Pinterest Business Accounts: The Definitive Guide to Getting Started

social media how toPinterest has given businesses the ability to create business-specific accounts.

Now is the time to stop thinking about Pinterest as a personal playground for cooks and fashion lovers.

Pinterest should be an important part of your B2B or B2C social media marketing strategy.

This article will show you what you need to know to set up a Pinterest Business account.

Differences Between Personal and Business Accounts

Although the outward appearance of a business account is the same as a personal account, there are some key differences between personal and business accounts on Pinterest that you should be aware of.

New Terms of Service Agreement

The first major change since the big reveal of business accounts is the newly formatted terms of service (TOS) agreements for both personal and business account holders. The main difference between the two is that Pinterest now states that any account that wishes to use Pinterest for commercial purposes must create a business account and agree to the business-specific TOS.

The Ability to Specify Your Business Name

Instead of having to sign up as first name “Whole,” last name “Foods,” businesses can set up their account with their business name as is.

Marketing Education Geared Toward Businesses

Within its business site, Pinterest is adding educational materials specifically for businesses to learn how to market themselves. The tutorial currently covers how businesses can tell their story through their profile, build a community through collaboration, drive traffic through making products discoverable on Pinterest and learn and grow through finding out how others see your brand on Pinterest. We’ll look at these tips in depth in the Best Practices section later in the post.

Access to Upcoming Features

Pinterest is working on a whole new set of features exclusively for businesses to help them expand their reach and understand their Pinterest audience. Those who have set up a business account will be notified as soon as new features are available.

How to Set Up a Business Account

There are two ways to set up a business account on Pinterest. If you have already been using Pinterest for your business, you can easily convert your account or you can create a new one.

Converting Your Personal Account to a Business Account

To convert your personal account to a business account, log into your Pinterest account and then visit the Pinterest for Business section. There, you will see a big red button to convert your existing personal account to a business account.

convert personal to business

Convert your personal Pinterest account to a business account.

Once you click on this button, you will be taken to the section where you can modify your current Pinterest account details. First, you will have to select your business type.

choose business type

Choose your business type for your account.

Next, you will enter additional details such as your contact name and business name, plus you have the ability to edit your About information and website.

update public profile

Update your public profile information for your business account.

Last but not least, you will have to agree to the new business TOS agreement and privacy policy.

Creating a New Business Account

Alternatively, if you don’t want to convert your existing personal account to a business account, you can sign up for a new business account. You will go through a similar process as conversion, except you will get the chance to choose a new username.

Convert or Create a New Account?

Not sure if you should convert your existing personal account to a business account or create a new one? Here are some things to consider.

  • Does your personal account have a lot of followers? If so, you may not want to have to build them up again by creating a new account.
  • Does your personal account use your business name as the username? While you may want to keep your followers, you may not want to do it if your business is ABC Company and your Pinterest username and URL is pinterest.com/joeysmith—you would want it to be pinterest.com/abccompany instead.
  • Does your personal account include a lot of marketing-focused pins or personal pins? If your collection is mostly personal, you might want to leave it alone and just create a new account so you don’t have to erase all of your personal stuff. Alternatively, if your pins are mostly for your business and have a lot of likes and comments, you might not want to lose them by starting a new business account.

Getting Started

Once you’ve converted or created your new business account, you will be given four getting started options to choose from:

  1. Verify Your Website
    verify your website

    Verify your website for your business account.

    The first option is to verify your website with Pinterest. This will allow users to see your full website URL on your profile and in search results.

    verify your website

    Verify your website for your Pinterest business account.

    To do this, you will need to either upload an HTML file created by Pinterest to your web server or add a meta tag from Pinterest to your website. If you are using WordPress, the meta tag might be an easier option because you will just add it to your theme’s header.php file or in your theme’s settings where it allows you to add scripts in the header.

    adding meta tag

    Adding the Pinterest meta tag to a WordPress theme's header scripts.

