An Introduction to Pinterest for Small Businesses


With over 70 million active users, Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networks. It is essentially a collection of virtual pinboards allowing you to ‘pin’ images of products, places, services etc. you like or want onto your own boards. The visual aspect and appeal of the site has captured the interest of many businesses, from retailers to designers who are using it as an online portfolio or product catalogue. A pin could be a gift, recipe or even a quote and has become very popular with people who use it in lots of different ways from planning their weddings, decorating their homes to organising recipes. Business that are visual based have recognised the benefits of Pinterest learning how adding the Pin It button to your website is a great way of driving sales and a great tool for SEO as people can then pin and repin those images on Pinterest and then click to your website to buy your product/service.

What’s Good About Pinterest?

  • Pinterest is visual based so is perfect for businesses who want to showcase their products and services through pictures
  • Users want to grow their presence on Pinterest and in doing so they act as marketers on your behalf

What’s Not so Good About Pinterest?

  • Not useful for businesses in certain industries who don’t require the visual appeal
  • The demographics are gender biased, women make up 85% of the user base

Which Businesses Should be on Pinterest?
Businesses that naturally lend themselves to visual marketing should have a presence of Pinterest. From food shops, restaurants, photographers, DIY stores to wedding and fashion related businesses you can appeal to a wide audience and showcase your products and services through your striking photos or videos.

Need to Know Facts, Stats and Tips about Pinterest

  • 20% of total social referrals to commerce sites come from Pinterest (Econsultancy, 2014)
  • 69% of online consumers who visit Pinterest have found an item they have purchased (Bizrate, 2014)
  • 6% of UK consumers use Pinterest, with the 25 – 34 age demographic the most popular representing 9% of those users (Kantar, July 2013)
  • A call-to-action pin description renders 80% increase in engagement (Pinerly, 2014)
  • Pinterest pins with prices get 36% more likes than those without (Econsultancy, 2014)
  • The ideal Pinterest pinning schedule is a minimum of 5X per day and a maximum of 10x per day. Large, quality images are important to get noticed in the Pinterest feed. (Constant Contact, 2014)
  • The ideal image size to use for your profile photo is 600 x 600 pixels. For a board thumbnail it’s 222 x 150 pixels. For a pin it’s 600 x infinite pixels.

Why You Need Pinterest for Your Business

Traffic and SEO
One of the most beneficial marketing benefits Pinterest offers is the ability to drive more traffic to your website. Pinterest provides you with plenty of optimisation opportunities on which to boost your SEO. From giving your pins descriptive names, to incorporating hashtags and including a reference link back to your business website, all of these factors work together to ensure you get seen in search results.

Showcase your Products
Displaying products through interesting and engaging boards gives customers a shopping experience that can influence purchase behaviour. By showcasing your products and services through good quality and eye catching pictures and videos you present to a wide audience an interactive guide of what you have to offer.

Build your Brand Identity
The images pinned on your board should represent the personality and values of your business. With an image you are not only showcasing a product, you are portraying a lifestyle that can and should be used compel and inspire potential customer to want to get involved and buy your product/service.

Interact with Customers
Pinterest is about creating conversations. It can be a powerful word of mouth tool, generating interest in your company and get people talking about all things relevant to the brand, with the opportunity for content to be shared virally amongst members.

Creating a Pinterest Strategy for Your Business

What Does my Business Want to Achieve on Pinterest?
Whether want to use Pinterest to help launch new products or as a catalogue for your products, having clear objectives for your presence is crucial as it will dictate and influence several key areas from which types of Pinterest boards to create and how you will measure your success on Pinterest.

Common Pinterest Business Objectives

  • Drive Traffic to Your Site
  • Strengthen Brand Identity
  • Increase Your Brand Authority
  • Expand Your Reach

What Kind of Boards Should I Create?
Deciding on what boards you are going to create will depend on a number of factors, from what industry you are in to what your objectives are for your page. Ultimately however, the boards that you will create will stem from a clear and strong strategy that you need to develop in the beginning, being especially clear on what you want your boards to represent about you and what you want your audience to feel when they look at your boards. In general you could start with pins relating to your products and services and develop ideas as you go along from what inspires you to customer testimonials, product demonstrations and general pictures of your office. Just always remember to use good quality visual images and support them with quality keyword rich descriptions.

