Be Pinteresting! Getting started with Pinterest for your Small Biz

If you’re reading this, you’re somewhere on the spectrum of “had heard of Pinterest” all the way to “I use Pinterest for my business, but probably not very well. Not to worry! In this blog, I (Michelle, here) am going to demystify Pinterest for you and explain how you can best optimize your Small Biz Pinterest page for maximum return. Let’s jump right in!


Pinterest Basics

For many, Pinterest is the place we go to get inspiration and collect ideas as a virtual Pin board. But, if you’re a small biz there’s a huge opportunity to drive traffic to your website, gain brand visibility and get clients (yes! I said get clients!)

I talked in depth about Pinterest and Pinterest Strategy on the Wingnut Social Podcast: Episode 3 Making the Most of your Pinterest Strategy, but the biggest points to know about Pinterest are these:

  • Pinterest is a Search Engine, NOT a Social Media - As a user, we most often engage with Pinterest via the search box, not always the endless scroll. With this in mind, you want your content to be the answer to someone’s search terms (more on this in the last section of this blog)

  • You MUST have stellar visuals - Unlike twitter or facebook, content on Pinterest depends on having STELLAR visuals. What are stellar visuals? This means clear, crisp, high resolution photography, engaging graphics, and GREAT branding

  • Pinterest prefers vertical images - because of the user experience on the platform, Pins are formatted 800 pixels wide x however tall you like. (Don’t worry, I break down file types and image sizes in Phase 3 of the Small Biz Start Up Guide). Keeping this in mind, if you’re trying to Pin horizontal images, they will appear smaller in the feed than the vertical ones.

  • You want to be the content CREATOR - just like your other social media strategies, you want to be in the driver’s seat with your Pinterest account, churning out high quality content on a regular basis that reaches your target audience and gets them to click through to your website. You’ll want to provide VALUE to anyone who interacts with your brand by helping them solve a problem, the answer to that problem being your product or service offering.

Pinterest and Small Biz Branding

Now, as a small biz, you know how important it is to create a consistent brand experience (if you haven’t, read Why Just a Logo is Just not enough for your Small Biz) across all of your platforms, and Pinterest is no different. You want your potential client to have a consistent experience from any point of contact to you, and throughout their interaction with your brand. Here are a few ways you can set up your Pinterest to maximize that brand experience:

Profile Name & Image

When you sign up for Pinterest, you’re going to want to set up a business account. Doing so allows you access to different analytics and features that the personal account doesn’t have.

Now, when you’re signing up with a name, it is important to use your small biz name (don’t have one? Read: The SBSUG Method for Picking a Small Biz Name) OR if you’re a service professional/personal brand where your name is closely tied to what you do, then you’ll want to use that as your Pinterest name.

Many Pinterest Accounts utilize all 30 characters to add a descriptor in their Pinterest name for optimization purposes. For example, “Jane Smith | Creative Copywriter” is much more searchable than just “Jane Smith.”

Same goes for that profile image! Use a high resolution version of your logo or submark (what’s a submark? we cover it in Phase 3 of the Small Biz Start Up Guide). Again, if you’re a personal brand or someone who’s personality is closely tied to their small biz, you may want to opt for an on-brand headshot. Branded photography is super important! Read: Branded Photography: What it is and Why You Need it for your Small Biz

Getting Around your Pinterest Profile:

Pinterest Description

Your Pinterest Description is another great place to give visitors an idea of who you are and what your product or service is. You’ll want this description to be quick, search term heavy, and to the point.

Tip: Use your Mission and Vision statement verbiage here! Don’t have your Mission or Vision statements yet? Read: Use it or Lose it: Why Biz Planning Must be an Ongoing To-Do or Download: Free Mission and Vision Statement Guide

Branded Pinterest Board Covers

Now, here’s where you can really bring your small biz branding to your Pinterest Account. Use your brand colors, fonts, graphics and images to create square graphics (1000x1000 pixel size works best) for each of your Pinterest Boards. Here’s how we have done so for SBSUG:

small biz start up guide branded board covers

As you can see, we used our brand colors and graphics to create consistent labels/covers for each of the boards. This creates a really consistent experience for our user: from social media, to website, to blog and so on.

To make custom board covers, you can hire a graphic designer or DIY them. Read: DIY Social Media Graphics from Your Phone. Pin the Graphic by clicking the Red “+” to the top of Pinterest. Connect the URL to a relevant spot on your website, and add a SEO friendly description. To set this as your cover, click on the Pinterest Board Settings and click “change cover.”

Board Descriptions

While you’re in the board settings make sure you also are categorizing and adding relevant captions to your boards. This often overlooked step can make a big difference in how your Pins get discovered. This is also a great place to use your mission statement as well as terms or phrases related to the content within that board. Need an example?

Pinterest Strategy

How to Pin?

Pinning is super easy! There are two great ways to create pins, but the first step is clicking that red “+” to the top right of Pinterest. You can create your own Pin or Pin directly from a URL.

Where to Pin?

You should Pin your Pins to their corresponding boards. For example, if you are a Yoga Instructor with a Yoga website, and you wrote a blog about stretching for runners, you want to Pin the graphic for that blog to a board called “Yoga for Runners” or “Stretching at Home.”

What to Pin?

A general rule of thumb is for 80% of your Pinterest content to link back to your own website, and 20% of your pins to be others’ content. As I mentioned at the top of this post, it is important to be in the driver’s seat as a small biz owner and consider yourself the creator instead of curator role.

Overwhelmed? No worries.

We cover Pinterest as well as other social media marketing tips, tricks, hacks and strategies in Phase 5 of the Small Biz Start Up Guide! If you already formed your biz, but need some help with the social media stuff, you can now grab Phase 5 as a stand alone chapter.

What are you waiting for?

Get your copy of the Small Biz Start Up Guide NOW!