Learn how to start using Pinterest for business with an effective Pinterest strategy that works on Pinterest today.
In recent years, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube have been seen as the social networks essential for online visibility, while Pinterest has been seen as a secondary or non-essential social network.
However, this point of view is largely based on a lack of knowledge about the benefits of Pinterest for business growth. Ever since Pinterest was launched back in 2010, its audience has been growing.
According to Pinterest Business, there are currently 433 million active users on Pinterest today. Women make up more than 60% of Pinterest’s audience, but the number of men using this platform grows by 40% year over year.
Audiences of all generations are present on Pinterest, from Gen Xers to Millennials, and Gen Zers. Pinterest’s demographic is very versatile, but that’s not the only reason you should be present on this platform.
In this article, you’ll learn about the Pinterest app, why the Pinterest website is different from other social networks, and how to create a Pinterest strategy to scale your business.
- What’s Pinterest?
- How is Pinterest different from Facebook & Instagram?
- Why you should start using Pinterest for business
- How does the Pinterest algorithm work?
- 3 reasons why you need a Pinterest strategy
- 5 steps to using Pinterest for business
- Pinterest tips & tutorials
Pinterest can be classified as a visual search engine, although it is usually lumped together with other social media platforms that allow users to share images and videos on virtual pinboards.
Pinterest was started in 2010 by Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra as a visual discovery engine that allows users to find ideas for their projects and interests by searching through images.
Pinterest users can create boards to organize and share their content and follow other users to see what they are pinning. Pinterest is unique in that it is heavily visual, and has been described as a “visual bookmarking” site.
Pinterest usage varies greatly from country to country. However, some estimates suggest that Pinterest is most popular in the United States, which has the highest number of Pinterest users, followed by Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.
How is Pinterest different from Facebook & Instagram?
There are several differences between Pinterest and other social networks. Pinterest is different from Facebook and Instagram because it is primarily a visual discovery engine that allows users to share images and videos.
So what is Pinterest all about? What Pinterest is used for is inspiration, planning, and discovery. Users can create boards to save and organize their favorite images and videos.
Unlike other platforms, Pinterest is more focused on hobbies and interests. For individuals, Pinterest posts can lead them to find new recipes, learn about new DIY projects, and get Pinterest inspiration for creative pursuits.
As a visual discovery engine focused on sharing and saving visual content in the form of Pins, Pinterest users are interested in discovering and curating other users’ content. They use Pinterest search to look for inspiration, ideas, or products.
Rather than just liking Pinterest images or videos, they Pin them and group those Pins into different boards based on topics or themes. For instance, one of the more popular uses of Pinterest is to create boards for a specific event, such as a wedding.
Brides may collate Pinterest images or videos on a wedding board with ideas of the sort of décor, food, fashion, makeup looks, etc. they want in their dream wedding.
Another example is Pinterest for teachers, which can be a great resource for educators. They can find Pinterest classroom ideas, lesson plans, and teaching resources for their classroom, and create Pinterest boards for their students to help them stay organized and motivated.
Instagram and Facebook users are looking for a personalized experience. They post their own content for their family and friends to view. They also want to interact with brands.
However, Pinterest users are actively searching (and shopping) for something – interior design, inspiration for a life event, interesting accessories, fashion, makeup looks, or something else.
Why you should start using Pinterest for business
Pinterest marketing can be a great way to promote your business, product, or service. You can create “boards” on topics related to your business and Pin images, Pinterest videos, and other content to those boards.
Other users can follow your boards, and see the content you’ve pinned. If they like what they see, they can click through to learn more about it, Pin it to their own boards, and share it with others, which can help to promote your business.
Many businesses are also leveraging Pinterest Rich Pins, eCommerce feeds, and Pinterest shops that have converted this platform into a Pinterest shopping app for users.
“Pinterest is a visual search engine for visual content, designed to send traffic back to the brand’s website.”
If you don’t have a business or website, you can use Pinterest affiliate marketing to make money on Pinterest. If a user clicks on a product link and makes a purchase, you’ll earn a commission from the brand.
Here’s some interesting research that Pinterest conducted related to the interests of different audience groups:
- Gen Zers are interested in social good, future growth, beauty inspiration, and wardrobe ideas;
- Men are interested in personal betterment, home upgrade ideas, and creative inspiration;
- Millennials are interested in obtaining life skills, family-friendly ideas, and tips for adjusting to the new normal.
