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How to Use Pinterest for Business: "Getting Started" Guide for Beginners

Pinterest Social Media Tips

How_to_Use_Pinterest_for_Business_Getting_Started_Guide_for_Beginners-lshow to use pinterest for businessFACT: the half-life of a Pinterest pin is 1,600 times longer than a Facebook post.

FACT: the average Pinterest user spends 14.2 minutes pinning every time they log in.

FACT: Pinterest was the fastest growing social network in 2014, growing by a whopping 97 percent!

With numbers like these, it’s easy to see what a powerhouse Pinterest has become.

It's growing like mad & the engagement rates are off the chart! And most importantly, your content has a longer shelf life on Pinterest.

Imagine your best content popping up in the Pinterest feed 4 or 5 months after it was first pinned! This is common occurance on Pinterest.

Compare that to the fast-paced Twitter stream or the hyper-competitive Facebook news feed and you'll quickly understand the value.

Can you imagine the benefits of a social network where your content doesn't lose steam in the first few hours -- but can actually get MORE visibility over time & still be sending traffic months after it was published?

Welcome to Pinterest!

There are so many reasons to love Pinterest.

And the success I've experienced on Pinterest over the last several years is why I’m sooo excited to announce the launch of Post Planner’s presence on Pinterest.

But there are so many misperceptions about Pinterest marketing:

  • Only women are on Pinterest
  • People only pin food & wedding content
  • My target audience isn’t on Pinterest
  • I don’t have time for another social network

Not true... any of them. Every business can gain a captive audience on Pinterest with the right visual content.

If you have a story to tell & want to reach a whole new audience, then Pinterest is for you.

Below you'll find a step-by-step Ultimate Guide to How to Use Pinterest for Business.

Ready to get started? Let’s get you pinning!

How to Use Pinterest for Business: "Getting Started" Guide for Beginners

I’ve been a Pinterest addict since the day I set up my account & gorgeous, userful pins started flying my way.

But I also recognized that Pinterest could be a HUGE time suck if I didn’t learn how to master:

  1. my time on the site
  2. the craft of pinning effective pins
  3. the monetization of yet another social network

I bet you've felt the same way if you've spent any time on Pinterest.

That’s why today I’m going to teach you how to make Pinterest your trusted visual connector. By the end of this article, you’ll be pinning with purpose.

Why Pinterest?

Why add Pinterest to your marketing mix?

Because you can’t afford not to!

Pinterest will introduce your business & blog to a whole new audience.

Envision this scenario: Someone pins your latest blog post to his or her Pinterest profile. Then 10 additional people repin that content & another 10 repin that same post.

All of a sudden, your content is off & running. And the sharing & repinning can continue indefinitely.

Just think of the benefits associated with this:

  • increased awareness
  • additional blog traffic
  • new leads
  • increased sales!!!

Here's a cool "family tree" of a viral Pinterest pin, to help you envisions the possibilities:

how-to-use-pinterest-for-business

Ok, so now I've amped you about the possibilities, let's get started!

PART 1: Getting Started -- Pinterest Basics

Your first step is to create a business account.

If you currently use a personal profile for your business, you’re missing out on a bunch of awesome features, the most important of which are:

  • Analytics
  • Rich Pins
  • Promoted Posts

You won’t gain access to any of these features until you convert your personal account to a business account!

STEP 1: Set Up Your Business Account

You have 2 choices here:

1. Create a Brand New Business Account (in Addition to Your Profile)

  1. If you already have a personal Pinterest profile & you’re logged in, log out now
  2. Go to Pinterest for Business & choose “Join as a Business”
  3. Complete the details about your business & manager of the account
  4. Read & accept if you agree to the Pinterest Business Terms of Service & click “Create Account"

2. Convert Your Profile to a Business Account

  1. Log in to your current Pinterest account
  2. Go to Pinterest for Business
  3. Click “Convert now”
  4. Complete the information & clickConvert”

And don’t worry... you won’t lose a thing.

All your followers, pins & boards will convert to your new account. Everything will look exactly the same, except for a few additional features.

