Understanding Pinterest the Greatest Social Network
Understanding Pinterest – How to Use the Greatest Social Network You are Probably Overseeing
Digital marketing is hard to crack. This is not an understatement, next to some of the highest-ranking professions in the world; digital marketing demands ongoing education about the ever-changing developments of the tech industry. Social media companies have taken over the spaces that were usually reserved for magazines and TV ads back in the XX century.
Most marketing agencies now put all their efforts into making eye-grabbing campaigns aimed at audiences on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. All of these household names are a great way to get exposure for any brand and a surefire way to get anyone noticed with the right campaign. The biggest name on that list that most companies oversee? That would be Pinterest.
Pinterest is one of the unique social networks out there. They are a visual medium above everything else, so they focus most of their strategy on showing people great visuals related to specific topics. They have also made it easy to share texts, but their strength lies in visual storytelling.
In the following guide, we are going to learn everything we need to know about Pinterest and ask the hard questions we need to answer to make the most of our Pinterest account. You will learn what a great tool is for your personal use as well as one of the many venues where you can showcase the offerings of your brand with ease. Sit back and enjoy the knowledge!
Getting Started – What is Pinterest?
The best way to define Pinterest would be to describe an ancient practice of many people since mainstream media is part of our lives. Back in the ’80s, with the surge of pop-culture making waves among the lives of many young people, a lot of youngsters used to collect clips and pictures from magazines for the hell of it. Most of them did so to treasure something special.
This practice carried over with more specialized forms of showing and keeping a massive portfolio of images. By the end of the ’90s, we had catalogs, albums, art books, portfolios, and many other forms of physical databases to search, review, and use the images we needed. When the internet went mainstream, physical catalogs were slowly replaced with digital versions.
Pinterest allows you to follow this old practice by doing so in the digital world. They are essentially the most versatile bookmarking tool you can find on the internet. You can explore the website to find new creative expressions, or you can navigate the web and bookmark the best images you see on each website you visit and clip them on your board.
Why Should I Use Pinterest?
You might be wondering right now what this glorified digital clipping album can do for you. You would be surprised at the answer. Pinterest was an idea in the minds of Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra back in 2009. They were in love with the concept, so they launched the website one year later. The company currently has ten years, and it’s still in the hands of the original team.
With the specialized app and their browser plug-in, anyone can use Pinterest to collect and store images from the web about clothes, food, places to travel, collectibles, pieces of furniture, hairstyles. Think about anything you like, and there is no limit to the things you can do with the platform, as well as the number of albums and categories you can create to keep everything in order as you like. The best part of the equation? Pinterest is free to use.
Ok, that’s Amazing, but How Can I Use Pinterest for my Brand?
Think about Pinterest about the way you envision your storefront if you had one. It’s the best way to showcase every single item you have for sale in your online store with a broader chance for visual exploration by any potential client. Let’s picture for a moment that you are selling a limited stock of a product that has found a very loyal base that looks forward to buying your releases. Pinterest is the way to go to let them know what’s coming and let them see it from every single angle.
What does this mean for your brand? Well, for starters, you get an increased level of visibility, people will be aware of your brand if you have something that stands out and causes a visual impact. You can also build follow-back links with people who might be interested in your products. They’ll simply pin it on their board to check on it later. You can engage in sales by offering your contact info or a link to make a purchase. You have overall social engagement.
That Sounds Awesome! – But, How Can I make my Pins Stand Out From the Rest?
As you can see, we are talking about the whole package here. This is all marketing 101, and it’s all in a single place. Pinterest also allows you to use SEO to increase your engagement and traffic. You can play with Google’s algorithm to maximize your exposure and attract people using advertisements, blog posts, and other sales techniques. You can also choose to go with a “pinnable post.” The more effort you put into making this particular pin, the more noticeable you will be.
Pinterest also has a unique model to promote your pins on their website. They work with a system called “Advertising Module.” You only have to reach the platforms through one of the many promotional links they offer. You need to be prepared with a pin that stands out to promote your brand or product. You will also have to crunch the numbers about your goals and explain to Pinterest the audience you want to reach. Once this is done, you need to set a CPC bid for your pin. Keep in mind the figure of the budget at your disposal. The company will reach out to you to work out a deal.
