By now you have probably heard that Pinterest can be great for your business. Research shows that as many as 87% of Pinterest users have made buying decisions because of Pinterest. Pinterest has over 150 million users, so that is a lot of people shopping.
I’ve personally experienced the benefits of using Pinterest for my food blog. On average, 25% of my traffic comes directly from Pinterest. We are talking about thousands and thousands of pageviews per month. More pageviews = more earning potential. Yee haw!
If you’ve never used Pinterest for business purposes, this is your starter guide.
Let’s do this!
Create a Pinterest Account
Before you start rolling your eyes and saying “thanks Captain Obvious”, I just want to be sure you have set up a Pinterest BUSINESS account. If you plan on using Pinterest as part of your business strategy, this is essential.
A business account is free, but it gives you advanced features like analytics and promoted pins. These will be important as you become more experienced with Pinterest.
If you are setting up Pinterest for the first time, you can apply for your Business Account here…
If you already have an account that you would like to convert to a Pinterest Account, visit the same link above, but click where it says “Convert Now”.
Enable Rich Pins
Rich Pins are a cool little feature on Pinterest that adds valuable information to the pins that come from your website.
There are currently 6 types of Rich Pins:
Product Pins: Showcase pricing in real time, availability and where to buy…great for online retailers
Recipe Pins: Show ingredients, servings and cooking times…great for food brands.
App Pins: These are for iOS apps only, people can install your app directly from Pinterest…awesome for tech companies.
Place Pins: Include address, map and phone number…ideal for brick and mortar businesses.
Article Pins: Highlight headline, author and a brief description…perfect for blog posts.
Film Pins: Show cast, ratings and reviews…for the film buffs of the world.
Rich Pins can seem a little intimidating at first. Your website needs to be set up with the appropriate metadata.
Before you freak out, try validating a page of your website (try an individual product page and/or a blog post NOT your homepage) and see if it passes the test here…
If you pass…congratulations! If you fail, and you have no idea what metadata is, you should talk to your developer. You can send them this page to explain what you need…
If you know how to fix it yourself, you are a smarty pants. Here is a virtual gold star!
Note: Don’t get stuck on this step. If you need to work with a developer to get it set up, you can still move forward and fix it later. Don’t forget about it, but don’t let it slow you down from getting started on Pinterest.
Optimize Your Profile
I am a strong believer in creating a Pinterest profile that feels like a real person and not just some faceless brand. That is why I recommend that small business owners add their name and photo to their account profile. This is how I recommend filling out each field of the profile information:
Business Name: Your Name | Your Business Name or A Description of Your Services/Products
Picture: A nice headshot of you
Username: Your business Name
About You: A descriptive, keyword-loaded sentence or two about business.
Location: Your city
Website: Your primary website
Setting it up this way gives your account a more human vibe. You are still operating in a professional, business focused way…but you are more accessible.
Create Pinterest Boards
The next step is to create some boards. You should focus on topics that are related to your brand and topics your ideal customers find intriguing. I recommend starting with 14 boards.
The first board should be about your brand. Give it a descriptive title including your brand name. Fill in the board description with search friendly keywords so it will pop up in your search.
Example Board Name: Your Business Name Pins
Example Description: This board features the best of [Your Business Name]. We specialize in [keyword list].
The rest of your boards should also have descriptive, searchable titles and keyword loaded descriptions. They should align with your brand identity, but they can be on a variety of topics (food, art, decor, design, fitness). Essentially, you will be curating content that you think will appeal to your ideal reader. If your client was going to read a magazine, what would they want to look at and read about?
Populate Your Boards
Start filling your boards with content. You can pin directly from Pinterest by searching for keywords or you can pin from other websites using a Pinterest browser plugin. Try to pin vertical images rather than horizontal, vertical images look better on Pinterest.
Spend some time filling up your boards so your account looks active. Try adding 50 pins to each board if you can. Consider this time spent as research. By searching for attractive pins to share, you will learn more about what is eye-catching and shareable. This will help you down the road when it comes time to design your own Pinterest-friendly images.
Create Pinterest Friendly Images
Pinterest is a visual platform. In order to stand out, you should create graphics specifically for Pinterest.
I’ve created a quick guide that shows you the anatomy of a successful Pinterest pin. You can grab it here…
If you are a novice at design, consider using a free program such as Canva or Picmonkey to design your pins.
Join Group Boards
Group boards are boards that are created by one person, but shared by many accounts. Some group boards have hundreds of thousands of followers!
Group boards are the secret to building traffic on Pinterest. When you first join the site, you will have a low follower count. You can counteract this buy joining group boards that already have large followings. This means your content will be served to the group board’s followers, even if they don’t follow you directly.
I’ve made a short explainer video to show you how to find and apply to group boards. Check it out on Youtube.
Add a “PIN IT” Button
This is a step that can help increase the likelihood of other people pinning stuff from your site. WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify and Etsy can all be optimized with a pin it button.
Below you will find the link to instructions for each platform
WordPress: Install a Pin button plugin. This one has high ratings and has been updated recently. https://en-ca.wordpress.org/plugins/pinterest-pin-it-button-on-image-hover-and-post/
Etsy: You don’t have to do anything, Etsy has taken care of it. The button should already be part of your listings.
That concludes Pinterest for Business 101. If you implement these basic steps, you will be on your way to driving more traffic to your website. It takes a little while to get the hang of Pinterest, but once you do you will be hooked.
Interested in other ways you can use Pinterest for business, check out this article…