Category in: Pinterest, Social Media

How to Use Pinterest for Business in 2020

By Aalap Shah, Founder of 1o8 Agency

Whether you’re a brand, social media admin, or VA, the nuances of Pinterest for business leave you scratching your head. Many of the other social media platforms are more straightforward and seem to be so marketing-friendly.

And, you’re asking, “How do I use Pinterest to promote my business?” So, we’ve compiled an updated knowledge base of best practices that you can use to up-level Pinning for your business this year.

Here’s what you’ll get should you decide to read on:

How Does Pinterest for Business Work?

The social media platform provides a way for brands to get in front of consumers who share and save their favorite ideas about life plans, interests, and hobbies. So, how exactly does Pinterest work for business?

Pinterest Business Account vs Personal

Most new users start out with a Pinterest personal account. Later, once they’re ready to leverage everything the platform has to offer, they can upgrade to a Pinterest business account. The key difference is that a business account provides users with powerful analytics, but that’s not the only variable.

 

Pinterest Business Account vs Personal 
Personal Business 
Free Yes Yes
Custom Profile Yes Yes
Featured Boards Yes Yes
Analytics No Yes
Content Attribution No Yes
Branding No Yes
Website Verification No Yes
Video Uploads No Yes

 

A business account on Pinterest can enable robust features like branded image attribution, website verification, and video uploads.

Plus, you will want to leverage a couple of Pinterest tools on your branded website:

  1. Widgets – Embeddable widgets enable your website visitors to engage with your Pinterest content. Promote specific profiles, boards, or pins.

    Pinterest Widget

    Pinterest Widget

  1. A Pin-it Button – With the Pin-it button, you can instantly make your website images “pinnable” so visitors can share them on their own Pinterest boards.

    Pin it button

    Pin it button

Personal accounts don’t need tools like these because they are primarily used to organize ideas. Business accounts are designed for marketing and promotion.

Pinterest Analytics Dashboard

As stated above, the Pinterest analytics dashboard, aka Business Hub is one of the most powerful features of a business account.

The Business Hub gives you access to an overview of your profile’s engagement, audience insights, video uploader, and trends.

See your top boards and Pins by impressions and link clicks. Learn about the demographics interested in your pins. And, use trends for ideas on what you should share next.

Pinterest Trends

Pinterest Trends

…which brings us to the next point: read what Pinterest has to say about business promotion to keep learning about how to leverage the platform.

The Pinterest  Business Blog

The Pinterest business blog will keep you up-to-date with the latest trends, tech updates, and more straight from the horse’s mouth. So, if you’re serious about learning how Pinterest for business works, be sure to subscribe.

Pinterest Business Blog

Pinterest Business Blog

Platform writers share news, tips, and insights for creators. And, when something in the industry changes, as a subscriber, you will be the first to hear about it. Plus, you will get powerful inspiration from other accounts you might not have otherwise thought to check out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s a quick rundown of common platform questions to fill in a few final gaps.

Is a Pinterest business account free? 

Yes, a Pinterest business account is free. The platform generates revenue on ad spend rather than a paid subscription, so they do not charge for a business upgrade.

Is Pinterest good for business? 

When leveraged properly, Pinterest can help consumers find information about products they’re interested in. And, in return, it can help businesses drive traffic to their websites and increase revenue.

How do I advertise for free on Pinterest? 

You can easily leverage all of the free features that Pinterest offers to promote your brand. Share pins with links to your content to drive traffic to your website. However, advertising on the platform is not free.

How do you get more followers on Pinterest? 

The key to more followers on Pinterest, as with all social media platforms, is to be active and engage the community. Frequently share pins, follow others, get to know the platform, and engage in best practices. You should also actively market Pinterest profile to enable customers and fans to follow you.

Is Pinterest Right for Your Brand Promotion?

While the platform isn’t limited to any one size or shape consumer or brand, there are surely trends. If you understand the main demographics using the platform, you’ll know if your target audience is likely to be there. And, when you know which products and services get the most attention, you can make a more informed decision about whether or not you should leverage Pinterest for your marketing.

Which Demographics use the Platform?

