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Pinterest For Your Small Business: Tips for Getting Started

A Small Orange Pinterest

The fourth most popular social media site after Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Pinterest can be a great platform for your small business to share information, advertise products and services, promote blog posts, and gain a few new customers. If you haven't already experienced the joy of "pinning" for personal reasons, Pinterest allows you to create virtual corkboards on any topic you choose, so you can collect information, gather inspiration, store ideas, plan events, and more. Some of the most popular categories include home improvement, fashion, fitness, food, kids, and travel.

While Pinterest won't be the smartest social media outlet for every company, it can make a tremendous difference for others, particularly those looking to target the same specific market. Most Pinterest users are females between the ages of 25 and 34. Most of them have some college education and nearly 30% have a household income of $100,000 or more. Pinterest also scores the highest in average amount of time per session compared to other social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Does this sound like your ideal market? Here's a few tips on how your small business can get started.  

Get Image-Oriented

Pinterest utilizes pictures to represent greater ideas. A tasty bowl of shrimp alfredo might link to a chef's list of favorite pasta recipes, or an infographic on exercise statistics could lead to a personal trainer's free ebook. While Pinterest users can search for keywords and read descriptions, it's the images that initially attract others to click on the pin, and then persuade them to re-pin on their own boards. Because of this strong relationship Pinterest has with images, it's crucial that any small business looking to use this social media platform get focused on using images as well. Use them in every one of your blog posts and advertisements. Create graphics to share information. Take photos of your products, your office, your employees, and your company events. If you haven't designed your logo, now's the time to get it done. By getting image-oriented, you'll be able to create pins others will want to re-pin.  

Start a Business Account Starting A Pinterest Business Account

For those who don't already have an account with Pinterest, you can start by creating a business account. If you happened to have set up a personal account at some point for your business, you'll be able to convert.

You absolutely want the business account – it offers analytical tools, "rich pins," and other neat features to help you grow your company that personal accounts don't offer.

When you sign up, you'll be asked to include an email, password, business name, business type, and website. You'll then be asked to choose five interests so Pinterest can create a custom newsfeed for you. (You may want to pick interests related to your company, though you will be allowed to change them later.) Eventually, your newsfeed will be filled with pins posted by users you've chosen to follow.

You'll then be taken to your profile page. This is where you'll showcase your boards, but first you'll want to take a few minutes to fill out your profile. Add a logo, a company description, and a location. Don't forget to confirm your website!  

Create A Few Boards Create A Pinterest Board For Your Business

Once your business profile is set up, you can start creating boards. To create a board, just click "Create Board." From here, you can give it a name, a description, and a category.

You'll also see other options, like the ability to keep the board a secret until you choose to make it public. You can also add collaborators, or other members to pin to your board. Once your board is created, you can fill it by uploading your own images, re-pinning other pins, or pinning images from websites by using that site's Pinterest button. Because boards are categorized by topic, you'll want to pick topics that would engage your company's target audience. For example, if you own a fashion boutique, you would want your boards to be on topics like "Fall Fashions," "Hottest Accessories," and "Professional Attire."

Not all of the pins on your board have to come from your own business – you can mix your pins in with others. In addition to creating boards with themes that will interest your customers, you may want to dedicate a board to capturing company culture. By featuring your office space, your employees, your products and services, your events, and other images that show off who you are and what you do, you're not only developing more pins with your name on it for people to share, you're helping Pinterest users get to know your small business.  

Have Proper Pinning Etiquette

Whether you're pinning your own image, or re-pinning someone else's, there are a few rules to keep in mind. One is to make sure the image you're using is related to the link in which it corresponds. You don't want your followers to click on dead links or get redirected to an unrelated site. While you may be eager to re-pin someone's cool new product or helpful information, take the extra minute to read and potentially add something to the description. It doesn't make sense to keep someone else's description of "great idea for my photography biz" when you're re-pinning the image on your social media marketing board.

In addition to creating or editing the description so it makes sense for your board, you'll want to give credit to the original pinner, just like you'd want to get credit for your original pins. If the pin includes the name of a company or website, keep that information there. If you're pinning an image directly from a website, add that information for them.

Lastly, make sure you're categorizing your pins correctly. It's very easy to accidentally pin an image onto the wrong board. While it may not seem like that big of a deal, it can create a frustrating user experience. Imagine searching for a vegan recipe, and getting excited that you've found one, only to notice that the last ingredient on the list is chicken broth. Keep your pins well-organized and you'll keep everyone happy! Do you have any tips that you would like to share? Let us know in the comments below!


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