There is some debate over whether Pinterest counts as a social network. According to the debate, Pinterest is more self-serving than traditional social networks where you upload content to share with other people. On Pinterest, people primarily save images for themselves. Regardless of what side of the debate you are on, Pinterest is a great marketing platform for your creative business. If you are already going through the work to create content for other channels and you aren’t posting your content to Pinterest, you are missing out on potential traffic and sales. Plus, by claiming your Instagram account on Pinterest, you ensure you get credit for any of your Instagram images that get pinned by other users. In addition, creating a business profile on Pinterest gives you access to some robust analytics.
Create a Business Profile on Pinterest
Creating a business profile on Pinterest is your first step. If you already have a personal account on Pinterest than you can convert it to a business profile. If you already have a lot of photos pinned that aren’t really “on brand” than I’d suggest creating a whole new business profile so you can start from scratch. Visit the Pinterest for Business website and click “Join as a Business.” You’ll need to enter some information about your business/brand and upload a profile picture. Make sure to claim your website and your other social accounts (especially your Instagram account).
How to Use Pinterest
Pinterest has 4 main features: search, feeds, Pins, and boards.
The search feature is just as it sounds – you can type in a word or phrase to do an image search.
You can view 3 different types of image feeds (Home, Explore, and Following) where you can view Pins based on your recent activity, trending Pins, and what images others are pinning.
Pins are bookmarked images that link back to the website they were sourced from (example: an Instagram account, a company website, or blog). You can find and save images that other people have pinned within the Pinterest App (just look at your feeds or do a search for ideas). You can also create a pin from an image that you found on the web. Some websites have Pinterest buttons to make saving an image easy. You can also download the Pinterest browser button which helps you to easily pin images from anywhere on the web. You can even upload an image to Pinterest from your phone or computer.
You can organize and categorize your pinned images into boards. You might create boards for all the different topics that pertain to your brand. For instance, I have boards dedicated to Instagram tips, email marketing, SEO, crafting, self-care, etc. Some boards can be “just for fun” images that align with your brand. I have a board for “eye candy” where I pin colorful photos that match the style of my brand (bright, colorful, fun, and retro).
How to gain traffic from Pinterest
Incorporate Pinterest Sharing Buttons into Your Website
If you have your own website (or blog), you can add Pinterest “save” or “pin-it” buttons to your images to make them easier to pin to Pinterest. You can find instructions on the Pinterest Developer website. If you have a self-hosted WordPress site than you can download a plug-in to make the process easier. I am using the jQuery Pin It Button for Images plugin and I am pretty happy with it. If you have a web person than you can always ask her for help.
Enable Rich Pins
There are 4 different types of rich Pins: Product Pins, Recipe Pins, Article Pins, and App Pins. Enabling rich Pins increases your discoverability so I highly recommend it, if any of the 4 rich pin types apply to your content. If you aren’t selling products, sharing recipes, or promoting an app than Article Pins (for online publishers and bloggers) would probably be the right choice for you. You can find some instructions for adding rich Pins on the Pinterest help site – or ask your web person for help.
Tips for Gaining the Most Traffic from Your Pins:
- Pin high-quality images (not grainy, blurry or pixelated).
- Pin images that fit your brand personality.
- Try to pin vertical images rather than landscape. Pinterest recommends using a 2:3 aspect ratio for all your Pins. Examples of 2:3 aspect ratio: 600 pixels (w) x 900 pixels (h), 1,000 x 1,500 pixels, 1,200 x 1,800 pixels, 2,000 x 3,000 pixels.
- Include a small logo (avoid lower right corner where your logo may be hidden by the Pinterest product icon).
- Add text overlay for context, but keep it short and simple. You might add the title of the recipe, blog post, tutorial, etc. so that pinners know what to expect if they click on the image for more info.
- You can collage together multiple images to create one vertical image.
- Check out the Pinterest Best Practices for more ideas on how to create optimal pins.
Write Search-Friendly Captions for Your Pins
Try to come up with different key search words that people would use when looking for your business, then include those words as part of your caption.
Your Pinterest Aesthetic
Just like with Instagram, you want your Pinterest account to reflect your brand personality, with cohesive colors and fonts. I suggest using the same profile photo that you’ve used on your other social accounts so that your page is easily recognizable. Your page will have a banner at the top, which is a collage comprised of pins from whichever board you choose. Choose a board that best reflects your brand – maybe even a board that contains only your brand’s images.
Design Your Own Branded Pinterest Board Covers
Each Pinterest board on your profile has its own cover image. You can use any image that you’ve pinned within that board OR you can create your own custom covers for a more cohesive look. I would suggest sticking to your brand color scheme and fonts and keeping a similar layout for each of the board covers. Also, don’t be afraid to get creative with your board titles and captions.
With a Pinterest business account, you have access to analytics associated with your profile. You can view how many impressions your profile and Pins get, which content is performing best, and how many clicks you are getting to your website.
Lastly, you need to develop a Pinterest strategy to ensure you are getting the most leads for your efforts. There are so many more questions to answer, such as how often to pin, how to gain followers, and how to use hashtags. Stay tuned for a future post that will answer all of these questions and more. Make sure you subscribe and you’ll get a notification in your inbox as soon as the new post goes live. Happy pinning!