If you’ve heard bloggers and marketers rave about Pinterest, perhaps you’ve wondered:
What is Pinterest?
How does it work?
Why should I use Pinterest for my business?
No worries! This article will give you all the Pinterest basics for beginners.
You’ll also find links to more free Pinterest tutorials for when you’re ready to dive deeper into Pinterest marketing.
Because I know giving it a chance with these tips will convince you of its value!
Read on to get my FREE e-course with ONE simple action step each day.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a visual discovery engine for finding ideas to inspire your creativity, travel, purchase decisions, and more.
While Pinterest is called a social media platform, it’s a bit different than the others. Your content on Pinterest stays forever – it doesn’t disappear quickly as on a typical social network.
Pinterest allows users (called Pinners) to organize images and videos (Pins) into personalized collections known as boards.
What are Pins on Pinterest?
Pins are bookmarks that people use to save content they love on Pinterest.
People can search for Pins, save the ones they like, and click on a Pin to learn more.
If you have a business account, you can create Pins that link back to your website to share your products and ideas with people on Pinterest. source
Pinners might find these Pins in their Pinterest home feed, by searching in the app, or on a website. Like yours!
Once they find content they like, they save the Pins to boards on their own account, where they can refer to them at any time.
What are Pinterest Boards?
Boards are where you save, collect, and organize your Pins.
Use boards to organize your business’ Pins so that people can easily browse your profile or explore your ideas. source
These Pins link to the website where they originated, so you may find traffic coming to your website from Pinterest many months – even years! – from when you created the content.
Because of Pinterest’s great search functions, the images you share remain relevant for longer, and can be discovered by users at any time.
In this video, learn more about Pinterest’s many features and advantages for both users and businesses.
Why use Pinterest for business?
This visual-oriented search engine can build traffic to your website for little to no cost at all.
It’s great for businesses, because most Pinners use the site for making purchasing decisions. Plus, its 478 million monthly active users spend more time on the site than on Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook. source
And they buy!
90% of Pinners use the platform to make purchase decisions.
Based on a survey of 4,061 weekly Pinners about their shopping habits, Pinterest shapes:
- Which products people buy.
- The brands they choose.
- How much they spend.
You’ll see the full infographic at the end of this article, or repin it here.
Here are some of the stats on the gorgeous infographic from Pinterest:
- 60% of Pinners find ideas for what to buy on Pinterest.
- 72% said that Pinterest inspires them to shop when they aren’t even looking for anything.
- 66% buy something after seeing a brand’s Pins.
- Pinterest drives 33% more referral traffic to shopping sites than Facebook.
- Pinterest sends 200% more referral traffic to shopping sites than Twitter.
- 41% of people who shop in-store use Pinterest while shopping.
And when they look for what to buy, they’re not seeking a particular brand! 97% of Pinterest searches are unbranded.
Users love to discover new brands on Pinterest!
Pinners actually want to see content from brands while they’re on the platform. 78% of Pinterest users surveyed say brand content is useful.
Pins from brands:
- Make it easier to find new products.
- Help Pinners make the best purchase decision.
- Are used in-store to review Pinners’ product wishlists.
As one Pinner said, “Pinterest opened a door to a room full of clothes I’d never seen before.”
Pinterest users are ready to discover businesses like yours.
50% of Pinners make a purchase after seeing a Promoted Pin (paid ad).
The best thing about Pinterest is that it’s not a social network. It’s very hands-off! Much of your Pinterest marketing can be automated.
Since it functions more like a search engine, you can schedule your content with a tool like Tailwind, and basically sit back and watch your site traffic grow.
Image from Fundera. Repin the full infographic on Pinterest here.
How to Use Pinterest for Business
When you pin an image on Pinterest, it creates a clickable link to the website where the image is located. So if someone pins an image from your blog or website, every time another Pinterest user clicks it, you get free traffic.
By getting people to save images from your website on Pinterest on a regular basis, you are guaranteeing a steady stream of traffic for months (even years!) to come.
And, it’s more than acceptable for you to pin your own content. Please do!
Pinterest has confirmed that they actually give higher priority to pins saved by the content creator, and that you can save your pins to multiple relevant boards. More visibility for you!
The coolest thing about Pinterest is that you don’t need to get more followers on Pinterest to see results – because your pins will be seen by Pinterest users who don’t even follow you.
Remember, Pinterest is a visual search engine. Your goal is to provide enticing images with descriptions that are keyword-optimized for search. And always with a good call-to-action!
Your Pinterest goals may be one or more of the following:
- Get users to join your email list.
- Bring traffic to your blog posts.
- Sell your own products and services.
- Sell affiliate products.
All of these goals are easier to attain on Pinterest than you might think! Pinterest users aren’t there to catch up with friends, like on Facebook, or hear the latest, like on Twitter.
They use Pinterest to find inspiration, information, and products! Are they finding yours?
