How to Get Started on Pinterest as a Small Business Owner

 Pinterest logo Pinterest – Your Virtual Pin Board

The word “Pin” took on a whole new meaning in 2010. Pinterest became the new face to the social media scene and quickly made a name for itself.  The term “pinning”  became part of everyday conversation, especially among women aged 25-44.  But don’t let this fool you, Pinterest is not simply a way for women to pass time. Savvy businesses are learning that by incorporating Pinterest in to their marketing strategy, the result is a strengthened online brand and higher traffic volumes.

Whether you’re one of the few people who still thinks a “pin” is solely meant as a device for fastening objects together or one of the millions of Pinterest users, it’s worth your time to familiarize yourself with the inner workings of Pinterest.

What is Pinterest and How Can it Help My Business?

Put simply, Pinterest is a free social media community service, that acts as a virtual cork board. As of January 2012 it had 11 million unique users and was listed among Time magazines 50 Best Websites for 2011.  It’s not hard to see why:

  • A recent study showed that Pinterest visitors spend nearly 100 minutes per visit compared to 19 minutes on LinkedIn.
  • 70% of Pinterest users say they visit the site to find items to purchase.
  • Pinterest sends more traffic to websites than Yahoo!
  • The average purchase generated by Pinterest is double the amount of those started on Facebook or Twitter –  about $180.
  • 80% of pins are repins (as opposed to about 5% or Tweets that are ReTweets) – can you say viral?!

Pinterest ebook

Now that we have your attention, you may be still be wondering how a bunch of “boards” and some “pins” are going to help your business. Good question. What makes this template enticing to business owners is this concept and simplicity of “pinning” images. When you “pin” an item it’s immediately made available to the Pinterest community.  If the pin catches someone’s eye they have the option of “repinning,” “liking” or commenting on the image, driving your image back up through the feed. It boils down to visibility;  the goal being to get as many of your “pins” “repinned” as possible, causing the pin to go viral.  Not only that, but visitors can easily to get to your website or blog by clicking on the image.

Let’s first talk about getting your business established on Pinterest and then, in a follow up article,  we will discuss what you can and should be pinning (and how) to increase your followers.

Creating Your Business Profile on Pinterest

Pinterest Business Account Setup Visit Pinterest to set up your business account. It’s simple and takes about five minutes!

Last week Pinterest announced their new Pinterest business accounts, this is great news for users who have had to combine business and personal accounts. Already have a personal account and feel overwhelmed about converting? Pinterest does most of the work for you! a little data entry and in about 2 minutes your good to go. Start here to convert your Pinterest account to a business account.

Pinterest is unconventional compared to other available forms of marketing. When setting up your profile, feel free to be a bit more informal, keep it real and add a human touch. Remember, your audience is mostly made up of a demographic of woman age 25-44, not a bunch of corporate men in business suits. Striking a balance that allows you to come across professional and at the same time genuine will no doubt peek their interest.

Decide whether or not you want to connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts to your Pinterest account. Connecting your Twitter account makes it very easy to share your pins to Twitter when you create new pins, so we recommend doing this.

Since Pinterest is now the fourth largest driver of website traffic, when creating a profile Pinterest, be sure to use keywords in your description.  Uploading a business profile photo is quick and easy, but choose wisely. While a logo may work for large companies, given the audience that Pinterest has, you may choose something a more personal.

If you’re unsure what to do, check out other businesses that are using Pinterest and take note of what speaks to you.

Setting Up Your Pinterest Boards

Setting up a Pinterest Board When setting up a Pinterest board, use keywords in the blog title and Description. You can invite others to contribute to the board by entering their email address.

Now that you’ve completed your profile, let’s move on to where you will showcase your business-creating boards.  Your goal is to get other users engaged with your boards so they will follow them. Users have the option of following individual boards or all boards the business has available.

Creating a board is quite simple.  When logged in under your Pinterest account choose “add” at the top of the page. It will give you the option of adding a “pin” or a “board.” You will need to create your boards first before adding your “pins.” Choose titles that are eye catching; avoid bland titles like “food” “flowers” “products” etc.  Choose a category that best describes your business and you’re done!

Make sure to use keywords in the board description. Invite others to pin to your board. You can invite people you follow on Pinterest and your Facebook friends.

How to Pin

Visit your Pinterest account and hit “+Add”. You can then choose “Add a Pin” to enter the URL of a website with the image you want to pin (Pinterest will give you the option to choose any image on the page), or “Upload a Pin” to browse your computer for an image to add.  No matter which option you choose, make sure to choose the correct board (you can add a new one by scrolling to the bottom of the list of your existing boards and just type in the name of the new board).

The easiest way to Pin, is by a bookmarklet in your browser (click to get yours), or a “Pin It” button on the website in question.  Speak with the company maintaining your website about adding a Pin It button to your own website.

Again, use keywords in the description.  Also, include a link to the source page if it’s on your website (for an SEO boost). If you pin links to a product or service for sale, add a price to your pin by simply including a dollar sign and price in the description. You can always return to edit your pins.

Pinterest ebook

Now you are ready to start pinning to promote your business.  Check back with us next week to get tips on how to pin effectively and what you should be pinning to increase your followers. See you next week!

Ready to get started, but need a little more hands-on help?  Contact us to see how we can help enhance all your online marketing, including your Pinterest presence, today!  Still not sure social media is right for your business? Download our free eBook to see how social media can enhance YOUR online presence.

Enhance Interne Presence ebook


About the Author Alisa Meredith (311 Posts)

As co-owner and chief inbound marketing consultant at Scalable Social Media, Alisa Meredith spends a lot of time keeping up with online marketing trends for the benefit of our customers. Computers have been a passion of hers since her first T1-99, so inbound and social media marketing is a natural fit.

One Comment

  1. thanks for your valuable posting,it was very informative i am working inErp In Chennai

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