Furthermore, 97% of top Pinterest searches aren’t related to a brand, which means all brands have the same chance of winning over a new customer.
How does the Pinterest algorithm work?
When a user searches for something on Pinterest, the algorithm looks at the user’s past behavior, as well as the behavior of other users, to find pins that are relevant to what the user is searching for.
The Pinterest algorithm is designed to help users find the pins they’re looking for, so it also looks at how popular a Pin is and how often it has been pinned by other users.
Having more Pinterest followers can increase the reach of your Pins, but it’s not a big part of the algorithm, so it doesn’t help to buy Pinterest followers.
Pins can be uploaded directly to the platform or saved from a blog or eCommerce site using the Pin sharing button, with each Pin linking back to the website it was saved from.
Beyond posting a comment or liking a Pin, Pinterest users don’t interact as much with brands, but they watch videos or click on images to visit the brand’s website.
The best time to post on Pinterest is between 2 pm and 4 pm EST. This is when users are most active on the site.
3 reasons why you need a Pinterest strategy
The reason why Pinterest is important for businesses is that it can be used to create beautiful visual displays of products or ideas because it allows businesses to showcase their products and services in a creative way.
Whether you’re a blogger or an ecommerce business, Pinterest has huge potential to scale your business and help you build traffic and sales.
Most social media marketing companies agree that brands should have a Pinterest strategy for the following reasons:
#1. Pinterest content has a longer lifespan
Instagram and TikTok generate a lot of views when you hop on a trend. Using a popular sound on a dancing reel is great, but all trends come to an end sooner or later.
Also, trends on TikTok and Instagram have a very short lifespan, and most of them are only suitable for certain types of influencers or businesses, so it’s difficult to use them to your advantage if you don’t fit into this group.
Pinterest is much more business-friendly. A Pin you create can bring in new traffic for months and even years after, especially if your content is evergreen.
#2. Selling on Pinterest is easier than on other platforms
Selling on Pinterest is easier since the images on Pinterest are linked to an external website, and Pinterest users are just a couple of clicks away from purchasing whatever they like.
Pinterest also offers Rich Pins that list your product’s price and description for easy purchase, and it is constantly offering new features, such as Pinterest shops to help brands sell their products directly from the network.
While Instagram now allows shopping, brands need to meet certain criteria to set it up. You’ll need to:
- Comply with Instagram policies;
- Create product listings that are available for direct purchase from your website or Instagram checkout page;
- Your profile must be located in a supported market to use the commerce tools (Instagram checkout-buying is currently only supported in the US);
- Demonstrate trustworthiness, sometimes by maintaining a sufficient follower base;
- Provide accurate information about the product and its prices.
But that’s not all. You still need to add product tags to photos and videos. Meanwhile, creating a Pin is much simpler and doesn’t require any verification or tagging.
Keep in mind that while you can’t be banned from Pinterest, if you violate Pinterest’s terms of service, your account may be deleted and you could lose your use of Pinterest as a marketing platform.
#3. Pinterest converts better than other platforms
Pinterest earns money through Pinterest advertising. You can join the Pinterest Academy and learn how to use the Pinterest ads manager to promote your products and services on this platform.
While Instagram and Facebook are more tempting to use because of their popularity, Pinterest has huge untapped potential, and Pinterest ads earn a 2X higher return on ad spend with a 2.3x cheaper cost per conversion.
In addition, advertising on Pinterest seems to be proving beneficial to marketers, as its revenue grew in 2022 making it one of the few companies that bucked the downward trend in online advertising.
According to this article, advertising on Pinterest is like running ads on a bus that only goes to the mall. Everyone on board is ready to shop. You just need to get your brand in front of them.
5 steps to using Pinterest for business
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a Pinterest strategy so you can start using Pinterest for business more effectively:
#1. Set up a Pinterest business profile and claim it
Start by creating a Pinterest Business profile, as business profiles have features that personal profiles don’t have such as Pinterest Analytics and Pinterest Ads. If you already have a personal account, you can simply convert it into a business account.
Once that’s done, you’ll need to claim your website. You can find a detailed guide on how to proceed with this here. Once you claim your website, you’ll get access to the Analytics for the Pins shared from your website.
#2. Use a 2:3 vertical aspect ratio for Pinterest Pins
Once you’ve set up your profile, it’s time to start creating some Pins. Since they are organized into columns, vertical images and videos stand out better in the feed.
Don’t forget to use high-quality images. Ideally, the aspect ratio for a vertical Pin (image or video) should be 2:3 or 600 pixels wide x 900 pixels high.
