How to use Pinterest for business
Pinterest offers your business the chance to creatively connect with customers during the decision-making process. Learn how here
Pinterest is a social media platform that allows users (known as Pinners) to collect and curate images to share on boards. It’s a way for people to gather inspiring content from across the internet and store it in one central location, which can be shared with others too.
Generally, people use Pinterest to get ideas or advice – it’s a way to show the world what you’re interested in, as well as to discover new content and items that match your interests.
Pinterest is one of the major social media networks, and businesses can use it too. Pinterest business accounts allow brands to reach and connect with customers in the research stage, as a way of providing the inspiration and advice that the platform is well-known for. In fact, Pinterest declared that it’s “the place to be for small businesses” in its entrepreneurship report published in October 2019.
While your business may know it’s necessary to have a social media strategy for Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest can often receive less time and attention. However, it’s a platform that offers plenty of marketing opportunities, especially in the long-term.
But what is a Pinterest business page? How do you make one? And why is it essential for your business? These are just some of the questions you may be asking. You may also be wondering how to optimise your page, thinking about the costs involved, and debating if you should do it yourself or hire an agency.
We’ll provide more information about how businesses can use Pinterest, as well as a step-by-step guide to setting your page up, and instructions for how to check if your page is performing well.
Finally, we'll look at outsourcing social media management – and if you're interested in getting this ball rolling, you can make contact with trusted UK digital marketing agencies by heading to the top of the page and answering a few basic questions.
Why use Pinterest for business?
Pinterest is a visual social media platform – it’s all about creating, sharing, and collecting inspirational images and videos.
Pinterest states that 300 million people use its platform each month.
The key point to remember is that Pinterest is not just another way of displaying your products – it’s about sharing knowledge and building a community.
According to Pinterest, it offers a way to “reach people when they’re planning and making decisions”. Indeed, 90% of users use it for inspiration for purchase decisions.
Some of the most popular categories on Pinterest include:
Although Pinterest is known for providing inspiration for crafts, fitness, fashion, interior design and travel in particular, it’s essential to find out if your target audience uses Pinterest.
Plus, while the majority of Pinterest users are women, the proportion of men who use the site is growing, so consider this when deciding your strategy. Whoever your target audience is, the content you share has to be aligned with your company values and brand identity.
Also, Pinterest offers the collaborative boards function, where you can edit and pin a board, with the additional option of inviting other people to contribute to it too.
For example, you may wish to let your other team members share content that inspires them. Or, you could reach out to social media influencers in your field and collaborate with them as a special project. Alternatively, you could open it up to your customers, allowing you to share with – and learn from – them directly.
If your business already has its own website or blog, you can create pinnable images on those platforms, so people can find your Pinterest through those sources too. Plus, if someone repins your image, the credit will go back to your page as the original source.
We’ve compiled this handy guide to the key terms and phrases you should know to better understand how Pinterest works.
- Pin – an image or a video that has been saved to Pinterest
- Pinners – the people that use Pinterest
- Board – where pins are collected and stored
- Secret board – a board that isn’t shared publicly
- Feed – where content from Pinners and boards you follow is displayed
Promoted pins are paid-for content. Users see them based on their Pinterest activity. Pins can only be promoted if they meet certain requirements. For more information, visit the Pinterest page on promoted pins.
Ultimately though, the best way to see if your business should use Pinterest is to sign up, start pinning, and then use the built-in analytics tools to scrutinise your page performance. You’ll be able to identify patterns and trends to show you what is (or isn’t) working for your business.
Who are Pinterest’s users?
Here we provide some key points that you should know about Pinterest’s audience, to help you decide if this is the right marketing channel for your business.
- Curious – 98% of Pinterest users have tried something new that they discovered on the platform
- Researchers – 84% of people on Pinterest have used it to help in the decision-making process when deciding on a purchase
- Global – more than half of Pinterest users are international
How to set up a Pinterest for business account
Note that if you run a business, you will need to go to the business sign-up page specifically. A business Pinterest account is necessary to access the ecommerce and analytics aspects of Pinterest, as well as ensure your company is correctly represented.