    Once you have either uploaded the file or added the meta tag, you can click to complete. It will check your website for those files and confirm that your website is verified.

  2. Start Pinning
    start pinning

    Start pinning to your new Pinterest business account.

    If you converted from a personal account, chances are you already have some pins on your Pinterest board. If not, you can click the Add Bookmarklet to add the Pinterest “Pin It” bookmarklet to your browser’s toolbar.

    pin it button

    Install the Pinterest Pin It button to your browser's toolbar.

    Once you have installed this, you can easily pin images from across the web to your Pinterest account.

  3. Drive Traffic Back
    drive traffic back

    Help people pin images from your website to Pinterest.

    Encourage your website visitors to share your images with their Pinterest followers by adding the Pin It button to your website. You can find the Pin It button on the Buttons and Widgets page. Alternatively, you can also find the Pin It button in popular social sharing plugins such as AddThis, ShareThis, Digg Digg (WordPress only), and Sociable (WordPress only).

  4. Grow Your Audience
    grow your audience

    Try the new Pinterest tools to grow your audience.

    Along with the Pin It button for your website, Pinterest has added new buttons and widgets to make it easier for people to see your latest Pinterest activity. These include the Pinterest Follow button to encourage people to follow you on Pinterest.

    follow button

    Encourage people to follow you on Pinterest.

    The Profile widget, which displays your latest pins.

    display latest pins

    Display your latest 30 pins using the Profile widget.

    And the Board widget, which displays your latest pins from a specific board on your Pinterest account. Using these on your website should help boost your following and engagement on Pinterest.

Pinterest Best Practices for Business

The following are suggested strategies of what works on Pinterest, as well as additional tips to help you get the best results for your business from your Pinterest experience.

Complete Your Profile

If you didn’t do it during the setup process, make sure to go back and complete your business account’s profile to have the following:

  • Include a great image that represents your business and preferably matches your other social networks (Twitter, Facebook Page, etc.), so that your audience can recognize you easily.
  • Include a short message about your business that states who you are and why people should learn more about you. This can be similar to the message you use for your Twitter bio or your Facebook Page’s About section.
  • Include your verified website so that visitors to your Pinterest profile can easily see your domain name and click through to your website.
  • Include a link to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, which you can set up by going to your account settings and connecting with Twitter and Facebook.

Keyword-Optimize Your Pinterest Profile Using the Boards

Search engine optimization doesn’t just apply to your website. Create boards on your Pinterest account that relate to keywords for which you would like to rank. For example, a photographer may want to create boards for wedding photography, family portraits, commercial photography and other types of services he offers. This isn’t just for search engines, but for your visitors as well, so they can get a quick insight into what your business has to offer.

Pin Images Based on Your Targeted Audience’s Interests

In content marketing, the goal is to create content that your target audience and potential customers will love. On Pinterest, you will want to keep this in mind when pinning images to your boards—make sure images you pin are ones that will attract your target audience, encouraging them to follow you.

Run Pinterest Contests

One great way to increase your Pinterest following is to run a Pinterest contest. Businesses that offer a prize to those who repin their images gain a lot of additional exposure for themselves through the Pinterest community.

Monitor Who Is Pinning Images From Your Website

Just like you may want to thank people who retweet you on Twitter or share content from your Facebook Page, you may also want to interact with those who have pinned images from your website. Use the following URL to see what people are pinning from your website: http://pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com

For example, if we use the URL http://pinterest.com/source/socialmediaexaminer.com/, we would see the latest pins from this website.

see latest pins

See the latest pins of images from your website.

From here, you may want to comment or like pins from your website and follow people who pin your content often to show your appreciation. This can also help you determine which images and content from your website do best on the Pinterest network.

Measure Your Pinterest Traffic

If your goal is to drive traffic from Pinterest back to your website, you can use Google Analytics to see how much traffic you are receiving from Pinterest compared to other social networks.

social network traffic

Measure your Pinterest traffic in Google Analytics.

