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Pinterest Basics for Business Owners

Let’s start at the beginning: what is Pinterest?

Contrary to popular belief, Pinterest is not a social media platform. So then, what is it? …it’s a Search Engine – a visual one.

It’s kind of like Google mixed with Instagram in that every post (which is called a “Pin”) needs a link & a graphic element.

When you first log in, you will see the “Home Feed” which you can think of as Pinterest’s take on Facebook and Instagram’s Newsfeeds, or TikTok’s For You Page. At first, you’ll be shown broad, generally-popular pins. As you begin saving (“pinning”) things, Pinterest will learn more about you and begin showing you more relevant pins. As you follow profiles, you’ll begin to see their pins on your Home Feed, as well.

I know what you’re thinking, “Ok, cool… why should I care?”

Pinterest is a fantastic way to get in front of your audience, direct them to your website, and – in the end – make money!

In just the past 90 days, my Pinterest account has brought over 220 users to my website. And I barely posted anything at all in that time frame!

Users on Pinterest are an engaged audience, and they are eager to see what is out there – both for inspiration as well as to purchase.

It’s also surprisingly low maintenance. Where your posts on Instagram only have a lifespan of a few hours to a few days, the lifespan of a pin is nearly forever.

Trends and the time of the year heavily impact which pins are going to get the most attention. It commonly takes 3-6 months for a pin to really get its footing, so don’t be discouraged when you begin pinning things and don’t immediately see a return.

Your next question is probably: what, exactly, is a Pin?

Pins are the Posts of Pinterest. Just like Facebook, you can create your own, or you can share others’.

Instead of sharing others’ content to your Facebook Newsfeed, you pin (save/share), others’ content to your boards.

The Elements of a Pin

  • Graphic: A photo or video
  • Name: 100 character limit
  • Description: 500 character limit
  • Link: Any page of your website, your Etsy store, your Facebook group, etc.
  • Your Board: Click this to choose which board you’d like to save the pin to. You can also use the dropdown menu to create an entirely new board.
  • Creator: The original Pin creator
  • Creator Board: The original creator of the pin & what board they saved it to when they created it.

Pinterest looks at ALL of these things as a whole when judging the quality of the content.

I’ve mentioned them a few times – what are Pinterest Boards?

I like to think of Boards as file folders, or even bulletin boards. When you create a new Pin, or save someone else’s, you have to select a Board to save it to.

You can have as many Boards as you’d like, but the minimum recommended amount is 10.

You can save as many Pins to each board as you like, and the minimum recommended amount of Pins, for each Board, is 20-30.

The Elements of a Board

  • Name: Keep it relevant and descriptive. 50 character limit.
  • Description: Use keywords that are relevant to the Board content! 500 character limit.
  • Cover Pins: The only Pin from each Board that is visible on your profile.
  • Pins: Both Pins you’ve created and Pins you’ve saved from others.
  • Section: A bit of a Board within a Board, to further categorize the Pins.

Your Pinterest Profile

In addition to all of your business information, your profile is where your Pins and Boards live.

Filling in all of the parts is the best way to get your Pins in front of users!

The Elements of Your Profile

  • Cover: A photo or video that has a 16:9 ratio
  • Profile Photo: I like to use my photo, but if you want to use your logo, or a product photo, Pinterest is the only platform where I’d say go for it.
  • Name: Try to include some keywords as well as your business name.
  • Username: I try to keep my username the same across all platforms. Consistency helps others find you & know they’re following the right account.
  • About Pt. 1: Your website! If you have a website (your own domain), you can claim/verify it through Pinterest.
  • About Pt. 2: Think of this like your Instagram bio. Keywords are great, but keep it sounding natural!

Below this main part, there is a Created section that shows all of the Pins you’ve created, going from most recent to least recent. These are just laid out all together, similar to the Home Feed.

There is also a button for Saved. This will bring up your Boards. You can reorder your Boards whenever you like – just drag and drop them where you’d like them to be.

On your Profile, your Boards show 3 images. The larger image is the Board’s Cover. Any Pin on that Board can be set as the Cover. You can select/change the by editing the Board and selecting a specific Pin. The others are typically the 2 Pins most recently saved to that board.

How to actually use Pinterest

Screenshot of the Create a Pin screen on Pinterest

Creating a Pin

When you log in on a browser, you will see “Create” at the top of the page. Click that, and then “Create Pin” and, from there, it’s pretty straightforward. Add your image or video, type up your tile & description, select a Board & hit Publish.

To make it a bit more interesting, you can create a carousel Pin by hitting the plus button on the left side of the screen. You can add up to 5 images or videos!

Unlike other platforms, you can schedule content right on the Pinterest site! Instead of “Publish Immediately” at the bottom of the screen, you can click “Publish at a later date” and then select a date and time before hitting “Publish.”

Is video more your thing?

Join my Facebook group, focused on Creative Business Help, to see the replay of Thursday, March 31st’s, one-hour LIVE video where I covered all of these basics, and then some!

Each Thursday, I go live for about 15-30 minutes in my group and cover a different topic to help you run & market your business better.

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