56 Ways to Market Your Business on Pinterest

image of pinterest logo

In case you’ve been living in a mountain cave in Bhutan for the past couple of months, Pinterest is a relatively new social networking site that allows users to create online image collages, then quickly and easily share those collages — called “pinboards” — with other Pinterest users.

It’s fun, easy, and catching on like wildfire right now.

Part of Pinterest’s appeal is that it’s beautiful. Enter the lovely world of Pinterest, and all the troubles of your day-to-day life just seem to slip away in a stream of perfect little black dresses, baby otters, and cherubic children who never seem to get dirty or mouth off to their parents.

Because it’s image-based, the core of Pinterest is overwhelmingly positive. I like to think of Pinterest as Facebook without the whining.

Yes, Pinterest is beautiful. And yes, its users love it. But don’t let all the hearts and flowers fool you. Behind those lovely images, Pinterest is fast becoming a heavy hitting marketing tool for brands and businesses … like yours.

Let’s take a quick look at why this is, and then we’ll get into 56 specific Pinterest tactics you can use to your own marketing advantage.

What is Pinterest and why should I care?

Once you’ve got a Pinterest account, you can create online collages (“boards”) for different topics you’re interested in, and then add images and videos to your boards by “pinning” them (the equivalent of using glue sticks on old-school vision boards, but faster, slicker, and considerably cooler.)

Pinterest has nearly five million users, and is rapidly growing. Nearly 1.5 million unique users visit Pinterest daily, spending an average of 15 minutes a day on the site.

Think those inspiring vision boards don’t result in referral traffic to websites and blogs? Think again. In January 2012, Pinterest drove greater traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google Plus, Reddit, and Youtube — combined.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how beginner, intermediate, and black-belt Pinterest users are using it to grow their businesses and connect with their customers using these appealing online collages.

Here are 56 powerful ways I’ve come up with to incorporate Pinterest into your content marketing mix …

Pinterest marketing for beginner pinners …

  1. Make sure you feature your business name on your profile for maximum exposure. Use your business name as your username, or change your profile name to your business name after your profile is set up.
  2. Add a paragraph about who you are and what you’re interested in to the “About” section on your Pinterest profile. It will show up right under your photo, and will be one way that users can find out more about you.
  3. Connect your account with your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Not only will it help you gain followers, but making this connection adds social media icons under your profile picture that link to your Facebook and Twitter profiles.
  4. Don’t forget to add your website URL in your profile, too!
  5. Pin lots of stuff. Pin content steadily, instead of in huge bursts, to maximize your exposure and engagement.
  6. Come up with creative and interesting board names. They get shared whenever you pin something, so make them enticing. But be creative — you need to keep your board names short. There isn’t a lot of room for long descriptive titles.
  7. Tag other Pinterest users in your pins by using “@username” in your descriptions. Network with other professionals and vendors in your field by using this feature. Not many people are doing this yet, so it’s a great way to build your following and stand out.
  8. Comment on other people’s pins. Just like with tagging, this feature hasn’t really caught on yet, so use it regularly to really engage with other users. Obviously, use the same good manners and common sense you would when commenting on a blog or other social media site.
  9. “Like” other people’s pins to give a thumbs-up when you want to recognize great content.
  10. Pin from lots of different sources, instead of just from one or two sites. Variety is important on Pinterest.
  11. Mix pinning your own unique finds with doing lots of “repinning,” which is repeating someone else’s pin to your followers (just like a Retweet on Twitter). The person whose image you repin gets notified via email, and they also get a credit on your pin, which increases their following.
  12. Feel free to pin your own blog posts, but don’t over-promote. Follow the usual etiquette rules of any other social media site, and don’t be the boorish one at the party who only talks about himself.
  13. Pin videos! Pinterest has a special section just for pinned videos, and there are far fewer videos than images on Pinterest at this point, so use them to distinguish yourself. Any YouTube video is easy to pin.
  14. When you pin an image, add a description under it. Be smart about these descriptions — a good description will stay with an image as it gets repinned all over the Pinterest world. If the image is something from your own site, definitely use your business name in the description.
  15. After you pin a new image using the very handy Pinterest browser bookmarklet (a great tool in its own right,) use its built-in social media prompts to re-share your pin on Twitter and Facebook, too.
  16. Use Pinterest’s embed option to publish pins as content in your blog posts and website pages. Note: As Pinterest is catching on, you may need to tell your users that they need to click on a Pinterest image to get to the original source. When I tried this last week, a reader wrote to me and asked, “Is there more to that Pin thing? Or is it just a pretty image?”
  17. Get the Pinterest iPhone app, so you can repin on the go, pin from your camera and add a location to your pins so others can find your images.
  18. Optimize your website content for Pinterest sharing (Part One): Use images in every single post you write, so your post can be shared on Pinterest. When you find yourself getting lazy about this, remember –- not using an image in your post means no one will pin it. And remember — the prettier the picture is, the more it will get pinned. The images that appeal to Pinterest members are powerful and emotive, so keep that in mind when choosing your pictures. That combination tends to work well for your blog readers, too.
  19. Optimize your website content for Pinterest sharing (Part Two): Consider watermarking your images, or adding text to them. If you’re using your own images on Pinterest, one of the best ways to help your image stand out is by adding a clear description to the image itself, or adding a watermark with your business name. Make sure it’s clear, but that it doesn’t block out the main subject of the photo.
  20. Create seasonal or holiday boards that relate to your brand. Example: New Year’s Resolutions, Fourth of July, etc. Users love these.
  21. Add a prominent Follow Me on Pinterest button to your website to advertise that you’re a pinner!

Pinterest marketing for intermediate pinners …

  1. Search for new images to pin (or for trends) by using Pinterest’s search function. The search bar is in the top left of every Pinterest page.
  2. Use keywords in descriptions of pins, so pinners can find your images and boards when they do their own searches.
  3. Make sure you’ve got a Pin It! button added to the footer of each of your blog posts so your readers can quickly and easily share your content on Pinterest.
  4. Your Pinterest page has its own RSS feed! Find your Pinterest feed by clicking on the RSS symbol under your profile photo, then use it anywhere you can use a feed (Facebook, LinkedIn, for syndication on other sites, etc.) Advertise your Pinterest feed to your readers and ask them to add you to their RSS feedreaders.
  5. Got a WordPress site? Feature your recent pins in a widget in your WordPress sidebar by using a Pinterest widget.
  6. You can add contributors to any of your boards. Use this feature to engage your staff and let them contribute to your Pinterest presence by using adding to your company boards. Your staff will love this, and your boards will be richer for it!
  7. Want to find out who’s been pinning your stuff? Go to: http://pinterest.com/source/yoursitehere. For an example, check out Copyblogger’s source page. Look at your site’s page often to discover which posts and images are resonating with Pinterest users. Use that information to shape your content strategy.
  8. Add prices to your pins to create your own Pinterest shop. To add a price to a pin, type the $ or £ symbol followed by item’s price in the pin’s description. When you add prices to your pins, they may be featured in Pinterest’s “Gifts” section.
  9. Create a board that tells the story of your company and communicates your core values. Make this board available to people as part of your sales process.
  10. Consider creating “thank you” boards for current or past clients that send special appreciative messages. Could you create a holiday thank you card? Or one that celebrate the launch of a new client’s big project with your company?
  11. Pin tutorials on your boards. Need to walk a client through how to use your products or services? Or do you want to create free how-to videos to use as promotional materials? Pin your videos and presentations on special “How-To” or “Tutorial” boards. Anything you teach your clients can be made into a tutorial.
  12. Watch for trends. Click on the “Popular” link on your Pinterest home page to research what’s catching on with pinners, then integrate those trends into your content strategy.
  13. Be yourself. Pinterest is all about personal expression, so don’t be afraid to pin stuff that represents who you really are.
  14. Create a special board to highlight your company’s team members. Use the description under each photo to write a bio of each person.
  15. Show behind-the-scenes photos of your company. People love knowing how you make things!
  16. Become an information curator for your niche. Gather the newest and best resources on your boards. Become a trusted source of information on Pinterest, and your following will grow by leaps and bounds.
  17. Integrate your Pinterest account with Facebook’s timeline feature, so you post content in both places at once.
  18. Highlight old content on your blog so that people can repin your archived posts. The LinkWithin tool will add a footer to your blog posts that features images and links pulled from old content, giving people the opportunity to pin previous articles.
  19. Thinking about freshening up old photos, or going back through your blog archives and adding photos to those text-only posts? Now is the time! Remember — the prettier the picture, the more pins you will get.

