I’m learning to cook, design tattoos, and budget better than ever – and it’s all thanks to Pinterest. Why? Pinterest’s brilliant user experience makes it so simple to browse through photos and bookmark products, gift ideas, or articles (and much more) that you want to come back to later.
Pinterest was first unveiled in 2010, with its very first “pin” being a photo of a paper cut-out of a couple kissing on a bicycle, pinned by Pinterest co-founder, Ben Silberman.
After some early failures, Pinterest caught on and quickly attracted a niche audience, and it didn’t take long for it to join other social networks like Facebook and Twitter at the top.
Now with over 70 million users, Pinterest has become a powerhouse in the digital world. And it’s not surprising that it has become a marketing powerhouse as well.
Whether you’re a restaurant owner, clothing designer, marketing company, or graphic artist, Pinterest is an incredible place to market your business. So, where do you begin? How do you create a marketing strategy for Pinterest? These 12 appropriately pinnable tips and tricks will show you how you can incorporate Pinterest into your company’s marketing plan.
1) Learn the Basics
If you’re completely new to Pinterest, this pin has a solid overview of how to use Pinterest for business – and in a handy, easy-to-read, shareable SlideShare, no less!
Being a tad skeptical on using Pinterest as a marketing tool is understandable; with a surplus of inspiration and DIY craft pins, it can seemingly “cloud” the marketing efforts of businesses.
However, if you learn the basics you just might be able to see the benefits of Pinterest marketing a little clearer. It’s nearly impossible to ignore the success of Pinterest with stats such as these:
Over 80% of the content on Pinterest is repinned
2 in 5 customers have purchased an item after pinning, repinning, or liking it on Pinterest
2) Create a Pinterest Marketing Strategy
You create marketing plans for your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts, right? Well, Pinterest is no different.
Figuring out where to start tends to be the hardest part. Not only do you need to know your goals for social media marketing, and who your target market is, there is a lengthy list of factors that play into creating a successful Pinterest strategy.
Thankfully, Viraltag's blog offers this step-by-step list to help you get started.
3) Have a Way to Measure Your Pinterest Performance
Once you’ve brainstormed some content ideas and shared them on Pinterest, you need a way to measure your posts’ success.
As with all of your social media profiles, using analytics is invaluable. Tracking which pins do well and which don’t is vital information you can use to keep bettering your strategy and approach to Pinterest.
Google Analytics is a commonly used tool used to measure website performance, but if you’re not sure how to use it to gauge your Pinterest success, don’t fret! This pin lists four ways you can measure Pinterest using Google Analytics.
However, if you’d rather not use a third-party, Pinterest has designed Pinterest Analytics, and you can access it right from your Pinterest account.
4) Determine What Pins You Should be Pinning (to Get the Most Engagement)
Once you know how to pin, you need to determine what to pin.
No matter your audience, this cheat sheet contains 22 tips that can help you determine how to design your pins, or choose which images to repin or like – these numbers don’t lie.
Nevertheless, it is still critical to know your target audience. You can’t just make an infographic on any topic or include 20 hashtags in your caption and see your pin go viral.
Understanding your audience and tweaking your pins to reflect their wants and needs will be a helping hand in amplifying your pins’ success. If you’re looking to increase your engagement, create boards and find pins that are related to what your audience is pinning – and when they’re pinning it.
(Attention: This is the most important takeaway from this post!) Pin content that is related to your business or industry.
That being said, don’t sell yourself on every pin – share helpful or relevant information on some of your pins and boards, as well. It’s okay to be a clothing company but have a board of recipes or your favorite restaurants – it lets your audience know you want to engage with them as people, not just market to them as customers.
For example, at Mainstreethost we try to incorporate a variety of different boards on our Pinterest, but also keep our profile professional and industry-related. It’s all about finding that happy medium between your business’ marketing goals and providing relevant and enjoyable content that relates to your audience outside of the realm of your products and services.
5) Make Your Pins Pretty
As a designer (and a perfectionist), I probably take more care than is necessary on what my pins look like.
But, even if you’re not a designer, you should care what your pins look like. From photos to vector imagery, your designs should be pleasing to the eye so they stand out in the sea of images on your audience’s page.
