Despite having over 400 million users (the majority of which are ‘higher income earners’), Pinterest is still ignored by the majority of businesses that we work with in 2023.
At Site & Social we have reached over 1 million unique views per month on Pinterest for some of our managed accounts. We have found it to be extremely effective at driving high quality, intent driven leads.
It’s not perfect for every business, though. Unlike Google or Facebook (that are suited to virtually every business), Pinterest is a bit more niche. We’ll discuss this further in the article, but the key to remember is that if your business is not suited to Pinterest, then it’s probably not worth your time. On the other hand if your business is suited to Pinterest, then I would recommend giving it a proper go, as it could well become one of your most valuable traffic sources.
What is Pinterest?
On the face of it, Pinterest looks and feels similar to a social media platform, except that instead of viewing posts, you view ‘Pins’.
Each ‘Pin’ that you publish on Pinterest can be linked to a particular page, product or blog post on your website.
This essentially means that each ‘Pin’ that you publish acts as a cover image for your website content. If it encourages engagement (clicks), then people will be sent directly to your website when they click on your ‘Pin’.
Pinterest is often described as a ‘social-media-search-engine hybrid’. This is because the browsing experience is similar to that of a social media platform, but the intent behind the browsing is much more like a search engine.
This is because Pins are shown once a user ‘searches’ for something.
For example, if you were to search for ‘Mens Shoes’ on Google then you would expect to be shown text links to different websites that are selling ‘Mens Shoes’. This is also what happens on Pinterest, except that you’d be shown ‘Pins’ featuring ‘Mens Shoes’ rather than ‘text links’.
This makes the whole browsing experience much more visual and engaging, and is perhaps why 90% of weekly ‘Pinners’ use Pinterest to make purchasing decisions!
What are the benefits of using Pinterest to grow your business?
There are many potential benefits of using Pinterest to grow your business, some of which include:
Generating leads / sales
As we’ve discussed, Pinterest browsing generally carries more intent behind it than that of a standard social media platform because the user has proactively had to ‘search’ to be shown the Pins, whereas on most social platforms they are just shown a ‘feed’ that they can scroll, which is much more passive.
If you can get your ‘Pins’ in front of people that are searching Pinterest for the products/services that you offer, then you are likely to generate high-intent leads (and thus generate sales).
Pinterest is a platform that bloggers thrive on. I’ve seen hundreds of blogs that generate the majority of their entire website traffic solely from Pinterest.
Pinterest prioritises new content, and so if you are consistently publishing new blog posts & articles, then there is a good chance that Pinterest could help you to increase your website traffic.
Targeting audiences with paid ads
As with all major social platforms, you have the option for paid advertising on Pinterest. This is where you can pay to get your ‘Pins’ in front of your target audience.
The Pinterest advertising platform is powerful, yet fairly straightforward to learn. You can customise your budget, campaign goals and targeting.
If your business is well suited to Pinterest then paid ads can be very effective.
Pinterest best practices
Make sure Pinterest is right for your business
As I mentioned earlier, in my experience not all businesses will benefit equally from utilising Pinterest.
Three things to consider:
- It’s a visual platform that is often used for planning and inspiration
- 75% of Pinterest users are women
- It’s used the most by people earning higher incomes, and least by people on lower incomes
I generally say that if your business is B2C focused and sells products/services that are visually appealing (eg. clothes, kitchens, food, etc) then your business is a good fit for Pinterest.
B2B businesses can work on Pinterest too, but again the ‘visually appealing’ aspect is what you need to consider. For example, a corporate law firm is probably not that well suited to Pinterest.
That said, keep in mind that there are over 450 million users on Pinterest! Even the tightest of niches will have some people in their target market that use the platform.
As Pinterest acts like a search engine, that means that Pinterest SEO is very much a real thing! It works in a similar way to search engine SEO, in that one of the most important aspects of it is your keyword targeting.
TIP – You can use the search bar on Pinterest to type in searches that are related to your niche. As you type, Pinterest will recommend similar phrases that other people are also searching for. You want to find at least 10-15 phrases (also called long-tail keywords) that you can use on your profile.
Create boards & ‘SEO’ them
‘Boards’ are essentially groups of ‘Pins’ that you have put together because they all fit into a certain category. For example if you were a shoe company, you might have boards for ‘Men’s Shoes’, ‘Women’s Shoes’, ‘Sports shoes’ etc.
You can have as many boards as you like but try to keep it below 15-20.
Sharing other people’s Pins can also help to get eyes on your page, but remember that these Pins won’t be linking back to your website, and so the focus of your Pinterest activity should always be on your own content.
For each of your boards, you want to add a keyword-rich heading and description (using the tip before to help you to find keywords).
Add descriptions and hashtags to pins
As with other social media platforms, Pinterest allows you to include a few hashtags with every ‘Pin’, as well as a title and a description. Make sure that you use all of the space provided with your title and description, ensuring that you are using relevant keywords and phrases.
While it is important to use keywords in your ‘Pin’ title and description, it’s equally important to make sure that the text reads well and that you haven’t just wedged in the keywords where it doesn’t make grammatical sense.
Pinterest is very clever and if it spots ‘keyword stuffing’ then your posts will be less likely to reach your target audience.
Create visually appealing, consistent ‘Pins’
Pinterest is a visual platform. Whenever you carry out a search on Pinterest you are shown countless ‘Pins’ that relate to your search. For your ‘Pin’ to stand out you need to make sure that it is visually striking, high quality and the right dimensions.
- Keep your ‘Pins’ vertical, the ideal dimensions should be 1000×1500 (2:3 ratio)
- If you are designing the ‘Pins’ yourself, look at what your competitors ‘Pins’ look like and build on that. Use a creative platform such as Canva to design your ‘Pins’.
- Keep all of your ‘Pins’ to a consistent theme that can become synonymous with your brand.
The best way to grow your Pinterest page quickly is to produce regular, high quality ‘Pins’ that are ‘SEO friendly’, and to share relevant ‘Pins’ from within your target market.
Tailwind is an app (with both free and paid options) that essentially makes this whole process of creating and sharing ‘Pins’ much simpler and faster.
Mastering Tailwind is another topic in its own right, but we have found it to be very good at saving us time managing our client’s Pinterest accounts.
So there you have it! A quick whistle-stop introduction for using Pinterest to grow your business.
If you’re interested in having your Pinterest business account managed by our team of experts, get in touch here. We have managed Pinterest pages for over 5 years and achieved over 1,000,000 unique page views per month on the platform.
If you’re going to manage your Pinterest business account on your own, then to truly succeed on the platform I’d recommend some further reading around Pinterest SEO & strategy, but you should be able to get started with the tips in this post!