Pinterest marketing for black-belt pinners …

  1. Find out when you’re getting the most repins, likes, comments and referral traffic by regularly analyzing both your Pinterest profile and your site traffic stats. Test out pinning on different days of the week and times of day to maximize traffic and audience engagement.
  2. Connect your clients who use Pinterest by introducing them to each other. Recognize your best pinners by sending out a weekly “Best of Pinterest” email that includes spotlighted boards and pins from your clients’ profiles.
  3. Create moderated boards for your fans to express their support for you. They can add videos, blog posts and photos from your events.
  4. Do you have a number of different ideal client personas? Create a separate board to represent each client persona, then use those boards during your sales cycle and embed them into your website pages so people are clear about the kinds of clients you’re trying to attract.
  5. Create boards for the classes and webinars you teach, and use them as supplemental material for your students. You can use the boards during your class or presentation, or send your students home with Pinterest boards to explore after class. If you’re teaching a live class or workshop, include pictures from the actual event.
  6. Create boards for referral sources, affiliates and strategic partners, and let them add to the boards. Engage with the partners so they know they are included and appreciated.
  7. Allow your best customers or star students to join in on certain boards and pin ideas and suggestions about how to use your product, or themes that go along with your products and services.
  8. What could be better for showcasing how awesome your business is than creating a dedicated testimonials board?
  9. Use Pinterest boards to tell client stories. Turn boring written case studies into powerful visual stories.
  10. Check out your VIP clients’ boards to get ideas for special thank you or holiday gifts.
  11. Create quick-start guides or owner’s manual boards for your products. Or if you’re primarily a service provider, create a “How to Get the Most Out of Working with Me” board with ideas and suggestions on maximizing your service relationship.
  12. Create boards for conferences that you attend. Carry cards with instructions on getting invited to post on that board — conference attendees will love this!
  13. Create beautiful, visually interesting coupons, and add them to your boards.
  14. Your clients will be blown away if you create special boards just for them that include resources and ideas tailored to their individual situations. This will really make your company shine is done regularly and well.
  15. Offer exclusive Pinterest promotions. Create pins that give special promotions for following you on Pinterest.
  16. Run a Pinterest contest. Invite your readers to pin links and images from your site that inspire, motivate, move or entertain them. Then judge the winners by creativity or ingenuity and offer a juicy prize. Offer to promote the winners’ Pinterest boards on your site as part of the contest.

Pinterest is a beautiful (and effective) content marketing tool

Pinterest is not only picking up steam in social media circles, it has become a proven source of traffic for blogs and websites, quickly surpassing current favorites like LinkedIn and YouTube.

While lots of folks are flapping their jaws about the impressive statistics of Pinterest, some companies are quietly using this fabulous new tool to pin their way to better customer engagement and a visually interesting, personally appealing brand.

My advice? Take a long, hard look at including Pinterest as part of your 2012 content marketing plan.

And start making your social media strategy more beautiful, one little pin at a time.

How have you been using Pinterest as a marketing tool? Let us know in the comments …

About the Author: Beth Hayden is a blogging coach and Pinterest marketing convert. You can follow her pins at @bethhayden. To learn how to market effectively with Pinterest, download her free report, “5 Stupid Mistakes to Avoid if You Want to Make Money with Pinterest.”

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Comments

  1. FINE! I GIVE IN!
    lol.

    I’ve been hearing “Pinterest this” and “Pinterest that” for weeks now, and I’ve been wondering whether I should jump in now while it’s still new or if it’s just another digg/stumbleupon/delicious and not a major deal if I don’t get über-involved.

    But okaaayyy, you’ve convinced me. Besides, I already have a strict Pictures-On-Every-Post policy for my blog, so that part is easy!!!

    • I hear ya, Ellen! I’ve been avoiding Pinterest like the plague for fear of total addiction and lack of getting any real work done. Maybe it’s time to jump in. I think I’ll have to put myself on a timer, though.

  2. Wait did you say it drove more traffic than the likes of youtube and the rest! Now that this word is out it will be a race for us IMers till it gets saturated like twitter – tell me if i am wrong if twitter isn’t saturated.

    • You are dead on George. It is the pretty butterfly of the moment. I do believe people hang out there a lot and I do believe it drive traffic. But I don’t have faith that already saturated people can split their time with yet another platform. I am to the point where I am recommending to people – if you want to try out a new platform figure out which platform you are willing to give up. You can jump on Pinterest just because your friends are on there.

  3. Pinterest is so cool. I started uploading some of my blog content yesterday to my new Pinterest account. The emails started coming fast and furious. Almost all of my repinners were women and they loved two of my categories… diet and organization. In just one afternoon I received 23 e-mails, each with notification of multiple pins, likes, or comments. Since a lot of my content is linked back to my blog, the traffic there was up a lot as well.

    I love your help and tips, Beth. There is so much to learn, but I love the visual organization of the site. If you want to see my first boards, my Pinterest link is http://pinterest.com/meedeeah/

    Now I need to figure out how to interact with this site on a daily basis. It took me a while to figure out Twitter, but Pinterest has a lot of similarities. Repinning and leaving comments seem to be the hot tip.

    • Great work, John! I think even a couple of minutes a day on Pinterest, doing some pins and comments, can make a difference. I’m glad it’s working out well for you so far!

  4. Initially I definitely thought of Pinterest as a stripped down version of Facebook but now I am slowly starting to see its potential as an awesome marketing tool for both promoting products and finding inspiration for products and services.

    • Yeah, Anshul, I gotta admit – I didn’t see the point of Pinterest for a long time. I thought it was another pared-down Facebook knock-off. But then I started using it and can really see all the different ways it can be used for marketing. Plus, it’s now driving over HALF the traffic to my site, and I’m just getting started! I saw an immediate boost to traffic and mailing list signups. It’s been a huge boon for me.

  5. It’s got great potential because it’s the new thing, will it last?

    Either way I requested an invite.

  6. Some awesome tips in there, thanks! A lot of small business owners seem to see Pinterest as yet another place to blast out ads and product pics, they don’t interact – or really even learn how to use it — and then wonder why it’s not working. Next time I see that, I’m pointing them to your 5 mistakes pdf.

    • Yeah, I’m seeing the same things, Linda – that was the inspiration for the document. I’ve also been working with my clients on getting started with Pinterest marketing, and the main issue that I see is a lack of focus or strategy. I think because Pinterest is so much fun, people just sort of leap in, pin a couple of images, and hope for the best. But strategy is just as important with Pinterest as it is with other social media tools like Facebook or Twitter.

      Thanks for your comment!

      • Good point on the fun part. I tend to focus on the fact that most small businesses know their business, but don’t know marketing. Hence, lack of strategy. But yes, the FUN factor is huge, too! Keep up the great work!

      • Hi Beth, you made a great point but how exactly do you create strategy? Does it come naturally through sharing things you like or are there specific things that work best when using websites like pinterest? I’ve only just joined but find it to be a whole lot of fun (but somewhat time-consuming).

  7. Pinterest is indeed a powerful tool. I’ve used it for the past week and am amazed at how many people repin pictures… and how fast they do it.

    So here’s a tip: if you can afford it, hire a VA to pin incredible pictures around the clock. Be sure to provide them with detailed instructions on how to describe the picture, too.

    For example, let’s say you run a basketball website. You could create a board for each NBA team, then have your assistant pin pictures of each player. Then, they add the name, team and position in the description tab (which is easy to have someone else do, no writing skills required).

    OK, so basketball might not work that well with Pinterest… yet. But it’s really like the Wild West, and smart content marketers can leverage it beyond other social networks at the moment.

    Happy pinning.

    • Adam, this is great idea! I really like the concept of hiring a VA to do pinning for you (that fits with your company strategy, of course.) Or you could even assign this task to an entry-level team member who is tech-savvy and smart! Great idea. Thanks!

  8. Thank you, Beth.

    B2C, I can understand. I’m not seeing the potential for heavily B2B categories like medical devices, my specialty.

    Have you seen **anyone** doing B2B effectively on Pinterest?

    • Hey, Joe – I think HubSpot has the beginning of an interest presence on Pinterest, and they are B2B. http://pinterest.com/hubspot/

      Granted, they’re in the social media sector, and they’re just getting started, but I don’t see any reason why another B2B company couldn’t copy their board ideas – they’ve got “Books for Marketers” and “Behind the Scenes at Hubspot,” which I think are great. I love their orange-themed board, too!

      I think we need to remember that there’s still a *person* who is running the business we’re trying to attract as a client when we’re doing B2B marketing – so why not come up with creative boards that speak to that person?

    • Congrats on a spectacular post!
      I’ve been on Pinterest for six months or so. My first reaction was “oh, pretty” and “wow, so useful” and “this could suck up entire days/weeks/months!” So I’ve been very hesitant to spend too much time there. Things have definitely picked up in the last 3 months. I see that many of the small business textile organizations and designers are using the B2B pretty effectively, but these are very visual businesses.

  9. There’s really just one key piece of advice for Pinterest:
    1. Don’t suck. DO NOT — repeat — DO NOT SUCK.

    Just like Facebook and Twitter (and MySpace, and to some extent, AOL), Pinterest is beginning its life as organic, truly social, and fun. If we as marketers crash yet another party, it doesn’t help our reputations.

    Pinterest IS fun. It IS social. It IS interesting. It IS beautiful. But if we take a vulturous marketing approach and show up like an Amway salesman at house party, just be ready for a collective cold shoulder.

    • We like to call that The first rule of Copyblogger.

      • That’s one of my favorite articles on copyblogger. Should be required reading before selling anything online. Spamducation is one of my top pet peeves.

      • Yeah… exactly — the first rule of Copyblogger. (Kinda set that one up on a tee for ya, Sonia!)

