Maximizing Your Impact on Pinterest

Pinterest is no longer just an addictive-get-your-creative-juices-flowing-eat-workout-design-travel-the-world extravaganza. Wikipedia describes it as a “visual discovery tool that people use to collect ideas for their different projects and interests. People create and share collections of visual bookmarks, called “pins.”

One of the exciting things about Pinterest is how versatile it is – whether you are a consumer or a business, there’s value for you. A year and a half ago Pinterest introduced business pages, allowing B2B companies to do a lot to humanize their brand and tell their story through visuals. Pinterest allows you to showcase the people that make your business a success, industry statistics or news, your brand’s content or useful information, and tips your customers can benefit from.

Danielle Cormier of lists her tips on making the most of Pinterest for business:

1. Include your business information! The first step in getting started on the right foot on Pinterest is to create a profile that is full of details and represents your business. Upload a clear, easy to recognize logo for your profile picture and use your business name as your profile name.

2. Don’t forget to link to Facebook and Twitter! You’ve done all the work to have a successful social media presence – make sure users can link to your other social networks within Pinterest’s “Account Settings.”

3. Complete your profile! When you have a business account, you can select your “business type,” add your location, verify your website, and create a short “About You” section for your profile. Completing your entire profile helps you look more professional.

4. Don’t use a personal Pinterest profile instead of a business page! If you jumped on Pinterest in the beginning, you may still have a personal account. But as a business, you want to make sure that you setup a Pinterest Business Page. Without a business page, you’re missing out on valuable analytics!

5. Follow other businesses! The nature of Pinterest is based on collaboration. Find other local businesses in your area to engage with and stay updated on what your customers are pinning alongside items from your business. Also, look to other businesses similar to yours on Pinterest for inspiration.

6. Don’t mix your personal interest boards with business-related boards! Overall this tactic doesn’t work. Are your customers actually interested in the recipes you’re considering trying or the table settings you want at your fantasy wedding? Probably not. Keep your business account for your business and your personal account for your personal interests.

7. Don’t pin images that aren’t Pinterest-worthy! Avoid pinning content that is too big, too small, too blurry or simply low quality. NOTE: Max image size: 554 pixels wide X 5000 pixels high.

8. Install the “Pin It” button on your browser!  The “pin it” button makes it super easy to curate content from any website. With a quick click, you can pin an image that contains a description and a website link. Simply highlight the text you want as the description before you click “Pin it”.

9. Keep your “Search Privacy” turned off! Allowing your boards and profile to appear in search engine results is a great way for new customers to discover your business. Make sure that you’ve turned your “Search Privacy” off within your “Account Settings”.

10. Avoid inappropriate pins or repins! Don’t forget that your Pinterest Page is an extension of your brand. Stick to images that you’d feel comfortable sharing with anyone.

11. Say no to all day-long pinning sprees! Posting too many pins at one time can overwhelm your fans. Try not to pin more than five images within five minutes. If you want to dedicate a specific time in the day for expanding your Pinterest channel, try to put at least five to ten minutes between batches of pins.

12. Choose a category for each of your boards! For each new board you create, you should choose a “Category” from the drop-down list. Selecting an appropriate category for your boards will make your content searchable.

13. Add a pin description or link source to pins! You can write up to 500 characters within a pin description so don’t skimp on the information you add! Use keywords related to your business, words or phrases people would search for, and relative hashtags to maximize your description’s context. When appropriate, link back to your website, other social networks, and your blog to drive traffic to your business.

14. Enable “rich pins”! By enabling rich pins on your website, real-time pricing will accompany the images that are pinned from your website. Pinners will also be able to see if the product is in stock, where they can buy it, and if your item goes on sale. Pinterest even alerts the people who have repinned your product when the price drops!

15. Don’t abuse #hashtags! Only use necessary hashtags and delete the rest to avoid looking spammy.

16. Variety is the spice of life! Include various types of content throughout your boards such as repins, content from your own website, content curated from other websites or uploaded content. Don’t forget, you can also pin videos!

17. Find your balance! Pinning too many images from your website or blog or only pinning images from your website or blog is not ideal. Vary the content you post to keep it fresh and engaging. See mistake #16.

18. Talk about it! Use the networks you already have to spread the word. Adding a Pinterest logo to your website or blog will also help grow your following and act as a reminder to people who visit your website to pin your content.

19. Avoid dumping all of your content into one board! Use numerous boards to keep your content organized and easy to navigate. Smaller, more specific boards allow your fans to quickly pinpoint content that interests them, spurring engagement.

20. Don’t ignore Pinterest Analytics! As a small business owner or nonprofit, your time is limited. Don’t waste it! Knowledge is power.

21. Don’t pin everything! It’s easy to get lost in a sea of stunning images where you might find yourself repining anything that catches your eye. Don’t do it. As a brand, you’re trying to relay a message that portrays what your business is all about. Plan out your boards and outline what message or information you want your fans to walk away with before you start pinning.

22. Don’t forget traditional social media best practices! Commenting isn’t the most popular form of engagement on Pinterest, but it is still important to monitor what your fans are saying and doing. Look for opportunities to respond and engage with potential customers too. Also, similar to other social networks, always remember to stick to a consistent content frequency that works for you.

23. Don’t overlook your website’s content. Is it pinnable? Make sure your customers can pin from your website or blog. Test it out before you encourage customers to pin your images and if you don’t have great visuals on your site, get some!