If you’re new to Pinterest, ensure that your profile is complete & optimized before moving forward.

STEP 2: Complete Your Profile on Your Biz Account

  • Upload your most current headshot or logo
  • Choose your username (this might autofill when you set up the account) -- this is your chance to brand your URL the way you’d like to see it!
  • Add your bio -- including keywords that are optimized for search
  • Add details that'll connect people to you: what do you love & what will you be pinning?
  • Add your location
  • Add your website (see next steps for verifying your website)

Remember, Pinterest is a visual network -- so think visual!!

Give people the opportunity to see & understand your passions & interests -- so it’s easy to follow & connect with you.

>> Click to Tweet <<

Here's an example of our profile & what your Pinterest business profile should look like.

how-to-use-pinterest-for-business

Once you’ve completed the above steps, it’s time to verify your website.

STEP 3: Verify Your Website

Without verification, you won’t have access to Pinterest analytics.

Here's how to get it done:

  1. Go to the main page of your account & choose “Edit Profile”
  2. Scroll to the bottom, add your website address & click “Verify”
  3. You’ll see a pop-up with verification instructions -- select “download the html verification file”
  4. Upload the file into the root directory of your website via FTP or CPanel then return to your Pinterest profile & click the button that says “click here to complete the process”
  5. You should receive a message that says your verification was successful & you’re good to go!

At this point, I recommend that you request access to Rich Pins.

What are Rich Pins?

Here's Pinterest's explanation:

Rich Pins are Pins that include extra information right on the Pin itself. Right now, there are five types of Rich Pins: movie, recipe, article, product and place.

Here’s how that translates to you as a business.

If you’re a local bakery like Magnolia Bakery, you might pin the inside of your bakery or your latest creation.

When you do this, you have the option to add a Place Pin to your image. This Place Pin is a map with the exact location of your bakery.

how-to-use-pinterest-for-business

Or maybe you’re a blogger.

Article Pins include data you wouldn’t normally see without clicking through to the article -- details right on the pin like the headline & description of the article and the author's name.

Here’s what that info looks like once you have rich pin approval:

how-to-use-pinterest-for-business

STEP 4: Set Up Pinterest Rich Pins

Before you can get started with Rich Pins, you need to request access & add specific markup code to your website or blog.

This step might be one you need a web developer for since it's a bit technical.

You have 2 different options when adding the necessary code:

  1. oEmbed
  2. Semantic Markup

But if you use an SEO plugin like Yoast, the oEmbed data might already be there (like the article title, description & author).

If this is the case, then move on to the next steps.

Verify Your Rich Pins

First you need to determine which type of Pin you want approved (see the complete list). Once you do that, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Rich Pin Validation Page
  • Copy the URL of your content & paste it into the Rich Pin Validator
  • Click “Validate”

Once you receive the message that your pin was validated, click “Apply Now”

how-to-use-pinterest-for-business

Pinterest will then notify you of approval. This could take 2-3 weeks -- so be prepared to check back.

Here's a sneak peek at what your Rich pin will look like once it's approved.

how-to-use-pinterest-for-business

PART 2: Boards & Pins!

With the technical stuff is out of the way, you’re ready to set up boards & start pinning, commenting, Liking & repinning.

If you’re familiar with Pinterest, nothing changes. But if you’re new to Pinterest, the terminology can be confusing.

As you can imagine, Pinterest has a language all its own. Familiarizing yourself with the lingo before you get started will help you adjust that much faster.

>> Click to Tweet <<

STEP 1: Get Your Pinterest Terminology Down

1. Boards

Pinterest boards are buckets of categorized content. Each one contains content with similar interests.

For example, one board might be “Facebook Marketing” while another captures content surrounding “Pinterest Tips for Newbies”.

2. Secret Boards

Secret boards are the same as above, except they’re secret. No one but you or anyone you’ve invited to pin with you is able to see your pins until you make the board public.

3. Group Boards

Group boards work the same as normal boards but have multiple pinners sharing content within the board.

4. Pin

A pin is an image that you add to a board that links to an external webpage (an article, product page, blog post, etc.).