        But y’all know what I mean. Treat Pinterest as a party where you’re an uninvited guest. That doesn’t mean you’re unwelcome, but for heaven’s sake, be cool.

        • I totally agree with Andrew B. While doing research for a blog post, I interviewed boutique owner, Anika Burke, who has been using Pinterest since early 2011 – well before the explosion. She had a couple insights that I feel are essential for us marketers to keep in mind:

          1) “I feel Pintrest greatest strength is that it does not feel like a huge ad. It feels like a place to go and escape. You have all the fun of look without the pressure to buy. I think of my Pintrest as my ‘Dream Book’ a place that I put my ideas, inspirations and wants.”

          2) “I don’t feel our use of Pinterest has much affect (good or bad) on our business. People do not come to Pinterest to be marketed to, they just want to find cool stuff and have fun.”

          Of course, this is just one user’s opinion, but I’m sure she speaks for a substantial segment of the Pinterest population. That said, Happy Pinning! ~ Nikolas Allen

  10. Great post
    But I’m running out of time to do my day job!
    I’m into recruitment within the UK. I have uploaded some logos of various jobsites that I am involved with. I have also uploaded a few personal images (family and friends)
    Not 100% sure that it’ll drive a lot of traffic but happy to look and stare at some of the amazing images!

  11. I share Andrew’s perspective, but I would phrase it differently — be relevant! As a brand, before you jump in spend some time “listening” or observing to get an understanding of the platform and then map your Pinterest strategy accordingly. Look at your target audience, the types of boards they’ve created, and the content they’re pinning. How does your content fit in with that? How does Pinterest fit with your overall social marketing/business strategy?

    And if you have really great content that is Pinterest friendly (i.e. includes images and/or videos), you might be surprised to find your customers have already pinned it!

    • Totally agreed, Carla — relevancy is paramount. If you have to crowbar a solution or justification to put something on Pinterest, you’re doing it wrong. The fact is that there ARE some very applicable uses for Pinterest, but not for everything, everyone, at all times. The key, I think, is empathizing with the audience.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself, Andrew – thank you!

  12. Thanks so much for this helpful piece Beth. I am a moderator at a fun online community for visual artists and discovered Pinterest because many of our new members were listing it as the place they learned about The Art Colony. I was puzzled about how this could happen so I joined Pinterest. A couple of weeks later I am seeing how it is a fresh spot to get inspirations and learn about cool stuff, save links, and easily return to the things that caught your eye!
    I am hoping that if you genuinely have something of value to share, pinning it offers something of value to others.

    • Hey Su – I think Pinterest is fantastic for artists – I’m working on another guest post (for another site) about that very topic! I love to follow artists on Pinterest, because they have the most wonderful boards and pins. Love they way they play with color and light. Super fun stuff. Thanks for your comment.

  13. Great article.. I’m finding that my “blogging, marketing and sales” pins aren’t doing so well while my “muscle and fitness” pins are getting spread like wildfire everytime I post. (40 to 70 repins almost everytime) – maybe there aren’t many people interested in business on there yet, who knows. Or maybe I need to use more of these awesome ideas..

    It’s fine with me, my muscle building blog hasnt seen so much traffic before lol.

    • Hector – it’s possible that the difference actually has to do with the pictures themselves. When I pin a blog post that has awesome content but a so-so picture that’s not very evocative, it normally doesn’t do very well on Pinterest. But when the photo is a great one, it gets passed around like crazy! I know it’s tough to find business-related photos that aren’t cheesy stock images, but it’s worth doing some digging. I’d advise testing out some different photos out and tracking your results per photo. Best of luck!

      • Which is why I’m SO very glad my theme is food. I get to use mouth-watering photos in all my blog posts about…Marketing! (Yep, in this case, the metaphor works in my favor once more.)
        Thanks for all these great tips, Beth!

      • “”But when the photo is a great one, it gets passed around like crazy! I know it’s tough to find business-related photos that aren’t cheesy stock images, but it’s worth doing some digging.”

        So, all of these “great” photos you have done some “digging” for, that you are sharing in an effort to build your business, you have either contacted the artist for permission, or properly licensed them so that you hold the proper rights per the Pinterest TOS and basic US copyright law?

        • Sean – Check out Sonia’s comment to Holly Knott (below). I know this is an issue and that artists and photographers are concerned. Please know that I’m not advocating stealing photos. Pinterest has some issues to work out around this, and we need to be very aware as users, too.

          • Those comments don’t really address what I was bringing up. “You” (everyone) is assigning a value to all these “gorgeous images” that 99% of the time, are not being offered up for free use or license by/to Pinterest and users. Yes, “you”‘re using these valuable works to drive traffic and build a network – all commercial uses without permission from the artist.

            It’s an issue that is inherent to any of these “grab an image” boards. They are essentially visual blogs, and “you” wouldn’t go around lifting images from someone elses blog to use on “yours”, would “you”? Hopefully not…

          • As you say — that’s an issue that’s inherent to sites that share images. It’s an issue on Facebook too — who owns all of those images with text superimposed, that get shared halfway to the moon and back?

            Some may choose to simply pass Pinterest up until these issues get resolved. Some may choose to create images of their own that are highly shareable, with the understanding that once they get into the wild, we lose control of how they’re used.

          • The problem is, that people don’t get to pass it up. If they have chosen to use Flickr to display their work, for example, someone can go “pin” their image without the artist ever knowing, until they find it pinned all over the place and hosted on blogs. When licensing work, they may even choose to pass up a group they disagree with, say, AARP for example, yet that group can create a board to promote their work and go out and grab any image they like from the net. What then? What makes “pinning” inherently different than taking any image from anywhere and putting it on your website?

          • @Sean Locke – agreed. Those are exactly my points. I may have a blog and a website with images I’ve chosen to share with the world (and now I need to watermark all of them because of Pinterest), but that doesn’t mean I am allowing people to use them for business purposes. Pin them on an inspiration board for personal use – I’m fine with that. Pin them on a business-related board in order to draw visitors to their Pinterest board I am not fine with. If a landscaper’s business suddenly increases because he has 25 amazing boards of other people’s garden photos, he owes them some credit/money. He would not be allowed, exactly as you said, to grab their images and include them on his blog, website, or printed marketing materials… so I don’t think it’s right to creatively use them on Pinterest if your Pinterest board is remotely commercial. Even if the main image keeps its link back to the original source. It just doesn’t seem right.

          • Those are definitely problems, and they’re problems photographers were already facing on Flickr. People use images from Flickr for blogs and for commercial sites all the time without checking the license.

            When I use Flickr photos (whether it’s on a blog post or pinned), I check for a CC license that allows unlimited use (which includes editing the image and commercial use). I think that’s the right practice for all of us.

            But is everyone going to follow it? No. It’s definitely an issue for photographers. I’m seeing sites recommend that photographers and artists move to more prominent watermarks for their images, which seems wise.

            I would say the right practice is to look for images that people have explicitly given you permission to share far and wide. There are *many* magnificent images on Flickr available under the Attribution license.

  14. Why do they have a waiting list??? Do you know how long the wait it? Waiting is no fun (sigh)

    • Same reason Apple doesn’t stock enough iPhones or iPads when the release them. ;-)

    • Jess – best way to jump the line is to ask anyone with a current Pinterest account to send you an invitation. It’s easy for them to do within their account, and I believe every Pinterest user gets approx. 50 invitations to distribute. If you get really stuck, contact me and I’ll hook you up! :)

  15. This is the most amazing Pinterest article I have seen thus far. I have been doing a few of the bulleted points, but you have inspired me to do so much more. I was already pinning videos and will be doing much more of that as well. Thanks!

    • Thanks so much, Traci! I honestly had no intention of it being quite this long or in-depth, but I started writing and then just kept going…and going…and going! So many great ideas out there!

      So glad it was useful!

  16. Hi Beth,

    Sensational post.

    Like thinkellen, after reading it I am in. Too much value here. I set up an account but didn’t really use the network. Now I will.

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    Ryan

  17. Hi Beth,

    Great post – your tips are helpful! I joined Pinterest last week (after waiting for my invitation to arrive – nothing like not getting in right away to create more desire to join – lol!), but then wasn’t sure what to do with the site once I got there! I find myself torn between keeping this truly social and fun by posting photos of great clothes, food and images from my backyard chicken blog and mixing in my marketing business. I suppose the beauty of it is having different pin boards that reflect the different interests in our lives. Thanks for the helpful post.

    • Yeah, Candace, having different boards to reflect your different interests is exactly why I love PInterest so much, and I think it’s a big part of why it can be such a powerful marketing tool, too. Companies can really show different sides to their businesses, and I think that’s really important.

  18. But, according to suggestions # 21 & # 24, where is your Pin button? How can we pin this great post if you don’t have one! I know we can use the toolbar instead, but ..

  19. Thank you for this timely post! All of a sudden Pinterest IS everywhere and I am addicted! I am anxious to implement these suggestions.