What Visual Resources Do I Have That I Can I Utilise?
Pinterest is centred on the visual and is the perfect platform for you to showcase the visual resources you have for your business. So look to see what is relevant to share with your audience from your product and services, to eBooks, blog posts and images of staff events – the opportunities to share engaging and informative are only restricted by your own creativity.

How Am I Going to Promote My Boards and Page?
There are many ways for you to promote your page to others from utilising your other social media platforms, to ensuring you have included relevant hashtags and keywords to your pins that can help people find your images when searching Pinterest. You will also need to add Pinterest’s follow button to your business website that will alert your web visitors to your Pinterest boards. Anywhere where your audience will see it is the place to alert them to your Pinterest profile so this includes adding your URL to your e-newsletter, business card, packaging and anywhere else that is relevant for your business.

How am I Going to Measure my Success?
As with any other marketing campaign, what you are going measure in order to define your success will depend on what the initial objectives are that you have for your Pinterest presence. Whether you want to use is as an outlet to boost sales or to show others your brand identity, remember to continually look and analyse your analytics and act on what they show you.

What Should You be Pinning?

Pinterest helps people discover things in a simple, visual way. People are on Pinterest to share with others their interests, hobbies, tastes and passions. Therefore as a business on Pinterest your job is to provide inspiration for these interests by making sure each of your boards tells a unique, genuine story about what interests you, what/who you are and have to offer. What types of boards you should create should also be based around your Pinterest marketing goals.

Valuable Information, Tips and Advice
Successful boards often deliver something valuable to the reader, whether that is entertainment or information. Create your boards around information that will be valuable, useful and engaging for consumers. Tips and advice are popular on Pinterest as they engage and give value to your audience and therefore makes them more likely to interact. Look to create content within your boards that can inform, teach and provide value to your audience.

Feedback for Your Business
If you are thinking about launching a new service or product or looking for opinions about how a particular aspect of your business is being received then creating a Pinterest board that acts as a virtual focus group can help you to directly connect and engage with your customers and get valuable feedback. You can find out important information about your customers likes, dislikes and preferences that can greatly help your business efforts in the future.

New Products or Services
You can draw attention to a new product or service launch by dedicating a board to it. Pin information about the features and benefits, suggested audiences and uses, and special deals, testimonials, etc. After the release, you can also post customers’ comments, media reviews and photos of clients using the product or service.

Showcase Your Company Culture and Employees
You can also generate greater customer engagement by showing your audience an inside look at your business through boards that showcase your business style, projects, ideas, motivations and other commitments. You can also feature photos of your office and employees that will humanise your business and make people feel like they know you. Customers are more likely to interact with a company they feel like they know, so showing a personality will draw people to your page.

Showcase your Customers
There are many ways you can involve your customers in your content, from happy customer testimonials, pictures of customers using your product/service to a pin of a customer’s own business. Maintaining good relationships with customers and continually engaging with them is a great way to encourage them to recommend you to their connections and cement yourself as a personable and genuine business with great customer service.

If you run regular giveaways, pin those up onto a Competitions Board. Popular competitions run on Pinterest are based on people having to pin something (usually related to your product/ service) to win something. This encourages user engagement and interaction but also directs traffic to your website if they are requested to pin something directly of it.

How to Build a Following and Amplify your Impact
Pinning images is only the beginning. The next challenge is to promote your Pinterest page in order to get maximum exposure and attract attention. Rather than relying solely on search engines, there are several other key techniques you can employ to help get your content noticed.