5. RePin

When you repin someone’s content, you’re sharing it with all of your followers.

It’s similar to a Facebook share or Twitter retweet. It’s a way to say, “Hey, I really like this and I’m choosing to share it with my community.”

6. Comments & Likes

Comments & Likes on Pinterest are no different than they are on Facebook.

Find a pin you really like? Leave a comment or click “Like” to show your support.

7. Pin It Button

The Pin It Button is a widget or plugin that can be added to your website or blog.

When someone visits your site and wants to pin your article, they simply click on the button & share it to their account.

STEP 2: Set Up Pinterest Boards

Now it’s time to set up your initial Pinterest Boards. I suggest you begin with 10 boards.

Naming your boards will be based on your keywords, terms or phrases. I've written an epic article on Pinterest board name ideas that will help you with this.

Again, think optimization. Boards are searchable -- so don’t miss an opportunity to get found through Pinterest's Guided Search.

Pinterest offers this advice about naming your boards:

To surface your boards on Pinterest’s board search, use meaningful names that Pinners are likely to search for. Have a mix of both boards with specific names (e.g. “Salvador Dali Prints”) and more broad ones (e.g. “Fine Art Prints”). Don’t forget to write compelling and targeted descriptions of your boards, too, and add to them frequently to keep your followers engaged and to make your boards easier to discover.

Think about keywords that you’re currently using within your website -- the ones consumers type into search to find you or take a look at the categories on your blog.

Each one should be used in an organic way to describe the content found within your boards.

how-to-use-pinterest-for-business

STEP 3: Find & Pin Content

Now that you’ve set up your boards, it’s important to start sharing content consistently.

To set up your boards properly, I suggest initially pinning 5 articles to each board. This will fill the thumbnails displayed on each of your boards.

As you begin to think about content, remember this: you want to share your own content, but you ALSO want to make it a point to share other people’s content!

Tips for Finding & Pinning Great Content

  • Search a specific keyword or phrase in Pinterest
  • Pin your evergreen blog content
  • Take newsletter tips & turn them into quote graphics
  • Use your RSS reader to add your favorite blogs & actively pin their content
  • Visit sites like BizSugar.com to find new content relevant to your audience

how-to-use-pinterest-for-business

Final Step: Spread the Word!

Now it’s time to tell people about your Pinterest profile & all the great info they’ll find there.

You never want to leave anything to chance -- so get ready to spread the word that you’re on Pinterest now!

A Few Ideas

  • Write a blog post about Pinterest with a call-to-action at the end to follow you
  • Send out an email to your subscriber list & share your exciting news with the same call-to-action
  • Add the link to your email signature
  • Add the Pin It Button or Pin widget to your blog
  • Add a Pinterest share button to your blog

As you embark on your Pinterest journey, here are some additional tips to help you get started:

Addition Pinterest Marketing Tips

  • Pin great images!
  • Share quality content
  • Know your target market
  • Follow pinners who have similar interests & share, Like, or comment on their pins
  • Check your analytics frequently to see what pins are resonating with your followers & who's sharing your content
  • Promote your Pinterest account on your website or blog with Pinterest widgets & share the fact that you’re on Pinterest across your social networks, via email & newsletter

Awesome!

So I hope I've convinced you that Pinterest can benefit your business and given you some guidance on how to get started.

Please share your thoughts & follow along as we reveal our process & explore our own Pinterest journey.

And don’t forget to CONNECT with Post Planner on Pinterest where we share awesome social media strategies to help triple your social media engagement in 10 minutes a day!

____________________

Now that you're ready to break the internet with all your stunning pins, what's next?

Ready to take the next step and learn how to create original pins that make your audience drool all over themselves?

Grab your copy of our free ebook below -- and you'll be on your way.

You'll be glad you did!

How to Create Visual Content for Maximum Social Media Impact            
Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice

Rebekah Radice is an award winning writer, digital marketing strategist, founder of Rebekah Radice Media and Global Brand Ambassador at Post Planner. Rebekah leverages her 17 year marketing background and extensive social media experience to provide tactical direction within the planning, development and execution of a customer centric and data driven global marketing strategy. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

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