Here’s an example of how to take your pin to the next level:
If you don’t have a designer in-house or on hand, there are plenty of tools out there you can utilize. My co-worker’s favorite is Canva, which (unsurprisingly) is on this list pinned by Tailwind.
6) BUT, Don't Just Pin Pretty Pictures
In case you missed the importance of it in the preceding pins, pin content that is related to your audience and your industry.
Yes, you can have a board full of delicious recipes, but be sure most of the content you pin or repin is related to your business. Take care when you are deciding what to pin or repin – don’t just pick a random stock photo and a one-sentence caption, or repin an image without changing the caption.
This infographic features several ways to optimize your pins to increase likelihood of engagement.
7) Optimize Your Pinterest Profile
Now that you know how to optimize your pins, you can focus on your profile.
This detailed checklist shows you exactly what your boards, pins, and profile need to have to best optimize your Pinterest account.
This list includes links to profiles that set an example of what top brands do to create a successful Pinterest presence – it wouldn’t be a bad idea to follow them, either.
8) Use Pinterest to Connect With Your Audience
One of the main purposes of a social media strategy is to connect and engage with your audience.
Commenting on pins and repinning or liking what your audience pins will help you increase your engagement.
However, there are also group boards that you can utilize on Pinterest. You can create and maintain a group board and/or join others that were created by your audience.
Either way, group boards are a great opportunity to better understand what your audience wants to see on Pinterest, and maybe even an opportunity for you to get feedback and ideas straight from your customers.
9) You Can Now Promote Pins
Many users are calling Pinterest a “sellout,” since they have opened up their platform to more advertisements.
For businesses, however, this is certainly a positive addition. If you know what keywords your target audience is searching for, and you want to ensure you reach them with your pin, paying to promote your pin just might be worth it.
Once a pin is published, you can promote it as soon as it hits your board; but be careful! There are rules to advertising on Pinterest that you’ll want to remember.
10) Avoid the Pinterest "Sins"
This couldn’t be a successful post on pins that teach you how to use Pinterest without teaching you what not to do.
Save yourself from Pinterest disaster with these quick tips:
Be sure your pins link to something
Invest quality time to Pinterest so you’re posting quality content
Making the first boards on your profile irrelevant to your audience is just as bad as not having any boards at all
If you can avoid making these mistakes on your Pinterest, reaching your marketing goals shouldn’t be too big of a challenge.
11) Remember, You're Not Limited to Just Pinning on Pinterest
Okay, well technically¸ you can only pin images, articles, or links to your Pinterest profile. But that doesn’t mean you’re limited to only searching for content to share on Pinterest on Pinterest. While you’re on one social platform, be cognizant of your other platforms as well.
For example, just as you would share the content you post on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn on your Pinterest, be sure to occasionally share what you pin on your other accounts - which is nearly effortless if you link up your other social media to your Pinterest profile.
You can search through Pinterest, Internet searches, and even other social networks. Anywhere that you have the ability to share, it (usually) gives you the option to share to Pinterest.
Sharing your content on multiple networks will not only increase engagement for your business, but it could help increase engagement to your social networks that don’t do as particularly well as others.
12) Have Unique Ways of Promoting Your Business
With millions of users pinning daily, the home feed of Pinterest users are continuously changing, and your pins are moving farther and farther down the page.
In order to ensure that your content gets shared, you have to get crafty. Use bright colors, feature your followers, or hold a sweepstakes – there are many ways to promote your business creatively.
Whether it’s a blog post, a new product, or a sale that your business is having, your pin needs to stand out in the crowd of millions of other pins.
If you’re having creative block, this post has a few innovative suggestions you can try out.
According to Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann, “Pinterest is the place to plan the most important projects in your life.” From tattoo designs to your favorite recipes to wedding ideas, user profiles are overflowing with products, ideas, and projects.
When it comes to marketing your business, capitalize on this aspect of Pinterest. Inspire your audience to use your products and services in their lives, or just inspire them in general.
If you use Pinterest correctly, it could be your products and services that users are pinning – and purchasing.
These 12 pins are a solid foundation for your company’s Pinterest marketing plan. And not only can you read through them now, you can pin them to your boards to always have as a reference when you need a helpful reminder.
Originally published Apr 28, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated March 15 2019