N.B. This is my beginners guide to Pinterest, for more advanced tips + strategies for using Pinterest (plus Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) you might want to check THIS OUT.
What is Pinterest + why use it?
Pinterest define their social media platform (of 100 million users) as a 'visual bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save creative ideas' and the site is essentially made up of two elements; pins and boards.
You can 'pin' almost any image you like from across the web (e.g. recipes, quotes, outfits, interior inspiration, etc) onto one of your 'boards' (where you collect and organise your pins). Think of it like a real-life giant pin board, arranged into categories and with each pin acting as a bookmark back to the original website it came from!
You can of course follow other people's pins to see what they like and care about and use it to inspire the people who follow you too. Although it sounds a little complicated written down it's actually a very easy and visual platform to use once you get going!
So this all sounds very good and Pinterest is brilliant for personal use but what about using it from a business perspective?
Here's why you might want to consider Pinterest from a business point of view:
- People use Pinterest to find and save inspiration for their perfect house, wedding, outfit, etc. They are actively seeking out brands and products they aspire to be in their lives and so the platform significantly influences purchasing decisions!
- It can be a huge driver of traffic back to your website, if pins from your website get 'repinned' onto other people's boards you've effectively got links back to your products / blog posts from multiple sources!
- Unlike the quick moving content on most social media platforms, 'pins' are saved forever onto Pinterest boards so your content has a much longer shelf life and you'll see much longer-term results
- Your boards and pins give your ideal customers a great visual representation of your brand so it's a great way to inspire and connect with them
- You can use it to create brand authority by pinning useful and informative content onto your boards, people will want to follow you and use your pins for their research
- The 'secret boards' are a really useful place to save inspiration or information for future products, photo shoots, branding projects, blog posts, etc.
How to set up an account on Pinterest
To join for personal use go to www.pinterest.com however if you run a business I'd highly recommend joining as a business (as you get more features like access to analytics) by visiting www.pinterest.com/business to join with a few simple details. It will then ask you to confirm your website (so you can track and view your Pinterest analytics) and walk you through adding the 'Pin It' button to your own website so people can pin directly from your website (which is great for driving traffic back so definitely worth doing!)
As you set up your account here are a few tips to optimise your profile:
- Use a nice profile image of yourself or your brand logo, something that will help followers recognise you or your business
- Keep the description short and sweet but include what you do, who for and at least hint at why they should follow you!
- Make sure you include your website domain and if possible go through the steps to verify it
- Connect your other social media networks
- Start following at least 25 people to get going, I'd recommend starting with your industry influencers, key bloggers, brands you like and your peers to see what type of content they are pinning
What to pin and when?
As I mentioned above you can pin almost anything but the first step is to create a good selection of boards to pin too. Make sure you name your boards in a way which is clear and interesting, giving them obscure names where people have to guess what they're about won't encourage people to click through!
Once you have around 10 boards set up (you can add more as you go) start pinning from your own website, re-pinning content from the people you follow or from websites you visit on a regular basis!
How to increase your followers on Pinterest
- Follow other people! A good place to start is looking through who your competitors or industry influencers follow.
- Interact with people's pins, like all social media networks liking and commenting is the best way to build connections
- Use good descriptions alongside the images you pin. People use Pinterest almost like they do Google now to search for things so include keywords in your descriptions to help people find you and discover your content
- Include a link to follow your Pinterest profile on your own website
- Promote your Pinterest boards and account on your other social media networks, blog or newsletter
Pinterest Top Tips
- Create a Pinterest board that's dedicated to your own products / services / work / blog posts
- When you're creating images for your website make them as 'pinnable' as possible by using eye-catching, vertical images
- When pinning from your own website spread out the pins if possible so you don't bombard your followers feeds with all of your products at once!
- If you already have a personal Pinterest account you can convert it to a business account to get access to the analytics, rich pins, promoted posts, etc. To do this go to business.pinterest.com and click on 'convert now'
I hope you found this beginners guide useful, if you're ready to take your use of Pinterest up a few levels to see more results for your business or blog get your name on the waiting list for my social media online course here. There are only 40 seats up for grabs in a couple of weeks and the waiting list will be notified first!