All right, You Have Convinced me – How do I Create a Pinterest Account?
If you are unfamiliar with Pinterest, we advise you to have your first contact with it using your laptop or personal computer. Use your desktop and visit Pinterest.com. As is customary with these websites, you will be asked for some personal information to get your login access. You may also skip this step by using your Facebook or Google account to manage your access.
Since the focus of this guide is to explain the use of Pinterest for marketing purposes, we recommend that you use the desktop version to coordinate your efforts. But if you are tech-savvy enough, you can also download the app and set up your posts using your smartphone or tablet. There are versions available for iOS and Android.
Once you have login access, you will be given an option to choose between a regular account or a business account. This is the first moment where you need to consider your choice. A personal account is going to be useful to create a personal brand, something based on your name alone, such as coaching services, or self-care programs.
If your business angle is to build a brand based on the whole package (company name, logo, etc.), a business account is the best option for you. This is especially true if you are bent on selling goods and services such as tech, apparel, catering, and others. You can use the metrics of Pinterest to your advantage regardless of the type of account you have.
· Creating a Pinterest Personal Account
The sign-up process is swift and doesn’t take more than five seconds on your desktop. As we already mentioned, you can use your Facebook or Google account to gain access. You can also create a new account using your smart device, but you won’t be able to sing up using the websites we already mentioned. You will be asked for an e-mail address, and that login information will work on the desktop version.
There is also a little drawback with the app: you can create a business account using a smart device. Although you can manage one business account later on using the app, the only way to get the option to create a business account is by using the desktop version. It seems that Pinterest adheres to the principles of making a business a serious matter that needs some levels of formality to be pursued through its platform.
· Creating a Pinterest Business Account
Since you have chosen this option, you already know that you can’t create a business account using the app. To get a Pinterest business account, you will have to log in using the website and choose the option “Pinterest for Business.” You’ll notice that you will be asked for a lot more information on this stance, including the people who can access your account to manage it. After that, you will be asked to read the terms of service and approve them, and you will be set.
If you have a regular account, you can convert it to a business account. Just look for the option to do so in the browser version. You will be asked for details about your business as well as the main website of it if you have one. After you offer all the data they are asking for, you only need to hit “covert,” and you are ready to roll. As you can probably imagine, the business account has a lot of perks to it that a personal account lacks, we’ll get into that in a moment.
Tell me a Good reason to Create a Pinterest Business Account
With a Pinterest business account, you will have a lot of additional features than the ones you are used to with a regular account. The first option you have to keep track of your posts is the Analytics tab. You will be able to see the performance of each one of your pins in real-time and in the proposed lifespan. You also have access to Pinterest Ads, which is the best way to promote your pins inside the platform. With these tools at your disposal now is up to you to make things work out to your advantage.
Pinterest Glossary – The Most Common Terms You Will See In the Platform
Every single social network has its own lingo, a series of words that are unique to that platform that can make you relate the topic of conversation instantly to the platform where it’s being shared. When a celebrity says something online, they usually “Tweet” their comments. When a company makes a big announcement, they often “Share a FB post,” with Pinterest is no different.
If you have never used Pinterest before, some of these buzzwords can be very overwhelming, confusing, or even annoying. But once you get used to them, you will be able to navigate through Pinterest’s posts like the best there is. The following is a collection of the most used terminology inside Pinterest or related to it:
A pin is a name used for a basic Pinterest post. For regular people, a pin is usually a picture they see on the network or a website that gets “pinned” on their board of choice. Pinning is when you place a post at the top of your board for everyone to see if they ever visit your main Pinterest profile. In a business account, a pin should always lead to the main website of your business.
When you save a pin posted by another account, you “Repin” that post on your board. This is also known as “re-pinning,” which is nothing more than a derivate of terms such as “re-tweeting,” “re-posting,” or “re-blogging” content generated by someone else. Currently, Pinterest is in a surge since a lot of social networks are becoming more focused on their efforts to keep their demographics, giving a chance to Pinterest to flourish and please many audiences at the same time.
