Pinterest for Business: Your Guide to Getting Started

Pinterest is a unique social media network. While the network has been around for a while now, many businesses were unsure of how to use it as part of their social media marketing strategy.

However, that has changed. More and more businesses are jumping on board to make use of Pinterest for business. It’s a very visual medium and is becoming well known for driving clicks to websites and leading to purchases. So isn’t it time you added it to your marketing mix too?

What Is Pinterest?

Before I get into why you need Pinterest, I figured it’s a good idea to explain what Pinterest is. Many of us have heard of it but don’t necessarily know how it works.

To put it simply, Pinterest is a visual media social network. It allows users to create pin boards (known as ‘Boards’ on the site) where they can pin images to create a virtual collection of things they like/want/aspire to.

what-are-pinterest-boards

Pinterest boards: explained by Pinterest

So, users often create outfit idea boards

 

pinterest outfit ideas

or inspirational quote boards

 

 

pinterest inspiration

and even boards of cat memes to make them laugh.

 

pinterest cat memes

You can search for pins by typing in keywords in the search box or by browsing through its various categories such as Art, Humor, Women’s Fashion and more.

Pinterest has been known to have a largely female demographic but more men are starting to use it too.

Creating A Business Pinterest Account

Creating a business Pinterest account is easy (and free). Just go to business.pinterest.com to get started. If you already have a Pinterest account and would like to convert it for business use, that is possible too.

pinterest for business

Click on the red ‘Join as a business’ button to register your business on Pinterest. You will see this form on the next page.

pinterest for business signup

Fill out the form, confirm your email and you’re ready for business.

I also recommend going into your account settings (click on the gear icon) to make sure:

  1. You have a personalized Pinterest URL
  2. Fill out the description section with some information about your business
  3. Add a link to your website and verify it. Verifying your website is as simple as adding a bit of code to your website (to prove you own the website). If you’re not familiar with this, ask someone who’s a bit more tech-savvy. It takes a couple of minutes.

pinterest about section

For further help, be sure to visit the Getting Started section on Pinterest.

pinterest getting started

Creating Your First Board On Pinterest

Once your account is created, it’s time to create your first board on Pinterest.

To create your first board, go to your profile page. See the box that says ‘create board’? Click on the + sign to create your first board.

pinterest-create-a-board

You will see this pop up box when you click on the + symbol.

pinterest board creation

Fill out all the details as relevant to your board.

If you don’t want your board to be seen by others (i.e. a secret project) then select Yes for the ‘Keep it secret’ option, otherwise leave as it is.

If you want multiple people to contribute to this board, add their emails to the collaborators list. However if it’s a board that only you want to maintain only for your business, then leave it blank.

Click on ‘Create Board’ when you’re done.

Tips for creating Pinterest boards for business

The boards you create on your Pinterest account should be relevant to your business and should definitely be interesting for your audience.

Not sure where to start? Here are my top 3 tips.

1. Think about your audience

Always, always think of your audience. What would be interesting to them? Sure you want them to buy your products but will simply pinning products be engaging? Probably not. May be you could think about how they would put the products to use and create a board around that.

For example, if you’re a florist, you could create a board for Event Planning and pin images related to how flowers are used for decorating at various events. This is interesting to your audience as it helps them plan for their own events and if they’re interested in where to get the flowers, they can simply click through and arrive on your website. Win-win.

pinterest-event-planning

Pins like this would be a great addition to your Event Planning board.

2. Teach, educate, inform

How-to and informative pins perform very well on Pinterest. So how about educating your audience about a topic via your boards. Think about a topic relevant to your business and create a board around that. You wouldn’t even have to generate original content all the time because you could simply repin other educational content and add value to your board.

Lonely Planet does this well with their Travel Tips & Knowledge board. They curate tips from their own site as well as advice from other sources around the web, to create a board that is useful and interesting for travellers.

pinterest lonely planet

3. Show products in use

Finally, because Pinterest is such a powerful social network for purchases – it is a great idea to showcase your products. However, like I said, don’t just pin images of your products. Get creative and use images of your products in use. This gives your audience an idea of the real-life usage of the product and, makes them want it even more.

Anthropologie does this really well by showcasing a style gallery of their customers on their Your #Anthropologie Style board. The board has over 300,000 followers!

pinterest anthropologie style

Creating Your First Pin

Your first board is ready, so it can only mean one thing. It’s time for your first pin!

Go to your board and click on the ‘Add Pin’ box.

pinterest-pin

This will bring up a box for you to choose where you’d like to add a pin from. The first option is from the web – i.e. an image you’ve found on a website or the other option is to upload an image from your computer/mobile.

pinterest-pinning

Choose the option you prefer and add your first pin. You will be asked to select the board you want to add your pin to.

Add a description to your pin if you like (recommended), choose your board and hit Pin It.

pinterest-pins

Tips For Good Pinning

1. Pin from your website

Pinning content from your website is often a better idea than uploading images to your boards. This way, when someone clicks on your pin, they are automatically taken to your website.

Ignore the terrible choice of  image used for the pin, but if someone were to click on this image on Pinterest, they’d be brought to my website.

pinterest-freeman

2. Always add descriptions

Always write a description for your pins – originals and repins. Sometimes an image isn’t self-explantory so an accompanying description can help to paint a better picture.

ASOS does well with their descriptions on the Asos <3s Fashion board with a little commentary on each of the outfits they post.

pinterest asos

3. Repin good content

You don’t have to create original content for Pinterest all the time. Share the love and repin topic-related posts from other users as well. This is good Pinterest etiquette and also keeps your boards populated without having to worry about constantly creating new content.

oDesk‘s Home Office Trends board is a curated board of beautiful and interesting home offices with images sourced from around the web.

pinterest-odesk

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with Pinterest and want to do more, I recommend checking out Rich Pins for your business as well.

Are you ready to get started on Pinterest for business now? It’s pretty straightforward right?

Be sure to look out for my next post where I take things further and talk about why your business should be on Pinterest.

In the mean time, if you have any questions about setting up your Pinterest account, feel free to drop me a line.