As you’re probably already aware, Facebook is a juggernaut when it comes to social networking. In fact, research released recently by the Boston-based firm Shareaholic found that “Facebook is the leading driver of social referrals to sites across the web.” Facebook is actually “driving 22.36% of overall traffic to sites,” and has increased growth to 115.63% since September 2013.
However, one of the most interesting findings was that Pinterest came in second with 5.5% of all referral traffic during the study, for an impressive increase of about 50% within the last year. Despite having 70 million users, and not yet capturing the attention of both genders, Pinterest has proven that it’s more than capable to drive traffic – even more so than Twitter.
Even before this report was released, Pinterest had already proven to be a great assist for site owners and marketers – for example, Shopify released a study that found buyers referred to Pinterest were 10% more likely to make a purchase. That’s why you need to jump on board – if you haven’t already. But, before you start pinning away, you want to make sure that you have an effective marketing strategy – Belle Beth Cooper describes how to accomplish this on the Buffer Blog.
On top of having a strategy in place, you need to make sure that your Pinterest images are optimized. After all, Pinterest is all about visual content. Ann Smarty suggests optimizing alt text and using rich pins. Of course, you also want to create high quality and appealing images as well. You can achieve that aspect by using the following right tools.
1. VSCO Cam
You may remember that back in the spring this app was a bona fide viral hit – there were more than 22 million #vscocam hashtags on Instagram in May. The reason? For starters, it’s a welcome change to the Instagram filters that we’ve all become accustomed to. The app also has a minimal interface that can be used for both editing your image and taking pictures as well.
During a review of VSCO Cam, the Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern stated that she “found VSCO Cam to be the best app.” She also added that features include a number of flash modes, ability to lock-in the white, and a level to prevent your images from coming out crooked.
The VSCO Cam app is free to download on Google Play and the App Store.
Another free app to download that can be used by both Android and iPhone users is Pixlr Express. This handy app allows you to crop, rotate, and quickly resize images with the four pre-defined dimensions. You can also add overlays, borders, lighting effects, styles, and stickers. Other perks are easy to find buttons and ad free usage.
What makes this app stand out is its focus on remixing and design – instead of just simply editing images. With Studio Design you have access to easy-to-use tools to “create beautiful layered designs.” Other features include 500 free shapes, crops and fonts, photo filters, and the ability to scale, position, and color any design element. One of the best features, however, is the incredible Studio community which can be used when you need some motivation.
When Studio Design was in it’s startup phase in 2013, Mashable stated that “what Instagram did for photography, this app will do for design.” It’s free to download on both the App Store and Google Play.
How can an Instagram-style social network benefit your Pinterest activity? Well, participating in PicsArt community is a great way to share your images, engage with other photography enthusiasts, and even gain some inspiration for future ideas. But, this is more than just a social network, it’s also a popular and powerful editing app. Besides the Instagram-style filters, PicsArt gives you the ability to crop, rotate, clone, and resize your images. There are also numerous drawing tools, sets for travel, sporting events or birthday. You can even create collages.
With all of these features, you would think this wouldn’t be a free app. However, it’s free to download on the App Store, Google Play, and the Windows Store. No wonder this app constantly receives four-star ratings from users and was selected as an Editor’s Choice for photo editing app according to PC Mag.
Snapseed has been a favorite photo editing tool for several years. Why? Because it’s packed with features like a one-tap autocorrect button, unique filters, image borders, and the revolutionary U Point technology. This technology allows you to make adjustments to your images by simply using your finger. For example, you can select the area you want to brighten in your image with one finger.
Since Snapseed is a Google product, you can easily share your images onto Google+ or send to you Gmail account. This can also help your Pinterest account because the two social media networks work very well with each other. As with the other selection on this list, Snapseed is a free download on the App Store and Google Play.
6. Color Splash/Color Splash Effect
If you want you images to stand a bit, then why not add a little color to black and white pictures? This is easily accomplished by using either Color Splash (for iOS) or Color Splash Effect (for Android).
The Color Splash app, which has been selected into the App Store Hall of Fame, is a $0.99 app that comes with four different brushes (hard or soft edged, opaque or transparent), as well as an intuitive and responsive multi-touch user interface for iPhone and iPad users.
Meanwhile, Android users can use the Staff Picked Google Play app Color Splash Effect. This app does the same as the Color Splash app, but it also comes with features like overlays, frames, borders, text, and general image editing like contrast adjustment.
When app developer MAKE A released the AFilter app back in May, people genuinely seemed to love it – perhaps because the company was giving it away for a limited time. The AFilter app comes equipped with over 200 filters and editing capabilities that allow you to adjust everything from contrast to blurs.
While you’ll have to pay $1.99 for the AFilter now, it’s not a bad investment at all with the editing and amount of filters. It also has an outstanding and intuitive interface. The only drawback is that it’s only available on the App Store.
Canva is an incredible tool if you’re looking to design everything from posters, presentations, business cards, invitations to Facebook covers. This is achieved by simply using the drag and drop tool to create whatever design you have in mind. There’s also a photo editor that allows you to adjust blur, brightness, contrast, tint, and vignette. And, Canva’s Pinterest boards are an amazing source of inspiration.
Whether you’re just starting out on Pinterest or are already familiar with design, Canva is a great tool to have in your photo-editing collection because of the “simplicity and richness of the tools.” It’s a free to download – you can even sign-in with your Facebook account – but it’s still only available on the App Store.
If you’re a serious Pinterest user, which apps do you trust when creating images to share on the visual discovery and sharing tool?
Featured Image: nito via Shutterstock