In the beginning, Pinterest was thought to be a women’s platform. It was the social media platform where moms and grandmothers shared recipes and sewing patterns. But, as time has passed, the ecosystem and the paradigm has evolved. Nearly 20% of Pinners are male.

Furthermore, there are currently more than 335 million users on the platform. And, they use it for planning everything from shopping trips to weddings to craft projects.

Pinterest demographic statistics

Pinterest demographic statistics

Which Products & Services Get the Most Traction?

So, what are these demographics spending their money on? According to Pinterest’s Q1 2020 Letter to Shareholders, COVID-19 has had a positive impact on platform usage across the board. And, more people than ever are using Pinterest to plan purchase decisions.

The letter noted consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers and Shopping ads along with the new Shopify integration as key indicators of the platform’s recent success. There was no mention of service providers, which might indicate that shopping for products rather than services is prevalent on Pinterest right now.

We used to see lists of the top products to promote on the platform and which niches should use it. But, aside from the obvious answers like recipes, clothing, and accessories, Pinners are interested in a wider variety of offers than ever before.

Top products on Pinterest

Top products on Pinterest

Pinterest Trends highlights popular searches in ten categories. Right now, here’s what’s hot.

  1. 90s Rerun — Searches like “Y2K outfits” and “hair scrunchies” are super popular right now. If you sell products that were popular in the 1990s, you will want to capitalize on peoples’ interest in taking a trip down memory lane.
  2. Space Everything — Pinners’ enthusiasm about the sky is astronomical right now. So, this is another area you should pay attention to. Selling glittery eyeshadow? Does it remind you of stardust? Well, showcase it as such.
  3. Responsible Travel — Naturally, given the uncertain times we’re facing, people want to know how they can travel responsibly. So, use this to your advantage by showcasing products that contribute to this topic.
  4. Re-Wilding — People want to get outside now more than usual. Fishing, rockhounding, and other outdoor activities are popular right now. So, tie your offer in with some of these
  5. Pampered Pets – Pets are central figures in Pinners’ families. In some cases, people love them even more than their human counterparts. So, if your products relate to furry friends, find out what’s on fire in this category.
  6. Internationally Inspired – Right now, people want “West African recipes” and “Spanish bathrooms.” In a few weeks, they could be leaning another direction. Be sure to tell the backstory behind recipe ingredients and imported goods.
  7. Home Hub — Sell household goods? If so, you’ll want to see what Pinners are into in this category right now. “Audio rooms” and “homebrewing” are among the top today. Find out what else might get people excited.
  8. Finding Balance — Mental, physical, and spiritual health is worth investing in. At any given time, people want something motivating to nurture themselves. So, prompt Pinners to write in their journals and teach them how to feng shui their living rooms while you showcase your products in relevant environments.
  9. Conscious Consumption — There is a strong push for an eco-friendly way of living. And, Pinners are definitely on this bandwagon. Use your product packaging, email marketing, or Pins to give actionable recycling tips.
  10. Beyond Binary — Gender labels may soon be a thing of the past. And, purchase behavior may start to reflect that. “Tuxedo dresses,” “unisex nurseries,” and “androgynous flags” are trending now. Do you have a neutral offering? Or, can you make your products feel more inclusive for all genders?

Make sure to watch and study current trends to see how you can best showcase your products and services in ways most relevant to consumer interest.

Actionable Advice to Market Your Business on Pinterest

Before we wrap this up, let’s look at a handful of the best practices for using Pinterest to market your business.

1. Profile Creation Tips

While most Pinterest users will never land on your actual profile it’s essential for you to follow a few best practices when creating it. An optimized profile will make a ton of difference in your Pinterest marketing.

Before you get started, check out some of your competitors and other successful brands in adjacent niches to see what they’re doing. If someone is rocking their Pinterest strategy, you may be able to reverse-engineer some of their tactics. So, take notes. After that, it’s time to start on your own profile.

Pinterest profile creation

Pinterest profile creation

First of all, include your logo in your profile image. This will appear below all of your promoted pins. And, people will need to see you a few times before they ever purchase from you. So, make sure you’re easy to recognize.