Engage with Other Pinners
One of the key elements of building a community on any social media network is engaging with your audience. On Pinterest following other users, especially influencers, is a great way to get your content noticed and spread across a much larger network of people. By following other users and engaging with their content, you increase the chances that they will follow you back, repin, like, and comment on your images, and give you greater exposure to their large followings. Once you start to build your network, don’t forget to be social and remember to continue interacting with and engaging your existing fans.

Promote your Pinterest Page
Anywhere your customers interact with your brand is an opportunity to encourage them to find you on Pinterest. Once you begin pinning, remember to promote it across all your other social media platforms and that includes mentioning it on your e-newsletter, your email signature, business card, product packaging and anywhere else your customers will see it. Adding a Pinterest “Follow” and “Pin It” Button on your website is also a great way to drive traffic to your page and encourages your customers and readers to pin your products.

Create and Inspire With Interesting Boards
The key to a successful Pinterest presence is to create and showcase a range of boards that enhance your brand, engage your audience and host a range of varied content that inspires and interests your audience. Your boards need to be a reflection of your business values and interests so be creative and remember that people can pick and choose which boards they follow, so not every board has to appeal to everyone. It is important that you also consider the overall look of the board taking care to give your board’s names and descriptions ensuring they are keyword rich and clear. Choosing an eye-catching cover pin for each board is also important as you want to compel your audience to click on and see your board and you will also need to ensure that each board is filled with enough quality pins to make it feel substantial. Utilise seasons and special observances with your boards also by putting your most relevant boards at the top of your profile to coincide with the seasons and other national events.

Host Competitions
Competitions on Pinterest can help drive a lot of attention to your profile. “Pin It to Win It” competitions are very popular with businesses and if done well can really boost sales and traffic. You can generate attention and engagement with competitions that get your fans involved by pinning images from your website onto their own boards, just make the competition interesting and gets others talking about your brand with a great prize also.

Pin Your Deals and Offers
Creating a board that houses your latest deals and offers is a great way to attract attention. If you want really utilise the community you can create an exclusive board for Pinterest members only and encourage them to share them with other users that will potentially get your offers seen by a wider audience.

Comment on Popular Pins
Take advantage of the popular pins section of Pinterest and use this opportunity to add your thoughts and comments on popular pins to generate conversation. Always leave a thoughtful and meaningful comment and this will encourage others to check out your profile and opens up the potential for new interactions with potential new customers.

Highlight Your Individual Boards
If you have boards that are particularly popular then place them highly on your profile to promote them and gain more followers. You can also tailor your board layouts to coincide with seasons and events and promote them to gather attention.

Add a Pin It Button to Your Website
You can easily drive referral traffic from your website to Pinterest by utilising hover buttons that are effective calls to action. Install the hover Pin It button on images on your website and this will act as a visual reminder to your visitors that you have a Pinterest profile and it also makes it easy for users to pin images from your site onto their own boards.

Invite Others to a Group Board
A great way to collaborate with clients and prospects on Pinterest is to create a group board and invite others to pin onto the board. As the creator only you can moderate the board and remove inappropriate pinners and pins leaving a great canvas for others to contribute and add their pins and comments. This helps create a social and engaging group that will attract more attention to your profile.

Follow and Interact With Other Businesses
Connecting with other businesses on Pinterest is a great way to build your following and increase attention to you and your profile. Look to see if businesses you have dealt with in the past have profiles and also businesses that are similar to you in industry and location. If you follow other businesses on their other social networking sites such as their Twitter or blog then look to see if they are on Pinterest and connect with them also. By connecting with and interacting with other businesses you have the potential to be seen by their audiences which can open up the opportunity for potential new customers and visitors to your profile.

Refine Your Boards
Successful boards on Pinterest are often crafted by users who put great efforts in making their boards as niche as possible so that they stand a better chance of being found and subsequently followed by a target audience. Look to see if any boards that you have are labelled with a generic title that covers a broad area and actively look to refine it, seeing if you can split that broad board into several more refined ones. For example if you have a board called ‘Weddings’ that contains lots of different wedding related pins look to refine it and create several different boards such as ‘Wedding Dresses’ ‘Wedding Invites’ etc. By refining your boards you not only organise your page better, you always ensure they become more relevant to the people who are the most interested in those specific topics likely increasing your chances of getting more of the right followers.

