Pinterest FAQs: Answers to 11 Questions You've Always Wanted to Ask

    by Maggie Hibma

    Date

    February 3, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    faq-questionsDid you know that Pinterest is turning four in March? I mean, where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday marketers were beginning to explore how Pinterest could fit into their marketing strategies. Now, the site has over 70 million active users, and marketers around the world have embraced it as a legitimate social media marketing channel.

    Though Pinterest is much more mainstream now, we've got to be careful. As my mother tells me every so often, sometimes you think you know it all -- but you probably don’t. Not because there isn’t an answer to your question, but perhaps because you haven't even asked the question yet. Maybe you think it’s a silly question. Embarrassing to ask, even.

    But we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ve listed the answers to some of your most burning Pinterest questions in the best judgment-free zone to find answers: a blog post.

    11 Questions About Pinterest You've Wanted to Ask

    1) Okay, I’m on Pinterest. Now, how do I get followers?

    It's intimidating to join Pinterest and see a big fat zero next to your number of followers, but don’t worry -- they’re out there. Building your reach on social networks takes work and time, but can really turn the dial up on traffic and leads for your business.

    Because there are two options for people to engage with you on Pinterest -- either follow an individual board or your account as a whole -- there are quite a few ways you can get more people to follow you. A couple small things you can try include adding a Pinterest follow button to your website, pinning content throughout the day, letting your email subscribers and leads know that you're on Pinterest, and even following a few other people on Pinterest in the hope they'll return the favor.

    2) Um ... what am I supposed to be pinning on Pinterest?

    There are many, many things you can pin on Pinterest. But, before you start pinning, you should to be thinking about your strategy for visual content.

    Marketers should invest in visual content as part of their overall marketing strategy, but when it comes to Pinterest, there are a few things that can help guide your decisions on what to pin.

    Beyond regular photos, marketers can post articles, experiment with infographics, and even pin videos. You've just got to make sure, though, you’ve got your Pinterest board strategy down first.

    3) So what's the difference between a pin, a repin, and a favorite?

    Just like other social networks (especially Twitter), Pinterest has some lingo of its own you'll want to understand as you navigate the site.

    A pin is essentially a bookmark, so when you find something on the web you want to keep or look at later, you can "pin" it to one of your boards.

    Meanwhile, a repin is when you take an image that's already on someone else's board and post it to one of your own. When you do this, notifications are sent to let the other person know you've repinned something of theirs.

    Same thing with anything you like: Pressing that "heart" button on a pin will send a notification to that person that you liked their pin.

    4) Will people actually use Pinterest in the long run or is it just a fad?

    Heck yeah they will. As mentioned, the site has millions of devoted followers. It's also popular no matter what time of day it is. For example, 4.8% of American users check out Pinterest at the office during work hours.

    And just what are people doing on Pinterest? Well, they’re pinning pins, repinning pins (80% of pins are repins), creating boards, and following other boards of interest.

    Very Pinteresting, if you ask us. Evidence hints that the site isn't dwindling in popularity anytime soon.

    5) Isn't Pinterest just for women?

    Nope. While women account for 80% of registered Pinterest users, plenty of men use it as well. While it's up to you to post content to the site and, in turn, find your core audience -- men, women, Millennials, older generations, students, professionals, etc. -- using Pinterest for business can help you drive traffic to your site, bring in leads, and even boost sales.

    I could go on, but instead, I'll point you to more resources you can check out after this reading this post. Here’s our ultimate guide on mastering Pinterest for marketing.

    6) I’m scared to ask my manager: How do I decide if Pinterest is good for my business?

    Good for you for not jumping in with both feet on a popular social network just for the sake of having an account. Smart marketers know they need to evaluate if that new social network they're considering is worth their company’s time.

    Here’s a good place to start: Are your buyer personas likely to frequent the site? What are your competitors doing on Pinterest? Once you’ve gathered that information, you’re better equipped to decide if Pinterest is a good social network for your company to have a presence on and if it’ll help with your overall marketing strategy.

    7) Are businesses actually successful with their Pinterest marketing? Which ones?

    Yes, and let’s get on the same page about one thing: You can do successful marketing on Pinterest whether you're a B2C company selling cars or a B2B company selling software.

    For instance, Staples learned a lot by using Pinterest as a marketing channel. So has Chobani: Yes, the company sells yogurt, but it's using Pinterest to teach people more about the Chobani brand and lifestyle through the use of different boards and relatable photos.

    8) Analytics. Data. Metrics. Do those even exist on Pinterest?

    Yes, there are ways to measure your success with Pinterest. When thinking about the success of your marketing on the site, there are two things to consider.

    One is how your account is performing on Pinterest itself. The second is the return on investment you’re getting by using Pinterest as a marketing channel.

    With those two concepts in mind, read our blog post on measuring success on Pinterest. And if you have a Pinterest business account, the platform offers free analytics for measuring this stuff.

    9) I assume there are some rules for Pinterest, right? What are they?

    There are definitely "rules," but they’re not as hard and fast as you might think. Where Pinterest is concerned -- and, actually, where social media at large is concerned -- is that there’s proper social media marketing etiquette that you should always follow.

    For instance, it's best not be too self-promotional, which can be tempting as a business that’s trying to bring traffic to their site. Pinterest actually has a webpage that discusses Pinterest etiquette in which they say, "We think authenticity -- expressing who you really are and what you’re really like -- is more important than getting lots of followers." So be sure to take this to heart -- otherwise, you’re at risk for being banned from the social site.

    10) What’s another way to show my pins to my audience without always linking to Pinterest?

    There's a couple. Just like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and a slew of other social networks, you can showcase your account on other marketing collateral you have.

    For example, a quick win is embedding one of your boards right onto your website -- and we’ve got instructions on how to do that. But that’s only one of the four ways to cross-pollinate your pins with the rest of your marketing.

    Pinterest also has a "Pin it" button, a "Follow" button, a "Profile" widget, and a "Board" widget that are all easy to integrate with your website. And the best part? We’ve got a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to use all of these social sharing buttons.

    11) My website is the cat's meow. How can I get people to share it on Pinterest?

    It's pretty easy to make it ... well ... easy for people to pin things from your website to their own Pinterest boards.

    Pinterest has a great Goodies page that shows you how to make a "Pin it" button to put on your website. This button helps your website visitors quickly share your work on their own Pinterest boards. 

    What other questions do you have about Pinterest? Let us know in the comments!

    Written by Maggie Hibma

    Maggie Hibma is a Product Marketing Associate at HubSpot. She frequently blogs for the HubSpot Inbound Marketing Blog on social media. Connect with her on Twitter @MaggieHibma.

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