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Pinterest for Business: Building Your Community


By now, you’ve probably heard about the visual pinboard social networking site Pinterest and how it’s changing the way brands interact with and market to their online communities. If you’re employing Google Analytics you may even have noticed that Pinterest is starting to garner your business decent referral traffic. But how can your brand take advantage of this latest social network?

(If you haven't yet created a Pinterest account for your business, here's a handy step-by-step guide for you.)

If you’re going to get serious about incorporating Pinterest into your overall social media marketing strategy we recommend linking your Twitter account and website to your Pinterest account. (For now Pinterest does not allow you to link your Facebook Business Page but this will probably change in the near future.) You may also want to add the Pinterest "Follow Me Button" to your website and the "Pin It Button" to images on your blog or website to invite your readers to share your work on Pinterest.

So, you have a business Pinterest account, but now what?

Do Some Quick Pinterest Research

If you have noticed an uptick in referral traffic to your website from Pinterest, here’s a handy tip on how to dig a little deeper: Go to, and you will be able to see any and all pins that originated from your website. The benefit here is you can see what your fans consider your valuable content, products, and/or services even before you being pinning! You may want to take this at step further and follow the people or who pinned images from your website (or their individual boards which could be relevant to your brand or industry) as they could become brand advocates – an integral role in starting your Pinterest community.

Here are two examples of pins originating from our website. We discovered them by going to:


Next, find people who are pinning content related to your industry or area of expertise. To do so, search for relevant keywords (or even #hashtags like Twitter) in Pinterest search. Filter these results by the “People” option to find specific Pinterest users who are pinning content related to your industry. Each of these profiles is a potential lead – you may or may not want to follow them based on your business’ needs – but you can find valuable content to re-pin.

To really add some oomph to the above strategy you may want to employ a Pinterest tool called PinReach that helps to identify the influential pinners who follow your business (as well as which of your pins and boards are performing well or under-performing.)

Engagement is Key with Pinterest

What to Pin: Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board that is satisfyingly visual – make sure any images you use are large, easy to see, high-resolution, and appealing. Stock photos are simply not up to muster on Pinterest. There are a lot of great tools scattered across the Web to add a little pizzazz to your images, one of our favorites is PicMonkey – basically a free online Photoshop with an easy to understand and intuitive interface.

Besides pinning your brand’s visual content and re-pinning content from other Pinterest users, Pinterest allows you to pin content from anywhere across the Web. (To do so, install the “Pin It bookmarklet”). Some great places to get started pinning are visually-driven websites like Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Google+, or other industry-related blogs you already subscribe to.

Use Pinterest Features to Maximize Engagement

Engagement on Pinterest can be everything from re-pinning, to writing comments, to liking pins, to gaining followers, to thanking people for pinning your content.

Stay aware of which Pinterest users are pinning and re-pinning your content. If the user regularly contributes pins to your industry and niche, go ahead and follow them. Pinterest is a very reciprocal network and lots of users tend to follow back based on shared tastes in content and similar interests.

Sometimes, Pinterest users will re-pin one of your pins, but won’t take the extra step of following your business or your individual boards. To keep users like this engaged; try commenting on the pin in question. For example try asking why they liked the image, or how you could help them with this type of product or service. The user will be notified via email and this is a great way to start a conversation and begin building a relationship with that user – chances are they’ll start following you.

Take note of the “Like” button on Pinterest. By liking pins on Pinterest, brands and businesses alike can reach out to users without (re)pinning images. 

Like Twitter, Pinterest users often employ @Mentions and #Hashtags. A mention is the Pinterest equivalent of a reply on Twitter or leaving a comment on a Facebook post. Adding mentions to a comment helps to foster brand communication and interaction. Hashtags, while aiding engagement, are useful in two other major areas. First, hashtags play a vital role in making your pins appear in Pinterest search. Secondly, on Pinterest you have the ability to directly tweet any pin. If you choose to send a pin to Twitter, hashtags are Twitter lingo and you can engage with multiple online communities from a single platform.

We are really excited about Pinterest and the potential it offers to our clients, businesses, and brands. We are Pinterest experts…ask us a question. We’re here to help. 

How to Create a Pinterest Account for Your Business


In my last blog “What is Pinterest and Why Should You Care” I explained why Pinterest is so popular for users and for businesses. Now, let’s go through a step-by-step process to set up your Pinterest business account.

