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How to use Pinterest for business
Whether you’re a blogger or a small business, having a Pinterest business account can be a huge asset. Pinterest can put you right in front of your customers. Unlike Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Pinterest isn’t really a social media platform. Think of Pinterest more like Google or YouTube, it’s a search engine.
People go to Pinterest looking for things. This is great for businesses, because it can bring customers to you who are looking for what you offer. This step-by-step guide will teach you how to use Pinterest for business so that you can grow your business using this amazing platform.
Setting up a business account
Chances are, you already have a personal Pinterest account. You can either create a new business account from scratch, or convert your personal account. I could walk you through the steps, but fortunately Pinterest has already put together a really simple to follow tutorial.
Is it better to create a new account or convert your personal account?
If you already have a decent amount of followers, I recommend converting your personal account. Although Pinterest uses a smart feed, and followers don’t mean much, the “social proof” of having followers may be worth converting your personal account. Again, Pinterest has done a great job making a tutorial for converting a personal account to a business account.
What to do with your own boards after converting to a business profile
If you’re starting fresh, skip this section. If you’ve just converted to a business profile from a personal account, this is important! Chances are, your current boards aren’t exactly what your customers are looking for. For example, I had several boards on remodeling, home decor, home organization, etc. because I had recently purchased a house. If I were a blogger who talked about home decor or remodeling, this might have been fine.
However, neither of my businesses were even remotely related to any of those things. You have two options when it comes to personal boards that don’t fit within your target audience:
- Delete them.
- Hide them.
I chose the latter. I wanted to keep some of the information I had stored on my personal boards, so I hid them. If I want to go and see those boards, I can. No one else on Pinterest can see them, so it’s a win-win for me. If you’ve pinned information that you just don’t need, you can delete those boards. I deleted 2-3 of my personal boards and hid the rest.
Making a board “secret” is really easy to do. Simple go to “edit” and then click the “secret” slider. At that point, you can still see your board, but it doesn’t show up on your profile or anywhere else on Pinterest.
Setting up your boards
You will need to create boards that are relevant to your blog or business. For example, let’s say that you’re a lifestyle blogger who blogs about parenting and healthy food. To start, you’ll create a board for your own pins from your own website. You can call it “Best of (your site)” or simply “Your site name,” whichever you prefer.
You will also need 10-15 relevant boards to save the content of others. Let’s take a step back. You might be wondering why you’d save content from others when you’re trying to build your own business. Pinterest likes it when you use their platform like a consumer. Sharing the content of others on a particular subject (for example, healthy food) can also make you look like an authority on the topic.
For the lifestyle blogger mentioned above, you might set up boards like these:
- Best of (my lifestyle blog)
- The best parenting tips
- Healthy snacks for toddlers
- Easy healthy recipes for a family
- Healthy vegan breakfasts
Those are just an example of the kind of boards that a healthy lifestyle blogger might have. The most important things to remember here is keywords. Your board titles and board descriptions should be filled with keywords (like healthy snacks for toddlers) to help drive more traffic to your boards and pins.
Here is an example of using keywords on a board. This board is all about “saving money” which is a pretty broad topic. I save pins about personal finance, budgeting, saving money, frugal living, etc.
Joining Group Boards
Once you’ve set up your own boards, you’re going to want to join relevant group boards. There are several ways to find group boards to join. There’s a site called pingroupie.com. I’ve never used it, but I know some have had success finding group boards there. Another option is to join the Pinterest group board group on Facebook. The best option, in my opinion, is even easier.
Simply find another blogger, or business, within your niche that has a larger Pinterest presence than you do. Look at their group boards. Here is an easy way to tell if a board is a group board.
See the multiple pictures inside the little circle? That means it’s a group board.
Click on the boards and see if they’re accepting new contributors. Many boards will say that they are not, but some will. Always follow the person who has the group board before requesting to join. If a group board doesn’t say whether or not they’re accepting new contributors, it doesn’t hurt to ask! The worst thing that can happen is no answer at all (most likely) or a no.
How to find the owner of a group board
In the following example, the owner of the group board has her contact information listed. If an owner doesn’t have their contact information listed, it’s still easy to find them. The owner is the first profile listed after the description. This board has 112 contributors, and the owner is listed first. You can see the rest of the contributors by clicking on the “109.”
It may take a while, but eventually you’ll be able to find group boards that are a great fit for you. I recommend starting with ten boards, and moving up from their once you’ve mastered using group boards.
Schedulers and why to consider them
If you’re looking for the “right” way to post content on Pinterest, you’re going to find a lot of different answers. I am going to talk about three ways to add content to Pinterest, and I’ve tried all three of them. BoardBooster and Tailwind are Pinterest schedulers that you may have heard of. The difference is that Tailwind is “approved” by Pinterest and BoardBooster is not. I don’t know if this affects anything, but some people believe it does.
BoardBooster is the most inexpensive Pinterest scheduler, and probably the easiest to learn how to use. It takes a while to set up, but once it’s set up you can “loop” your pins to post over and over.