  20. “I like to think of Pinterest as Facebook without the whining.”
    Yep, one reason I love Pinterest so much.
    Also, as a visual artist, it’s the perfect way to keep track of lots of interesting items I run across online.
    I’m not using it as a marketing tool but more of a way to spot trends and see what it catching people’s interest.
    If I see someone that is only using it as a way to promote only their work, I immediately stop following their boards. I see that as spammy and self-serving.

    • I completely agree, Grace. I stop following those folks, too. Although admittedly, I’m not seeing a whole lot of those people yet! Hopefully that will continue!

  21. I’m so excited to get started with Pinterest that I’d like ask if you’d mind referring me – kurt@lavetainn.com. I’m working with a programmer to build an Art Gallery for the under-exposed artists in my community and I think Pinterest is a better (and much cheaper) solution. But thats just for starters. I’ve rarely used images from websites on my Facebook page because I felt it was unethical to just grab images and put them on my wall (maybe that is stupid) but with images having easy tracking back to its source, this site changes the way I feel about that.

  22. These are some great tips! I’ve been using Pinterest for a few months and love it. It’s great for affiliate marketing due to the repinning that goes on.

  23. Hi Beth, I agree pinterest is a hoot but recently there have been a lot of talk about copyright infringement. Could you address the concerns on copyright infringement on pinterest that was chatted about in this article: http://greekgeek.hubpages.com/hub/Is-Pinterest-a-Haven-for-Copyright-Violations

  24. Beth,

    Really good article. I have had a lot of fun pinning and re-pinning, putting boards together and sharing photos and memories. Pinterest is like going to a party and being able to get to know other people while sharing about your life and interests as well. Thanks and have a great day Beth!

  25. Can you add the pinterest rss feed to a facebook page? I can’t seem to find a way to do it.

    BTW – Thank you so much much for writing this article! I’ve been obsessed with pinterest for a while now and having been starting to get into it with a business account but really needed this awesome guide so I can completely rock it!

    • Hi Elise – Facebook actually has an app that will let you pull your pins into your Facebook page. It’s acting really wonky for me, though, so I’ll bet they’re still working out the kinks. Here’s the link – http://apps.facebook.com/pinterestapp/ Right now that App page is just re-routing to the Pinterest business page, so there seems to be some sort of issue, but I’ve seen business Pages use it, and it’s cool! Best of luck!

  26. Eye-opening and in-depth Pinterest tips, Beth! Thanks so much for compiling and sharing these.

    I’m new to Pinterest, but since my brand is very visual, I can see a lot of potential and a good jump-start. I think it’d work best if I had a director in charge of Pinterest :D

  27. Great article, Beth! I like that you broke it out into levels as Pinterest can be somewhat overwhelming when you first start pinning. Reading this article really drives home the point that the opportunities to market your brand on Pinterest are endless. So many great ideas…can’t wait to implement them.

  28. I’m slow to jump into new social media but this sounds like fun actually and I’m going to try it. Pinterest can get me more traffic ? I’ve got lots and lots of photos so it’s worth a try. Regards – Mal

  29. This is a great exhaustive list. I’m going to pin it and add it to my evernotes and bookmark it on my google reader and ….

  30. Great article and have seen others like it but not as comprehensive with fantastic ideas. However… as this topic has come up lately, the Pinterest Terms of Use state: “If you decide to use the Application, subject to your compliance with the terms and conditions of these Terms, Cold Brew Labs grants you a limited non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable license, without the right to sublicense, for you to install, access and use such Application on a mobile device that you own or control, solely for your personal and non-commercial purposes.”

    If it’s not for commercial use, how is it possible to do all of the above with a commercial slant?

    • That’s always an interesting question.

      My take on it is, as it is with any platform on the social web, you use the third-party venue to interact, to engage interest, to make connections with customers or potential customers, etc. You use your own site to get into the nitty-gritty commercial aspect.

      The boundary between commercial and personal is always fuzzy when you’re talking about entrepreneurs. Founders of travel companies are travel geeks. Founders of graphic design agencies are design geeks. Founders of clothing companies are fashion geeks. When you’re sharing something you’re genuinely geeky about that also has to do with how you make a living, the lines get blurry.

      Using Pinterest to deliver straight-up ads is lame, probably won’t work, and will doubtless get your account bounced. But that isn’t at all the way Beth is talking about using it.

      • Agreed that it is fuzzy. But if their terms say “no commercial use” and some suggestions state to have a board devoted to your coupons, your URLs, your classes, etc., how is that not violating their terms? I did write directly to Pinterest with my questions asking for clarification and have not rec’d a response yet. If they are ok with this fuzzy use, I’ll be jumping on board… but for now I am leery. Especially because as an artist myself and as a website designer working with artists who are especially sensitive about copyright issues, one would never take another artist’s image and post it on their business website or blog, or publish it on their printed brochure, w/out the artist’s permission. if a business sets up a Pinterest series of boards and utilizes other’s pics to generate interest in their business… that opens up a huge can of worms. Example – a landscape design firm starts a business board and pins other people’s images of gardens, stone walkways, etc., and suddenly business picks up because interested customers just found their Pinned boards interesting. They didn’t pay for those images or obtain permission to use them – free stock photography! It is VERY fuzzy!

        • Holly: Thank you for mentioning the copyright of images being posted without permission. I am in agreement with you.

          Judy

        • Holly, that’s a non-trivial problem and Pinterest is going to need to figure it out. For example, when someone pins a Copyblogger post, the license we pay for to run the image doesn’t cover someone else re-using it from Pinterest on their own post.

          Every social media site does a lot of quick evolution in its early days, so we’ll see how this plays out.

  31. thanks – i been looking for a CRASHHH course for myself and my team to
    maximise pinterest – this was AWESOME! Cheers Brian :)

    Shaqir

  32. I just started my Pinterest account and was really looking forward to taking advantage of everything it has to offer but really didn’t know how. Thank you Beth for putting this list together it really helps out a lot.

    Regards,
    Clint

  33. Oh why the hell is there another social site to work on. I’m so tired.

    AMAZING post though. Great work.

    Tyrant

    • This made me laugh. I’m suffering from a mild case of social media exhaustion, as well. . I think “divide and conquer” and “do what works for you and your brand” are the important rules, here. Or, just go back to sleep. That’s always an option, too. :

  34. Jumped on a couple months ago.. Spend a little time on it.. Not as much as the other platforms and are mostly there do to work and curiosity of how marketing on this platform is going to unfold… Great write up about as time extensive as playing on Pinterest is..

  35. I’ve been using pinterest for 2-3 months only and really like it. One good thing to know when using pinterest is that users 97% female!
    I always consider this when I pin stuff.

  36. “Pinterest has nearly five million users, and is rapidly growing. Nearly 1.5 million unique users visit Pinterest daily, spending an average of 15 minutes a day on the site.” That’s really impressed. So I see that Pinterest maybe will become the must-join social channel in this year. Easy to use with Pin button, I think all business should try it. And sure I will start with it now. Thank you for your great article.

  37. I was playing around with Pinterest this evening. I’m just trying to figure out how it would work for a blogger.

  38. I just wondered if you think that Pinterest can be useful for service companies as well as retailers? I’m an accountant so pretty pictures are not something I have really ever had to think about, any tips?

  39. Great tips, I plan to share. One thing I find really frustrating is when the website from which I want to pin something is not set up properly to pin because Pinterest can’t find images on it. Hopefully these sites will get a clue and fix their platform to be more Pinterest-friendly.

  40. Can you link pinterest to your Facebook PAGE? When I click on the “Link to Facebook” button, it wants to link to my personal profile, not my business page.

  41. I’m thrilled with Pinterest. As a designer I welcome a social network based on visual communication. I’ve read many posts on Pinterest and written about it myself but nothing compares to this article in articulating the marketing value of the site. Brilliant!

  42. I have started using Pinterest Couple of weeks ago and I am really addict to this Social Network..
    It’s great site for any king of Blogger and Marketeer ,..

  43. Beth, if you recommend Pinterest, I am so there! Your tips explain it all so well, and I learned a lot from the comments too.

  44. Well I was interested enough to attempt to join Pinterest, and this is the non-personalized response I received, from a no-reply email address:

    “Hi!
    Thanks for joining the Pinterest waiting list. We’ll be sure to send you an invite
    soon.
    In the meantime, you can follow us on Twitter. You can also explore a few pins.
    We’re excited to get you pinning soon!
    – Ben and the Pinterest Team”

    Um, is this supposed t make me feel excited? “Yay, I get to wait! Oh, and if I’m really lucky, they MIGHT invite me soon….!” What is up with this sort of tactic? Why is one not allowed to decide for oneself that they would like to be a part of Pinterest, and simply join?

    Tracy

    • Hi Tracy!

      I believe they treat Pinterest like a family, house, or club. Not every random passerby just “has their run of the place”, there is a strong psychological value placed on being vouched for and invited in by a friend.

      If you’d like an invite, and asked nicely, I’m sure someone on CopyBlogger would send you one :)

    • Tracy – I just send you an invitation. Have fun!