You can click on Pinterest in Google Analytics to see which pages on your website have drawn the most Pinterest traffic.

pinterest traffic

See what pages on your website receive the most Pinterest traffic.

If you have set up goals in Google Analytics, you can even see where Pinterest ranks in terms of social media–driven conversions for your business.

Case Studies

If you are still not sure whether Pinterest is right for your business, here are some Pinterest case studies you can review to see how other businesses and brands are using Pinterest to achieve their business goals.

Sony Electronics

sony electronics

Sony Electronics on Pinterest.

Learn what six things Sony did to gain over 2,500 followers in the first six months and get an 800% increase in traffic from Pinterest to the Sony store.

Petplan Pet Insurance

petplan

Petplan Pet Insurance on Pinterest.

Learn how Petplan uses Pinterest to provide pet owners with tools to care for their furry family members, attract new audiences and establish leadership in the pet health space.

Organized Interiors

organized interiors

Organized Interiors on Pinterest.

Learn how Organized Interiors uses Pinterest to communicate design ideas with clients, create a compelling brand presence and feature unique products.

Jetsetter Travel Community

jetsetter

Jetsetter on Pinterest.

Learn how Jetsetter uses Pinterest to engage brand advocates, encourage their community to share travel inspiration and obtain actionable feedback on site features.

Etsy: Handmade Marketplace

etsy

Etsy on Pinterest.

Learn how Etsy uses Pinterest to showcase their brand, increase sales for their community of sellers and gather insights to inform content sharing strategy.

What do you think? What are your thoughts on the new Pinterest accounts for businesses? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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About the Author, Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer and author of Kikolani, which covers content, search, and social media marketing. Sign up for her free training, 8 Days to Promotable Content. You can also follow her on Twitter @kikolani. Other posts by »




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  • Michelle Murphy

    This article is a great help… I have been looking at ways to incorporate Pinterest into the legal industry as a marketing tool, but also for my book review website. I find that thinking of the images and creating them is my biggest hurdle! I love the Petplan Pet Insurance Pinterest page, great example of how a business without products can still use Pinterest to its full advantage.

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

    Great post Kristi! I actually thought that my Pinterest profile had been converted to business because I was asked to verify my website and I did, but when I was looking for the section which could lead me to the Follow button, I came across the page asking me if I want to convert my existing account to business. I just want to know how different is the business page from the personal one before making any move, because the only thing I could not find on my personal profile is the section which will enable me to install the Follow button. Thanks in advance!

    Things are indeed getting better and better here at SME! Keep rockin! 

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  • http://twitter.com/trimelectric Electrician Houston

    I really enjoyed the post and it helped me convert my pinterest account into a business pinterest account!  Thanks again!

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  • http://www.Marketing4Traffic.com/ Devani Anjali Alderson

    Awesome! Informing my clients about this ASAP! :-)

  • http://RIppleTrifecta.com/ Rebec Wheeler

    Kristi, whenever your name appears as author, I always read. :) Thanks for this very clear, step-by-step process in setting up a business Pinterest account. As a now confirmed addict to Pinterest I set up a personal account to get my feet wet; what remains elusive at this juncture is how well this platform will serve my clientel. There seems to be nuances that certain people know about but the actual how to (and why) is not evident, at least not yet within Pinterest. 3rd party training programs seem to be the path, at least for time being. Thanks again for a great tutorial!

  • http://twitter.com/FayeinCbus Faye Stock Oney

    Good article Kristi, I just converted! I do have a question about displaying the Facebook account though. I am admin for our Facebook pages, but in the settings it asks to log in with Facebook. I don’t want my personal profile displayed on our Pinterest page. How do you display the company’s Facebook page on the Pinterest business page?

  • Laperauch

    Excellent article, very informative and detailed. Thank you!

