3 Unique Ways to Use Pinterest for Business

social media how toDoes your business have a clear Pinterest strategy?

Have you been struggling to figure out how Pinterest could help market your business?

Pinterest represents a massive opportunity for both consumer-focused and business-to-business companies.

In this article, I’ll show you three ways to build a successful Pinterest presence for your business.

tips for a winning strategy

Strategy plays a vital role in success on Pinterest.

#1: Increase Your Brand Authority

Do you want to establish authority in your field? This is a common goal for many businesses on Pinterest.

Middle Sister Wines positions itself on Pinterest as an authority in the wine industry by creating several Pinterest boards that provide useful and educational information to their followers while promoting their products in fun ways.

middle sister wines on pinterest

Middle Sister Wines.

You don’t have to create all the content that you pin on Pinterest. To help position yourself as an authority in your field, share from a carefully vetted combination of sources to ensure your boards contain the most accurate and useful information available.

Middle Sister’s Wine Tips and Tricks board contains videos from their YouTube account, alongside resources from other industry experts. The board addresses topics such as how to pair wine with food and what type of glass should be used to serve different kinds of wine.

Follow Middle Sister Wines’ lead and pin relevant and helpful resources. Your followers will come to think of your account as the go-to place for reliable information about your subject. And as you increase your authority, you’ll continue to build trust, which could lead to increased customer loyalty and referrals from brand advocates.

#2: Expand Your Reach

Do you want to expand your reach and grow the size of your audience? Consider leveraging the community on Pinterest.

Use Group Boards and collaborate with popular pinners who have a large following to expose your brand and content to more people.

While Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) has a strong standing in traditional media, the average BHG Pinterest board had fewer than 200,000 followers.

One of BHG’s latest Pinners of the Month is Jennifer Chong. Jennifer pins content from BHG’s website to the Pinterest-owned board which exposes all of Jennifer’s 2 million followers to BHG’s content and to the BHG Pinterest account. As Jennifer’s audience follows the board, BHG’s follower numbers grow.

bhg board with jennifer chong

Better Homes and Gardens strategically collaborates with popular pinners to boost following.

Using group boards, BHG has grown its overall follower numbers to over 379,000.

bhg on pinterest

Better Homes and Gardens has developed group board strategies to grow their Pinterest following.

Use This Approach Thoughtfully

Your followers will see what your contributors pin, and what they pin will reflect on your business, so trust between parties is important.

The collaborative partnership should benefit both parties. In the example above, Jennifer received recognition and exposure from a renowned magazine and Better Homes and Gardens increased exposure and following of their Pinterest account.

A poorly conceived partnership built around content that isn’t relevant to your existing audience could lead to a loss of followers. Collaborate with someone outside of your niche and your followers will be confused. The collaboration must make sense.

With careful thought this is a great way to get in front of a wider audience.

#3: Drive Traffic to Your Site

Are you interested in getting more traffic to your site? Then consider using Pinterest. Beth Hayden, author of Pinfluence, revealed that Pinterest drives more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined.

In order to take advantage of this, Pinterest users first have to be attracted to your pins and repin them to their boards.

The most successful pins on Pinterest have some traits in common. They combine great images with content to solve a problem, inspire, offer something desirable or appeal to interest in a hobby or activity.

This doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. For example, take this image from Gwen Wilson at Simply Healthy Family sharing a quick and easy way to shred chicken.

pin from gwen wilson

Pins don't necessarily have to be taken by a professional photographer to be popular.

This image is great at communicating the message of the pin and it wasn’t taken in a professional studio.

I pinned this image to my account 5 months ago and in that time it has been repinned from my account 35 times. What’s more, the blog post associated with this image has been shared on Pinterest over 191,000 times.

Gwen isn’t a celebrity. She currently has just over 1,100 followers on Pinterest. Clearly, a huge following isn’t necessary to drive traffic from Pinterest to your website.

Share attractive content on Pinterest to drive traffic to your site.

Bonus

Do you want to know how your Pinterest marketing is working for you? Measure the reach of your content on Pinterest with these useful tools.

The Pinterest Pin Count tool will show you the number of times a page or blog post from your site has been pinned and repinned within Pinterest.

pin counter tool

Pin Counter tool displays how many pins are linked to a URL.

Pinterest’s free web analytics tool will help you determine which of your pins drive the most click-throughs to your site.

analytics tool

Use the free analytics tool on Pinterest to see which pins drive the most traffic to your site.