  45. Beth, fab tips! Instantly it struck me that photographers like myself, need to rethink how we present our online content so we can have our work shown without feeling marketers are using it to pretty their brand image and we receive little $ benefit down the line. Photographers spend not only their time — but thousands of dollars a year on equipment, software, make-up crew, props and workshops to generate a single image. A $6k lens an artist buys or rents is done to define eyes and make skin come alive. So instead of whining…
    You inspired me today to start to curate my own tips aimed at photo/graphic image creators and personality driven brands.
    Tip #1 : Make watermarks that are visible and stand out on the Pinterest page. Here’s my example: http://flic.kr/p/bu6PG6 The watermark should have the photographer’s name on a border. Keep adjusting size till your name is clear for both horizontal and vertical images.
    Tip #2 Curate your own images and present that you want others to pin (I just created a folder on Flickr as an example.) Since most photographers don’t want the clutter on their portfolio images, they can encourage Pinteresters to use their watermarked images instead.
    Lastly, I think when you are speaking to those new to Pinterest and especially to marketers, you need to remind them of the stated Pin Etiquette: “Avoid Self Promotion. Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.” I just pinned my own screen shot image, but marked it as such to start a board on Pinterest tips.
    Some of these suggestions are fuzzy as Holly says. I will follow this conversation.

    • Patricia, those are great tips too. I really wish the folks at Pinterest would get back to me about its commercial use. Maybe their initial thoughts were not for business use and now that it’s taken off as it has, they may be rethinking the rules but it would be great to have clarification because I’ll be out there creating my own business board if I feel comfortable knowing it’s in keeping with their terms!

    • Great suggestions, Patricia – and this conversation has made me pay much closer attention to what I’m re-pinning now. I always check to see that the pin links back to a valid website. Recently I’ve seen quite a few images that just link back to the “Google Images” search page, and I definitely don’t re-pin those because it seems like that image was likely just lifted from Google.

      Anyway, these are great suggestions for photographers and artists – thanks for the tips.

      • Beth, Holly, Simone – Good discussion.
        Again, with your advice above, it’s time to protect your own investment and create a winning solution for yourself as a photographer or graphic artist. Make watermarks that are visible and stand out on the Pinterest page.(screenshot example: http://flic.kr/p/bu6PG6) and put out goodies for the Pinsters in clearly labeled and keyword friendly folders and sections on your web site. Many many photogs use flash sites for their portfolios which you can not pin.
        I for one am so pleased that visual content is increasing the interaction people have online. Professional photos really are a fantastic investment! Now if we could get people to invest energy (doesn’t have to be $) in their social media bio pics…. the web would be a much better looking place.

        • @Patricia – Watermarks are definitely key but I know many artists who do not like them. If placed on an edge/corner of an image, they do not help against theft – anyone can crop the edge off. If placed over the center, your prospective customer can’t *see* the image clearly so I only know of one artist out of hundreds who has opted for that. I can’t see any watermarks on the link you provided- I see a page of thumbnails and when enlarged don’t see any watermarks. The second method helps protect against blatant theft, so maybe the answer is the more subtle first method. I am not sure how offering a folder of “Pinterest friendly” images would work. Anyone surfing the web can find any image you’ve posted on a blog or website and pin it and not even know a “friendly for Pins” folder exists…

          I think the underlying major issue here is that NO ONE marketing tactic works. If it did, we’d all stick to enhancing our websites to be the best they could be. But no – blogs became popular because you could engage the consumer in a “conversation” via comments and they seem to lure more followers than a static website does. And then FB and Twitter and others, and now Pinterest. No one method seems perfect so business owners are all over the place trying every thing they can. Kind of makes you crazy…Now Pinterest is hot but as someone posted above, I, too, cannot get the search to work. I have searched on terms I know are on my own board names or pin descriptions and nothing comes up. It seems you have to know someone is on Pinterest and then begin following them… so I don’t know if a business can acquire new followers by someone generically searching on their subject matter if the search engine is so weird. But that brings me back to the Pinterest terms which say “no commercial use”!

  46. Thanks for the great tips Beth. Like Gail, I’m wondering if, and how, non-retail businesses are using the site right now. Any examples of this?

  47. I always think it’s helpful to see some examples of how other businesses are using a platform. Here are a few of interesting Pinterest sites I’ve run across for folks with businesses that are looking for inspiration:

    This one was pinned by Mashable and wow, I never in a million years would have thought about doing this but what a great idea — especially for artists
    http://pinterest.com/nmcglynn/

    Here’s a large not-for-profit that does a nice job of capturing the spirit of the organization — The National Wildlife Federation
    http://pinterest.com/nwfpins/
    and a small not-for-profit – a community-based humane society in Williamsburg, VA
    http://pinterest.com/hhswilliamsburg/

    Here’s a CPG company — Chobani (yogurt, for the uninitiated) — who also does a nice job of capturing the essence of the company and providing a range of content without doing an overt “sell”
    http://pinterest.com/chobani/

    and here’s an Etsy shop that’s got a nice Pinterest site. I started following them before I even realized it was a shop, I just liked the content!
    http://pinterest.com/countryvintage/

  48. Wow, that’s quite the list! I hope this takes me to Pinterest success!

  49. Very interesting blogpost, I am following this forum with great interest as a Marketing Proffessional and private fan of pinterest for creative and lifestyle inspiration. Any thoughts on local vs global business and how to gear for repins in a more narrow contexts – Not all Businesses are geard for global sales eventhough global branding is always of value!

  50. Lots of great ideas to implement. Can someone let me know why none of my 116 Pins on 9 Boards are being found in search results? Do they take a while to propagate? Have I missed something in settings? Bamboozled!

    • Kirsty, there is a switch at the bottom of the settings panel for search visibility (also Facebook & Twitter integration) that I believe defaults to the off position.

  51. Has anyone tried using Pinterest to market a non-profit, members-based sports association? Curious on how Pinterest works, if at all, within this world…? Thanks for any input!

  52. I feel like Pinterest runs the risk of becoming cluttered if we encourage businesses to use it when it might not be the best channel for them. Part of content marketing is making sure your content fits your channel, and filling up Pinterest with promotional noise is likely to turn users off and could ruin the service altogether. I wrote a piece on that today on the D Custom blog…http://www.dcustom.com/three-things-youre-doing-wrong-on-pinterest/

    • I agree, Jessica – it does risk becoming cluttered if businesses do nothing but promote. We need to follow the etiquette rules of Pinterest and the first rule of Copyblogger, too.

      In the case of Pinterest, the content is completely visual, and it’s out there for everyone to see, because all boards are public. So we need to pay special attention to making sure that our visual content is attractive and compelling, and not just one giant ad. I think I should have made that more clear in this article.

      I suspect that people who don’t pay attention to creating great content won’t get followed at all – and the people who DO follow them will slap them back into shape by unfollowing them when they consistently publish bad content.

      • Good points, Beth. I also think it’s important, as I pointed out in my blog post, that if a company is using Pinterest they actually lead it back to content, whether it’s a product or service on their website or content on their blog. It’s a perfect example for companies to implement a content marketing strategy and promote their brand through providing useful information (coupled with eye-catching images) and becoming a trusted resource. It’s so much less “in your face” and lessens the risk of potential customers getting annoyed with you spamming Pinterest with promos or pointless contests.

  53. Two of my consumer brand clients – Imperial Sugar and Dixie Crystals have seen a huge influx of traffic from Pinterest. In fact, in less than 30 days, Pinterest leapfrogged over Facebook in terms of referral traffic to our online recipe database. It’s the perfect medium for sharing recipes and tracking what types of recipes our community wants to see more of. You can find the boards at http://www.pinterest.com/imperialsugar and http://www.pinterest.com/dixiecrystals to see what we’ve done.

    My only caveat is that I haven’t yet found a way to track pins once they move from our board off into the Pinterest cyberspace. Example, if they pin from our main boards we see the numbers, but if they pin from someone who has pinned on their own boards, that number is not trackable for us. I’d love to see some sort of analytics tool.

    • In the “spirit” of “sharing” and such, is it about “consumer brands” like “sugar” owners and such? Funny how it’s moved from “sharing” to “marketing”.

  54. Great post! I recently told wife to start pinning her products on the site. So far, she’s been getting good traffic. It does work. Now, I’m trying to figure out how to market to the male population :)

  55. I just recently started using Pinterest and it’s addicting. This article is so helpful. As an info market I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to use it for business. Thanks so much.

  56. Pinterest is the next big thing, no doubt. And I think soon Google or Facebook will get interest in Pinterest :-) and to acquire them!

  57. Great post- we’ve just started to use Pinterest not only to connect more with our clients, but also to bond as a community in the office. Having a shared board called “Marketsmith Style” is really fun!

  58. This makes me sad. Months ago when I first signed on to Pinterest, it was a wonderland full of awesome ideas, cool crafts, and amazing recipes shared. I logged on to Pinterest daily, sometimes a couple times a day. Now every time I sign on, it’s nothing but a giant ad board. Having to weed through everyone’s ads and marketing of themselves just to find those same cool crafts and recipes isn’t worth the effort anymore, and now I rarely use Pinterest. Think about that. The more companies use Pinterest to pimp themselves out, the faster it’s going to fade, because the original users are becoming more like me.