  • http://www.windycityparrot.com WindyCityParrot

    I’m not understanding why Pinterest won’t link your business Facebook fan page now – I’ve disconnected my personal Facebook page and made the conversion. I wasn’t aware of the new follow buttons for my website – thank you. 

    I think Pinterest has to do more. It’s getting “tired” fast. Our Pinterest theme is birds as we sell exotic bird supplies – I respond to every Pinterest email I get and follow all new followers – the problem is I’m finding nothing new to repin – I’m uploading fresh images daily and they’re getting repinned but I’m not seeing Pinterest as a growing platform for our business. 

  • http://twitter.com/MattGiovanisci Matt Giovanisci

    Thank you for writing this article. I would have never known about this otherwise. I love Pinterest, but recently have pulled my attention away from it and focused more on Facebook. I use it, but it brings me very little traffic.

  • Meganaudet

    I was going to ask the same question Faye!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Michelle! Yes, it’s interesting to find inspiration beyond just marketing businesses who can Pinterest and other social networks in creative ways and get results. 

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    As of right now, there’s not much difference between the two types of accounts. They supposedly have a lot in store for businesses and just want everyone to get migrated as soon as possible. :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    You’re welcome! 

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Hope that the switch goes easily for them!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Rebe! I’m hoping that they hold good to their word about having lots of educational materials made for businesses on how to really get the most out of the network. It is sad that third-party sources are often the best to get a clear answer about how to do something.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    So far, I haven’t seen an option to link with a Facebook page – just profiles. I would hope that is one of the things they will change when they start updating new features for the business accounts though.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    You’re welcome! 

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I’m hoping that will be one of the new business features – to connect Facebook pages instead of personal profiles. As far as growth, have you been looking into your analytics program to see if Pinterest is sending traffic to your website? That’s how I really measure whether social media is working – is the network sending traffic, and is that traffic converting into leads / sales.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I think different businesses will have different experiences. I know photographers who get a smattering of traffic from Pinterest. :)

  • http://www.Marketing4Traffic.com/ Devani Anjali Alderson

     It should… And I can always help them. I’ve already turned one account into a Page so I can assist if anything goes wrong at least :)

  • http://twitter.com/JimZboran Jim Zboran

    Thanks for this great article, Kristi.  Very comprehensive, and I appreciate the optimization, etiquette, and strategy ideas you included along with the mechanics of converting.  An excellent kick-starter :)

  • http://stephanhov.com/ Stephan Hovnanian

    First things first, this is apparently my 100th comment on the DISQUS platform, so congrats to me. Back to business, I loved this article Kristi, as always chock-full of step-by-step, reasons and examples to support the topic of the article. Like another said, if your name’s next to it, I’m reading.

    Last week I convinced my wife to set up a business account for her health & fitness coaching website we launched, since she has a good personal Pinterest following (and is killing it on facebook). We tested the idea of community pins from her personal account to see if they’d show up in her followers’ homepages, and for some reason they didn’t. So, we opted to have her business page do the originating pin, and then she’d repin it from her personal account so her followers would see it (but her business profile would be included in the pin history).

    Should we do it a different way?

  • http://stephanhov.com/ Stephan Hovnanian

    you have to assume business pages will have some form of analytics, in conjunction with account manager capabilities, perhaps some expanded profile features, and an ad platform. Seems to be what all the other social networks do for business accounts right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/terry.retter Terry Retter

    After setting up a new Pinterest business account I would suppose that I need to change the like and follow Pinterest buttons on my blogs so they would like the business Pinterest account rather than my personal Pinterest account.  Also, it seems I would have to switch the buttons on my web store such the is some one Pinned something from the store it would show on the business account of Pinterest.  Correct assumption?

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I presume that’s where they are headed with this, yes. Especially the ad platform part. I just hope it’s not like Twitter advertising where you can only get good analytics if you have a huge budget.

