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How to Use Pinterest for Business

Updated on October 30, 2015

There was a time when advertising and marketing a business involved taking out ads on the paper or even paying for a few seconds of radio time. There were also the flyers and posters that were part and parcel of any marketing and advertising plan for businesses. However, times have changed and the digital age has ushered in a new form of business that is conducted online. These online businesses are part of a growing e-commerce movement and with it come things like internet marketing and internet advertising. Online business is cheap and most people who have online businesses do not need to pay rent for space and they do not even need to pay staff; they can run their business right from the comforts of their own homes. That said, more and more people are finding it possible to start their own businesses or find a way to make money online.

The Internet is such a massive place with millions of people trolling, sharing, buying, and advertising that it is indeed very easy to get lost. This is a problem for many online businesses because they need to be noticed if they are to make money. They have to stand out from the crowd and make themselves known if they are going to triumph over their rival sellers or bloggers on the same niche. Most people who make money online have to be very creative and aggressive with the ways they stand out and this is where sites like Pinterest come in.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is relatively new to the scene but it already has tons of followers and is quite massive in terms of how it impacts online businesses. For those who have heard of Pinterest but have no idea what it really is and how it can be used for business, then they should definitely learn more about it and give it more thought especially if they have online businesses.

The first thing people and online business owners need to know about Pinterest is that it is a virtual discovery tool. The keyword there is “discovered” and that should mean something to business owners who want to expand their businesses. After all, the more that people discover you and like what you have to offer, the better your business will do and the more money you will make.

How Does Pinterest Work?

Now, how exactly does this site work? As a discovery tool, members have the ability to “pin” things they like whether it is a new hairstyle, a new product, a design idea, a recipe, a DIY idea, etc. The sky is the limit with Pinterest and maybe that is why people love it so much. It allows them to discover deals, projects and other things they like online and save it for later when they have time to browse their discoveries.

The best thing here is that each and everything people pin are then placed in different categories so folks who are looking for and at those categories will, in likelihood, see what others have pinned and share or re-pin them to their own virtual tools. Another great thing by Pinterest is that it allows people who aren’t members to view pins and this helps with exposure even more.

How to Use it for Business?

It is now established that Pinterest is a discovery tool yet for some, it might remain unclear how it can be good for business and how it can be used for business. That is perfectly okay since getting used to Pinterest and how it works takes a few tries. However, it is very important that you jumpstart your understanding and learn the best ways to use Pinterest. Check out some suggestions below:

  • Post unexpected things. Now if you own a company that sells seeds or perhaps fabric, you will try to post pictures of the fabrics you have in stock and that is good. But, if you really want to stand out then you should think about posting things customers and viewers do not expect. One company, the Deschewtes Brewery located in Oregon, definitely know how to make use of Pinterest. Instead of just posting bottles of their products they decided to do things in a fun and fresh way to really draw the eyes of viewers and potential customers by posting recipes that call for beer and even how to recycle old beer bottles. The idea is so fresh and new that most customers and viewers end up pinning and re-pinning the original pins which gives the company tons of exposure and advertising.

  • Hold contests. It really is hard to go wrong when you prey in the needs of humans to be better at some things and this is why contests come in really handy! You can choose a random follower of the week since this will encourage more followers and even more exposure or you may hold a “Pin of the Week” contest. There are so many ways to hold contests for followers so you can easily make your own. Just make sure the rules are clear so that you do not find yourself in a bind. You may be worried as to what you have to offer as a price but you do not even need to go big. You can choose to give away $10 or $25 GC, a freebie from your own company or what have you. This is one of the best ways to gain followers and exposure at the same time.

  • Add a “Pin-it” button on your site. You already know that Pinterest is a great way to be discovered and this makes it a great way to be seen so just how do you make use of Pinterest? For one, you should start by adding a Pin-it button to your site so your followers can share what they like in just a few seconds. This is the easiest way to be seen on Pinterest. You will be surprised at how much this will help you gain traffic to your site and generate new leads and business.

How Not to Use Pinterest for Business

Pinterest is great for smaller businesses and it really is very easy to use, but there are some rules that people need to follow. Surely they do not want to break their businesses because they got careless with their pins. Below are some simple rules to follow when it comes to using Pinterest.

  • Do not spam. No one likes spam (unless it’s the food) so make sure you do not pin too many things at once or it will look like the very thing everyone hates. Try to pin just a couple of things a day and save the pin-spree for special occasions.

  • Do not use the same image over and over again. This is a lot like the first one in the sense that pinners do not want to use the same image over and over again but with different links. It will still look like spam and it will even make the pinner seem lazy. There are so many images online and they can take different ones of their own for the site, surely?

  • Do not fail to organize boards. Messy boards make for confused viewers and prospective site visitors so it is important for pinners to be is as organized as possible. On Pinterest, there is a place for everything so they need to make sure everything is in place. Just be careful when you post and this should not be a problem.

Do you think that online bookmarking sites such as Pinterest can help grow small businesses?

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  • kgmonline profile image

    Geri MIleff 2 years ago from Czech Republic

    Hi, Michelle! Thanks for sharing. That's a really useful tip! Happy pinning, too! :)

  • profile image

    Wimpy 2 years ago

    Thanks for inoriductng a little rationality into this debate.

  • profile image

    Carlos 2 years ago

    Hi Ladies, Since there is so much interest in cbioaolratlve boards, I did some research to find out how you can join. I forgot all of the specifics of how I joined. I knew I heard about them on the sellers forum. It's really is the "go to" place for me. In tomorrow's blog post is a lot of helpful information about several different cbioaolratlve boards that should answer any questions you have about joining one. Each board is a little different, one is for only free lessons/tips, another is organized by grade level, another by subject, etc. I'm sure you'll find at least one that will work for you.Happy Pinning!Michelle

  • kgmonline profile image

    Geri MIleff 3 years ago from Czech Republic

    We agree, @sangre. :)

  • sangre profile image

    Sp Greaney 3 years ago from Ireland

    Any social network that gives small businesses an edge is useful.

  • kgmonline profile image

    Geri MIleff 3 years ago from Czech Republic

    @crystolite, you're welcome! Thanks for reading! :)

  • crystolite profile image

    Emma 3 years ago from Houston TX

    This is quite interesting, it's similar to OLX. Thanks for the insight!

  • kgmonline profile image

    Geri MIleff 3 years ago from Czech Republic

    @Starsky, you're welcome! That's the very thing that Pinterest does so it's a really good tool for small to medium businesses. Thank you for sharing your insight! :)

  • profile image

    Starsky 3 years ago

    Couldn't agree more, Pinterest, although not the most popular social platform, is actually a good tool to help small businesses with their social engagement and brand awareness. Good hub, thank you!