The Business of Pinterest

In just its fourth year, Pinterest has amassed more than 70 million users, with 80% of those being women ages 18–50. If this audience is familiar to you, Pinterest is likely one of the right places for your company to be. But even though that audience profile may seem perfectly tailored for promoting your brand, knowing how to use Pinterest effectively is just as important.

Here are the top 10 ways to use Pinterest for business:

1. Have a strategy. Have a clear goal — whether it’s driving traffic to your website, boosting brand awareness, increasing sales, enhancing/expanding customer engagement or, of course, all of the above. Create boards with an ideal prospect in mind. What inspires and interests them? As a company, what topics reflect your interests, products and services?

2. Cover your bases. 80% of pins are re-pins. Just re-pinning everyone else’s stuff isn’t going to get you anywhere. Create valuable visual content of your own — great images, videos, tutorials and infographics. Be creative and make sure you’re linking your original content back to your website.

3. Pin etiquette. Before you re-pin, click to see if the pin is sourced to a legitimate website. If content has been re-sourced with a false URL to another site, don’t re-pin it.

4. Be friendly. Install the “Pin It” button on your website, and give every page and post an image that can be pinned. Also, remember to put a “Follow me on Pinterest” button on your page. Create group boards and invite followers to contribute to these boards. What better way to engage with your audience?

5. Recommend yourself. Engage with your followers directly by sending them special pins and messages that encourage them to recommend you to their followers.

6. Promote others. Engage with the community via re-pinning, commenting and liking other pins. Feature brands or businesses that you admire, that you work with or want to work with. Have “guest pinners” who pin on your boards. This is an opportunity to create new/different content, gain access to your guests’ followers and build a bigger community.

7. Be social. Connect with your other social media by tweeting your pins, creating a Pinterest tab on Facebook, and embedding pins in your blog posts.

8. Give it away. Drive traffic to your website with offers and/or coupons. Promote a new product in a pin and link to where they can purchase it or download coupons.

9. Pin it to win it. There are a lot of great ways to structure contests on Pinterest. What’s crucial is that you get people to share pins and promote your site with as many people in their networks as possible.

10. Use a call to action. Featuring a call to action in your description or in the actual image of your pin increases engagement (re-pins, comments, likes) with the pin by 80% (Source: Pinerly). Pair that with a link in your caption and you’ve got major referral traffic.

It’s important to understand how Pinterest works and best practices in order to harness and leverage the massive potential for customer referral.

You gotta pin it to win it!

By Kelly Pennington, Associate Creative Director