If you already have a personal Pinterest account, it’s possible to convert this into a business account.
A key difference is that the link to your Pinterest business page will be your business name, whereas with a personal account, it’s your name.
Step 1: Create your account
If you’re completely new to Pinterest, then you can start fresh with a business account. Simply go to the Pinterest business page, input your email and password, and select ‘Create account’.
Alternatively, after logging in, you can convert to a business profile – just complete your business details, select a business type, and then click ‘Create account’. Of course, you should ensure that you agree with the business account policies and conditions before continuing.
Step 2: Fill in all your details
This is where you put in all the information that will be connected to your account, including:
- Business name
- Business category
- Website details
You’ll also need to complete your profile page, which provides more information about your business. This is where you add a description of your business, as well as your location and an image.
Step 3: Confirm your website
By confirming your website, you can view items that are pinned from your website, and your logo will be added to them too.
To confirm your website, go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Profile’ and select ‘Confirm website’. You (or your developer) will need to copy the HTML code that is provided and add it into the index page of your website, then select ‘Finish’.
Step 4: Create your first board
A board is a way of collecting and connecting content that’s based around a particular theme. You can create a new board by going to the ‘Boards’ tab of your page, and clicking the add button. As well as giving it a name, you can describe your board and pick a category for it.
Step 5: Start pinning!
Pinning means posting content on Pinterest. To create a pin, you’ll need an image, whether that’s of your product, your team, or something else related to your business – whatever you want to share.
You can create an image specifically for Pinterest, or use an image you already have. You can upload it to Pinterest, and then add text and other features to it.
How to finesse your Pinterest for business profile
After creating a page, you should think about how to maximise its potential. Here we look at some of the key ways of boosting your profile, including through carefully selected images and optimal pinning processes.
What types of images should you use?
- Vertical images work best
- Use one or more images in each pin
- Use colourful images with varying shades
- Infographics and visuals that teach people how to do something are especially welcome
- Design custom board covers with your own SEO-friendly content
While any image could be pinned, photos depicting lifestyle scenes and photos without people tend to do better in terms of ranking.
All images used on Pinterest should be optimised, meaning they should be cropped to fit the specific dimensions – images are portrayed vertically, usually with a 600 pixels x 600 pixels or 600 pixels x 900 pixels aspect.
They should also be compressed, meaning the file size is made smaller so the image can load quicker on a page.
To improve your business’ ranking on the site, you should also have a profile image – this could be of your company’s logo, or of you, the founder.
How to pin
If you don’t want to pin content manually, you can install the Pinterest button, which will appear in your browser bar. This allows you to pin images and add them to your boards more easily and quickly.
You can also add Pinterest widgets to your website, so that people can easily access your page from your website too.
It’s important to be active – schedule content, comment on other pages, and pin images to your board.
Tips for creating the perfect pin
- Choose vertical images
- Use clear copy
- Include hashtags
- Make it shareable on other sites
- Keep corners clear (the Pinterest icon is displayed there)
What information should you include?
When completing your profile description and board title, be sure to include relevant keywords. These are words or phrases that people would type into a search engine to find your business. You should consider search engine optimisation (SEO) to help your business’ page rank more highly in search results.
A pin source and description can include links, so this is the perfect opportunity to connect to your blog or website.
What are rich pins?
Rich pins offer the option to include extra details on each pin. There are three types of rich pin: article, product, and recipe.
Rich pins are available in the following types:
Article – these types of rich pins enable users to save pins that show the writer, the headline, and description
Product – offer availability, pricing, and stockist information on the pin
Recipe – the essential cooking details are included on the pin, including ingredients, as well as how long it takes to prepare and how much it makes
Top tips for using Pinterest to market your business
In this section, we’ll provide you with some top tips for using Pinterest for business marketing.
Have a clear aim
Pins should always aim to inspire and lead to action. Therefore, you should think about what you want your Pinterest board to make users think, feel, or do. What specific actions do you want to happen? For example, do you want users to visit your website, purchase a product, or sign up to a newsletter for more information?
