How to use Pinterest for your business

Pinterest is a social media platform and search engine rolled into one. People mostly use the platform to create virtual inspiration boards and save information to refer to later, although many people on the platform extend their own brand and business through Pinterest's format, such as bloggers, influencers and both product and service based businesses.

How boards work

Boards allow you to pin items you see on Pinterest and on the web to themed areas of your profile, which you can them break down into Sections if you like. These work very similiarly to a mood board, patching the images together into a flowing page, filled edge to edge with photos. Secret Boards are ones you can see, but other users can't.

Your board might have a theme like summer outfits, or Travelling Texas, but the most popular boards are quite specific, as that followers know what they are getting in on.

What are Group Boards?

Group boards allow a number of contributors to add pins to them. These boards are monitored by the original owner, and they can set their own rules about how often you can post and anything else they like. You should be able to find group boards that fit your niche, and your target audience. Be aware that you will most likely be featured alongside competitors in this instance, which isn't always a bad thing in this setting, assuming you don't sell the exact same product, purchased from a wholesaler, for example.

How followers work

When people follow your profile, they follow all of your public boards. Users can also follow just one board rather than all of your boards, so don't worry too much about all boards being aimed at the same person. Followers of your boards may see content in their Home or Following feeds after you add it, but also people who don't follow you may see it too, if their recent history matches up to the pin, or if they search for something related to your image.

How the Home and Following feeds work

If you haven't been on Pinterest in a wee while, they have recently split the Home Feed and Following feed. Pinterest has its own algorithm, similiar to other platforms, but it shows you more of the type of content you pin, plus recent content from the boards you follow. If you have been pinning a lot of home decor, for example, Pinterest will show you more of the same style, based on what similiar users have pinned to their boards, whether that's home decor, or anything else in your Home Feed.

The Following feed shows only the recent content from people you follow. With this new Following feed addition, your followers now have a higher chance of seeing your content if they scroll both feeds. It remains to be seen how well this new feed will do, but it does look as if it will heighten the visibility of your content.

How to search on Pinterest

Using the search bar at the top of the page, type in your query. You can then filter by All Pins, Your Pins, People and Boards. Pinterest will also give you some options of words to add to your search to better refine it. You can then use this page as a different feed, pinning photos to any of your boards.


How to schedule pinning to your boards

It is possible to schedule pins using third party software, which pins a chosen picture, caption and URL at a specific time to a specific board. Tailwind is the most popular, but you can also use Buffer, or follow up action tools like Zapier or IFTTT, which would post after you say, post to Instagram. If you're interested, trial your options to see which best suits you.

Pin It buttons

You can add a Pin It button to your website, allowing users to see a button when they look at images on your website, that they can click to save that image to one of their Pinterest boards. This increases the likelihood of people pinning when they are on your website, showing your content to a whole new audience. This is the best option from a business perspective. Setting this up is different for each website platform, so simply Google this to find out how to do this for the platform you use.

Google Chrome plugin to pin from other websites

As a user browsing the web on Google Chrome, it can be very simple to use the Chrome plugin to save directly from any page. The plugin will allow you to pin any photo from the page, as it brings up a page for you to pick from. If this doesn't work for you, Pinterest does have a feature on its website that allows you to add in a URL to save from.

Pin descriptions and links to URL

Pinterest will pull the words in your pin description and from your URL to show your photo to relevant searches and in people's Home feed. Make sure you use keywords that your audience is likely to search for, or pin other pins with those keywords. This is where an element of traditional SEO may come in, but make sure the keywords are relevant for an image based search engine. Depending on your strategy, you may use a short list of keywords or alternate a large number, depending on if you are trying to be found by new people, or pinned a lot by the same people.