We covered the basics of what Pinterest is, so now we’re taking a closer look at how to set up your Pinterest account and some best practices to follow while you’re using the account. Even if you’ve never used Pinterest before, by the end of this tutorial, you’ll be well on your way to being a pro.
Personal vs. Business Pinterest Accounts
Though a personal and business account looks the same, there are key differences to be aware of. If you want to use Pinterest for commercial purposes, you must create a business account and agree to the business-specific terms of service.
You also can specify your business name, rather than trying to make it fit into the standard first and last name on a personal account.
Pinterest offers an educational library of content aimed at businesses who want to learn how to leverage Pinterest for marketing purposes. The content helps you with telling your story on your profile, gives tips to build your community, and helps you learn how to drive traffic.
Business accounts also have the option to promote Pins with paid advertising, similar to the way you’d run a Facebook ad campaign.
Setting Up Your Business Account
Sign up for a new business account. Follow the on-screen steps to create the account. If and when possible, use your business name for your username. If you cannot do this, make it as close to your other business social media handles as possible. This will help with brand recognition and make it easier for people who are connected with you on different platforms to connect with you on Pinterest.
Getting Started with Your New Business Account
Verify Your Website
After you’ve created your account, you should verify your website with Pinterest. This ensures users will see your full website URL in your profile and search results. This involves downloading an HTML verification file and uploading it to your server and then clicking on the button at Pinterest to finish the process. If you can’t access your server via FTP or are using WordPress, it’s easier to use the meta tag verification option, since all you have to do is add the tag to the theme’s header.php file.
Once it’s verified, do not remove the HTML verification file or the meta tag, because this could cause the verification to break. If this happens, go through the verification steps again.
Start creating boards and finding content to pin to them. Add the Pinterest “Pin It” bookmarklet to your browser’s toolbar to make it easy to pin anything from anywhere. It’s a good idea to name and categorize your boards based on keywords and topics you cover within your niche. Fill your boards with content before you start promoting the account. Feel free to Pin content from your website where it fits.
Drive Traffic Back to Your Website
Encourage people who visit your website to share your images with their Pinterest followers. Add a Pin it button to your site. There are several ways to do this. You can find it on the Buttons and Widgets page or in one of many WordPress social sharing plugins such as Sociable, AddThis, ShareThis, and Digg Digg.
Build Your Audience
In addition to the Pin it button, you should also add a widget that encourages website visitors to follow you on Pinterest. There are several ways to do this as well, including the buttons and widgets page, and many social media plugins. Beyond a follow button, you can also include a widget featuring your latest Pinterest activity. This is always a good option because it adds more visual appeal and typically converts better than the standard follow buttons.
Best Practices for Pinterest
Make Sure Your Profile is Complete
If you didn’t complete it during the setup process, make sure your profile is complete before you start pushing it to everyone.
Make sure you have an excellent image for your profile picture. If possible, make it match the rest of the social profiles you use for your business for easier brand awareness.
Use the Bio Space to Tell Viewers About Your Business
Include a message about your business that’s similar to your Twitter bio and Facebook Page’s About section. Tell people who you are and why they should learn more about your company.
Include your Verified Website
Include your verified website so people can see your domain name and click to visit your site.
Include Links to Your Other Social Media Accounts
Include links to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can be linked from your account settings.
Consider SEO Services When Building Your Pinterest Boards
We’ll get into the nuts and bolts of how to do this in our final installment of this series, but it’s important to create boards on your Pinterest account that are related to the keywords you want to rank for. As a photographer, you’d want to create boards specific to the types of photography you shoot. If you don’t offer wedding photography, skip including it on your Pinterest account.
Pin Images Based on Your Target Audience’s Interests
When it comes to content marketing, you aim to create content that your target audience and potential customers will enjoy. You need to keep this in mind when it comes to pinning images to your boards. Make sure the images you pin are the ones that will attract your target audience and encourage them to follow you.
When creating images for your content for Pinterest consider the following:
- Profile images: 165 x 165 pixels.
- Pins in feed: 238 pixels x adjusted to height.
- Expanded pin size: 735 pixels x adjusted to height.
- Pin boards complete size: 238 x 284 pixels.
- Cover image: 217 x 146 pixels.
- Tiny thumbnails: 51 x 51 pixels.
Up to 80% of Pinners look at Pinterest feeds on mobile devices, so it makes sense to make your images taller than they are wide. Stick to an aspect ratio of 2:3 or 4:5. If you need help making eye-catching images, Canva is an excellent tool. They have a template specifically for Pinterest (735 px x 1102 px), along with a library of images you can use for free or for $1/each. Their Canva for Work paid product ($12.95/month) makes it easy to save your company’s branding, and magically resize the images for use on numerous social channels. Diversify sizing to see which gets the best response from your audience, and adapt your pins to the sizing that does the best.
Use Pinterest to Run Contests
Run a Pinterest contest and offer a prize to people who repin their images. You’ll gain a lot of additional exposure in the Pinterest community, and likely earn some new followers as a result. Remember, people can choose to follow specific boards or entire accounts.
Use Pinterest Analytics to Keep Up With What’s Performing Well
Pinterest has built-in analytics to show you which Pins are doing well. You can also get decent analytics information with some third-party services. Tailwind is a third-party Pinterest scheduling tool that lets you easily schedule out Pins in advance, and shows you which ones are performing the best.
Use this URL to see which images from your website are being pinned: http://pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com
Use Google Analytics to See How Much Traffic You Get from Pinterest
Keep an eye on your Google Analytics account to see how much referral traffic you’re getting from Pinterest. To find out which posts are getting the most traffic from Pinterest:
Once logged into Google Analytics, click Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals. You’ll see a breakdown of traffic that comes from all the social networks so you can look at Pinterest specifically. You can also go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals and see the list of sources that bring you traffic.
Pinterest Has Great Potential for Your Business
With the right strategy in hand, Pinterest has great potential to help you build your business. Make sure you’re pinning regularly, and repin some of your older pins from time to time. In our final piece in this series, we’ll be taking a deeper dive into how to use Pinterest to improve your overall SEO strategy.