Find your niche
Identify who your customers are and market to them specifically. This means understanding exactly what separates you from your competition, and how you can relate to your customers’ needs in a meaningful way. You could conduct research into how your business sits in the wider market, and look more closely into your customers to find patterns and trends.
Be in it for the long-haul
Pinterest offers the opportunity for long-term reach and engagement. In contrast to some of the other popular social media sites, posts on Pinterest (pins) can be found months after their original posting.
While it is a social media site, Pinterest acts more like a search engine, where the results are image-focused and can be found time and time again. This means that you should post content consistently and track it over the long-term, which you can do with a social media scheduling platform. Alternatively, you may want to consider using an agency to provide assistance with strategy and planning.
Your boards could be based around seasons or trends, or connected by a common concept. While seasonal content can offer opportunities for more immediate engagement, remember that Pinterest is primarily a long-term form, so be sure to mix in content that can live on regardless of the time of year or occasion.
Similarly, make sure your content is instantly recognisable to users and connected to your brand, such as through colour schemes, fonts, or photographic styles. You can set this strategy yourself, working out what feels most authentic to your brand and audience. Or, you may wish to hire an agency, especially to help with the technical design aspects.
Know when to post
In general, avoid posting during the work day. Instead, it’s preferable to post on Pinterest in the afternoons, evenings, and weekends. This is when most people are likely to be using the site, which makes sense – it’s about curating content for upcoming projects and events, so it figures that this is something people will do in their free time. Of course, you should also take into consideration the time zone that your customers are in, especially if you operate internationally (or are planning to).
Connect to other social media platforms
Pinterest should be part of a wider strategy, so be sure to align all of your business’ social media profiles. This includes having the same logo, cover photo, and style across all your profiles, providing a consistent image and offering an easier way for people to recognise your business. Similarly, you can share content across your other social channels, so that followers on other platforms are aware of your Pinterest page too.
Focus on context
While Pinterest offers the opportunity to market products directly to your customers, you’ll need to show people how your product can be used or what impact it can have. Essentially, this is about avoiding the ‘hard sell’ – although it’s possible for users to buy through Pinterest, remember that it’s ultimately still a place that people come to for inspiration in the long term. Therefore, you could describe the benefits in the caption, or use the image to show how a product could be used.
Although people are on Pinterest to discover new things themselves, this doesn’t mean you can’t give them some prompts. Think about the sort of content that’s related to your products, and create boards around this too. This means that the content on your Pinterest page can help to educate your customers, as well as possibly reach new audiences too. Often, boards follow certain themes – this could be a certain type of product, for example, or a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at your business.
Create a schedule
Posting consistently is crucial on Pinterest (as it is on other social media sites), so use a scheduling system, such as Hootsuite, to stay on top of your business’ page activity. Take into consideration the best times to post – this can help your content reach as many people as possible, and helps your audience to know when to expect new posts from your business. You could choose to run this yourself, or depending on how you wish to use your time, you could outsource this to a digital marketing or social media agency to handle on your behalf.
Keep your page updated
It’s possible to archive boards if the content is no longer relevant, such as a past event or seasonal trends. To do this:
- Go to your Pinterest profile
- Select ‘Boards’
- Choose the board that you want to archive
- Click ‘Archive’ two times (the second time is for confirmation)
A board can also be completely removed by choosing to delete it. Note that the instructions for archiving a board are slightly different depending on the operating system – you can find full details on the Pinterest guide on how to archive or delete a board.
As pins tend to have a longer lifetime than posts on other social media platforms, you don’t want users to find outdated content – it looks unprofessional, and can be confusing. However, a benefit of archived boards is that they can be retrieved at a later date, which could be ideal for seasonal content.
Optimise for mobile devices
With 85% of Pinners using a mobile device, be sure that your content is easily viewable and shareable on phones and tablets. For example, pin descriptions may not be seen by mobile users until they click on a pin, so consider other ways of ensuring people understand what a pin is about. Also, ensure that image sizes are small enough (vertical images tend to work best), and that the text is large enough to be easily viewed on a mobile screen.