Use the metrics and information from each of these tools to help you replicate content that receives a high percentage of pins and drives high traffic.

Over to You

Regardless of the goals you pursue and the strategies you implement on Pinterest, there’s one overall principle that should guide your social media marketing: the content you deliver should benefit your current and potential customers.

Pinterest lets brands deliver that content in an easily shareable format that leads to increased visibility and higher traffic numbers.

What do you think? What goals are you pursuing on Pinterest? Have you developed your Pinterest strategy? Do you have more than one? Let’s talk about them in the comments below.

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About the Author, Cynthia Sanchez

Cynthia Sanchez writes and podcasts about all things Pinterest at Oh So Pinteresting. She helps business both large and small develop their Pinterest strategies. Connect with Cynthia on Twitter @OSPIntersting Other posts by »




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  • http://so-very.me/ Jenny

    Oh if only this stuff worked for my blog. Need to work on mah pinnin’ skillz~

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Jenny,

    If you include images in your blog posts you’re on your way. Best of luck to you!

  • Silver Marketing

    Thanks for the article! We will definitely implement some of these tactics on our page.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Awesome! Would love to hear how they work out for you.

  • Melissa Megginson

    As always, this was a really inspiring article, Cynthia!

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Thanks, Melissa! I really appreciate your support.

  • Najomie Cournoyer

    Great article !
    Do you have any examples of awesome Pinterest accounts in the Freelance graphic design field ? Thanks !
    Ps : LOVE your podcast Cynthia :)

  • Will Patch

    Great tips! I would also add 2 more tips that I’ve found useful. 1) Add original content, not just repinning what already exists. 2) Add the tangential topics that your target audience is looking for, so that you can reach those not directly searching for your area.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Thanks Najomie!

    You might want to check out this best of graphic design group board that has over 90 contributors. It might lead you to the kind of accounts you’re looking for. http://pinterest.com/waggit/graphic-design-best-of-community-edition/

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Will,

    It sounds like you really get Pinterest, awesome!!!

  • http://sproutsocial.com/features/social-media-engagement Sarah @ Sprout Social

    Great examples of best practices, Cynthia. I love the reminder that pins don’t necessarily have to be professional photos, they just have to solve a problem, inspire or offer something desirable. This is so important to brands that may not have a lot of pretty images (or a physical product to photograph), but can still offer value to their community.

  • arti Singh

    Awesome article… Liked few of the Points being highlighted here….and quite relevant and logical.
    Thanks for sharing

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Thanks Sarah. With free image editing tools and a little creativity even those with the smallest budgets can create great images for their content.

  • Karen

    I’m new to Pinterest, new to my job (yay!) and I’m trying to combine them, for business’ sake! Your oh, so helpful article came my way at just the right tIme. Thanks!

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Thanks Arti!

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Awesome, Karen! Congratulations and best of luck to you with your new job :)

  • Judy Linsz Ross

    Thank you, Cynthia. Great points and easy to put into action.

  • Mary Mathews, LCSWR

    I wish I could figure out how to make pins embed into a wordpress blog! Spent a couple of hours this morning trying. (Mac, computer skills so-so only) I’m posting a blog 8/9 “Pinterest as a Psycho-Spiritual Practice?” it contains two sample pins, but I can’t make them click back to my Pinterest boards.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    My pleasure Judy. I’d love to hear if these work out for you.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Mary, try Googling “Pinterest help center” The first result should be the Pinterest help center where you can find more information about how to embed pins into different types of blogs. With the recent updates it is a bit different than it used to be.

  • Acronautic

    Great Article but didnt see a reference to your Pinterest page – I’d like to check it out.
    Will definitely implement some of these techniques onto our boards focused around the yachting industry @acronautic

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Hi Cynthia! Awesome “Bonus” add on this post: being able to measure your reach on Pinterest is huge! Thanks so much for sharing these useful tips. I’ve been using Pinterest more and more thanks to the valuable pointers here on SME!

  • http://thegogreenscene.com/ Jeff Hopkins

    This article came at a perfect time for me. I recently (approximately 30 days ago) started my Pinterest site and was not sure what my approach would be for my business, The Green Machine, LLC. You have given me the direction I need. Thank you for your well written and inspiring piece.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Thanks Acronautic. My Pinterest username is Cynthiapins.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Thanks, John! I’m so glad to hear you’re giving Pinterest a try. Please don’t hesitate to shoot me any questions that come up along the way. How are things going for you there?

