Let’s start at the beginning: what is Pinterest? As many of you may well know, Pinterest is a social network and app that was launched in 2010 with the objective of sharing images and organizing content. It can be very well used as a digital library, as it allows you to organize content in different categories, called Boards.
The name comes from the combination of pin + interest, and it emulates a cork board that is usually used to pin images or documents found on the web.
So what’s it for? Pinterest has multiple uses, but be careful: whichever you choose, you can immediately get sucked in and get lost in the sea of pins and boards. Take it from someone who’s been there, done that… *sigh*
Here are the main uses of the platform:
- First and foremost: it’s a source for inspiration. Pinterest stores thousands of photos, designs, infographics and so on. You can find content on any topic you’re interested in.
- It’s a perfect platform to organize your ideas. If you’re looking to store all your findings and ideas in one place, you’ve found the perfect place. You can arrange them on different boards for easy access.
- You can create a product catalogue. It comes in handy when you have an online or physical store, as you can take advantage and upload a pin with each of your products to create your own catalogue.
- You can create a personal brand. By showing who you are and what you like, you will gradually create your personal brand the same way you do it on other social networks.
- It’s a perfect way to drive traffic to your website. When you click pins, most of them will take you to a specific link. This way, you’ll be able to drive traffic to your website through the platform.
- And last, but not least: it’s entertaining. I mean, come on! Logging on to Pinterest and browsing through all the pins and boards is so much fun!
Now that we’re clear upon Pinterest’s different uses, let’s see what we should and should not do when using the platform.
DO use the same username and profile image that you do on other social platforms. People who already know you will be able to find you easier.
DO make sure you create a business profile. Same as in the case of other social media platforms, this will let you see all the metrics through Pinterest Analytics. You will be able to track the evolution of your social media strategy and you’ll have the option to create Pinterest ads.
DO complete your profile properly. We can’t stress this enough in case of every social media platform: people will look through your profile before following or liking your page, so make sure it’s complete.
DO connect your Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yahoo accounts on your account settings page and you can start following people you know through those accounts. As they already know you, they will be highly likely to follow you back, thereby helping you get followers quickly.
DON’T forget to repin, like and comment on others’ pins. This will help you form bonds with other users and just like pinning, it will get others to notice you.
DON’T just repin, try to put up original content as well. Yes, the easiest thing is to repin others’ pins, but no matter what you use Pinterest for, make sure you either create original pins as well, or just create a pin from the original source. Don’t forget, everyone likes original ideas!
DO share pins on all your social media networks. Sharing your pins on Facebook and Instagram for example, will boost your Pinterest traffic and always remind your friends and followers to check out your Pinterest profile too.
DON’T lose sight of why people are on Pinterest. Ask yourself, “What problem can I solve for pinners?”. And by solving their problems with your pins, you’re more likely to get followers.
DO take advantage of the description when making a pin. First, name the image something relevant. If the image is called something like “img746$#%”, Pinterest is probably going to think of it as spam and show it to less people. So let the name reflect what the pin is really about. Second, use lots of relevant keywords in the description. The first 50 characters will usually show up in feeds, but the other 450 are as relevant too!
DON’T forget about the visual characteristic of your pins! You need to use good quality pictures! Unlike on Instagram, these can be free online stock images too, but it’s always better to take your own. Make sure to use natural lighting, bright and light colours that lift the whole image, and take natural looking photographs. Nobody likes a fake looking picture. We encourage you to add text as well, Canva even has an option specifically for Pinterest graphics (735 x 1102 px).