With 200 million monthly users, Pinterest might not be a social media behemoth like Facebook, but it is an important social platform with deep penetration in valuable demographics. Half of all U.S. millennials use Pinterest, for instance. But it is not just young people saving their ideas on the network: 68% of U.S. women between the ages of 25 & 54 use Pinterest, too. And while it is true that the network does have more female users than male, 40% of new users are men.

If you do not have a solid plan in place for how to use Pinterest as part of your business strategy, you are missing out on key opportunities to reach potential new customers.

Why use Pinterest for business?

People use Pinterest for different reasons than they use networks like Facebook & Instagram. Pinterest is a network where everyone looks for inspiration, including specifically seeking out ideas about new products to buy. According to eMarketer, only FB outranks Pinterest in terms of influencing U.S. social media users’ purchasing decisions.

More than two-thirds of Pinners say they have discovered a new brand/product on Pinterest, and a whopping 93 percent of Pinners use the network to plan purchases.

And it is not just planning. Half of Pinners have actually made a purchase after seeing a Promoted Pin, and two-thirds look at saved Pins while out shopping in brick-&-mortar stores.

Pinterest for Business overview

Pins

A Pin is simply any image/video that someone chooses to save to Pinterest. For businesses, more necessary than the image itself is the link: Every pin links back to the original source, so Pinterest could be a great source of referral traffic.

Boards

Pinterest users (called “Pinners”) save many stuff—an incredible 100 billion Pins to date. In order to keep things organized, they sort their Pins into collections called boards. For instance, boards from the Hootsuite Pinterest account includebest practices & trends,case studies,& infographics.

Pinners can follow your entire account or the specific boards that interest them most. Then, the Pins you save could appear in their feed.

Feed

A Pinterest feed is just like a feed on any other social network—it is a collection of links and content from boards & users that the Pinner has followed.

How to set up a Pinterest account for your business

If you plan to use Pinterest to market your business, you could create a Pinterest business account, rather than a personal account. Business accounts suggest business-specific features like analytics & the ability to use Pinterest advertising.

If you already have a personal Pinterest account, you could convert it to a business account. You will just need to fill in some additional information about your business & accept the business-specific terms of service.

If you do not already have a Pinterest account, here is how to create one for your business.

Step 1: Create your Pinterest for business account

  1. Go to the Pinterest for business page & click Join as a business.
  2. Enter your email address, password, business name, website, and choose which category your business falls into professional, media, brand, retailer, the online marketplace, local business, public figure, institution/non-profit, or other.
  3. Be sure to review the terms of service & privacy policy. Then click Create account.

Step 2: Complete your profile

You have now got the bare bones of a Pinterest account, but you need to fill in your profile details to make your brand appealing & credible.

  1. Log into your new Pinterest account, hover over the profile icon on the top right & click Settings.
  2. Scroll down to the Profile section to upload a profile photo, complete the About you section, and add your business location.
  3. Then, click Save settings.

Step 3: Confirm your website

Confirming your website allows you to see what people Pin from your website, adds your logo to any Pins made from your site. Confirming your website will boot your Pins’ rankings in search results.

  1. From Pinterest settings, scroll down to the Profile section & click Confirm website.
  2. Copy & paste the provided text into the HTML of your website’s index page.
  3. Click Finish.
  4. To check whether your website is confirmed, try Pinning a link from your site. You could see your logo or profile picture on the Pin.

Step 4: Create boards

Now that your account is ready to go, you need to start sharing & organizing content so that Pinners will have a reason to follow either your entire account/one or more of your boards.

  1. From your Pinterest profile, click the Boards tab, then click the red plus sign to make a new board.
  2. Add a descriptive name for your board. Use compelling but clear language to convey what you will Pin to the board, and keep the name to a maximum of 20 characters so it does not get cut off.
  3. Return to the boards tab & click on the name of your new board, then click the pencil icon to enter more details.
  4. Enter a clear description of what you will save to your board, and choose an appropriate category. If you want to start saving Pins on your board but you are not ready for people to see it yet, you can choose to make the board secret until it is ready to go.

Step 5: Start Pinning

Now that you have your boards set up, it is time to add some Pins. The easiest way to save to Pinterest quickly is to install the Pinterest browser button, which lets you to Pin anything from the web with just a couple of clicks.

  1. Install the appropriate Pinterest browser button for the preferred browser.
  2. To Pin something from the Web, choose the Pinterest icon on your browser toolbar.
  3. Select your favorite image from the available options & click Save.
  4. Add/edit a description.
  5. Choose which board to save your Pin to.

Once you have added several Pins to your board, you could choose the most visually compelling to be the cover Pin.

  1. From the boards tab, hover over your board & click the pencil icon on the bottom right.
  2. Scroll down to Cover & click Change, then scroll through to choose your cover Pin.

 

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