    • Jen I just wanted to remind you that you are 100% in charge of who you follow. So I would suggest stop following anyone that pins stuff that you don’t like. Thats the beauty of Pinterest! I was an early adopter of the platform and I still love it as much as I always did.

  59. Lori Dahlstrom :

    I have a small higher end silver jewelry business and I am interested in promoting my products on Pinterest. Please send me a start up kit. Thanks!
    business email is silverassets@live.com Thanks

  60. Lori Dahlstrom :

    I would like to organize my boards… Is that possible?

    • Lori – Pinterest lets you reorganize the order of your boards (in relationship to each other) but as of right now, you can’t move photos around within a specific board. I’m hoping the ability to reorganize pins within a board is a feature they add in the future.

  61. Thanks so much Beth for this article! I have used Pinterest personally but never for my business until several t-shirt designs I posted lead to orders coming in the door. We are now in the process of setting up a “business” account. This article is MOST HELPFUL! I have taken notes and plan on using SO MANY of your ideas. We have been in business 20 years but I feel like such a newbie with all this social media stuff!!! Exciting to start learning from you.

  62. Can someone please help me? When I go to my boards (33 of them), I can see all of the content, however, when I click on one, my animals, it gives me a “404” ERROR and nothing will come up!!! Why, where is that board? I can see it all with all of the other boards, but it will not open for anyone!!!

    please advise
    Thank you
    Liz

    • Hey Liz – did you change the name of that board recently? Sometimes when you do that, it causes problems. If that’s the case, you can try to change the name of the board back to its original name. Weird stuff happens sometimes because when you change the name of the board, the URL of that particular board changes, too, and I think sometimes the Pinterest system gets confused.
      Hope that helps.

  63. You had me all along…until suggestions 55 and 56.
    Paying for repins is spamming. It’s tacky and it’s one of the things we’re watching for. Self-promotion is clearly against the terms and conditions of site use; paying for pins through backdoor routes like “contests” is still paying for pins.

    One of the things I hear over and over again from Pinterest users–individuals and businesses–is that we don’t want Pinterest turning into another sales pitch ghetto as users plug their MLM products or Etsy sites or corporate product lines. The primary reason that Pinterest is so successful is its organic and cooperative nature. There are, as you listed, many ways (at least 54 it would seem) to promote a business or brand without resorting to carnival shilling and Web 1.0 scorched earth tactics.

  64. Great post! I started using Pinterest over a week ago and my traffic increased dramatically! I really didn’t expect it! I have a little question… when I pin an image from my blog and get 100 repins for example, let’s say that this results in 500 views on my blog… shouldn’t I be gettin more and more traffic on the following days? I’ve noticed that my blog traffic only increaces when I pin…but I don’t understand how come my traffic is not multiplying as a result of the many repins I get. Instead my traffic goes back down until the next time I pin…
    Any explanation for that??
    Thanks again,
    Isabella.

  65. This is the best list I’ve found so far. Thanks, my clients are going to appreciate this.

    I’d also like to add one:

    57. If you’re going to add links in your pins that link back to your website, be sure to tag those links so you can easily identify traffic that Pinterest generates. Such tagging should be at the pin level. The more granular your URL tagging, the better you can measure and analyze the effectiveness of your marketing. (Of course, Pinterest links aren’t the only links you should be tagging and shortening.)

    For those who are not familiar with URL tagging here’s Part 1 of a series I’m writing for one of my blogs:
    http://AUtd.us/URLbuilderPt1

    If you prefer, you can search for: “Alchemy United vs Google URL Builder Part 1″

  66. OK, OK, I’m sold :) I have been hearing about Pinterest for weeks seems like. At first I was just listening, then I started hearing too many good things, now its all I see and now, I am moving forward. Thanks to this post, I even found out how to get invited, so I am ready. And yes! this post is awesomee!

    Just wondering how I can keep it fun and still let people know about what I do as a fitness coach and motivator. Any ideas?

    • Hey, Carol, consider mixing up some serious tips on fitness, examples of “right” and “wrong,” ways to get kids moving in healthy ways, and a little humor. You’ll be surprised how many actually find their way back to your website!

  67. Thanks, Beth – great article! I just talked about it on my Research Tidbit blog (tidbits about marketing and market research) at bureauwest.com.

  68. Great article that I saved so can read it several times. Just started using it a couple of weeks ago.

  69. Great information. Although I’ve been seeing Pinterest for a couple of months now, I thought it was just another gimmicky SEO platform, until recently when a Facebook contact suggested signing up.
    I was just invited last week and set it up under my business name.
    I have a question … I don’t want people to think that I am spamming them. Is it okay to pin my pictures of jobs completed? We are a sign company that includes vehicle wraps. I know, not really interesting. So how do I get people to repin my photos? Does content attached to the photo make a difference?

    • Hi Robin – the best way to get people to repin your images is to create (and pin) awesome photos. So I would take REALLY good quality pics of your best work (maybe fun or particularly beautiful signs) and consider pining those. But before you pin anything at all, ask yourself if that image will be useful, entertaining, educational or interesting to your ideal clients who are on Pinterest. If the answer is no, I would keep looking.

  70. Thank you for your list! We have started working on a “Pintrest for business Guide” and this is very helpfull. Im looking forward to see what Pintrest will bring to the Social Media Marketing table :)

  71. My fiance is a avid user of Pinterest and is on it all the time via her iPhone. Although we have researched various ways to use Pinterest as a marketing strategy, keep in mind that the demographic mainly caters to a female audience ages 25-55. We believe that Pinterest can be a very effective marketing hub, for specific types of business like wedding planners and floral businesses, not so much a law firm or auto mechanic shop for the time being.

    • You may be right BUT . . . . I’ve peppered my Pinterest boards with links to resources (both mine and others) as well as entertaining pins related to my psychotherapy services and I’m getting a surprising amount of traffic from it. If the auto mechanic or lawyer chose to link back to resources, inspiration, great tips and tools, as well as entertainment . . . I suspect that he, too, would get traffic. For example, as an family law attorney might post information via images related to divorce, mediation, family therapy, custody, etc. And, an auto mechanic could post information via images related to auto maintenance, accident – prevention tips, insurance, car rental, AAA, etc.

      As with all social media, the goal is to build relationships. By making pins such as these, either professional has the potential to build relationships with associated industries i.e. potential referral resources as well as actual clients.

  72. Thank you for sharing your Pinterest list! I just started using the site and love it. However, your list gave me some much needed focus!!

    Thanks!

  73. Great great post Beth but i’ve tried signing up and only got on their waiting list….how long before they let me in on it?? And Beth here’s my email george.accs@yahoo.com – do you have to send me an invitation for them to let me in?? Thanks you’re a blessing to humanity.

  74. Hi Beth,thanks for the ebook but after i downloaded it all i saw was ****** literally!

  75. For everyone who is concerned about their photos being put up on Pinterest – there apparently is a way to block people from pinning your images. Read this article by Dave Taylor to find out how (but make sure to read his warning about thinking carefully before you use this technique, too!)

  76. Great article! I do have a question though, regarding #43: “Create moderated boards for your fans to express their support for you…”

    My question is about the “moderated board” concept. I’ve created boards that have contributors, but so far I’ve found no way of “moderating” the content that is pinned there. As the board owner/creator, I’d really like to be able to remove inappropriate pins, but I can’t figure out a way to do so. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Erika – I apologize for this – it turns out that you’re right and I was wrong! When you invite someone to contribute to your board, you don’t have any way of deleting (or even editing) that person’s pins. I think this is a pretty significant design flaw that I hope Pinterest will fix in the future. Sorry for the confusion on this “moderation” issue – but I appreciate you bringing it up so I can stand publicly corrected!

      • Thank you for your reply, Beth! I thought perhaps I was overlooking something. I’d have to agree that it is a pretty big design flaw, and I hope they’ll address this functionality in the future!

  77. Pinterest is a lovely site, but marketing on Pinterest doesn’t seem effective for a non-visual business (software, law, medicine, etc.) Has anyone in a conservative non-visual market had success with Pinterest?

    • Sarah, I am one of those small, non-visual businesses. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice. Half my practice is clinical and the other half is actually consulting with psychotherapists and allied health professionals to help them build strong practices. I am having success with Pinterest and am very excited about the possibilities. It’s too soon to be spouting off my stats (I’ve been on Pinterest less than 2 months) but anecdotal evidence is really great! In fact, I expect Pinterest to bring in a whole new band of prospects AND possibly rival my Twitter stats (which is my biggest referral source from social media).

      I see from your website that your business is eDoctor but not really sure what services you offer. I would suggest that you carve out a tiny little sliver of your business and focus a Pinterest board just on that niche. The more specific those pin boards appear to be, the easier it will be for folks to find you. And, of course, throwing up a pin board is like hanging out your shingle. You will still need to let people know that you’re up on Pinterest or you’ll miss a lot of opportunities for your fans to actually find your board(s).

      Best wishes on your journey!

  78. Hi Beth,

    I really, really like Pinterest, but I just read an article about Pinterest’s scary terms of service! It’s making me think about removing all the content I have on there. And I’m wondering how you or I can ethically go on promoting them? I had to go look up the terms of service myself and was apalled that by posting your own original content you are giving Cold Brew Labs irrevocable rights to your artwork! Here’s an exact copy and paste “By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit …..”