How to Set Up a Pinterest Business Account
Convinced? Let’s craft the perfect Pinterest profile for your small business!
Beyond simply opening an account, there are key steps you must take to optimize a successful small business Pinterest presence.
1 | Create a Pinterest business account
If you’ve struggled with getting anyone to see your Facebook business page posts, you may be wondering if it would be smarter to use a Pinterest personal page for your business.
Guess what? There’s no suppression of business posts on Pinterest, like there is on Facebook.
That’s because on Facebook, users are mainly there to connect with friends and family, not check out your business offerings.
Because Pinterest users are actively searching for ideas and products, they welcome businesses!
So don’t hide your business in the closet, so to speak. Take advantage of the additional benefits a Pinterest business account provides.
If you want to use Pinterest for commercial purposes, “you must create a business account and agree to our Business Terms of Service.” ~Pinterest
Is a Pinterest business account free?
Absolutely! It’s not only free – it comes with benefits too:
- Display your business name instead of first/last name.
- Get a live website link in your profile.
- Access Analytics, enable Rich Pins, and run Promoted Pins (ads).
And there are no downsides! So if you want to use Pinterest for business…
Go ahead and set up a Pinterest business account, or convert your personal account to a business account, here.
2 | Add relevant keywords
Be sure to optimize your profile for search! Use relevant keywords in your:
- Display name.
- Profile description aka “About your profile.”
At this time, you can only use 30 characters in your Display name if you set up on desktop. Some people have found more characters available on the mobile app, though.
You can copy your bio info from Facebook or Instagram, or tweak it somewhat for this platform. You’ll notice I added Pinterest to my Display name, since that would be highly searched on the platform! Pinterest no longer allows use of their name in a Pinner’s Display name, though.
3 | Claim your website
Claiming your website allows you to get attribution and analytics for your content on Pinterest, so be sure to do this in your profile settings!
You’ll receive a snippet of code which must be added to your site. OR, you can choose to download an HTML file and add it to your root server via an FTP client.
How to claim your website on Pinterest with Yoast
The easiest way to add the HTML tag is with the Yoast SEO plugin.
If you have this installed on your WordPress site, then visit SEO > Social page from your WordPress admin area.
Be sure that open graph settings are enabled under the Facebook tab.
Now, go to the Pinterest tab. In the Pinterest confirmation field, paste HTML tag provided by Pinterest.
When done, click on the Save Changes button.
Claim your Instagram and more
In addition, you can claim your Instagram, Etsy, and YouTube. This allows Pinterest to attribute Pins from your claimed accounts to you. You’ll get stats about each Pin. They also use claimed account information to help distribute your content and offer you additional Pinterest features and content.
Might as well, while you’re here, even if you don’t currently plan to save Pins from those platforms.
4 | Set up Pinterest boards niched to your business
Think of Pinterest as a search engine, and stay on topic – just like you would on your blog or store.
Create boards that are informative and that reflect your business.
Be sure that your boards are laser-focused on your target market, and use keywords in your:
- Board titles (these will become the URLs to the boards).
- Board descriptions.
Set up several relevant boards to save your content to – or, if you already had a personal account, you may need to clean up the boards you have.
For instance, if you blog about healthy eating, set up healthy recipe boards for your own content:
- Healthy breakfast recipes (lunch, dinner, dessert).
- Healthy recipes for families (singles).
- Healthy recipes for vegans (paleo).
- Fast healthy recipes.
If you already have 10 boards about different kinds of fattening treats, consider making those boards “secret.” That means only you can see them.
To start, take a look at your blog categories, and/or your product lines. Then create 5 to 10 boards, naming them with keywords your target market would be searching for.
When you’ve got your own boards down, you can consider Pinterest group boards.
5 | Create traffic-driving Pinterest Pins!
Want to make great pins that drive leads to your website?
It’s not that hard! There are so many easy design tools available now. Free photos too!
But before you go creating just any old images for your Pinterest boards, there are a few things you should know.
Goals your Pinterest images should achieve:
- Stand out in the Smart Feed.
- Attract your target customer.
- Be easy to understand.
- Garner clicks to your website.
Pinning for business isn’t just about looking good, or even about getting repins! It’s about getting your target audience to visit your site, where you can start (or further) a relationship with them.
Be sure each Pin you create has:
- The right Pinterest Pin size.
- A keyword-optimized description so it can get found on Pinterest.
- A few Pinterest hashtags relevant to the topic.
- A link back to the appropriate web page or product.
Take a look at the Pinterest Smart Feed for design inspiration. Ready to dive in?
Image from Fundera. Repin the full infographic on Pinterest here.
6 | Use a Pinterest scheduler to keep Pinning in less time
If you want to rock Pinterest marketing – without spending a bundle, or adding hours to your day – you need Tailwind!
