Pinterest: How To Use It For Your Business

Pinterest is quickly becoming a must-have for businesses that can appeal to potential customers visually. It’s a fast-growing and highly engaged social media platform with 250 million monthly active users.

More than half of the 175 billion pins in existence are from businesses, and users have said branded content is great.

Here are some hints and tips to help you start using Pinterest for your business.

Basics

Imagine a cork board on the wall, which you attach images to as inspiration or reminders. Now think of how interesting or compelling that board could be to somebody else with similar interests. And how interesting you might find their board. That’s Pinterest, in a nutshell!

You might have memos about travel, fashion, food and exercise. Organising your images into categories is similar to Pinterest’s “Boards”.

For example, your Fashion Boards could be divided into Clothing, Accessories and Shoes. It should be easy to translate that thinking to the products or services your business offers.

Joining Pinterest

Pinterest is free to join and to use. You can sign up as a business hereand download the app for your phone from Apple or Google. 

Complete Your Profile

Making sure your profile looks good is extremely important, so spend some time on it. Verifying your website will help people trust your profile and site. Think about adding the Pinterest Save button so people can pin from your website too. 

Above all, you need to make sure your profile is “on brand”. (If that’s confusing, reach out to us for help now!)

Saving Pins

The easiest way to Pin is by using the mobile app to upload an image. You’ll then be able to add a title and description, plus an optional link. You then choose or add a new Board for the Pin.

Videos need to be square or 16:9 format, and between 4 and 30 seconds long. If you’ve got video as part of your Instagram content strategy, this is an opportunity to re-purpose it.

You can also copy a URL and create Pins from it, but you should finish reading this article before you do that!

Plan To Save Pins Regularly

An occasional flood of Pins doesn’t work well with Pinterest’s idea of user experience. So you need to plan your Pinning activity.

Pinterest offers scheduling of Pins, and some social media platforms such as Buffer include the option.

This won’t help with saving Pins from others, which you also need to do (we’ll explain why below). Putting time aside to Pin and Save Pins is essentially research and activity combined. 

Engagement

For digital marketing and social media marketing, engagement refers to actions taken in response to content. To Pinterest specifically, engagements are measured as a “closeup view”, a “save/repin”, or clicks to the URL the Pin is linked to.

“Closeups” happen when someone opens your Pinned image. Your pin can be saved by another Pinner, referred to as either a “Repin” or “Save”. Clicks can send someone to your website or app install page.

You’ll see a notification when your pin is saved by another user. Closeups and clicks are measured with Pinterest’s analytics.

Just like any other network, using an eye-catching image helps with engagement. The same applies to calls-to-action, or simply asking people to share.

Another metric Pinterest shows is how many monthly unique viewers your Pins have gained. Simply view your own profile to see this.

Save Pins From Other Pinners

Add some Pins from your new network to your own boards, or specifically created ones. The original Pinner will get a notification, and maybe they will save one of your Pins. This type of activity is also included in the notification feed for your followers.

You’ll see what the people you follow are doing too, because “Notifications” is more like an activity feed. It is a great way to discover new Pinners and Boards.

Following For Followers

Finding and following other users is a great way to gather some ideas, and could help you gain followers of your own. Use the search bar, or take on Pinterest’s suggestions. 

Try and think like your customer(s) while you do this because you’re trying to grow an effective organic audience. 1,000 followers are no use if 990 of them aren’t in your country – or likely to want your products or services!

Thinking as your customer while following and saving could enhance the relevancy of your following.

Get The Image Format Right

Pinterest has a distinctive shape to its preferred image, referred to as 2:3. You can still use other image shapes, but you might miss out on some reach. If you are at all familiar with using Instagram, Facebook or even Snapchat “Stories”, you’ll probably find it easy to create images in 2:3.

You might see other “taller” images as you browse. These are sometimes referred to as “giraffe” Pins. Lots of digital marketers think these sorts of images are frowned upon by Pinterest as they take up more space. The outcome could be less reach, so you might want to avoid using them.