Square images can also work, so don’t be afraid to use them. Canva offers many free templates with the ideal aspect ratio for Pinterest.
Pinterest users come looking for inspiration, so boring photos with dull colors won’t do it. Each photo needs to have something unique and be engaging enough to stop them from scrolling.
For instance, you could try expressing your brand through cute images or details. If you’re a retailer making shoes, you could advertise women’s shoes by showing a little girl wearing her mom’s shoes.
An artist could take a photo of their work with their dog holding a brush as they painted it. Some brands have a cute mascot they feature.
You could also try injecting some humor, as this will show the brand’s personality. For instance, a popular meme or paraphrased quote could be effective.
Infographics are another great way to boost your website traffic from Pinterest. You should also learn how to create compelling social video content for engaging Pinterest posts.
Whether Pinterest images are copyright-free or copyrighted can depend on a number of factors, including who took the image, and where it was originally published.
However, in general, it is safe to assume that most images on Pinterest are copyrighted (not free for commercial use) and should not be used without the permission of the copyright holder.
There are a lot of templates you can access for free on Canva, so you don’t need to spend too much time on these types of visuals.
Even though people use Pinterest to browse pictures, short captions and descriptions can help increase engagement.
Pins with a well-written description – and a few hashtags for discoverability – yield better results than those without. According to this article, the optimum length for a Pin description is between 100 and 200 characters.
The first step to writing a great description is finding the right keywords. Just like Google, the Pinterest search engine relies on keywords to deliver relevant results.
You don’t need any special tools to research keywords. Just start using Pinterest search to come up with the best Pinterest board ideas and keywords for your Pins.
Once you find the right keywords, incorporate them into the title and the description by adding the primary keywords early on in the Pin description.
Here are some Pinterest courses to help you learn how to create a Pinterest marketing strategy and use Pinterest SEO to leverage this platform the right way.
Make your description interesting and accurate, but don’t give away too much. If you want users to click through and visit your website, leave them wanting more.
According to these Pinterest marketing stats, Pins with “New” in the overlay text lead to 9X higher aided awareness.
You may want to avoid using words that sound spammy, like “Click Here” or “Buy Now”. Instead, opt for a more subtle call to action like “Read more”.
#5. Create and post fresh, new Pins consistently
Just like Instagram, Pinterest’s algorithm now prefers fresh Pins, so even though the content on this platform has the longest half-life of any social network, freshness is still important for visibility.
While that may seem annoying, it’s precisely why Pinterest is one of the most powerful social networks for long-term growth.
Also, don’t forget to keep up with the Pinsights or Pinterest trends reports that offer a predictive look ahead into what will be trending for the year across home, beauty, fashion, food, well-being, parenting, travel, design, and more.
This will help you prepare your Pinterest ideas and content months ahead of time so they start ranking at the right time, for example, during Christmas or special days like Women’s Day.
Start posting more video Pins and idea Pins to boost engagement, and don’t forget to check your Pinterest analytics to see which Pins are getting the most engagement and results, whether in terms of Repins or click-throughs.
You can use the Tailwind Pinterest scheduler to design scroll-stopping Pins and automatically post them to your Pinterest boards at the best times for more engagement, reach, and website traffic.
If you’re a busy business owner who lacks the time, you can hire a freelance Pinterest manager or Pinterest virtual assistant to help you create and implement a Pinterest marketing strategy.
While using Pinterest for business should be a no-brainer, especially for bloggers and eCommerce businesses, there’s no need to abandon other social media platforms.
Combining multiple social platforms for content discovery, branding, and business growth is a great way to target different audiences and strengthen brand awareness.
Pinterest tips & tutorials
- Free Pinterest Training & Pinterest Courses For Bloggers
- 7 Reasons Why New Bloggers Should Not Ignore Pinterest Search
- Google SEO Vs Pinterest SEO For Bloggers: 7 Essential Differences
- Why Pinterest Traffic Avalanche Review is the Top Pinterest Course Online
- 8 Pinterest Marketing Tips To Boost Engagement & Branding
- Social Media Content Ideas For Engaging Social Media Posts
© 2022 – 2023, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.
Priya Florence Shah is a bestselling author, an award-winning online publisher, and an online branding consultant. Download her free personal branding eBooks and check out Devi2Diva, her book on emotional self-care for women. In her spare time, Priya writes science-fiction novels and poetry and chills with her two-legged and four-legged kids.