Creating a Successful Social Media Strategy Part 4: Pinterest

How to leverage your business presence online with Pinterest

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You’ve heard about Pinterest – the newest social media website people everywhere are spending hours on. If you haven’t yet joined the craze, here’s what you should know about Pinterest. It’s a visual social media site built on the premise of an old-fashioned pinboard: you “pin” your favorite things for inspiration, motivation, and to remember where you put them. On Pinterest, each “pin” is an image that links back to the original source. “Pinboards” are like categories to organize all your pins. Pinterest has a great information page you can read for more information. It’s pretty simple – and brilliant. Here’s why.

Because each pin hyperlinks back to the original source, people on Pinterest who pin that image are likely to then click on it and go to the website where it was found. In other words, Pinterest sends traffic back to the website that originally created the image. If you’re a business owner with a website, you’re probably already thinking about how smart this is: any image pinned from your website to Pinterest will start directing traffic back to your website. In fact, as of August 2012, Pinterest became the 4th largest traffic source in the world.

But that’s not the only reason you should pay attention to Pinterest. According to the most recent statistics, 79% of Pinterest users are women, and 81% of those users are going to Pinterset for information and advice. For businesses with physical products, pinning images of those products to Pinterest is a no-brainer – almost half of US shoppers have made a purchase based on a recommendation from Pinterest. This is especially interesting since the average household income of Pinterest users is $100,000 annually.

Should you be on Pinterest? The answer is “yes!” There’s a strategy every business can employ that makes Pinterest a smart way to leverage your business online.

For product-based companies, it’s easy. Take quality pictures of your products, and create pinboards of those products. You can even include prices of those products. To see how this looks, check out ZGallerie’s Pinterest page. Of course, pin things other than just your products – you never want to do too much self-promoting on social media. A good rule of thumb is 80% non-promotional, 20% promotional. To see an example of a national retailer that does a good job of using Pinterest to promote their products, look at Target’s Pinterest page.

For service-based companies, you can use Pinterest, too, just differently. Your strategy will be to drive traffic to your website, specifically to your blog. For each blog you post, include an image or graphic (that you created OR have the ownership rights to!) and then pin that image to your Pinterest page. You can also do this with images throughout your website. Entrepreneur Magazine’s Pinterest page is a good example of how to do this well.

What else should you pin, besides your products or images directing to your blog? Whatever you want! As long as it relates to your business (even if it’s loosely), is professional, and will be interesting to your audience, pin away! Pinterest is a great place to get creative and show off your business’ personality.

Getting started is easy. Here’s the first few steps you should take:

  1. Create a business account by going to
  2. Complete your profile information completely, and follow the steps to verify your website.
  3. After that, create boards (remember, these are similar to categories) where you’ll put your pins. A few thoughts:
    • Be creative with your names – let them show your personality!
    • Remember the point is personality, so don’t be afraid to get creative in what types of things you want to pin.
  4. Start pinning!
    • Add a few pins to each board.
    • Make sure to pin images from your website!
  5. Follow other users who pin things you’re interested in. You can follow boards or pinners.
  6. Be sure to link to your Pinterest page from your website, and add a “pin it!” button to your blog!

Those are the basics of using Pinterest to leverage your business presence online. We encourage you to be creative with it and see what happens! It’s a fun way to allow your business’ personality to shine through. We’d love to hear about how you’ve been successful with Pinterest below in the comments!

About Sarah Gill

A talented writer and strategist, Sarah is passionate about connecting people with their unique creative voice so their message can find authentic and powerful expression.