  • Anoob

    Hi kristi,
                  Well written & Excellent Article. Lot of information about pinterest . A good Hard work …

    Thanks
    anoob

  • Kim

    Great article Kristi. I do not have a business website, as I am a franchise owner. Our Corporate Office is in control of the business website. Each franchise owner has their own info page within the website. How would I link my Business Pinterest site in this situation? I do have a business page on my personal Facebook site. Can I link my Business Pinterest site to this?

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  • http://RIppleTrifecta.com/ Rebec Wheeler

    I just completed set-up of a business account for a client – interesting that to proceed I was “forced” to follow 5 pinners without the ability to (on page) view their boards. Awaiting website verification. Patience. ;)

  • http://stephanhov.com/ Stephan Hovnanian

     I skipped that part when we were setting up my wife’s account.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Jim! :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Stephan! :)  

    That’s interesting how it works between the business account and her personal page. Seems like duplicate work, but if it is working, I’d stick with that. Kind of feels like the thing on Facebook where if you’re friends with someone and following their page, you get extra exposure if both the personal profile and page share the same thing. I’m quite keen on seeing what kind of visibility the business accounts get in the future once they’re done rolling out new features.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    You’d definitely have to change the follow button to go to your business account, but the actual Pin It button should work the same. Hadn’t tried that though…

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Anoob! :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Hmm, I’m not sure how you would handle that as a franchise owner. Assuming the Corporate office has a main account verifying the main site, you could just verify your info page so that people visiting your account would be able to go to that page directly. 

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I remember having to do that with the personal accounts, but I think there was supposed to be a way to skip it. 

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  • Catherine Cronin

    I really like this idea of starting a business account. If I converted my personal one which has also got my other interests, would it be a good idea so that clients and prospects can see the “real me” ? 
    Thanks for this great blog :)
    Catherine

  • Shannon

    Great article! Is this relevant for B2B – can you give examples? 

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  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    That’s one of those things you have to decide on… I like keeping personal from business which is why I haven’t converted my own personal Pinterest to business. But my husband was just using his for photography, so it was an easy choice to convert it. 

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    We actually published an article back in June with tips and examples for B2B:

    http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/b2b-pinterest-tips/

    Plus, there’s a Pinterest user that is pinning brand pages – it’s a mix of B2B and B2C:

    http://pinterest.com/kellylieberman/brands-on-pinterest/

  • yogiwan

    So now I have a personal account and a business account.  How to I specify which account for pinning interesting material.  So far I have found that the Pin will go only to the account that is open in my browser.  To Pin to the other account I need to close the one that is active and open the one that I want the Pin to go to.  Is there a better way?

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  • http://twitter.com/nambukah Gracealiza

    Thanks. Just created Pinterest Business Account.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/denice.shuty Denice Shuty

    An excellent, in-depth article, Kristi. I am setting up Pinterest accounts for my clients – landscape architects. One problem I keep running into is that Pinterest doesn’t see all the images on their websites. With landscape projects being so visual, and with the wealth of photographs that most practitioners upload to their websites, I need to figure out how to make each and every image in a project gallery pinnable – not just the first one. Any work-arounds on this that you know of? 

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  • http://www.loganheavensbest.com/ Carpet Cleaner

    I’ve tried to create a business account and when I click “Create Account” I get an error page. Do I need to use a different browser?

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  • Dawn McKenzie

    I’m new to social media marketing. Love all the education I can get. Looking forward to mastering it!

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  • http://www.musingsofahousewife.com Jo-Lynne Shane

    This is so helpful, thanks. I need to convert my account to a biz, but it seems like Pinterest no longer has that big “Convert Your Existing Account” button anymore. Is there another way?

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  • http://twitter.com/Lets_Play_Music Gina

    Oops, I converted and only AFTER, did I realize that I would really like to have a personal account for myself. I created a new account as my personal account, but now that permanent business account has an URL and is still showing my old, personal username. How can I change the username to something more corporate?