A Pinterest board is the equivalent of a digital album. Most boards are topic-centered, and you use them to archive pins related to said topic. You can have as many boards as you like, but if you are handling a business account, it would be wise to keep as little of them as possible to avoid confusing your audience.
When you start to post content that is deemed relevant for Pinterest super-diverse audiences, you’ll notice a lot of people subscribing to your board. They become your “followers” for the content posted on that board you have set up to pin information about your products or services.
The most treasured indicator for social media managers. “Likes” are how people react to your content, unlike Facebook, Pinterest has a single option to indicate their reaction to your pins, so either they like what you pin, or they are indifferent to it.
Users of the Pinterest network often call other users “Pinners.” It sounds rather silly, we know, but it’s out there, so you might as well know about it.
Most business posts have a source link embedded to them. This link usually leads to the main website of your business.
Now my Brand has a Presence on Pinterest – How do I Use It?
The number of posts being shared in Pinterest can be very intimidating if you are trying to stand out from the pack. Don’t worry too much about it for now. Let’s get started with a useful walkthrough that will help you use Pinterest like an absolute professional in a matter of moments. To master Pinterest, you only need to know how to create a board, how to create a pin, and manage the features of the website. Let’s get started on that
How to Create a Pinterest Board
Now that you have your account, you need to proceed with a little patience. We are always eager when we join a new social network, but rushing the process will leave an untraceable mess in this particular social network. Before creating your first pin or re-pining anything you see to your liking, you need a place to get everything in an orderly fashion.
To best way to go on about this is by creating a set of boards to your account. As we mentioned earlier, you can create as many as you need by using the little plus symbol with the red dot you will see on your screen. You can name the board to your liking, but since you are creating something for your business, you might want to organize them following the dynamics of your posts.
How to Edit Your Pinterest Boards
After the board has been created, you can rename it using the pen icon that appears in the top left corner of the frame. You can name the boards to your liking, add a description for the people visiting your profile, as well as the topic that goes on the particular board. You can classify your pins by pointing out the ones that are yours and the ones created by a guest.
We already stated the importance of being able to create as many boards as you want. Still, being this your business account, you need to keep a manageable number to avoid confusing your followers with random pins all over the place. By keeping it simple, you will secure a broader audience. Each pin should resonate with the purpose of the board in question.
How to Create Your First Pin
Now that you have boards, and each one of them has a purpose, you start to generate content to build your audience. Please take a moment to realize that there is a big difference in creating a pin and re-pinning something for the first time. By pinning something, you will be generating content on your own in the network. You can create a new pin by clicking on “pin” and using the red-dotted plus button.
Your first pin will be stored on the board of your choice. You can add a description and expand further details that are left out of the main post, such as a source link to your website. When it comes to content, we have already mentioned how Pinterest is primarily a visual medium. Your first pin should be something that reflects on your Brand and says everything that is needed to know about it.
What You Need to Know About Re-Pinning
As for re-pining content, that can be a little tricky. You can repin something that may resonate with your business, such as a positive motivational card or an important date. Still, you have to be wary about re-pinning something related to your business that is created by your competitors. A well-prepared social media manager will be able to make the right calls about this on your behalf. That way, you can focus on the creation of your product or improving on it.
Creating a New Pin Using the App
You can use the Pinterest app to create a brand new pin. You will find the option to do so in the dashboard of your profile with the red-dotted plus symbol. You will be offered a choice to create it using content stored in your smart device, or you’ll have the option to navigate the web to look for the image you need for your post. If you wish to share a live photo, the app will ask for access to your camera to take a picture and pin it in real-time.
Pinning Content From the Web
One of the best features of Pinterest is the “Pin-It” button that is only available on the desktop version. This little utility will place a button in the top bar of your browser. As you navigate the web, you will probably come across an image that holds your attention. It can probably be an imposing image of a landscape, or a motivational image, for example. You can use the Pin-It button to store it in your account.