Utilise Trends
Ensure that you actively pay attention to relevant trends and act when you can see an opportunity that you can utilise. Things that are popular at a certain time make for a great opportunity for attracting new followers so whether it’s a person or event that is trending and relates to your business jump on board and share a pin that fits in as you will stand a good chance of gaining some of the traffic and attention that comes with a trending topic.

Ensure You Tag Users
If you are following at least one of a user’s boards, you have the ability to tag them. By placing an @ symbol in front of the users name within a pin description or comment the pin will then feature their name and also link to their profile page. Tagging other users is a great opportunity to grab their attention and encourage engagement and interaction, both of which can go a long way in attracting new followers.

Ensure Every Pin is Perfectly Optimised
One of the fundamental factors for a successful Pinterest presence is to ensure that every pin you share is optimised in 4 key areas;
High Quality Image – Great pins at the very basic level need to start with a high quality image. Look to ensure your image has no pixilation, is large, high resolution and generally good quality. It is also advisable to avoid pinning cheesy generic stock photos as Pinterest users want to be inspired with your beautiful and informative images so ensure every image you share is tailored towards providing value and is beneficial to the viewer in some way. Part of choosing a good quality image is also ensuring that your image supports the accompanying text and links and is reflective of the link you are sharing. Essentially, make sure that people know what’s inside the pin so they feel compelled to click it. If you feel that your image isn’t doing so on its own then add text to it as this can make the difference between the viewer clicking on your pin or not.
Succinct, Snappy SEO-Rich Description – A pin’s description is a prime example of an SEO opportunity. When trying to build your presence on Pinterest you mustn’t forget and overlook this commonly neglected area as your description has a big impact on your results. Ensure that your image description is clear, concise and enticing to the viewer, all with a consideration of using key SEO-friendly words to describe the content behind the pin so your pins can successfully rank highly in search engines.
Call-to-Action – Call to actions are a very powerful tool that you need to include on your pins, whether you place it on the image itself or within your pins description it is fundamental that you have included one. Whether your call to action is to encourage someone to comment, repin the image or move onto view a product on your website you need to make it clear to your followers what you want them to do so make your call to action clear and concise.
Attribution – Lastly you should always consider both protecting yourself from content theft on Pinterest but also on the other hand correctly attributing others credit for their own content. It is easy to get content stolen on Pinterest, so you need to ensure you always credit the work of others that you use and also protect yourself from others who will not do the same for your content. Giving credit to others is easy and involves a simple acknowledgement to them in the pin description. In regards to protecting your original pins there are several key elements to utilise, from adding your logo or website URL in the photo to using your key branding elements in the image design or even consider using a watermark on all of your images. Whatever elements you use ensure they are applied consistently as not only will it protect you from content theft it, having your logo or other brand elements on your pins is beneficial for your brand recognition.

Participate in Pinterest Group Boards
Pinterest group boards are a great collaborative tool to utilise in order to get your pins seen in front of a larger, targeted audience. Essentially a group board is where a select group of pinners pin items and collaborate towards creating a large pin board that is focused around a subject that the board’s creator has chosen. You can be invited by another user to pin onto a group board which if it is a relevant theme to you, can be a great tool for getting your pins seen by a large and relevant audience. If you can’t find a group that matches your interest or chosen theme then you can by all means start one of your own and then invite any pinners you follow and who also follow you to become part of the group. This is also a great way to collaborate with the community and get yourself established towards being a thought leader in your industry.

Partner With Influencers and Power Pinners
One of the best ways to advertise and promote your product is to get someone who is already established and is a well-known industry specialist with a large following to give you a helping hand. Word of mouth marketing and getting social proof from others goes a long way towards attracting attention and brand awareness therefore actively look to find those in your industry on Pinterest who are seen as power users and look to partner with them or at the very least interact with them and comment and share their pins in the hope that they will reciprocate and pin some of your content to their own following.