  • Guest

    Jeff, you made my day! I’m so happy to hear you found this article helpful. Best of luck to you. Keep us updated :)

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Jeff, you made my day! I’m so happy to hear you found this article helpful. Best of luck to you. Keep us updated and let me know if any questions come up along the way :)

  • Trudy Susan

    I didn’t know anything about group pinning. Interesting new tidbit. Thanks! Also that chicken shredder! Ahmazeballs!!

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Trudy, Thanks so much for your comment. Ahmazeballs is what I think of the potential of Pinterest for marketers.

  • AmandahBlackwell

    I created a Pinterest account and have some followers, but I’m not that active on it like I am on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook. I don’t know. I’m trying to figure out Pinterest. Maybe I’m blocked because Pinterest is driven by images. Hmm… I’ll have to spend a bit more time on Pinterest and figure out a strategy.

    Thanks for the tips!

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Amanda, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. It is a challenge to manage several channels at once. If Pinterest is something you’d like to give a shot, developing a plan/ strategy is the best place to start.

  • Michael Wilson

    I like that you mentioned the fact that Pinterest can drive traffic to your site. That is something that small businesses should take advantage of because Pinterest is growing fast and every business, big and small, should jump on board. But you must be able to create some great content in order to get the traffic to your site that you want. Make sure that you engage your potential fan base with some great content so that they will come back for more. Of course it can start with a great picture, but you can attach pretty much anything to that picture so that a pinner can go to your site.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Thanks for the feedback Michael. Great insights. Does a lot of your traffic come from Pinterest?

  • http://robertryan.ie/ Rob Ryan

    Cheers for the tips – I’ve been reluctant to get into Pinterest but I think now is the time and this is the advice needed, thanking you..

  • Roberta Jones

    Thanks for these tips, really helpful, particularly as I work in the charity sector so budgets are small. I am looking forward to trying these tips out…

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Rob, that’s music to my ears! It was my pleasure :)

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Roberta, thanks so much for you comment. Even on a tight budget, amazing things can be done with Pinterest.

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  • http://www.softship.com/ Ava Cristi

    Pinterest is a definitive website for curation because of how it centralizes images to emphasize the idea of the content itself. I’ve been joining the community and it’s really convenient, and what I like the most is that I’m having fun reading others’ pins while sharing my own! Thank you for sharing your ideas, Cynthia! :)

  • http://www.winonainc.com/ Edwina@WINONA,INC.

    I’ve been trying to figure out just how to boost the viewership of my web comic. It’s an adult series about the owner of a hot New York City modeling agency and I post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I just haven’t figured out how to effectively use Pinterest to help promote it. I would looooove some suggestions.

  • Jan Udlock

    Hi Cynthia,

    Loved this article.

    As a virtual assistant, would I have a separate business account or instead have VA boards like: social media, VA tips, writing tips, VA Forums, etc.

    I love Pinterest but haven’t taken advantage of it like I could for my business.

    Thanks so much for your thoughts.
    Jan Udlock

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  • http://stylemaven.blog.com/ Lizzie

    Great article, people use pinterest to find great content they can use to make their lives easier or better.. even just to entertain/ amuse themselves. If you can provide that.. you’re going to do well

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    My pleasure Ava! I agree, Pinterest is fun!

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Edwina, you could always upload some of the images from the comic and link them to your site, as long as their not too “hot”. Pinterest likes to keep things pretty family friendly.

    Include a good description with the image to let people know what its about. Let me know how it goes.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    You could have separate accounts for each but if you are the personality of the business then you might want to keep it as one account. This lets people who find your account know more about you. Having a shared interest could make them comfortable with hiring you. Just be careful not to pin things that are too personal, use secret boards for that. Thanks for your question Jan.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Lizzie, it sounds like you really get Pinterest. Love it!

  • http://www.winonainc.com/ Edwina@WINONA,INC.

    Thanks Cynthia, for the response. I do pin the comic to Pinterest and link it back to the blog. But shouldn’t/couldn’t I do more? I’m not getting much traffic this way and wonder if mixing in other images will add to the comic and attract more pins or dilute it altogether and just make it a big, confusing mess.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Beautiful work Edwina! Yes, adding other images could help. How a bout boards dedicated to the location or characters? Don’t forget to add a Follow Me on Pinterest button to your site. Let your readers know you’re there.

  • http://www.winonainc.com/ Edwina@WINONA,INC.

    I like that! Each main character has their own career and interests. I can create separate boards for each one and expand on their personalities through pins. THANK YOU CYNTHIA!! What a good idea.

