Pinterest is an online pin-board, where users can pin images, videos and web pages that they find interesting. Pins can be grouped using boards, and users can Like and repin other people’s pins, as well as follow users or their individual boards to get updates when new pins are added. Popular categories include food and drink, DIY and crafts, weddings, home décor and fashion.
If you haven’t created a Pinterest profile yet, now is the time to get started – Pinterest has seen rapid growth in the last year, growing 786% in the UK since September 2011, and is now the third most popular social network in the US according to ComScore. 80% of Pinterest users are female and its biggest market is users ages 18 to 29.
Still not convinced that you need a Pinterest profile for your business? Visitors who come to your site via Pinterest spend 70% more money than visitors from non-social channels. Pinterest users are also 10% more likely to purchase than users from other social networks, like Facebook or Twitter.
This article will help you create and set up a Pinterest business profile, a well as give you some tips on how to get pinning, repinning and interacting with other users.
Setting Up A Business Account on Pinterest
First things first, you need to create your account. To set up a business account just visit business.pinterest.com and click on ‘New to Pinterest? Join as a business’.
If you already have a personal Pinterest account, you can convert it into a business account by visiting business.pinterest.com and clicking ‘Convert your existing account’. You will be prompted to login, then just follow the instructions to fill in your details.
Adding Profile Info
Filling in your details is straightforward, but here are some tips to help you out.
Contact Name – This is not shown anywhere on your profile, so you can put anyone’s name. Depending on who will be running the profile for your business, you can use a company email address or an individual’s personal address.
Username – Make sure you use your actual business name as the username so people can find you easily.
Image - Your profile image should be your logo, or something that clearly identifies the profile as associated with your company.
About - In the ‘About’ section write a short paragraph about your business and what kinds of things you are interested in – using a few keywords can’t hurt either.
If you have a Facebook or Twitter profile, you can link your Pinterest profile to them so that all your social media activity is fully integrated. This is a good way of letting your existing fans and followers know what you are up to on Pinterest, even if they don’t have accounts themselves. However, you might want to wait until you are fully active on Pinterest, as sending your readers to empty boards is likely to put them off.
Verifying your website
If you have a self-hosted website, you should also verify your website. This lets users see your full URL on your profile page. First, make sure you have added your website URL within the settings page (see above) then press the verify button next to it. The next page will provide you with a file which you will need to upload to the root folder of your web server.
Once uploaded, click the link and your URL should be displayed on your profile with a red tick, as shown below.
Unfortunately you can’t do this if your domain is hosted on something like .wordpress.com or .tumblr.com – your website needs to sit on its own domain.
Now you’ve set up your profile, you’re ready to start pinning! As mentioned before, Pinterest consists of pins, boards, repins and Likes. This section will explain each of these features in turn and how to use them for your business.
Creating a Board
To create a Board, click on the ‘Add +’ button at the very top of the screen and you will see options to ‘Add a Pin’, ‘Upload a Pin’ or ‘Create a Board’.
We suggest you start off creating a couple of boards first, as you have somewhere to put your pins and to give you an idea of the categories you will want to create.
After clicking ‘Create a Board’, name your board and assign a category. You can set boards to be secret, but for the moment set this to ‘off’ so everyone can see your boards. You can invite other people to pin onto your boards too, so if you want to do this then type their name in the box provided. Click ‘Create Board’ – Congratulations, you’ve made your first Pinterest board!
Adding a Pin
Now you can start adding pins to your boards. As before, click on ‘Add +’ and then choose either ‘Add a Pin’ or ‘Upload a Pin’.
Adding a pin allows you to type or paste in the URL that you want to pin, while uploading means you can upload images straight from your computer. I find that I tend to add pins via URLs much more, but choose whichever option you want.
Choose the board you want to add your pin to and add a short description. You can add hashtags to a description, which will be clickable and enable users to search for similar content. You can also tag users by using @ and then their username, similar to Twitter (e.g. @KateDreyer). If you have chosen to pin via a URL, you can also choose which image you want to be displayed if there are more than one present on the page.
If you have linked your account with Twitter or Facebook, check the box to share your pin with your fans and followers.
Click ‘Pin It’ and you’re done!
Repinning and Liking
Repinning is where you pin another user’s pin onto one of your boards. The image cannot be changed but you can edit the description all you want. The pin will be attributed to the original pinner.
Repinning is a good way to build up the content in your boards. It’s bad etiquette to just pin your own content, so spend time browsing and searching to find some interesting content to repin onto your boards.
If you want to save a pin, but don’t want to add it to one of your boards, then you can ‘Like’ it. This will send it to the ‘Like’ section of your profile, available from your main profile page.
To repin or Like something, just hover over a pin and click on the appropriate buttons that appear.
Pinning and repinning are just part of the Pinterest experience – there are also great opportunities to network with other Pinterest users in the same field as you and build followers through interaction.
Tagging – As mentioned earlier, you can tag other Pinterest users in your pin description using the ‘@username’ feature. Use this feature if you think a user would be interested in your pin. I would recommend only tagging people you know or who have interacted with you in some way, otherwise you will look like a spammer.
Comments – You can also comment on other people’s pins. Always leave positive, constructive comments and don’t spam people by adding your own links to comments.
Likes - Liking people’s pins is another way to show your appreciation for their content and potentially gain them as a follower or receive some reciprocal Likes.
Invite – Once you have built up a solid Pinterest presence and have accrued a few followers, why not invite some of them to pin onto your boards, or create a new ‘group’ board? This is bound to start some conversations, increase your reach and improve your authority.
This post has been an introduction to getting your business started with Pinterest. If you are looking for some more creative ways you can market your brand or product using the Pinterest platform, then stay tuned as I will be putting together a more advanced post soon.