    • Julia –
      I think we need to finish that sentence from Pinterest’s terms of service, for clarification’s sake. It reads, “…you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services. Cold Brew Labs does not claim any ownership rights in any such Member Content and nothing in these Terms will be deemed to restrict any rights that you may have to use and exploit any such Member Content.”
      I think that last sections is particularly important. I’m not a lawyer, but what this seems to be saying is that when you upload content to Pinterest, you are allowing Pinterest to use that content on their site. And that by allowing them to use that content, you are *not* giving up your own rights to that content.

  79. Thank you for this wonderful posting, very informative. I love Pinterest. It allows you to see so much more than you would ever have time to discover on your own. I am a primitive artist and have an Etsy shop, blog and belong to 2 different selling groups. I recently created a group board and have invited other artisans to post their goodes to the board, in a very short period of time our followers have doubled, we see our items being repinned and it is becoming a viable source of traffic to our sites. I also have a wonderful recipe (Yums I Want to Make) and I’ve invited my daughter and SIL to contribute…omg I gain weight everytime I look at the board. I’ve traveled to many sites from these pins and discovered some wonderful people.

    I know as you stated that the comment feature isn’t really getting a lot of attention, I’m afraid that actual pinning will greatly reduce if it becomes too active. If you are like me, you’ll spend too much time reading and thinking about what you want to write…so for now,,,I’m not too excited about it being more active.

    One thing I have noticed and wondered about, when I first opened my Pinterest account I was able to leave comments on a persons profile, when someone started following me I would always comment ‘thanks for the follow’ or if I started following someone I would leave them a comment about how wonderful their boards were. Do you know anything of this feature??

    Hope you have a great evening!..

    Kindest regards,
    Ronda
    http://pinterest.com/rondatedder

    • Hey, Ronda – I don’t know of a feature like that on Pinterest. I think the best way to do something similar to that is to leave a comment on a specific pin of that person’s. Just make sure you’re actually saying something that contributes to the conversation. Have something valuable to say, you know?

  80. “I like to think of Pinterest as Facebook without the whining.”

    Great line. :-)

  81. Great post!
    I’m a crafter and Etsy shop owner. I’ve been using Pinterest for nearly a month now and it’s generating a little bit of traffic, but not as much as I would like. I’m going to fine comb my way through this list over the weekend and see if I can implement some changes that will allow me to optimize my use of Pinterest. I honestly had no idea there were as many as 56 ways to market with Pinterest- so impressed!

    Thanks!

    • Sarah, don’t despair! Virtually all marketing strategies need more than a month to see benefits. Use Pinterest as one of your strategies – not the only one of your strategies – to drive traffic to your website.

      I work with psychotherapists every day who get frustrated because their one attempt last week didn’t result in a noticeable increase in traffice to their websites. Consider that by cross-pollinating your brand on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc. you will be building a bigger brand and greater name recognition for your work.

      Also, remember that if you have your URL for your website listed in your Pinterest bio, pinners may find you on Pinterest, go to your website to check you out, and then end up on Etsy to buy. That traffic may not appear to come from Pinterest but, of course, it did – via a less direct route.

      Best wishes on your journey!

      • Thanks for the advice, Tamara. I’ve been marketing on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and even a little on Flickr. And I’m working on producing blog content now. I knew marketing efforts take longer than a month to be most effective- but after a month I am looking for ways to make improvements and how to better approach my marketing strategy. I feel like my actual marketing messages aren’t ideal- so I’m working on building the blog and filling it with useful content. I’m going to be blogging about what’s going on in our shop, our inspiration, free craft tutorials and crafty business advice- I think that will help with establishing myself as an expert and also building a stronger following. What do you think?

  82. Any advice or ideas on how to incorporate Pinterest in a sports association? Would appreciate any input or suggestions!

  83. Thank You – I’m just going down the list doing the tasks!

  84. Yes, I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about Pinterest and I have to say your article is a very comprehensive one. However, I’ve also read somewhere that the growing popularity of Pinterest can lead to copyright issues. What do you think about that?

  85. My wife got me into Pinterest which I initially just wrote off as “another” social media site. Great article Beth. I will have to follow you and see how to use all these techniques first-hand. It seems like the web in general is evolving into a more picture oriented communication medium. Pinterest is the future, here now. I can see Google having a picture based search only option in the not too distant future.

  86. Just a heads up to Beth and everyone else at CopyBlogger. I pinned this post to my board “Craft Advice and Blogs” to save it to read again later and though it was repinned 30-ish times, 3 people were upset about it and someone claimed they reported me for pinning it. I don’t know what the hell they’re upset about??? Have I done something terribly wrong?

    • Sarah –
      I think some people on Pinterest are upset about the idea of marketers coming in a “ruining” Pinterest. I have gotten some flack about this, as well. I think people responded the same way when businesses moved into the Facebook space, too. At any rate, you didn’t do anything wrong! And if people follow the first rule of Copyblogger, no “ruining” of anything will occur!

      • Thanks, Beth. I was a little worried I’d be losing my Pinterest account- I use it to pin all sorts of business-building blog posts. I even made sure to type in the description as the name of the title, your name and the website location. Thanks for responding and letting me know I didn’t do something wrong. :D

  87. I am beginning to consider using pinterest myself. Haven’t tried it yet but i guess it’s coming up in the popularity chart really fast. Could be alot of fun.

  88. Me again- going through the list now and writing some things down to keep in mind for later and making changes as I go along- care to elaborate a bit more on #44 – “Do you have a number of different ideal client personas? Create a separate board to represent each client persona, then use those boards during your sales cycle and embed them into your website pages so people are clear about the kinds of clients you’re trying to attract.”
    ?

  89. I created a pinterest page a while ago, but never really got into it. I think I am missing out on a lot of opportunities here thought. Looks like I am going to have to sit down, stop the whining and get into that new network. Great tips.

  90. This is absolutely hilarious! You’ve just described the work of at least 3 full-time Pinterest VAs, plus photo researcher and/or producer… I stopped reading about half way through. I may have to hire someone to finish it. Once I stop laughing!

  91. You mention linking our Pinterest to our Facebook pages, but if we are a business and have a Facebook page, how can we link our Pinterest since pages don’t really have their own log-in?? If I try to link to Facebook, it picks up my personal Facebook account (and I’m admin of my page.) Do you know if an interface with Facebook pages for Pinterest is coming? Or I’m just going to post links on Facebook to my Pinterest boards is my plan. Thanks for the article-lots of great info!
    Brenda

    • Brenda,

      you’ll have to connect your Pinterest profile to your personal account/profile on Facebook- what it will do then is show all or most of your pins on your facebook wall- or in the newsfeed of your facebook friends. also connecting with facebook lets all your fb friends know you are using pinterest, so you can automatically start with some pinterest followers..

  92. Wow, so many great suggestions. I’m definitely saving this so I can try out all of these tips that I haven’t already.

  93. Beth,
    Really Superb Collection. I was hearing or just thinking of joining pinterest now but at-last you convinced me. Such an informative piece. It made me curious to know pinterest.

    Bye the way, as its invitation only so guess need to wait for someone else can invite me.

  94. Awesome post! I guess this means it is really time for me to start pinning. :)

  95. Great post. Thanks for the sharing this info :)

  96. Thank you for the valuable suggestions. I am new to pinterest. Here are some points that i can consider seriously.

  97. Thanks Beth. That’s the best article I’ve read on Pinterest.
    Another useful bit of functionality is changing the link address of your pinned content:
    You can click ‘edit pin’ and then change the link on the page to a landing page of your choice on your site.
    eg. You could pin a product demo video from YouTube – but have the link go through to your site.

  98. Very interesting and useful article about Pinterest, I hope to see as many there https://pinterest.com/gofails/

  99. I like the concept of pintrest and have been using it to share art I like but never really saw it as a business tool much until I saw this. Great post by the way Beth and lots of great info in there.

    Do you think this concept would work or is it even allowed to post products you love with affiliate links, is that possible?

    Cheers
    Phil

    • Phil, I think this is totally possible! I would experiment with different kinds of content on Pinterest, making sure that it’s not all self-promotional stuff. Good luck!

      Cheers,
      Beth

  100. These are amazing tips for Pinterest! I too was hesitant…one more social media piece to keep up with, but I’m addicted to this. I think this is fun and light and not so “in your face”! I’ve really enjoyed the little bit of time I’ve spent on it and now I plan to use these tips to expand and grow!

  101. This is GREAT information. I am a huge Pinterest fan, I try and visit the site everyday, either repinning or posting something of my own. Posting Video’s, that’s a new one. Can you give me more information on this as I can’t seem to locate the option to post a video?

    • Becki, I use the Pin It Bookmarklet for this. If you install that bookmarklet in your browser and go to any YouTube video page, you can click “Pin It” and add the video to one of your boards. Doesn’t seem to work that well for Vimeo or some of the other services yet, but it works pretty consistently for me on YouTube. Good luck!