Tailwind for Pinterest is simply the most efficient way to drive traffic to your blog or online store. You can set up a week’s worth of traffic-driving Pins in less than an hour.
Tailwind’s Pinterest marketing tool does all this:
- Schedules your Pins for days, weeks, or months in advance.
- Automatically publishes your Pins at the best times to post on Pinterest.
- Repeats your Pins at an interval you choose.
- Discovers related content you can share.
- Connects you with Pinners to share content in Tailwind Communities.
- Monitors conversations on your Pins.
- Amplifies your reach.
- And measures your results!
All with one tool.
Learn everything you need about Tailwind to maximize success with minimal time and expense.
Or jump right in and give it a try!
• • • Click here to try Tailwind for Pinterest FREE • • •
Disclosure: I’m an affiliate for Tailwind and will earn a referral fee if you sign up via my link. You won’t pay a cent more by using my link.
How to Succeed with Pinterest Marketing
Now you’re on your way!
Be consistent and be patient.
Like any search engine, Pinterest takes time. What you pin today isn’t necessarily going to drive traffic tomorrow, or even next week.
However, Pinterest pins have the longest life span of any social media posts!
The half-life of a pin is 3.5 months (it takes a pin 3.5 months to get 50% of its engagement). The half life of a tweet is only 24 minutes, and of a Facebook post, 90 minutes. This means that the half-life of a Pinterest pin is 1,680 times longer than a Facebook post. source
And there are always things you can do to improve your success. The newest feature is Pinterest Idea Pins.
Of course, you’ll want to follow the best Pinterest marketing practices. These change often! I keep my site updated so you’re always in the know.
In fact, you’ll find a veritable treasure trove of free Pinterest tips here – sign up for my email list so we stay connected!
to making simple, pinnable images, in the FREE e-course.
• • • CLICK to get your FREE Pinterest Basics e-course! • • •
Leave a comment and let me know what else you need to know about how to use Pinterest for business.
Please share this post if you have friends and followers asking, What is Pinterest?
Hi if I sell an item I shared from poshmark to pinterest will pinterest charge a fee ..thanks I’m new your help is greatly appreciated!
Louise Myers says
Pinterest does not take a cut of affiliate sales. You do need to make sure the merchant allows sales via Pinterest. Be aware direct selling on Pinterest isn’t as easy as it sounds.
MUHAMMAD RIZWAN says
Hi Louise Myers
According To Me Pinterest Is a #1 Social Network Now. A Huge Number Of People`s Are Always Active On Pinterest. So Any One Can Use Pinterest For Their Business.
And Louise Myers Your Post About Pinterest Is Very Helpful For Newbies ..
Thanks For Sharing Such a Great Post….
Louise Myers says
Glad you liked it!
I am changing to a newer computer sometime today. My IT friend is going to be doing it for me. As you know I have my own website with eCommerse and online store. I will be making my business on Pinterest and not sure if I should keep it seperate from my social Pinterest account. Your advice would be appreciated. I have been researching how to do my marketing and must say I have chosen you because you speak plain English which this dyslexic dummy can relate to. I hit the wall with brain drain and stopped doing anything until this new year.
Looking forward to seeing you and and know this year is going to be a beauty for all of us.
Louise Myers says
You have 2 choices when using Pinterest for business: Create a separate account for personal use, or make all your personal boards “secret.” Either way, you keep your business Pinterest on-point and improve your SEO.
My own choice is one account with secret boards for personal.
Mellisa Louise says
These are great Pinterest tips for everyone! I love using Pinterest for my business, it has really helped me get the word out and connect with people who need what I’ve got to offer. It’s taken a lot of trial and error so far but its been a great learning experience.
Louise Myers says
Gld to hear it’s working for you! I love Pinterest too.
My question is understanding why I should spend my very limited marketing time pinning (promoting) my competitors, (like other glass makers or jewelry makers). Is that good business? It seems I’m sending people away from my info & products? I’m confused what to pin?
Louise Myers says
You don’t have to pin others’ products. I don’t, unless it’s someone I know well and am happy to promote.
If you get questions on how to use / wear / care for your jewelry, that type of info would be great to pin, even if it’s from someone else. Or how you make it. Whatever your potential customer would be interested in that could lead them to make a decision to buy from you – or even to follow you. A sale may come later.
It’s pretty much the same as FB, Twitter, etc in this regard: if you will only share your own content, you’re hurting your own authority, reach, and follower growth.
Cori Ramos says
I’m so glad I came across this post today. I’m trying to step up my Pinterest game. I’ve been making some changes and even deleting boards to streamline it to my niche but I could use a little more help to get it to where it needs to be.
So I’m off to sign up for your e-course! 🙂
No doubt I’m passing this along. Have a great week.
Louise Myers says
Cori, I am so excited to have you along for the ride! And thanks so much for sharing. Greatly appreciated!