March 25, 2016 | Katie Friedman

4 Basic Ways to Leverage Pinterest for Your Business

To those unfamiliar with the site, Pinterest probably seems like a vast uncharted terrain akin to The Revenant’s depiction of the Northern Plains, but with nail art.

Sure, it’s no treacherous 1820s wilderness full of rogue bears, but Pinterest’s modern landscape can be just as daunting to new users. With countless style guides, DIY wedding ideas, and quick-n-easy dinner recipes, it’s a struggle for many business owners even to  navigate Pinterest, let alone use it to get results.

While you might need to be a trapper like Hugh Glass to survive the frontier (and finally win an Oscar), you thankfully don’t have to be all that tech-savvy to leverage Pinterest for business purposes. Instead, use this quick list of tips to improve your company’s Pinterest strategy.

1. Create a Profile and Confirm Your Site

The first step toward leveraging Pinterest for your business is to set up an official company profile. If you already created an account but aren't sure if you're registered as a business, don't worry—you can convert a personal account to a business one.

But it doesn't stop there; make sure you verify your business by adding a snippet of code to your website. By confirming your account, you’ll not only make it easier for Pinterest followers to find and visit your website, but you’ll also ensure that any pins from your website will have your name and logo attached. Users who find your pins will see that you provided them, and in turn, they’ll be directed to your site.

2. Optimize with Images

That said, you still need to use the right images to reach your audience among Pinterest's 100 million users. Pinterest acts primarily as a visual cataloging tool that allows its users to explore new ideas via photos. One of the best ways to leverage Pinterest for your business is to match your content to the platform’s purpose—which means providing your own compelling, informative images.

If you have content you'd like to share via Pinterest, it's not enough to pin whatever image happens to be on the page and hope that people click. At the very least, make sure there's a relevant, high-quality image on the page that will represent your content well when pinned (ideally vertical in format). Better yet, create a custom image or infographic that enriches the content and provides value to your Pinterest audience. 

3. Consider Keywords 

Much like Instagram and Twitter, Pinterest uses hashtags—but it appears to use them differently than other platforms. Instead of worrying about tags, focus on using the keywords that are relevant to your ideal audience in pin descriptions, board names, board descriptions, and About section.

Take The Revenant, for example. If your audience is designers, you might want to pin a high-definition film still and include a description with keywords like "production design" or "winter color palette." If it's mostly Leo fans you want to appeal to, you might use his name, "Best Actor 2016," "Oscars," and "Academy Awards." Either description is relevant to the image, though each will draw in different traffic through Pinterest's search engine.

4. Pin Relevant Content on a Daily Basis

Just as you wouldn’t (or at least, shouldn’t) make a Snapchat account just to snap once and then let it fall by the wayside, you shouldn’t make a Pinterest business account just to pin every once in a while. That might be fine for a personal account, but as a business, you won't get results. Instead, leverage your account by pinning on a daily basis so that your followers are regularly seeing fresh original and curated content.

Appeal to your buyer persona with pins that feature targeted content. Offer material relevant to your followers’ interests, even if that content isn’t your own. By sharing things that your audience may find helpful (quotes from industry leaders, data-filled infographics, etc.), you’ll show your followers that you’re truly committed to providing educational information and solving their problems.

If Hugh Glass can traverse an icy wilderness and Leo DiCaprio can finally score an Oscar, then you can certainly leverage Pinterest for your ecommerce business. Subscribe to our blog to learn more, and of course, we'd love for you to follow us on Pinterest!

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Katie Friedman

Katie Friedman

Though Katie is no longer with VIEO, in her time as a content marketing associate she was our grammar, spelling, and punctuation queen. She used her considerable skill to write and edit blog posts, premium content offers, and much more for both VIEO and our clients.

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