  102. As a long time follower of Brian Gardner and crew this is one of the best posts I have read this year, Beth hit the nail on the head with this one.

  103. Wow, thanks for the step-by-step outline on how to use Pinterest. I’ve been considering using this new online marketing resource to help promote my business brand – now I have all the information I need to get started. Thanks again!

  104. While this is a comprehensive list I am pretty disappointed that there is absolutely no mention of the requirement to respect copyright and ask people first. I don’t have time to read all your posts re Pinterest. ….as you brushed off the person who asked about this. However…..I have a strong aversion to people not being informed clearly of the need to respect copyright. Especially since you have made it clear, and I know others are already using their boards commercially to make money from technically stolen prints.Pinterest has yet to have a TOC and system that ensures copyright is protected. They have tinkered but not fixed.People offering advise in my opinion have a duty to push for a respect of copyright.Links back….no not after the first repin it would seem, when Pinterest then divert the links to make them money.

  105. Hi Beth

    Thanks for a great article, we have just started to play with pinterest and areloving it. We have attempted to make links to our facebook page but we appear to only be able to link to our facebook administrators page not our actual company page. Are we missing something obvious here?

    Thanks

    • Hi Fiona – I’m not 100% sure what you mean about your FB administrator’s page…? Feel free to contact me through my website and I could take a look.
      Thanks,
      Beth

  106. I’ve joined Pinterest and hooked it up to my business site. So far I haven’t really noticed any great increase in my site’s traffic due to Pinterest. But I agree…Pinterest is becoming huge and I think finally surpassed LinkedIn as one of the top three. Might as well play along! :) Good tips though…I certainly started looking through my pins to see if and where I could I apply some of your advice.

  107. Hi Beth – got the answer i needed form Pinterest – thought it might be useful to others……….

    Right now you have to register with either a personal Facebook profile or a Twitter profile. A Facebook fan/business page cannot be used to register for Pinterest, nor can a Facebook fan/business page be linked to an existing Pinterest account.
    For this reason, we recommend that brands or celebrities register using Twitter. After you join Pinterest, you can always unlink, or even delete, your Facebook/Twitter account and still log into Pinterest with your email address and password.
    When Facebook makes it an option to authenticate using a Facebook fan/business page, we hope to be able to add this feature as well to make it easier for everyone to register.

  108. one more question – in point 16, are you talking about using pins outside of pinterest ie using an image on your blog or website and presumably retaining the source info.

    I cannot see how you do this – can you give me a pointer or two

    Thanks

    • Hi Fiona – When you click on any pin (like this one, for example) you’ll see a button on the right side of the image that says “Embed.” You can click on that to get the code you’ll need to embed the pin into a blog post or web page.
      I’ve been steering away from doing that lately, however (even though I recommended it in this post) because I do have some concerns about using someone else’s image in my posts. I do wonder about the legality of that, with regards to copyright. But you can make your own call about whether or not it’s the right decision for you. That embed option is available on any pin, though.

  109. Great post! thanks for sharing….I’m working on accomplishing most of this list!

  110. I have just started to use Pinterest but I have already seen a large jump in website traffic just from the little tips I have started to put in to work for my Business. This is some list that I am sure I will find very helpful in building even more traffic to my website.

  111. Yeah, I have seen a great jump in traffic also using pinterest and it’s pretty good because we deal with alot of graphics so I found commenting alot on images has done some justice.
    Also I found this source of marketing interesting also http://www.giftsms.com.au they do SMS marketing with gift vouchers.

  112. I’ve fallen in love with Pinterest, am I getting a lot out of it: http://pinterest.com/BookJunkies/ but when I mention it to people (authors/book lovers) I’m greeted with blank expressions. They have no idea of its potential so I’m glad there are posts like this around, which I’ve shared.

  113. Pinterest has been a great traffic driving tool for us! I can say I have used many of the beginner and intermediate techniques you mention before, now hopefully now I can earn my black belt, great article!

  114. Thanks for the info. I am fairly new to Pinterest but have garnished a small following, some repins and likes. I will start with the beginning info and work my way through to the blackbelt techniques. This was a great post!

  115. Lori Dahlstrom :

    I own a silver jewelry store and i’m interested in a Pinterest page for it.. I have a FB page, but I don’t know how to get pictures out there.. I dont know what a URL is… I’v very computer illiterate in this field of computers since I have only needed basic skills so I need a very basic formula,,, step by step.. I have an HP desktop computer.
    Can you help me get to a site that will go step by step with me???
    Thank you and bless you for helping me.
    Lori Dahlstrom

  116. I totally LOVE Pinterest! Not only do I enjoy browsing the site, it’s a great business-marketing tool. People have found my blog and wesbites through Pinterest. It’s a great opportunity to promote the small business out there!

  117. Excellent tips for Pinterest. Behind Google Organic, Pinterest is driving the most traffic to BB&B. It’s an amazing tool, and extremely addictive too!

  118. Great post!
    I am teaching a social media workshop next weekend at the University of Washington. I’m using my blog in lieu of textbooks because with social media changing so fast it’s impossible to find a book that’s up to date! Would you mind if I repost this on my blog with full disclosre that it originates here (and I would of course add links back to you)? I think the students would get a lot out of this piece! Thanks for your consideration!
    ~Liz

  119. I have just started with Pinterest. The problem I have following this great advice is that it is extremely time consuming. I am experimenting with hiring people to help me with Pinterest. Time will tell if it works. The site has had incredible success. When is the IPO?

  120. Hey Beth,
    priceless info, Thank you so much!
    Christa

  121. Some great tips there. I am loving the use of Pinterest.

  122. There’s many WordPress themes that enable you to create your own website like Pinterest

    Why promote Pinterest?

    It like Facebook stealing your traffic.

    Wonder if StudioPress have thought about creating a them for this purpose?

  123. #25 – I looked while I was logged in and again when I was logged out, and I don’t see the RSS symbol under my profile photo. Any ideas why that might be? Can it be added if it isn’t there?

    • Hi Kate – thanks for pointing this out…this option seems to have disappeared from Pinterest boards. I swear, it was there when I wrote this! :)
      I wonder if Pinterest was having trouble keeping feeds working for so many different users…I know the RSS feeds for my blog are always finicky as heck and seem to break all the time. Anyway, sorry about that! Cross item #25 of your lists!

  124. Great article. Thanks so much for sharing. I found this very helpful, especially the “black belt” section. Great ideas that I will definitely incorporate.

  125. Hey Beth,

    I just finished setting up my pininterst account and I have been experimenting with it quite a bit. Some aspects of it still seem a bit difficult, but I think I’m just gonna have to figure it out one step at a time. Just like you said, I think it’s going to be a huge part of online marketing in the near future.

    Thanks for sharing this useful information.

  126. This is a very helpful post on Pinterest. It has grown so fast and is definitely not a social media platform to be missed.

  127. The simplicity of Pinterest is the thing that makes it so powerful and this, Madame, is a great and highly thorough post!

  128. I was about to point out #25 when I noticed @Kate comments. :-D
    Reading your post (after 6 months), I realise I’ve to interact more on Pinterest.

  129. Really awesome information . I worry about the copyright part of it all,but am very careful about what I pin or repin. I love Pinterest and use it almost daily. I add some of my products,but wasn’t sure if I could promote my business. Now that I read your 10 commandments I am going to share my work,but carefully. I didn’t know you could add prices. So glad that I can do that.
    I just shared this on my FB page. I am sure other can benefit from this info too.
    Thanks again!
    Beth Hayden

  130. Pinterest can definitely be a useful tool for growing your business or getting exposure for new products. The capabilities of this kind of curatorial site allow you to showcase the taste of your brand in a whole new way, and definitely speak to a specific and powerful demographic. When done right, Pinterest is a great way to enhance your online presence, so have at with the pins!

  131. Once you’ve marketed yourself on Pinterest, a great way to bring it back home would be to embed your Pinterest feed on your website (http://www.postano.com/solutions/for-websites/). This way, you’re still exposing the content you’re posting on Pinterest to more eyes for those that visit your site that aren’t yet on Pinterest. Although it seems like everyone is on Pinterest, you’d be surprised how many people still aren’t.

  132. Is there a way to connect my pinterest acct with all my images that are “pinned?

  133. I have a site selling purebred and designer puppies. I’ve really been using Pinterest as a way to share great photos of puppies, but after reading this article, I will have a more focused and targeted approach. The puppies get lots of attention as it is, just trying to figure out how to convert that into puppy adoptions now. Thanks for the good read!

  134. Isabel Cordoba :

    Do you think that Pinterest is a waste of time and that we have to concentrate all our efforts on facebook and twitter to get the best results on social media for our company? Thank you.

  135. Definitely NOT, Isabel! I think Pinterest is far more effective (as a social networking tool) than Facebook. But remember that you need to have a content-rich website in order for any effective online marketing system to work. If you don’t have that, you’re just spinning your wheels.

  136. Pinterest is a great place to exchange information with others in a simple and fast way. I like the ability to put images straight from the website, which interested me. Mastering the art of usage is not difficult thanks to people like the author of this post. Thank you for the very useful information, again, I learned something new.