This post is the first in my new Getting Started on Pinterest blog series. This series will take you through getting your Pinterest account up, running, and ready to drive traffic back to your website.
Chances are even if you haven’t used Pinterest before, you’ve probably at least heard of it. Maybe you found a to-die-for slow cooker recipe or used it to plan out your dream home.
But did you know that Pinterest is actually a fantastic way to market your business online as well?
Almost any type of business from physical products to online services can use Pinterest to boost their traffic (and sales). No matter what you’re promoting, chances are there’s someone searching for it on Pinterest!
What is Pinterest?
So - what exactly is Pinterest?
The definition given by Pinterest itself is:
"Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save creative ideas."
Basically, it’s a mixed-up blend of social media platform and search engine. It's not 'technically' a social media platform, but it's not "just" a search engine either.
You can "follow" other Pinners like on social media platforms, but the algorithm runs on keywords and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to expand your reach like Google.
It's more than just a place to find creative birthday party ideas to outdo the other moms - Pinterest can help you grow your website traffic, increase your income, grow your email list, and expand your community - just by saving (or “pinning”) pages to your boards!
Before we get too deep into what exactly Pinterest can do for your business, let’s talk about some of the basic terms you’re going to see in this post:
When you save something to Pinterest, it’s called a “pin”. You pin things to your boards, which are categorized groups of pins. It’s like taking a piece of paper and thumb-tacking it to a specific bulletin board.
There’s also a type of board called a “group board”. This is a board owned by someone who has invited other people to join them and pin to this board. Usually, these boards are centered around a certain topic - like pregnancy, social media tips, or slow cooker recipes.
The first page you come to when you sign into Pinterest is called your “home feed” or “smart feed”. This is similar to your news feed on Facebook and shows a mixture of pins that the people you follow have saved, as well as pins that Pinterest thinks you’d be interested in based on your activity. It’s randomly generated, so simply refreshing the page will bring up a new set of pins for you to check out.
Your profile page is like your “about me” page on Pinterest. This is where users can come to see your business name, check out the link to your website, and see all your boards as well as all of the things you’ve pinned. I’ll be covering how to get your profile page set up in another post.
What Can Pinterest Do For You?
With over 250 million active daily users (and growing), it’s no secret that Pinterest is a popular place with the online community. But if you’ve only used Pinterest to plan a wedding or find inspirations for tonight’s dinner, it can be hard to figure out just how Pinterest can benefit your business.
Let’s start with the basics - Pinterest ranks pins like Google ranks websites - using SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. This means that the better your pins “rank”, the higher they’ll appear in the feed. Unlike platforms like Facebook or Instagram, pins appear in a user’s feed based on search history and keywords, NOT based on when they were posted.
The average lifespan of a post on Facebook is about 3 hours (if your followers even SEE it…), and on Twitter, it can be as little as 18 minutes! But Pinterest pins can appear in a user’s search weeks, months, and even YEARS after they were originally pinned. This is especially valuable for businesses who are just starting out and may not have the funds to spend on Facebook Ads or boosting an Instagram post.
Besides their long lifespan, pins have a wide variety of benefits. You can use Pinterest to add to your email list, direct traffic to your blog or website, increase your brand awareness, and even boost your affiliate income. Not only that, research has shown that Pinners come to Pinterest ready to buy - about 90% of Pinners have said that they’ve used Pinterest to plan a purchase, or have bought something because of what they saw on Pinterest.
All of this tells us that Pinterest is an incredibly valuable marketing tool. There aren’t many other places you can find such a simple, easy to automate, and free tool that can do so much for your business.