Tips for Success
Add Your Logo/Website to Your Images
When pinning original content, consider adding a watermark of your website or logo to your image this is to preserve pin integrity and ensure that the image will always stay connected to your website and will continue to promote your brand.

Verify your Account
When you create a business account make sure to have it verified. This can add authority and trust to a profile and can also make it stand out from other profiles within a search.

Engaging Board Cover Photos
One of the important things to consider when you begin creating boards is to select an engaging cover photo for each board. When a visitor lands on your Pinterest profile, you want the content to stand out and you can do this very easily by carefully selecting the cover photo for each board.

Make your Website Pinterest Friendly
To motivate your customers to share your content you need to optimise your business website to make it easy and compelling for them to do so. The Pinterest Goodies page found on Pinterest plays host to several widgets that you can download and utilise on your website to make pinning your products and following your profile simple for fans to do. From a follow us widget, to a Pin it widget and even a widget that’s lets you showcase a specific board or your pins right inside on your site. Whatever widgets you choose to use, ensure you clearly display them on your site so that you can help turn your website traffic into potential new followers for your Pinterest profile.

Pin Consistently
Pinning consistently will come naturally if you have a well-developed pinning strategy. Consistently with your pinning goes a long way towards helping people discover your pins and increasing the number of followers you gain. As a basis look to pin/repin at least 5 – 10 images daily and stick to that routine, don’t pin aggressively for several days straight and then neglect your profile for a week as this will not keep you in followers home pages which will not help you grow your following.

Pin at Optimal and Different Times of the Day
There are users all over the world on Pinterest all pinning and viewing at different times throughout the day. Therefore to help you potentially get seen by a new and global audience you should look to use response data to determine the best times to pin on your boards.

Convert Your Pinterest Personal Page to a Business Page
Although there’s no visual difference in a personal and business page, if you are using Pinterest as your business you should convert to using a business page as this allows you to use analytics features that personal pages don’t which is key to measuring your business success on Pinterest.

Bias Business Specific Boards and Not Get Carried Away With Casual
It is very easy, especially without a clear strategy, to get carried away with the casual aspect of Pinterest and eventually lose sight of the opportunity to create boards that are representative of your business. So just remember to be clear you’re your strategy and stick to creating boards that both interest your audience and are representative or related to your business and industry.

Utilise Your Brand Assets and Create a Board For Them
Whilst some industries are more visual than others, there is a need nowadays for all industries to embrace the visual and utilise the many business resources that can be easily repurposed for use on Pinterest. From brand videos, to corporate literature such as white papers, e-books and photos of corporate events there may be a lot more assets available to you than you realise that together will make a strong Pinterest board collection.

Use Keywords Strategically
By strategically using keywords across your profile you are helping to make you profile more discoverable via search and therefore open to traffic and new interactions. Take the time to optimise all aspects of your profile with strategically place keywords from your business description, board name to your description for Pinterest search and you’ll get higher placement in results.
Share Different Types of Content
Many have the perception that Pinterest only allows the use of images and therefore one of the greatest features and one of the most underutilised by many Pinterest users is posting varying types of content. From audio from Sound Cloud to videos from YouTube and slideshows from SlideShare Pinterest allows users to share a whole range of rich and varied content so utilise this feature and help your business stand out from the crowd.

Vary Your Board Positions with the Seasons & Special Observances
As national observances are celebrated and seasons change so too must your boards and their positions. These special events are a great time for your business to place your seasonal boards at the top of your profile to attract more attention and followers. As you plan new Pinterest boards, look for widely celebrated events and plan your board display accordingly placing an emphasis on encouraging interaction from your audience that will drive traffic at these crucial times of year for sales.