If you click on the Pin-It button, Pinterest will locate the source image of the website and will ask you if you want to place it on one of your boards. If the site has multiple images from a gallery, Pinterest will open a submenu where you’ll be able to choose the source image you want and the best resolution that resonates with your board. You can add a caption if you want to keep consistency with the other pins on your board.
The Best Features of Pinterest
Pinterest has an extensive catalog of features that are pretty useful for any business. Some of them are available for regular accounts as well, but the scope of their use is vastly different when it comes to interaction and frequency of use. These are some of the most relevant:
· PM’s – Private Messages
As with most social networks, Pinterest allows you to send private messages to other users on the platform. You can access this feature in the desktop version of the site in the top right corner, next to your name. A menu will display all the people in your network that are open to receive messages on the platform. There are privacy settings for this, so make sure the person you want to message has the option turned on. Otherwise, they will never know you wrote to them.
· Visual Search
Next to the Pin-It button, this is probably the most underrated feature of Pinterest. The visual search feature is a function that, once activated, allows your smart device to identify products you might want to buy that you happen to have stored in a pin. Pinterest’s algorithms will work overtime to offer products related to your pin and place them in a shopping cart without even scrolling the app. You can access this feature in the top right corner of any pin with a magnifying glass and three dots that allow you to manage the settings of the feature.
· Pinterest Browser Add-On
This add-on is the least polished version of the Pin-It button that can turn out to be a bit annoying unless you get used to it. By installing this add-on to your browser, a little Pinterest symbol will appear in the corner of any image you see on any website on the Internet. If you click on the symbol, you will be given the option to save the image to one of your boards regardless of the quality and resolution.
· Pinterest Instant Ideas
Instant Ideas is a great feature that makes the best of Pinterest come to you instead of you searching for it. At the corner of every pin you have on your boards, you will see a small circle that you can click on. If you do it, Pinterest will show you a gallery of posts in the network related to that pin without leaving your board.
· Search Filters
Pinterest has one of the most user-friendly search engines on the Internet. It also has a lot of features that allow you to do specialized searches using the inner funnels of the website. The option is located on the right side of the search bar.
The Secrets to Unlock the Full Potential of Pinterest for Business
It’s pretty clear by now that Pinterest has a lot going on for it. This website, by all rights, should be a more prominent Juggernaut than it is right now. This doesn’t mean that everything on Pinterest is a walk in the park. Even with a lesser presence on the social media spectrum as Facebook and the entire brands related to it, such as Instagram, Pinterest was ranked by Google as the second more significant driver of traffic to other websites in 2019.
This means that you can’t skip efforts into generating great content that is appealing to your targeted base audience. The following is a list of the strategies you can manage to secure a place in the Pinterest network. Most of these are fundamental marketing tactics pursued by many social media managers:
Create Pins to Drive Traffic to Your Website
After opening your Pinterest account, you need to keep something important in mind. The site is just a door that will lead people to your goal. The goal is the website of your business. All your pins should include the best images you can craft for your campaign. Use the bidding options to get additional exposure, and you will have people flooding your website in a New York minute.
Use Unique Keywords
We can’t lie in this regard. Keywords are essential for any marketing campaign, and in Pinterest, your keyword game needs to be at the top of the game. Don’t go for common choices and tried methods. It would be best if you avoided the sea of mediocrity since, sadly, Pinterest is full of those. Be as unique and daring as the campaign and the brand allow you to be
Track the Pins that Bring the Most Conversions
The analytics of your posts will offer a lot of insight about which pin had the most interaction with users in the network. You can use this data in contrast with Google analytic to get a hold of the actual conversions brought by a pin. This information will give you a lot of insight into the type of post that succeeds the most with your targeted audience.
Pursue the Use of Natural Links
You can have as many assets as you need for a single pin, and all of them will be pretty useless if the people interacting with your content don’t know where to go. Remember that pointing out your website in infographics is one thing, but offering a natural link that people can follow in the description of your pin will do wonders to lead more conversions. As terrible as this sound, people are looking for efficiency when something gets their attention, they don’t have the time to type something in the browser bar.
