30 Killer Tips on Using Pinterest for Business

With over 518 million monthly active users, Pinterest can be a gold mine for savvy businesses looking for creative ways to attract leads and gain brand exposure.

But since Pinterest is branded as a “visual discovery platform,” many companies are unsure exactly how to leverage this tool appropriately.

I’ll share some of my favorite ways to use Pinterest for business purposes, which can help guide you in the right direction.

30 Pinterest Tips For Business Users

While I definitely recommend using all of these strategies, I know that it can be intimidating to do 30 things at once.  So feel free to pick and choose which tips you apply based on what you’re comfortable with.

1) Follow users and boards

Start following users and/or individual boards that you like and engage with them to help build your own fan base.

2) Comment and like relevant pins

Comment on and “like” the pins of other users and businesses. After all, it is a social medium.

3) Link to the original source

Pins should always link to the original site the content came from. Check the source of the pin and don’t repin if the source looks fake. (From Pinterest’s “Pin Etiquette” Guidelines: Credit Your Sources!)

4) Put your URL on images

Consider adding your URL on images so it will always be connected to your brand.

5) The more the merrier with pinboards

Pin across a range of boards.

6) Add prices to your pins

If you sell products, add prices to your pins.

7) Be consistent with your pinning

Pin regularly, not everything all at once. Pinterest is not like Facebook and Twitter, where the visibility of a post in a newsfeed is limited to a short period of time (hours).  Pins will remain in view for days or weeks. Pinning for a few minutes a couple of times per day is enough to get you started.

8) Know the right time to pin

The best times to pin are weekends and between 2 pm and 4 pm.

9) Use tags

Use @tags to notify the user you are engaging with.

10) Use hashtags

Use hashtags (#) to highlight keywords.

11) Be appreciative

Thank people for repinning your content.

12) Pin frequently

Pin new content to your boards regularly.

13) Get users from other social networks on Pinterest

Drive fans from other social platforms to your boards with references to specific content (“Hey, what do you think of the cover design for my next book?”), not just a generic request to “join me on Pinterest.”

14) Do your research

Research what your customers are pinning by searching on the Pinterest dashboard.

15) Fill out your profile

Take time to set up your account properly. If you own a business, set up an account in your business name, using your logo. Set up the links to your website and social media channels on your profile.

16) Use the Pinterest share button

Add the “pin it” button on your website, blog, and social media platforms. Add the “follow me” button for websites to your home page, email footer, and email newsletters.

17) Connect your accounts

Linking Facebook and/or Twitter to your account gives your pins more exposure. Choose which pins are posted out on an individual basis. Facebook links only to your personal profile (not business pages), so Twitter linkage may be better for business posts. Post to Facebook when appropriate.

18) See who’s pinning your work

Typing in “www.pinterest.com/source/yoursite.com” displays a long list of your pins and repins made directly from your site.

19) Have attractive images

Make your blog images kick butt so you get more pins from the blog.

20) Quotes are commonly shared

Text reworked in Photoshop-type programs can also make for very cool pics (such as inspirational quotations made to look nice).

21) Think outside the box

Cool tools to consider: Instagram, Pixlr, Tweegram, Snagit, Pinstamatic, the Pinterest mobile app, Pinerly, and Pinstamatic.

22) Be the 1st to do it

Be a thought leader with how-to information, training videos, infographics, tutorials, and tips.

23) Get ideas from other successful Pinterest marketing campaigns

Check out what your competitors are doing for ideas. Whole Foods and Oprah are a couple interesting examples.

24) Hold a contest

Run a competition dependent on pinning, repinning, commenting, or liking. Allow users to post on a competition or event board.

25) Think about Pinterest’s search engine

Describe the pins with keywords so they are more likely to be found on Pinterest’s search engine.

26) Build connections

Build relationships and referral traffic that will be inspired to take an action.

27) Use keywords

For SEO, use keywords in pin descriptions, boards, and titles (which become the URLs such as “pinterest.com/mcdougallsocial/seo”). Use the maximum space in the “about” section and add keywords in it.

28) Pin your site’s content

Pin images from your own website when you can, as it should be the place where you want traffic to go.

29) Don’t be scared to asked to be shared

Start telling people to share your pins.

30) Track your results

Track success. Check out recent followers, likes, comments, and repins from the left-hand side of your Pinterest home page. Look at referral sources using Google Analytics and see how engaged visitors are and what actions they are taking. Make additional/similar content to what has driven engagement and sales when people click from Pinterest to your site.

Action Plan: Getting Started on Pinterest in Less Than 4 Hours

If you’re starting from scratch, here’s an actionable plan that can get you off the ground in less than four hours. I recommend breaking this process up over a four-day period so it’s just one hour per day.

Day 1, Hour 1:

Create your Pinterest account. Use your email or your Facebook or Twitter account. I started with my email, as you can turn Facebook and Twitter on or off later. You will be asked to follow five people to get started. Look at this as just training wheels. You can delete them later if you decide not to follow them after all. Experiment by deleting all followers and adding more. Make some comments, add some pictures of anything just to get started (and then delete them). Just have fun exploring, searching, and playing around.

Day 2, Hour 2:

Strategize about what boards will mean the most to your business. Pick three to five really important subject areas. Share your company’s personality as well as content that is based on keywords (such as “Historic Photos of Golf Clubs” or “Fresh Seafood Recipes”). Research what your peers and competitors are doing.

Day 3, Hour 3:

Collect images that you have already from your blog and website in a folder and make subfolders by board name. Then have a heart-to-heart with yourself about how you will get more great images made. Do you hire a designer? Do you learn image editing tools enough to make your own? However you choose to do it, make a plan, because you will quickly run out of images and other material that you already have in post-able format. Then post the material you have available to share and add descriptions and links back to your site.

Day 4, Hour 4:

Engage with other people on Pinterest by commenting on and liking pins. Ask people you know to share your pins. Later, when your boards are amazing, you can ask influencers to interact with and share your pins. Add the “pin it” button on your website, blog and social media platforms. Add the “follow me” button for websites on your home page. Look at referral sources using Google Analytics to see if anyone has come to your site from Pinterest and what their engagement levels are once they get to your site.

Final Thoughts on Using Pinterest For Your Business

Pinterest reaches 40% of households with an annual income over $150,000. So the sooner you start thinking of it as a marketing tool, the faster you can start acquiring new leads.

It’s an amazing way to increase your brand exposure and generate sales organically through a platform that people are already using and familiar with.

While this is just a start, it will help you build confidence and you can get more advanced from there.

Pinterest is more powerful than you know and is pure genius. Now get pinning!

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