Don’t Neglect Your Business Description
You have up to 200 characters to describe your business in the about section and it is important to craft them wisely. Have your keywords in mind and make it easy to read with a clear, interesting and relevant description to take advantage of SEO on Pinterest.

Optimise Your Page for SEO
As with any other social media platform you need to consider your SEO efforts when marketing on Pinterest. There are many ways to optimise your page for SEO including, optimising your about section and pin descriptions with descriptive keywords, including links back to your website and ensuring the images you pin have descriptive file names and relevant hashtags you can also include a reference link back to your website to drive traffic.

Stay Informed of Pinterest’s Business News
As Pinterest evolves it is likely to make important changes that you as a business need to be aware of. Remember to follow the official Pinterest business page and subscribe to their blog to make sure you stay on top of Pinterest’s business updates.
Take Note of Your Pinterest Followers
It is important for you to look at your Pinterest followers to find out important information such as who is looking, commenting and sharing your pins. Finding out this information can help you gain vital feedback about when your followers repin, the comments you gain and if you see the same people frequently repinning and interacting with you it shows you your potential brand ambassadors. Additionally the information about who is interacting with you can also shed light on important potential opportunities to engage with individuals and businesses that may not have been an intended target in your Pinterest strategy.

Keep Your Pinterest Boards Fresh
Updating your followers Pinterest feed with fresh content regularly is key to a successful presence. Pinterest users love fresh content as it’s something new and they get a first look especially before it becomes spread across Pinterest. From this you should actively look to pin original content from a variety of sites and sources as this will attract attention from other users and gives them a reason to follow your boards as they know you will provide them with regular, fresh and interesting content.

Keep Your Boards Organised
Organised boards are fundamental for not only your own general ease of use of Pinterest but also go a long way in gathering followers. Your organisational skills need to be applied to everything from your board names, what boards you generate, how many boards you generate, to ensuring your pins are always placed in the appropriately named board. In addition you will also need to ensure each board cover has the best pin and that your boards are arranged in an order that best represents you or your brand. Whilst it may seem a lot of effort, you will be rewarded greatly in the long term as organising your boards keeps them user-friendly, easily searchable for your audience and will ensure your Pinterest presence is as fully optimised as it can be for attracting followers and building your brand awareness positively.

Include Price Tags
Users on Pinterest are not only there for creative inspiration, but are also there to find new things to buy. Whilst it is great to have a profile filled with value and inspiration, you as a business and marketer are ultimately on Pinterest to drive traffic to your website and inspire purchases by others. Therefore it is up to you on your profile to influence and compel buyer behaviour and one of the most important ways to drive traffic and increase revenue is to include a price tag and information on the pins that you create as research has found Pinterest pins with prices get 36 percent more likes than those without. It is important to remember however that your Pinterest profile isn’t simple seen as purely a sales driven platform where you simply broadcast your products, rather you need to provide value to your community with a mix of rich, quality pins that inspire, inform and excite your audience.

Create a Board for Your Blog
Cross promoting your content across your social media platforms is a vital task that you can utilise to increase your brand awareness and drive traffic to your sites. If you have a blog, ensure that you create a board on your Pinterest profile that is solely a place for your followers to find all your blog posts and place it in a prominent position. You also need to consider your SEO efforts by naming your boards and pins using relevant keywords, making it easier for followers to find them in search engine results. On every new blog post you publish, you then need to add it to your blog board on Pinterest and look to include a clear, concise and key word rich summary of the article, a relevant high-quality image (ideally not a generic stock photo) and a link back to the blog post itself.

Think of Pinterest as a Search Engine
Despite Pinterest being a visual platform, text plays a very important role and as such, you need to approach Pinterest in the mind set of it being a visual search engine. From your board’s names to pin descriptions and what you name your image files, you need to consider your keyword research and strategically place those words throughout your pins and profile to ensure you attract your target audience and increase your visibility in Pinterest search results.