Create a Pinterest Account for Your Business or Brand

STEP 1: Go to

(Note: Since this post was originally written, you no longer need to request an invite!) You will notice that you need to request an invitation to set up your account. Don’t let this dissuade you. I have set up Pinterest accounts for numerous clients and it usually only takes a few hours to receive an email from Pinterest allowing you to create an account.


Once you do receive your invite from Pinterest, you’ll notice you can log in with either your Email address or your Twitter account. For business, I suggest you login with your email account. It is not recommended that you login with Facebook as Pinterest will link to your personal Facebook account - currently Pinterest does not integrate Facebook Business Pages.


STEP 2: Fill in your Pinterest profile

  • Add your profile picture. Most businesses use the same image that is on their Facebook and Twitter profiles. Make sure you upload a picture to Pinterest that is 160 pixels by 160 pixels.
  • Add a business description. Explain 1) your brand and message 2) what the content of your pins will be about so users visiting your Pinterest account know what to expect.  (Pinterest provides 160 characters [about 20 words] for you to do so: make sure you are specific and concise.)
  • Link your twitter account. After you’ve added your profile picture and description, you’ll notice 4 icons appear below your description. The icons correspond to Facebook, Twitter, Your Website, and your location. Although it looks like you need to click + to add them, it actually only works this way:

       Go to the “settings” portion of your account, in the drop down menu under your page
       name, like this:


     Once in “settings” you’ll see a similar version of the following:


Pinterest has not yet allowed Facebook Business Pages to link, but it will be coming soon. For now just ignore the Facebook button. 

Note: You must have your Twitter account open in another window in order to add it to your Pinterest account.  

You’ll also notice the last option “Hide your Pinterest profile from search engines.” While the wording is a bit misleading, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you hide your Pinterest account from the search engines. One of the advantages of using Pinterest for business is to drive traffic to your website. 

STEP 3: Creating your Boards

  • How many boards and pins should you start with? In order to make sure your Pinterest Page looks professional and complete, you’ll want to create a minimum of five boards, each with a minimum of five pins.
  • How to pin: There is a section on Pinterest called “Pin It Button” where you will find a tool that enables you to pin images right from your website, your blog, and anywhere else on the web.

    The “Pin It” Button allows you to take any image from anywhere on the Web and pin it directly onto your Pinterest boards. For your blog, pin the image you used in your post, and when someone double clicks on it, they will be lead to the blog post. It doesn’t stop there – YouTube and Vimeo videos are pin-able as well.
  •  Here’s how to install the super handy “Pin It” button on your browser (note: I use Chrome, but the Pin It Button is available for Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox.)Pinterest will tailor the instructions to the Web browser you are using, and they also provide a video if these directions are still unclear.

        Once installed you’ll have this handy tool on your browser bar, here is mine on Chrome:



  • How to pin without the pin it button. Go into the “Add” section on the top right.

    When you click “Add” you will see the following screen:

    When you click “Add a Pin” you are prompted to provide Pinterest a specific URL. Pinterest will gather the photos from the provided URL and you will be able to pin those images.

    “Upload a Pin” will allow you to upload any image stored on your computer’s desktop directly onto your pin boards.
  • Pin from other peoples’ boards. You can re-pin images from other people’s boards as well. Hover your mouse above the image to see the “Repin” button.

  • Add a description to each image. Try to utilize keywords to the best of your ability so that people can find your boards when they are searching for what you do. Equally as important is adding a category to your pins. You want to make sure what you are pinning appears in the right place so anyone searching for pins are able to find your pins and hopefully, re-pin them.
  • Add a category and description to each board. The description is very, very important so that your pins will appear in search and will help people find your boards by category. Also, indicate whether your followers can pin on your boards, or if only you can.
  • My recommendation is to not allow other people to pin to your boards (unless you are running a fan contest or promotion). You may, however, want to add another “pinner” (Pinterest user) to your board if you have multiple people managing your business account. When you click “Edit” directly underneath your board you’ll be met with the following screen:

STEP 4: Add Pinterest Buttons to Your Website

There are two Pinterest buttons for websites:

  • The “Follow Button”


        The Follow Button will allow someone visiting your Website to follow your Pinterest                 account, just like a “Like Us on Facebook” or “Follow Me on Twitter” button works. 

  • Website “Pin It button”. On your blog, you may want to add a “Pin It button.” Like the other social sharing buttons your Website may already contain; the Pinterest button allows users to pin and share your website or blog content on Pinterest.

My next blog will discuss pinning tips and techniques and a few of my favorite Pinterest tools.

More questions about setting up your Business Pinterest Account?  Just Ask Betsy! Subscribe, or leave a comment below: 

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