Enhance your pins
Pinterest offers a number of ways to enhance the pins that you create, such as through product tagging with Shop the Look pins, or ‘rich’ pins for specific use on an app, article, product, or recipe.
Shop the look pins use white dots for users to tap on, taking them straight to the site where an item is available to buy – offering a seamless user journey in the process. These types of pins tend to focus on fashion and home decor items. Note that Shop the Look pins in the UK are currently only available to certain business accounts. For more information, visit Pinterest’s Shop the Look page. If you are able to use this type of pin, follow the Shop the Look instructions.
Rich pins allow you to provide more detail on a particular pin, which helps to make your content even more useful to your audience. You can learn more about the types of pins above.
Rich pins also have to be applied for. To begin the application process, follow the steps below:
- Decide which type of rich pin the content is (article, product, or recipe)
- Mark the relevant pages with rich meta tags (these describe page content for the search engines)
- Validate the page
- You should then see an ‘Apply’ button
- Click on ‘Apply’ (the process usually takes 24 hours)
Creating and applying for rich pins can be technical – it requires some knowledge of meta tags, and in turn an understanding of SEO and coding practices. This is something that a specialist agency could help with.
Interact with your community
You can like or comment on pins to create a conversation between your business and your customers. You could also create group boards to share inspiration, and to interact with other users. This helps you create an exchange with your audience, along with helping people feel more connected to your company.
Want to know more? Read Pinterest’s tips in the business inspiration section of its entrepreneurship report.
How to measure the success of your page
As with other elements of your social media strategy, it’s important to measure your page’s performance, helping you to identify what’s working well, along with areas for improvement. Here, we discuss how to define and measure success metrics.
Define your success metrics
There are a number of ways for businesses to measure success. However, two of the most popular are:
- Referral traffic – you can analyse how many people are directed to your website from your Pinterest page
- Engagement – you can determine how well your page is performing by seeing how many users are interacting with your page, such as by repinning posts or saving content to boards
Pinterest Analytics is the site’s own tool, which you can use to measure your page performance. It offers insight into your pin performance and traffic analysis.
You’ll need a business account to access analytics. Plus, if you claim (verify) your website and other social accounts, you can see how your Pinterest page feeds into your wider marketing strategy. You can learn more with the Pinterest Analytics guide.
Pinterest Analytics offers several success metrics, including:
- Impressions – how many times your content is displayed to users, which could be across feeds, searches, or categories
- Close-ups – total views of a close-up version of your pin
- Link clicks – total number of clicks on links included in your pin (both internal and external to Pinterest)
- Saves – total number of times your pin has been saved to boards
- Engagements – total engagement on pins, including saves, link clicks, and close-ups
Google Analytics is available as either a free or paid-for tool, offering insights and data about your business online. You can use analysis intelligence and detailed reporting for in-depth understanding. Google can also pull data from other Google platforms, such as Google Ads.
You can use Google Analytics to understand how and where people are reaching your website, including focusing on Pinterest performance, as well as other social channels.
Should I outsource my Pinterest Business Page management?
In this section, we look at why you might want to manage your page independently, and why you might consider seeking assistance.
Benefits of in-house management
- Minimal costs
- Personal connection
- Develop your team’s skills
- Greater control over content
- Industry-specific understanding
Benefits of outsourcing
- Access to more advanced tools and software
- Specialist knowledge
- Focus on reporting and measurability
- Help available when you need it
- Ability to grow presence with your business
At this stage, you’ve discovered how to set up a Pinterest page for your business, along with how to optimise it and understand its performance. Plus, we’ve covered the benefits of both managing it yourself and outsourcing your Pinterest page management to an agency.
So after learning the key steps you need to take to use Pinterest for business, where do you go from here? Well, the next step is to take what you’ve learned and put it into practice. This means you should create an account and start pinning!
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