Regularly Explore your Analytics
Pinterest Analytics shows you a wealth of important data that you can and should regularly analyse. From your pin impressions, the quantity of repins to clicks, what content resonates best with your audience and much more, you should regularly keep track of what your analytics tell you as it will help you make informed choices for future content creation and distribution. A monthly check of your analytics is enough to show you a wealth of important information that will inform and help you adapt your Pinterest strategy to ensure it is as effective as it can be moving forward.

Optimise for Mobile
With ever increasing numbers of people accessing Pinterest from their mobile devices, it is vital that you optimise your profile for mobile users and give them a mobile friendly experience. Therefore you should test and experiment with your images to see how they look on both your desktop and a variety of other mobile devices to ensure you provide a seamless experience for those visiting your Pinterest page no matter what device they are viewing it from. When assessing your site from different devices, you should check for several key areas such as; are your images pinnable? Are the social media sharing buttons clearly positioned and working properly? If text is used, it is readable on a small screen? And importantly, do the images appear on the mobile version of your website? The time you spend too perfect your profile from your desktop should also be spent on making your site work for mobile too, if you fail to do so then you could lose not your pins but crucially, traffic and sales also.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Not Strategically Placing Your Boards
Newly created pinboards fall into place after those you created first. As time passes, the boards you most want your followers to see may be lowest on the page. To avoid making this mistake you need to edit your profile so that your most important boards are in the top row of pinboards. Additionally you should adjust your boards to coincide with seasons and other national observances placing those most likely to get attention at the top of your page.

Using Bad Quality Images
Images and videos are central to Pinterest so it’s vital to represent your brand with good, high quality photos. Low quality photos aren’t just visually bad quality they are also ones that are bland and uninspiring so to ensure you are successful on Pinterest you need to evoke a response from your audience with images that make an impact and inspire people to learn more about you.

Pinning Only Your Products or Services
Rather than using Pinterest as a blatant sales tool by only pinning your products and services, you need to embrace the social aspect of Pinterest and engage with your audience. Pins that illicit an emotional response with your consumer and inform, inspire and entertain are going to be the ones that get repinned, so focus on giving your audience what they want as opposed to old-fashioned pushy sales tactics.

Not Completing Your Pinterest Business Profile
As with any other social media platform it is important to make sure you complete your profile. A well-presented business Pinterest account will make your business look more professional and credible, so ensure you complete all the sections in the business profile, including links to your other websites, a good quality brand logo so you are easily identified and a clear about section that contains your detailed business information and represents your business effectively.

Not Including Prices on Your Images
It is widely known that Pinterest pins with prices get more likes than pins without them. So remember to either include the price in your description on every product pin you post or incorporate the price in the image you pin.

Not Linking Your Pins to Product Pages
A Pinterest user does not have to visit your Pinterest homepage to engage with your posts, they simply can just repin from others, so it is vital that you link your product pins back to a product landing page to ensure you don’t miss on a good marketing opportunity.

Not Including a Description on Your Images
If you fail to include descriptions on your pins they will not show up in a Pinterest search which makes you less discoverable. So ensure that every time you utilise the pin description and create a well-written and clear description of your product with strategically placed keywords and relevant hashtags. You can write up to 500 characters within a pin description so make the most of this and craft a description that effectively tells the viewers about your product and where appropriate, link back to your website, other social networks or your blog to drive traffic to your business.

Not Using Pinterest Analytics
If you fail you explore your analytics you miss out on the chance to learn important information that can affect your Pinterest marketing strategy. Analytics are there to help you make your boards more effective so regularly analyse your analytics and respond accordingly to what the information is showing you.

Neglecting or Abandoning Your Pinterest Profile
Having a neglected profile that is no longer updated is harmful to your social and business reputation. If you find you no longer use your profile you need to go back to basics and look at your marketing strategy to understand what went wrong and what you are going to do to ensure Pinterest becomes an effective tool in your marketing strategy. If you still struggle you need to evaluate whether Pinterest itself is actually a profile your business needs to have a presence on at all.

