How to Use Pinterest for Your Business

Pinterest is one of the newer social networks to pop up, and while it hasn’t been around as long as Facebook, in many cases it drives more traffic than Twitter and LinkedIn and Google+. In this post we’ll be taking a look what does well on Pinterest, developing an overall strategy, and getting the most out of your participation.

Understanding the Pinterest Community

First a few basic guidelines. Like most social media sites Pinterest is community that exists for it’s users, not just a place for you to shamelessly drop your links. While some self promotion is expected and tolerated, the more it’s not about you, the better. The best way to get an understanding of what the Pinterest community likes is to look at the Pinterest Popular Page. Generally speaking Pinterest is about aspirations, dreams, and things people want to do to make their lives better and more enjoyable. Some of the most popular “pins” are crafts, recipes, fashion, makeup & cosmetics, travel, and inspirational quotes. If your product or service doesn’t fall into any of those categories, you’ll have to be a little more creative.

What to Pin on Pinterest Business Accounts

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Walt Disney World on Pinterest

The greatest difficulty most companies have is trying to find things to “pin” that aren’t self serving. As an example look at the Pinterest Boards for Walt Disney World. While they do Pin some of their own content, they pin other peoples nail art, crafts, fun food and so on, as long as it’s about Disney and fun. Another example is Frederick’s of Hollywood. While they do post their own clothing and lingerie, they also post celebrity fashion, interior design, romantic travel destinations, and pop culture. However what if you aren’t in an exciting, happy or fun filled sector what do you do then? A great example comes from General Electric. They pin quotes from famous scientists and engineers, links to interesting products they make, how to guides, and inforgraphics that explain complex topics.

General Electric on Pinterest

General Electric on Pinterest

The key point to take away from all of these examples is even though they may not have all been consumer products, the pins were framed in a way to make them appeal to a general consumer audience.

Create Better Pins

If you are going to be pinning and sharing your own material there are some guidelines that will help you get more out of your pins:

  • Use funny, interesting, creative or noteworthy photos.
  • Use images that touch peoples emotions, make them happy, sad, laugh, cry or react. No one will re-share something that made them feel meh.
  • Use clear, in-focus pictures.
  • Use clear, easily readable text.
  • Unless you are doing it wrong on purpose, check spelling and grammar.

Is Pinterest right for your business?

Be Part of the Community

Understanding how to be part of a community may sound like touchy-feely social media hippie talk, but if you try it you’ll see there is value to it. The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas got so many requests for some of their signature drinks that they decided to share the recipes on Pinterest. In addition they also pin and like a lot of items from other people. So you look for other users or businesses that pin similar or complimentary topics and follow them, and like and pin some of the things they share.

Pinterest Tips

The above article covered some basic strategy items. Here are some basic points to keep in mind:

  • Change the name of your account to the name of your company or a variation that fits in the maximum length for account names (currently 35 characters).
  • Change the icon on your account to your logo.
  • Pin and like new items regularly, just don’t dump lots of new pins all at once.
  • Add interesting descriptions or text to the things you do pin.
  • Add a link to your Pinterest account on your website and mention your Pinterest account in your emails, newsletters, or other promotional material.
  • Don’t put a Pinterest button on every page of your website, but do put it on pages that are shareable or geared towards social media audiences.

Pinterest may not be the right social media website for every business, but if you can find a way to make your content visually appealing, and interesting to a general consumer audience, you will find Pinterest can drive significant traffic to your website.

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