  • Mindy

    Do you need to convert to a Business Account to verify your website? I have a Blogger blog and my Pinterest user name is the same as my blog name, so it wouldn’t be a big deal, but was just curious. Also, do you have a post on how to verify a Blogger blog? I’m HTML illiterate in most cases, but I’m pretty good at following directions. :O) Thanks so much!

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  • triCkykidd

    maybe someone already asked the question, but…. i have a private and a bussines profil.
    I really dont know how to use my bussines profile, because i dont know how to switch between the two profiles???
    now im always on my private, and there is no way to pin on my bussines?
    can u hepl me please?

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  • KawarthaLakes Mums

    Did you get your Pinterest set up?

  • http://www.loganheavensbest.com/ Carpet Cleaner

    Yeah I did. Now I just wish Pinterest would make it so when I pin, it would post to my business facebook page.

  • http://www.frenchkisscollections.com leslie_nicole

    This is a very thorough post! Thank you. I have a hybrid personal / business account. I’ve been thinking I want to start a business account as I’ve seen some great examples. I want to keep my current one as a personal account as I have a lot of personal pins, but my Pinterest address is my business name. What happens if I change my personal account url?

  • http://www.facebook.com/terry.retter Terry Retter

    There is still quite a bit of confusion over the benefits and roles of a personal and business account. As many in the dialog indicate, their personal account is really a business account and the benefit of moving or changing that account is not totally clear. And to start a business account without moving the personal account seems to require duplicate effort (pin in one and repin into the other). Also to which account should a following be built around? Seems there are benefits to the business account. But then how do I get the 1000s of followers in the personal account to move.

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  • Wynn Nguyen

    This article is great which info from A to Z. Thank you very much!

  • Ryan

    Thanks for all the great tips, Kristi. Your article was thorough and very helpful to a Pinterest newbie like me!

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  • Harriet

    Thanks for the info. I do not have a website and am marketing through facebook. Is there a set up to set up a link for marketing fb products through Pinterest and vice versa?

  • Terri

    This is very helpful but I’m a 58 yr old novice. Is there a fee for businesses?

  • Kirsty

    I have this problem too. It’s a bit awkward.

  • Kirsty

    No – it’s free!

  • Martin

    I switched my pinterest account to a business account and now I can’t set up a personal account even though I’m trying to use a different email it says the email is in use?

  • Ronni Hackett

    Very helpful article, but I still have a couple of questions….why do I need a new email, as i only have one that I use…and is there a way to copy/paste or transfer boards from one to the other? I have quite a few boards that would be business, but I have about the same amount that is personal (so I wouldn’t want to convert).

  • Pingback: Pinterest Power Tip - Doable Digital Marketing - Mike Gingerich

  • Tirsot

    Thanks for this article, it was just what I was looking for. Based on your answer above, Is it wise then to maybe wait a bit and see what they are up to? For now my personal account works fine for my 2 blogs. Including buttons and follow me banners etc. I push the blog specific boards via my blogs and viceversa.

  • Broon

    I would love to use Pinterest for a new side business, but it will not allow me to connect to my FB business page. I have a Pinterest account for my main business and I feel like I lose thousands of FB likes and lots of potential traffic because Pinterest will only allow me to link my account to a PERSONAL fb profile.

  • Nathan Brook

    This is a excellent information about Set Up a Pinterest Business Page. Yes Pinterest is a very promising platform for promoting your business. Thanks for the sharing

  • Rosafaerie

    Please help….I thought I was creating a new business account and accidentally converted my personal account. How can I get it changed back to a personal account???

  • Heather

    I found this post after I had attempted to set a new business account on pinterest and even without converting, my personal pinterest is now set up as a business pinterest and I desperately want them separated again!! Is there a way to do that?

  • http://www.raisinandfig.com Morgan

    Great article Kristi! Just getting into Pinterest, and I have a question. I’d like some help administering my Pinterest for Biz page – is there a way to allow different folks to have different access?

  • http://www.TravelShepherd.com/ Michael

    Another very useful post. Thanks for the facts, opinions and detailed How To.







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