Not Engaging With the Community
The nature of Pinterest is based on social collaboration and you need to contribute and utilise the other users around you. Actively look to connect and interact with those who follow you and other businesses similar to you. Being social goes a long way towards establishing your reputation as a credible and genuine business as well as making others more likely to interact with you and tell others they know about you too which has the potential for new business opportunities.

Pinning or Repinning Inappropriate Items
Your Pinterest page is an extension of your business persona so don’t harm your reputation by pinning or repinning images and other items that are inappropriate and not representative of your business.

Not Choosing a Category for Each of Your Boards
For each new board you create, you can and should choose a category to place it into. By placing your board into an appropriate category you will make your content more searchable by others.
Not Utilising “Rich Pins’’
Rich pins are a great tool for those using Pinterest to showcase products and if you fail to use them then you miss out on the ability for your audience in real time to see important information about the images that are pinned from your website such as if the product is in stock, where they can buy it, if your item goes on sale and even notify those who have repinned your image when the items price drops.

Not Having a Pinning Strategy
Without a pinning strategy it’s easy to visit your profile every so often and repin anything that catches your eye leading to boards that are filled with random images and doesn’t really enhance or represent what your business is trying to convey on Pinterest. The key is to remember that as a brand you are trying to show others what your business is all about so strategically plan out your boards and have in mind what message you want the audience to get when they look at each of your boards.

Not Promoting Your Business Pinterest Page
No one will know your Pinterest profile exists if you fail to promote it. So utilise the networks and resources you already such as your other social networks, your website and word of mouth to help spread the word.

Forgetting to be Social
Don’t forget that you need to utilise the social aspect of Pinterest by monitoring, listening and responding to what your fans are saying and doing. Failing actively to do so means you potentially miss out on important opportunities to engage with potential customers.

Measuring Success

Pins From Your Website
One of the most important metrics to consider is the number of pins created from your websites content. By analysing this metric you can help determine the important factor of whether the visual content on your website is interesting enough for your website visitors to pin to your boards. By looking at this metric over time you can also assess what visual content is most engaging for your audience and similarly show you areas where your content isn’t attracting attention therefore highlighting what content you should show in the future to engage your audience and encourage more pins.

Number of Visitors and Visits to Your Website
A big indicator as to the success of your Pinterest presence is the level at which your audience on Pinterest was driven to your website. When looking at this metric you should also look to see the number of new visitors as this will help you determine whether you are successfully expanding your reach into new audiences and therefore potential new customers. Looking at the level of returning visitors via Pinterest is also worthwhile as it shows you whether you are continually attracting and engaging previous visitors successfully enough that they have want to and are given a reason to return to your website.

Most Repinned Content
The most repinned metric is fundamental in understanding what content is being repinned the most, therefore showing your business what content is resonating best with your audience. Reviewing the pins that get repinned the most helps you identify the key aspects of the type of content that works for your Pinterest audience which will better inform your future content creation efforts to ensure future pinning success and effectiveness.

Most Clicked Content
Understanding what content on Pinterest drives the most traffic to your website is highly important as it will show you essentially what content compels people to visit your website, giving you more understanding of the potential to generate revenue. Ensure you explore which pins drive the most traffic to your website and use this information in your future content creation. Analysing this metric can also show you whether the Pin it button on your website is driving engagement as if the same content that has a pin it button appears in the most clicked report then you know the pin it button is a successful aspect of your Pinterest marketing as it is helping to drive engagement on Pinterest which could translate into potential revenue for your website.

Pinterest Maintenance Checklist


  • Go through Pinterest home page and pin any relevant images to boards
  • Using the search bar type in keywords, relevant words and words associated with your boards to find more images and try to pin at least 5 new images to each of your boards
  • See who has followed you and respond accordingly


  • Think of any ideas for new boards you can create
  • Go through boards and make sure everything is organized, correct and accurate descriptions etc.
  • Look to see if any new connections from other social media platforms have Pinterest and follow them

2 thoughts on “An Introduction to Pinterest for Small Businesses

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