This is especially important if you are pursuing your marketing campaign, and Pinterest is the leading act. A lot of people will use the excuse that Instagram achieves the same with a more extensive user base. Sadly the numbers don’t add up. Instagram has a user base of 700 million people, with only 200million active each day. You lose traction and exposure for three quarts of the people on the social network. Pinterest has a user base of 200 million people, and 150million is active on the network 24/7 to this date. The levels of chances for engagement are 75% greater than Instagram.
The Thinking Behind Pinterest for Business
We are taking a little break here to reflect on something that has many people scratching their heads after a successful run of 10 years. Pinterest, as you can tell by now, is a great social network with a lot of smart features that show and advanced level of development. It should be a no-brainer to use it to build brand awareness by every major corporation.
It baffles the mind the fact that Pinterest is often considered the red-headed step-child of the social networks by many agencies who fail to see the potential behind such a visually friendly site with such a vast network that is ripe for the picking. All the options for optimization are available on Pinterest, and they let you go even further than you would with Facebook or Instagram without the complexity of the algorithms of these websites.
Strategies To Make Your Mark on Pinterest
Since you finally have your Pinterest account and you have a pretty clear plan that will help you build your audience, you probably are asking if there is something else you need to learn. The answer is yes, but it deals with the proper etiquette you need to have to make things work out in your favor in one of the most competitive social networks out there.
This is very curious for many first-time users, but as you navigate Pinterest’s network, you will notice specific patterns about most pins managed by established brands. These are the norms that guarantee their success, and we share them with you to make sure you avoid any mistakes:
Let’s get started with the basic mechanics of engagement. It usually works like this:
- You create a product and keep a stock of it
- You take a set of professional pictures of the product to post them on Pinterest
- You post them in a pin, and people start to pin the images back
- Some people get very curious about your product, enough to try to contact you to see how they can get their hands on it
- They reach you. You offer the information if they find the engagement inviting they will subscribe to your board looking forward to updates
- They eventually make up their mind and purchase something following the link of the post. From that moment on, Pinterest will drive more traffic to your profile and your products
This probably sounds too easy, but there is a whole slew of strategy that goes behind this move. Every single aspect of it has to be reviewed, studied, and understandable for the customer. It all begins with the images of your product. Long gone are the days of crammed elements into a single image. A simple, bright picture with a white background tells the whole story about your product.
Succeeding with Your Marketing Strategy – This is What You Should Do
- Offer easy access to your website. A precise URL address will do a lot more for your business than fully worded infographics. Make things simpler; don’t make the potential buyer search for the link on their own.
- Make sure the widgets to subscribe to your boards are easy to see and locate. Some people will like the content you generate and hit the follow option to search for you later on
- Always place at least two links in the descriptions of your images. One is leading to the product, and others are leading to the main website. Someone may show interest in your general offerings, and they might want to take a look at the whole package instead of following a single link.
Avoid Failing on Pinterest – This is What you Have to Avoid
- One of the many mistakes done by first-time users on Pinterest is posting pinning images without context. Your brand should be ready with accessible information about each one of your posts. Avoid pots without meaning that say nothing to your audience.
- Never place direct links to cart-adds or checkout pages. Your links should always lead to more information about your product. You can include a purchase option at the end, but you need to let the users understand what they are seeing.
Well, this is nearly a wrap for us. As you can see from this guide, Pinterest is probably the underdog of social networks. Still, they are getting ready to have their time in the sun with a growing audience and more opportunities for entrepreneurs and established brands. The next marketing war will be focused on who is able to make the most engaging content for this platform, and the surge of creativity will be the best win-win scenario for all the parties included.
Sadly we probably will have to see the thousands of copycats that will follow the trail of success of the innovators. While some of them might improve the formula, not everyone is going to be a winner. For the time being, you can get started into Pinterest with all the information contained in these lines. You have everything you need to succeed here, but there is always room to improve with your own strategies. Keep in mind the most prominent piece of advice: Pinterest is a means to an end. It’s just a venue you can use, one that can tell everything that needs to be said about you and your products.