When Pinterest comes to mind, many people think of young women saving pictures of wedding items, clothing, or cute DIY crafts.  While the site is a perfect place to find all of these things, it is capable of so much more.

The visual aspect and organization of Pinterest is what makes it so popular.  Using an attractive image to interest people is a method that can be used for a variety of products and services. Pinterest has created a great platform for companies to market their brand and to garner more customers.  And now that the site has created a business account option, it makes it easier for companies to track the analytics of their page.

If you’re still skeptical, here’s an infographic about the “Power of Pinterest”:

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Getting Started

To get your business account started here are the first couple of steps (from Pinterest’s website):

  1. Create a business account
  2. Confirm your website
  3. Add the save button

Once you setup your account online, it’s a great idea to also download the Pinterest app on your mobile device.  Having the app on your phone makes it easily accessible, and gives your real-time notifications about your account.

Filling out the information below should be the first thing you do, as it helps identify your company.  Although not mandatory, linking your website and sharing your location is always important if people want to learn more about your business.

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After you input your company’s information, start thinking about what your Pinterest account will consist of or how you will you use it to market your products or services.  Following successful business for inspiration is a great way to get an idea on how to use your account effectively.

Creating Content

Figuring out the type of content you want to publish is important before you start “pinning” anything; however, unlike other social media sites, having a diverse amount of content will most likely garner your page more views.  On other social media outlets, having content that cover a variety of topics can be overwhelming or confusing.  However on Pinterest, users can organize their content into “boards”.  Similar to YouTube, which allows users to create playlists for videos of the same topic, Pinterest’s boards allows you to organize your content by subject.

Creating a Virtual Vision Board

When you create a new board, the image below will pop up.  Give each board a specific name and purpose.  Especially if you plan on creating a large amount of boards, be sure to make every name clear.  If people have to browse through fifty different boards on your page, every board should be unique.

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Filling out the description and category for the board will help users understand what your board will consist of.  You have the option for making your board private, or secret, so it would only be seen by you.  This can be useful if you want to work on a board until it is complete.  You can add “collaborators” by email, which will notify these people about your new board creation and allow them to also add pins to the board.  Each board will also be assigned a “cover pin”, or a picture that will be displayed to represent that board.  This image should be appealing to your customers, and one that will give a sense of what’s on that board.  

Start Pinning

Creating a Pin

To start pinning content to your board there are a couple of ways to do this:

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You can either copy and paste a link to a site, picture or video when you choose “the web” option.  The “your device” option allows you to upload an image, article, etc. from your computer or mobile device.  Once you have done either of these, you have an option to choose the cover image, again a very important decision that could attract users.

Many sites nowadays have added a “Pin It” button to their site’s content.  This makes it easier for anyone to save a certain item to their own Pinterest account in seconds.  They wouldn’t have to go through the steps I previously mentioned.

For example, this story is currently the front page of Buzzfeed’s site.  When I hover my house over the picture, the “Pin It” button automatically pops up in the upper left-hand corner:

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Once I click that the image below pops up.  Now I have an option to edit the caption on the picture (where I should describe what the article is) and to which board I want to pin this article to:

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After you complete that, it will automatically be saved to your account.  This process is quick and easy, and makes sharing and saving pins that much easier.  Not only does it benefit your pinning experience, but the websites that have these “Pin It” buttons on their content  also garner more publicity and reach a larger audience.  Adding “Pin It” buttons to your company’s website is a great way to reach more consumers and potential customers.  Here is a detailed description of how to add the button to your own content.

What to Pin

Depending on your area of business, there are a variety of different boards and pins that you can create.  From marketing tips, to inspirational quotes, don’t just focus on showcasing your product and services.  You can pin things that inspire you, or goals you want to achieve in the future.  For example, if you are in the food industry you can pin about other chefs you like, recipes you want to try, places you want to go, anything that relates to you or your business.

Here’s an example of Salesforce’s Pinterest account:

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There first five boards range from a variety of topics, from location to fashion to infographics.  As you can see not all of these boards directly relate to their company’s services.  They have incorporated office lifestyle, and the local community.  For small businesses, highlighting your location and a community factor is a great way to garner customers as many people support “buying local”.  Larger businesses can also benefit by highlighting their employees and giving their business a more personal feel instead of a corporate one.

If you still don’t know where to start, use the existing content on your website.  You can create boards for any press you received, events you have been apart of, awards you have received, etc.  Having these items on your page will also give your site more traffic.

There are so many different ways you can approach your Pinterest account.  If you need more inspiration, check out this article.

Engaging with Users

Like any social media, it is always important to engage with others.  Anyone who comments on your posts, good or bad, should receive a reply so they know that you want their feedback.  Another way to engage on Pinterest is to invite other to pin to your boards.  This is a great way to collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs, and to diversify your content.

Even though Pinterest is less interactive, try to make connections through their site.  Re-pinning other businesses’ content that you support, or what to be friendly with, is a great way to interact with them.  You will give them free advertising and they may also reciprocate.  Any interaction, whether it’s consumers or other companies, will increase your chance of reaching more people.

Optimize Your Pinterest SEO

Even after creating a great Pinterest page, the account will be useless unless it is seen by other users.  Here are some great tips to optimize your Pinterest page’s SEO from this HubSpot article:

  • Choose an optimized company username
  • Optimize the “About” section
  • Include links back to your website
  • Differentiate your inboards
  • Speak your customers’ language
  • Use your pins’ descriptions wisely
  • Make sure the images you pin have descriptive file names and alt text
  • Incorporate hashtags
  • Leverage the long tail
  • “Pinjack” relevant search terms and images

 

Once you start pinning more often, it takes time to see which boards or pins are getting the most views and which areas you can improve on.  Ask for feedback from your customers or other consumers about what they like or what they want more of.  Comment below some your favorite Pinterest accounts!

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