Image editing tools like Adobe Spark or Canva can help you with resizing images specifically for Pinterest.

If you’re struggling to plan content, try our Content Creation guide.

Name Your Boards Carefully

How you name your Boards is important. Think about how people will search for content like yours. Keyword research can help you here, plus some common sense. If, for example, your cafe serves beautifully presented brunch, lunch and coffee, you should have a Board for each. 

You can also create “Sections” within Boards, but this feature is relatively new, something we’ll refer to later in this post. 

Include A Description

There’s space for adding in the “5 W’s and an H” (who, where, what, why, when, and how) to your Pins. Keep it simple and remember to include a CTA where applicable.

Hashtags are functional on Pinterest(you can click on them, or search for them), but a less-is-more approach seems to work better – for now. Pasting in your Instagram hashtags probably won’t work so well. Try using the five W’s and an H approach for inspiration.

Hashtags are functional on Pinterest! But they’re not like Instagram.

Tell people you’re on Pinterest

If you don’t tell people you’re on a social media network, are you really on it?! Share your Pinterest URL on your other social media channels, and add a sharing button to your website. 

You might also consider including your Pinterest URL in printed marketing. The logo is easy to include, just make sure you read their brand guidelines

Depending on your industry, Pinterest could also be a great conversation topic with your customer. 

Pinning products and services

If you have an online store, you can use Pins to link to your products.

If you decide to use this tactic, it’s very important that you keep track of what you’re linking to because Pins that lead to out-of-stock items or 404 homepage redirects will probably annoy your Pinners.  The experience might put someone off your brand for good!

Use the archive function for items that will be re-stocked, or delete pins where appropriate.

Pins from stores that lead to out-of-stock items or 404 homepage-redirects annoy Pinners

There is also an option to tag products within Pins, which Pinterest refers to as “Shop The Look”. This is a fairly new feature which requires some setting up. Some instructions can be found here – but it is a little complicated and time-consuming.

Stolen Pins

A word of warning: Be prepared for people to download your image, re-upload it and tag it with another location/brand/product. For example, you might upload a beautiful Pin featuring an image from your cafe in Wanaka. Another user might then download it and uses it for a different pin, for something completely incorrect, with a link to a different website. 

You can report this type of activity if you see it (which isn’t very likely). Unfortunately, Pinterest is currently not very responsive to these reports. That’s why watermarking and/or using text in your content is best practice. 

Watermarking and/or using text in your content is best practice.

New features and changes

Pinterest often introduces new features and changes to their network. Sometimes they are fantastic, and other times users respond with outrage. So, you might like to give new features some time before you commit to using them. Even then, remember to include a “Plan B” as part of your strategy.

Building your whole plan around a new-ish feature only to find it’s no longer available is frustrating. Keep track of the newest Pinterest features here.

Give new Pinterest features some time before you commit to using them as part of your strategy, and have a Plan B

Advertising

Advertising on Pinterest could be a big opportunity because there are only around 1.5 million business advertisers currently active on the network. That means less competition for ad space, which could mean a lower cost. Of course, the number of advertisers will probably grow quickly.

Pinterest’s Ads Manager is fairly similar to Facebook’s and Twitter’s. However, just as “organic” Pinning features are added and taken away often, advertising options are evolving.

If you’re unfamiliar with social media advertising but interested in advertising on Pinterest, get in touch with us. As digital marketers, we keep in touch with what’s new and what is being changed.

Conclusion

If you have a visually appealing aspect to your brand’s products and/or services, Pinterest could be a great network for your business. Pins can drive brand awareness, increase product sales, and drive traffic to your website.

You will need to create or adapt content to the specific needs of the network and stick with it to see results. This takes time, which many business owners simply don’t have.

If you need help using Pinterest in your digital marketing strategy, contact us.

We hope you found this blog helpful. Please share it with any friends who will find it useful! 

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