  • Jan Udlock

    Thanks for your response, Cynthia. I’ll keep it all as one account.

  • http://jivaldi.com/ Digital Diva

    Tanks for the article Cynthia ! I really need to dive into Pinterest much much more. Thanks for giving some insite to us noobs !

  • Guest

    My pleasure Digital Diva!

  • http://www.seomasterexpert.com/ Swapan Kumar

    Amazing Post!! Useful strategies on Pinterest. Your stuff has worked for me a lot. The points you have mentioned here are really useful. Its quite worthy to read this post. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    My pleasure Digital Diva! I’m here for ya

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Thank you, Swapan! I’m so glad to hear you’re finding success with Pinterest.

  • http://www.socialstrategi.com/ Shilpi Agarwal

    Great article! I’m wondering if there’s an easy way to find a Directory of Group Boards or a search tool to contribute to a group board or start one if there isn’t.

  • Coline Harmon Walther

    Great article; I never knew there were Pinterest groups, I will have to check them out. I also appreciated the information about finding my site analytics. As a Virtual Assistant, I notice that many people post that they are stumped by Pinterest. I will be sure to share this article.

  • http://www.skiusainc.com/ Ehtesham_SKI USA Inc

    Really a great article.
    I just started using pinterest hope all these help me in bringing more traffic and could you please help me what is more important in pinning, the visual attractiveness of the photos or the photos that contain some message.

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  • http://successbeyondwealth.com/ Johnny Arreola

    Great Information, I’m just getting started with pinterest…Looks Fun!

  • http://successbeyondwealth.com/ Johnny Arreola

    Great Information, I’m just getting started with pinterest…Looks Fun!

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  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Ehtesham, if I had to choose I would say the message is most important. If you have a boring image of a graph with a clear statement over it or a gorgeous picture of an object, the image with the message would bring you more targeted traffic. Thanks for your question.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Thanks for sharing the article Coline!

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Shilpi, sorry, right now there isn’t a way to search for group boards.

  • http://www.skiusainc.com/ Ehtesham_SKI USA Inc

    My pleasure @Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting:disqus and thanks for your response. But most people used to say that Pinterest is a place which is totally dependent on pictures so you should be majorly focused on large size photos which looks attractive and rich snippet helps people to understand what message you want to convey through the photo you have uploaded.

  • rinat

    Thank you Cynthia for a great article. there is one thing i don’t completely understand. i see people that use tags # like in instegram. will that help to find my photo? i have a shop at etsy and i am pining from etsy and i write a short description.does people find me because of the description or do i need to tag the photo?

    Thanks
    Rinat

  • http://www.portalvitality.com/blog Tracy Morris

    You’ve definitely provided me with some food for thought. You’ve helped me see Pinterest in a new light!

  • Guest

    Feel free to reply! If my email is quoted in your reply,

    Re: Re: New comment posted on How to Pursue 3 Strategic Goals on Pinterest
    Hi there! Automated messages aren’t my favorite thing in the world, but I just wanted to send this quick one to let you know that if you need a response urgently (sooner than 24 hours), you can reply and write “this is urgent” in your reply to flag your email so we know it’s super time-sensitive.
    Our response time for all emails averages around 10 hours, but we try to get to urgent ones more quickly than that. It kind of depends on what time of day or night it is here in Seattle, but I promise that Lisa, Adam (our CEO), or I will be personally getting back to you as soon as possible to help out.
    In the meantime, you can also reply if you want to add any additional info, like your name, whether you’re using the iPad or web app, the URL of a deck that’s giving you trouble, etc. Otherwise, thanks for your patience – we’ll be in touch!
    All the best,

    Erin Michael
    Community Manager at Haiku Deck

    ———————————————-

    Disqus, Jan 27 11:19

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  • Meena Chopra

    Very comprehensive. Thanks.

  • http://www.socialstrategi.com/ Shilpi Agarwal

    Thanks, Cynthia!

  • Leah Lambart

    Thanks for the help! I’m going to implement these strategies!

  • Meredith

    Thank you for the great article! what about products that aren’t an about the most popular topics such as Food and Home Decor. For example I sell dog products to dogs with cancer. I have put up our products, on Pinterest but I need to get more of a following but I have run out of ideas on what categories to put on Pinterest. Suggestions?

  • Silvana Di Gregorio

    Wonderfoul!. Really interesting.

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  • Mary

    I feel like Pinterest can be a great marketing tool for businesses. Provided useful interesting pins to your followers is definitely a must if you want to grow a following!

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