have found that these slide decks get about 10x more impressions and engagement than any other type of visual or content. 

In fact, one great slide deck will drive more traffic back to our site than a whole week of sharing simple links. 

I believe that is because this format encourages people to engage with the visual, and LinkedIn sees that initial engagement as a positive. Then it shows the content to more people, and the cycle continues.

Plus like I said earlier, you can repurpose these decks for other social networks very easily! 

How to get the most engagement on your LinkedIn posts

There really aren’t too many social media content secrets that we didn’t cover above when it comes to sharing visual content on LinkedIn.

You will just need to put in consistent work and your following will grow. Not overnight, but it will grow over time! 

Tag people you mention in your article 

One social media strategy that always works for us is tagging people who we included in an article or slide deck. 

A simple like or share from them could help your content be seen by thousands of new followers.

When we shared a slide deck on marketing trends, we tagged all the influencers that were quoted in the article:

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This helped it become one of our posts that got the most engagement that month! 

Target a trending topic

If you want to improve your branding or grab some more followers in your niche, try creating a slide deck on a trending topic. 

This slide deck was based on a Tweet that I randomly wrote, and actually went viral in the marketing niche:

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There really wasn’t anything special about the insights, but I presented the content in a way that would make it easy for someone to consume and share it with their network.

One thing that I don’t think you should stress about too much is the body text that is included with your slide deck. 

Most people are going to be focusing on the visual component of your post. However, make sure to include a compelling call to action if you want people to visit your blog post or landing page:

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You can also use the last slide of your deck as a call to action as well:

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Share very simple infographics 

Additionally, we have never seen the point of posting long infographics, because LinkedIn will randomly crop the image. 

But shorter infographics, like below, should be fine to share as much as you want. 

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How to Boost Your Pinterest Strategy With Visuals

I saved Pinterest for last because it’s one of the most unique social networks with a unique way of scaling.

But many people still approach it like they are sharing something on Facebook or Twitter.

Instead of relying on an ever-updating news feed or timeline, Pinterest serves you content that could be 5 minutes old, 5 months, or 5 years. 

In fact, Pinterest is closer to Google in terms of functionality, and I think a lot of people forget that. \Social Media Strategy 40

Organic search is a big part of how content is discovered and shared on Pinterest, with 2 billion searches per month

If you can rank on a big keyword, like marketing plan templates, you can drive traffic back to your site for years and people will continue to share that content in almost a never ending cycle.

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Actually, one of our shares is already ranking for that keyword:

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That’s how we were able to turn our Pinterest growth into a rocket ship over the past few years. 

That’s why I always recommend using a lot of the same SEO tactics on Pinterest that you already probably use for your blog.

If you want to identify some keywords to target on Pinterest, you can use their ad platform:

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This will give you an estimate of how many monthly searches a certain keyword will get.

However, I like to double check their numbers on Ahrefs before committing to a new keyword.

You can also just search for your main keyword, and Pinterest will recommend other keywords:

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I like using this approach because you can target more long tail keywords or find out what your users might be actually looking for. 

Another reason I saved Pinterest for last, is that you can basically share all the examples we already created above. 

But before we get into that, let’s repurpose some content. 

Best images sizes for Pinterest

Almost all of the visual content that we have created so far would do well on Pinterest, except the landscape images we made for Twitter. 

Those just don’t take up enough screen space and will quickly get lost in the noise. 

Pinterest officially recommends a 2:3 aspect ratio, so a 2000 x 3000px image would work perfectly. 

Anything bigger than that will get cut off in the feeds. 

So if I am creating a blog header for Pinterest, I will stick to that recommendation. But if I want to share an infographic, I don’t think it’s that important to follow.  

How to repurpose content for Pinterest

Based on our social media sharing calendar we need to create a new blog header for the marketing plan article. 

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Now you may be asking why we need to create another blog header, this one would be fine:

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But that doesn’t really stand out on Pinterest, it’s smaller than all the other things people are sharing, and you can’t really figure out what the post is about from that image. 

On the other hand, a header like this example is ideal for Pinterest:

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This visual fits Pinterest’s recommended image size, has a very easy to read title and will stand out from other types of content people are sharing. 

I mean, If you were searching for marketing plan templates or times, which example would make you want to click: 

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Probably the one on the right!  

You can create a bunch of these blog headers relatively quickly just by swapping the background image, color palette or other elements. 

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I recommend creating a few of these headers so that you will have a backlog of content to share on Pinterest. 

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Because if you can consistently share well optimized and designed content like this a few times a week, you will be able to grow your following pretty quickly. 

Now when it comes time to share your blog header, or really any type of content, make sure to optimize your Pin for search! 

Use a keyword-driven header, include the keyword in the description and add it to a very relevant board. 

As you can see below, the title included the keyword and it was used a handful of times throughout the description:

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I then added this Pin to our Marketing Plan Templates & Examples board to complete the optimization checklist. 

If you can optimize those three things, you will make it very easy for users, and Pinterest, to find your content.

How to get the most engagement on your Pinterest posts

To be honest, that’s about the only type of content that we specifically create or repurpose for Pinterest.

Share content from other social networks 

The majority of the other content that is shared from our main Pinterest account is repurposed from the blog, our template pages, or other social networks.

For example, all of the marketing plan infographics we created for Facebook would later be shared on Pinterest:

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As well as the slide decks that were created for LinkedIn. With this content, you can either just share the first slide:

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Or create a simple “infographic” of the slides using a collage tool or one of our collage templates:

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Like I said above, just make sure every Pin you create is targeting a specific audience or keyword. If you’re just sharing random content, there is no way that you will be able to achieve growth. 

In Summary, Be Consistent 

I know I gave you a ton of information in this article, but there’s one word I want you to remember when it comes to social media strategy.

That word is consistency. 

Every successful brand, company and influencer on social media built that following by sharing consistent content.

That following wasn’t built overnight or even in the first year.I think that one of the biggest mistakes people make social media is thinking that it will happen overnight.

Then after sharing content for a few weeks they give up, and never use it as a marketing channel again. 

Now, when I say consistency, I also mean that your content itself should be consistent. The branding, topics and quality of the content should stay the same or even get better as time goes on. 

If you want to use social media as a legitimate marketing channel, don’t just share random trending content, reaction GIFs and memes. 

That will only get you the wrong type of followers and be a waste of time.

So whenever you think about sharing something on social media, whether it be a simple share or a visual, think about if the content is consistent with your mission or goals. 

If not, the only thing you are going to do with that share is create more noise on social media.

Check out these eBooks if you want to learn more about taking your visual marketing strategy to the next level:

repurposing content

Everything You Need to Repurpose Content Visually [Free Ebook + Templates]

4 Step Content Marketing Framework For Massive Organic Traffic Growth

4 Step Content Marketing Framework For Massive Organic Traffic Growth

About Ryan McCready

Ryan McCready went to the University of Arkansas and graduated with a degree in economics and international business. Now instead of studying the economy he writes about everything and enjoys stirring the pot.