Next, make sure your website is verified. This will only take you a few minutes and Pinterest will approve your verification within a few days. Then, once this is done, you’ll receive proper attribution on your Pins (something personal accounts don’t get).

Then, start a few boards and keep them private until you’re ready to launch. Make sure they’re relevant, include a combination of Pins from your website, adjacent niche brands’ websites, and other Pinterest boards.

Pinterest profile page

Pinterest profile page

Finally, set your featured boards and launch. Featured boards can be selected based on what you want people to see first if they do land on your profile. When implemented properly, these can attract more followers. As always, be relevant, not spammy. Make your boards public, then launch your Pinterest marketing campaign.

2. What is the Optimal Pin Size?

The nature of Pinterest is visual, so aesthetic appeal and design are must-haves. And, there is an optimized aspect ratio for your pins. According to Pinterest themselves, this is 2:3 vertical. So, your image’s width should be ⅔ it’s height.

This means that you want your images to be tall, not wide. Tall pins seem to get more engagement. And, if your image is 1,000 pixels wide, it should be 1,500 pixels in height. If it is 2,000 wide, it should be 3000 high. You get the idea. The concept is pretty simple, so we won’t over-complicate it with further explanation.

3. Learn the Value in Cross-Pinning

Now, here’s where you’ll see more elaboration. Cross-Pinning is not rocket science. But, it’s worth studying a bit before you dive into the waters. Let’s look at a couple of ways to leverage this tactic and why you might.

Cross-Pin Within Your Own Boards

Pinterest works like SEO mixed with Google Images —  the more detail you give the Pinterest algorithm, the better. For example, if you have an image of a ring in a board called “The Kingdom Collection,” and you post that same ring in a board called “David Webb Rings,” it further identifies that Pin for the algorithm over time.

If you want to showcase jewelry that celebrities have worn, you can link the same image to a shared product page for several Pinned rings. Eventually, Pinterest will begin to show all of them together in search results.

Cross-Pin Between Others’ Boards & Your Own Public Boards

Pinterest wants to ensure that you are engaging within the community that you are providing new content for. And, you already know that sharing is caring.  By Pinning other people’s Pins to new or existing boards, you show the algorithm that you not only provide new content but also engage with other Pinterest users.

Pinterest favors brands that engage with others’ content rather than brands that publish their own and leave. Sometimes, you can find your own Instagram images or images of the products you sell and Pin them.

Note: you can Pin to private boards as well. Pinterest will identify this as engagement. However, don’t just do this for the sake of activity. Be meaningful and you will get better results.

4. How to Use #Hashtags on Pinterest

Hashtags are one of those concepts that seem to mystify brands. But, once they get the hang of them, they’re actually much more simple and intuitive than they thought. So, don’t overthink it. Hashtags are optional. If you’re interested, read on.

Hashtags are a way to identify a pin based on a specific topic. To place a hashtag on your pin, simply type “#” followed by the word or phrase of your choosing. You can use an existing hashtag or create your own.

But, why on earth would you want to do this? Here’s where your mind will be blown. Okay, so imagine that you create a Pin with the existing hashtag, “#birds.”

Once published, the hashtag is clickable.

Pinterest hashtags

Pinterest hashtags

And, when you click through, you are taken to new page that contains only Pins with the “#birds” hashtag.

Pinterest search results

Pinterest search results

As long as you don’t overdo it, you stay relevant, and you carefully select hashtags that are targeted, not overused (Don’t use #birds… it was just an example and is way too broad to be effective), you enable another way for Pinners to find your content.

Likewise, if you create your own hashtag, you enable another opportunity for Pinners to find your related content. If someone clicks an informational Pin, for example, and you include a custom hashtag, you open up a possibility for them to discover relevant product Pins with the same hashtag.

And, if your just eyes glazed over, ignore hashtagging or outsource it to an expert.

Final Thoughts

Remember, Pinterest analytics is the key to your success on the platform and what sets your business account apart from casual users. So, when you learn to leverage that, you’re golden. If you need any help navigating, feel free to reach out — we’re happy to help.

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