I liked BoardBooster because it was inexpensive, moderately easy to use, and they have great customer service. Why I didn’t like BoardBooster was because I didn’t see much of a chance in my Pinterest traffic. I will tell you that some have had great success using BoardBooster, but I personally did not.
If you’re going to use a Pinterest scheduler, I recommend Tailwind. Tailwind definitely has a learning curve, but it can be set up for the amount of time you choose and then take care of itself.
I would recommend Tailwind to any business wanting to grow increase your Pinterest traffic with minimal effort. If I am going to manage my clients Pinterest boards, I recommend that they have Tailwind set up. Tailwind will let you schedule any amount of pins that you choose whenever you’d like to pin them.
Tailwind also has analytics that can help you see exactly what is going on in your Pinterest account. Even though I don’t use Tailwind “full time” for personal use, I do use their analytics. I also use the scheduler for times that I can’t do things manually.
Another thing that Tailwind offers is Tailwind tribes. I won’t go into too much detail, but tribes can be a great way to share your content and find other relevant content to share within your niche.
A less popular, but important to mention option, is manual pinning. I learned everything I know about manual pinning from the book, Pinteresting Strategies. I bought the book almost a year before I actually started implementing the strategies. Upon finishing the book, I thought that it sounded like way too much work.
Manual pinning is time consuming, but many bloggers, myself included, have seen a huge surge in traffic thanks to manual pinning. There are some people out there who say it doesn’t work, but I have noticed that a lot of those people are very closely affiliated with scheduling companies.
When it comes down to it, you may have to experiment and see what works best for your business. Manual pinning does take more time, a lot more time, but I believe that in most cases it brings in more traffic.
If you plan to manually pin your content, I recommend setting aside an hour a day to do so, or hiring a Pinterest manager.
Creating Images for Pinterest
You always, always want to use vertical pins on Pinterest. I have heard that Pinterest doesn’t like horizontal pins, and I know for a fact you’ll get less saves and clicks if you use them. I wrote a post about the best Pinterest image size. My recommendation is using Photoshop to make your pins, and I created a free Photoshop Pinterest image template in that post.
Why Photoshop? Many bloggers were using PicMonkey to make their Pinterest images. It was limited, but it worked and it was easy to use. Then one day, PickMonkey stopped being free to use. Well, technically you can “use” it for free, but you can’t save your images. This can happen with any free service.
I also recommend Photoshop because, with a template, it only takes a few minutes to create a beautiful Pinterest image. A good Pinterest image should have a pretty picture or relative graphic, it should be easy to read, and it should draw the reader in with the text. With Creative Cloud, Photoshop is more affordable than ever. If making graphics sounds daunting or something that you just don’t have time to do, it’s very easy to outsource.
Hiring a Pinterest VA/Pinterest Manager
You might be reading this thinking that establishing a Pinterest presence or increasing traffic through Pinterest is a great idea. You might also think that it sounds time consuming. Setting up a business account, creating boards, finding group boards, creating images, etc. As with any platform, learning how to use Pinterest for business does take effort to grow your presence or increase traffic.
One way to do all of these things without taking time away from your busy day, is hiring a Pinterest Manager. A Pinterest Manager can handle the creation of a new Pinterest account, converting from a personal to business account, finding content to share, sharing your content with your followers, finding group boards for you to join, growing your Pinterest account, directly customers to your website, and so much more. I offer Pinterest Management services, click here to find out how to work with me.
Using Pinterest in your business
I hope that this guide helped you figure out how to use Pinterest for business. If you have any questions or tips, I’d love to hear them in the comments! If you’re looking to organize your day, you’re definitely going to want to download a copy of my Daily Planner.
My Favorite Business Resources
I use Siteground to host all of my websites (yes, I have a few!) I have tried several hosting services in the past, but I choose Siteground for their reliability and customer service.
I have been using Digisigner for online contracts with my clients. I love that it’s free for up to three contracts per month, and very affordable after that.
I recommend using Xero for your cloud based accounting software.
Google Docs and GSuite:
I love Google Docs, and it’s free! I also use GSuite for my email service among other things. I think the price of GSuite is well worth it ($5/month to start.)
I use my own Daily Planner to keep track of things every day. If you’re a planner like I am, you’ll love it! It’s only one page, and there are spots for all the little things like the main goals, menu for the day, to-do list and more. There’s a link for you to download a copy up above.
Social Media Schedulers:
Tailwind is my Pinterest scheduler of choice when I don’t have time to manually pin my content. I also use Buffer for Twitter and occasionally Facebook. Facebook also has a built-in scheduler that is great.
Business ebooks and courses:
I love Facebook Strategies Worth Sharing if you’re looking for basic help with Facebook for business. If you want to dive in deeper, the Page Strategies Course by the Moolah Marketer is a fantastic course to teach you to grow your Facebook and increase your income from your page.
Pinteresting Strategies is the best Pinterest ebook that I’ve read (and I’ve read a few.) If you’re interested in manual pinning, this one is a must read.
Traffic Transformation by Lena Gott is all about getting traffic to your blog.
I recently switched to Mailerlite and I love the service. It’s very user-friendly, and free up to 1000 subscribers.