Launched in March of 2010, Pinterest may not be the first site you think of when social media marketing is mentioned, but the network is nothing to scoff at; over 2 million people post on the site every day.

Pinterest is excellent for influencing purchases, as 93 percent of users plan purchases on the site, and 30 percent of users have made an online purchase while browsing. The social network even has distinct business accounts that operate differently from regular profiles.

Unlike other social networking sites where everyone wants to voice their opinions, Pinterest users are more focused on collecting and saving posts that they find useful to refer back to later. Since it’s used differently than most social networks, those unfamiliar with the site will want to brush up on how it functions.

Terms to Know

  • Pins. Pinterest’s particular language for a post.
  • Boards. Organized collections of pins that cover a topic. Users can follow your brand’s entire page or choose to follow a specific board that is of interest to them.
  • Home Feed. Where content from followed profiles and boards show up for users, as well as suggested pins.
  • Impressions. How many times your pin has shown up in searches, home feeds, and category feeds.
  • Saves. How many times your pin has been saved to users’ Pinterest boards.
  • Clicks. How many times people have clicked through from your pin to your website.

Users who don’t follow your board or profile can still find your content if they follow a specific category, search for a keyword, or if Pinterest thinks your pin would be of particular interest to that individual.

Types of Pins

  • Buyable Pins. These allow users to purchase your product directly from Pinterest’s site. This feature is useful because it decreases the number of steps one must take to purchase, during which time they might change their mind about buying. Purchases are made through options like Apple Pay and other secure checkouts, ensuring Pinterest doesn’t store private customer information.
  • Promoted Pins. Depending on the type of goal you set, Pinterest’s social ads offering boosts your post to be put in front of more people or encourages users to take a certain action.
  • Rich Pins. These pins provide more details about specific kinds of posts without the user having to click through to the actual site. Rich pins are connected to your site so they update as your site does, ensuring all the information is up to date. There are several different kinds of rich pins, including Article Pins and Product Pins.

How to Use Pinterest for Your Business

  1. Share your pins across other social media networks with “Pin it for later” links. This way, if people are scrolling and find your post of interest but don’t have the time to delve into it, they can save it for later and you won’t lose a visitor over lousy timing.
  2. Feature more than one product in a pin. Find a way to tie the products together; showcase that you have lots more than just one product or service to offer. Alternatively, you can feature suggestions for multiple uses for a single product to showcase its versatility. Don’t just showcase your product; show how it can be actively used to convince readers of its value.
  3. Pay close attention to your descriptions. Just like meta descriptions do for Google, these will tell the user what content to expect when they click through to your site. The best length falls between 150 and 300 words.
  4. Make things (p)interesting. Use Pinterest Analytics to track your most popular posts. See which pins bring in the most traffic to your site and view your followers’ demographics/interests, then tailor your content towards these user types. Note: The best times to post are in the afternoon and evening, with the peak traffic coming in at 11 p.m.
  5. Grow your engagement. To get people to interact with you, you must first interact with other accounts. Follow and save posts with relevant industry content to draw attention to your own account (just make sure not to do this with competitors).

Once you become familiar with it, Pinterest is fairly intuitive to use and can open your business up to previously unreached demographics.

Don’t let the site’s DIY-scene reputation fool you; when used correctly, Pinterest can do wonders for your business’ brand awareness and sales.