How to use pinterest for business: the definitive guide

Pinterest is one of the biggest social media marketing platform in the world. To us Malaysians, Pinterest might be something unfamiliar. To those who are not familiar, Pinterest is a web and mobile application company that offers a visual discovery, collection, sharing, and storage tool. Users create and share the collections of visual bookmarks (boards). Boards are created through a user selecting an item, page, website, etc. and pinning it to an existing or newly created board.

Among social networks (e.g twitters, instagram, facebook etc), only Facebook drives more traffic to Web publishers. Its even more popular than Twitter and it isn’t yet five years old. Some analysts believe that it is only a matter of time before Pinterest blows past Facebook.

To us marketers, Pinterest represent a unique platform for marketing their products online. Facebook is a collection and display of memories and past events, Twitter is mostly used as a real time newsfeeder, whereas Pinterest represents a collection of what one wants to do down the line. In other words, Pinterest is offering the future.

Just think of it this way, when a user pins an image of a say, nicely designed business card, he/she is sending a signal to the marketers that they are interested in … nicely designed business cards. Pinterest acts as a platform for us to showcase our products online and connect with people who are drawn to our products.
To learn about how to use Pinterest for your business, check out this post by Olsy Sorokina at

Do you remember the first time you explored Pinterest? I bet it was full of pictures depicting beautiful home decor, or incredibly appetizing food, or maybe it was dedicated to an event someone was organizing. Whatever you found, it probably didn’t scream “business.” But if you shrugged off the idea of Pinterest for business based on early impressions, it’s time for a second look—the visual discovery network has the potential to be your best social e-commerce tool yet.

According to Shopify’s social commerce study, the number of orders through Pinterest has increased by 79% since last year, with the average order valued at almost $60. Pinterest is also the most mobile social network, driving 64% of its traffic from mobile browsers. Data from Shareaholic also showed that Pinterest now drives more Web traffic than any other social network.

While Pinterest doesn’t immediately strike users as a great tool to generate sales, it may be one of the best ways to showcase your business’ products and services. In the past, we’ve highlighted brands who were ahead of the game with their Pinterest, as well as some of the more creative uses of Pinboards. Now, we want to help you get to know the virtual scrapbooking network better, and learn how to use Pinterest for business.

10 Tips On How To Use Pinterest for Business

Tip #1: Make Your Business Visible on Pinterest

Include your brand’s name and official website address on Pinterest’s profile page, and connect your Facebook and Twitter profiles for increased visibility. Pay attention to your Pin captions: whether you are pinning content from your site or repinning it from somewhere else, explain why this content would be useful to your brand’s customers—and mention your brand’s name and website URL in the caption.

In addition to mentioning your brand’s name when making a new Pin, try to include a call to action (CTA), as well as other links, in all Pins that contain original content from your business. The CTA can be linked to an ongoing campaign, or simply redirect users to your website.

Tip #2: Make Your Website Pinterest-Friendly

Before you start Pinning original content on your business’s Pinterest account, you want to make it easy for other Pinterest users to “Pin” articles and images from your website using a Pinterest browser extension. It might also be helpful to optimize your website to allow Rich Pins, or Pins that show more information about the link. Don’t wait for users to know what content to pin: include a Pin It button on particularly visually appealing items. You should also feature a Follow Me button in a prominent position on your webpage, so your customers can easily find you. You can take a look at Pinterest’s guides on how to create buttons for your website here.

Tip #3: Create Appealing Content You Can Pin

In a similar fashion to most social networks, you want your business’s Pinterest profile to be a mix of original and found content, with an emphasis on articles and photos pinned from your site. As you are already an expert on social media images, finding high-quality images shouldn’t be a problem, but being on Pinterest should give you extra incentive to create original visually appealing content. After all, an image is the first thing someone sees in a Pin. Which leads me to my next point…

Tip #4: Know Pinterest’s Image Requirements

If you have optimized your site for the network, but Pinterest still doesn’t show your images, check your dimensions. Pinterest doesn’t allow images with a height or width less than 80 pixels. It also doesn’t recognize background images, images embedded in iFrames or within Flash websites. The optimal original image dimensions are 600 by 800 pixels, which resize to about 192 by 256 on the Pinboard. Having accurate dimensions will help your Pins get noticed better, hopefully leading to more clicks to your business’s site.

Tip #5: Get to Know Pinterest’s Categories

Pinterest users can search the network for content in over two dozen categories. Get to know the ones that apply to your business; and no, I don’t mean the Everything category! See if any of your content fits in one of Pinterest’s most popular categories. Last year, the most pinned category was Home, followed by Recipes, Food, Wedding, and Fashion. Once you figure out the categories that apply to your business, remember to categorize any Pinboard you create—this will make it easier for users to discover your content.

Tip #6: Pin Useful Content

Pinterest users love learning new ways of doing things, and you have a unique opportunity to share knowledge about your area of expertise, straight from the source. Share tutorials and how-to lists in order to teach users something new, or help them find a novel solution to an old problem. One of the top Pinboards of 2013, Lowes’ Build it! Board, is a mix of original and repinned content that describes different DIY building and decoration projects—suitable for the business’s home improvement theme, but also appealing to crafty Pinterest users.

Another type of content that always makes it to the Top Pinned lists is infographics. You can start by finding and repinning well-researched and well-designed infographics on the topics relevant to your field. Eventually, you want to carve out some time in your content creation calendar and make some pinnable infographics of your own—they kill two birds with one stone by displaying helpful and sharable content in a visually engaging manner.

Tip #7: Pin About Your Customers

Pinterest is a great tool for recognizing your customers—you can do this by creating Boards that tell customer success stories, or share a common customer experience. These Pins can make up their own Board or be a part of your How-To category, if your clients find unique ways of incorporating your brand’s products or services into their everyday life. These customer-centric Boards are a great non-intrusive way to show off customer testimonials in a way that welcomes sharing not just by that particular customer, but by anyone who can benefit from the advice.

Tip #8: Pin As a Team

Pinterest allows users to add contributors to the Boards, so encourage your employees to add content they find interest, or even curate their own Board. Not only are your employees your brand’s best advocates, they can also all have at least one interest they share with your customers—your brand! Include your employees in the discovery process, and @mention them in the captions of the Pins they selected.

Pinterest can also help your business promote company culture, to celebrate current employees and attract new hires. If your company held a fundraiser or a fun team bonding event recently, why not create a Board to share it with the world? Customers like finding out the person behind the screen, and Pinterest has the advantage of being less formal than other social networks.

Tip #9: Create Themed Boards

Is there a holiday or a big product release coming up? Maybe your business is expanding, and you want to find a creative way to tell your current and potential customers about it. Why not create a themed Board for the great reveal? Pinterest allows you to connect all the written, photo, and video resources in one place, and do so in a sharable way. Remember that Pins created for the themed boards should make sense independently as well, in case someone wants to repin them to their Board with similar themes.

Tip #10: Keep An Eye On Your Pinterest Numbers

Whenever your business joins a new network, it’s crucial to make regular temperature checks on your content strategy for that network. Pinterest’s analytics feature, Business Insights, allows you to see what content gets the most likes, comments, and repins. Business Insights also shows you information about your brand, your industry, as well as Pins that are driving the most results for your business. This analytics feature also allows your business to keep tabs on your competitors’ accounts, and do comparative analyses of your Boards. Pinterest’s Business Insights are now included in Hootsuite Analytics, so Enterprise users can track their Pinterest data right in their Hootsuite dashboard

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