10 min read
How to Use Pinterest for Business - My 7 Step, Fool-Proof Strategy
You guys know I often talk about the power of Instagram and how it’s essential for nearly every business in 2020.. but there’s another social platform that should be getting your attention as well:
Yep.. Pinterest. It’s not just a platform to find tasty recipes and beautiful home decor.. it’s actually an amazing tool and has played a significant role in the success of my blog and business. In fact, Pinterest single handedly sends anywhere from 300 to 500 visits to my website, every single day.
While I can get similar traffic with Instagram it takes a lot more effort. With Pinterest you can truly “set it and forget it” (with the right tools of course!)
So today I’m going to share with you my exact Pinterest for business strategy that you can steal to see a massive boost in not only your website traffic, but email list and paying customers as well!
Let’s get started!
Prefer to watch the video version of this blog post? Check out my YouTube Video!
Step 1. Create Pins
The first thing you’re going to need to do is create pins for all of your blog posts, freebies, courses, etc. Basically anything that exists on your website can have a ‘pin’ associated with it (you can even create multiple designs for a single piece of content!)
When creating pins you want to keep them simple and descriptive. Text is very heavily featured on most Pinterest pins because you want people to CLICK! Because of that, the best way to utilize Pinterest for business is to make sure the text you add to your pin clearly communicates what the user will find when they click on it (feel free to include the benefits, results, or the fact that you have a free download associated with it!)
The best performing pins are vertical with the typical size being 1000 x 1500 pixels.
You can easily create pins using free services like Canva which have a variety of Pinterest templates ready and free for use, or if you’d like to create them yourself, using Adobe products like Illustrator and Photoshop will get the job done.
If this isn’t something you want to do on your own, I highly recommend checking out Fiverr or Upwork to hire a professional. Make sure you do your research and give clear instructions and details on what you want. If communicated properly you can get a great product for super cheap!
Step 2. Join group boards
Group boards are the key to this Pinterest for business strategy. Without them it can take a very long time to build up your own audience and generate significant traffic.
So what is a group board? Well, just like it sounds, it’s a board that has multiple contributors, allowing a variety of users to pin content to the same board. This pools the contributors followers and results in a board with much larger reach than your own personal boards will have.
If you’re new to Pinterest, you’ll have zero followers and as we all know – growing can be tough in 2020. With group boards you can simply cut to the front of the line and utilize other accounts followers to your advantage. This makes using Pinterest for business an actuality and not something that just sounds great!
To join group boards you first have to locate some. You can do this by searching for a topic in Pinterest, selecting the boards filter and looking for the group board icon (a small circle in the lower left that shows multiple profile pictures).
When you’ve located one, open it up and take a peek at the boards description. This is usually where you will find guidelines on how to join the group board. Often times you’ll need to email the board owner or leave a comment on a recent pin.
Pinterest has also recently added a ‘request to join’ button which makes things quick but don’t forget to complete the additional tasks noted in the description or you could jeopardize your chance of approval! (Some board owners are verrrry specific about who gets added, so make sure you’re following the rules!)
Note: you won’t get approved for every board you apply to so gather as many as possible and hope for the best!
If you have a brand new account, consider filling out your profile, creating a few boards and pinning some content to them so your account appears more active. This can help with the approval process.
An additional way to find group boards is through a site called pingroupie.com Simply type in the topic of your choice (be specific!) and PinGroupie will generate a list of available group boards. It will also show you how many followers, contributors and pins a board has which makes it easier to decide which boards to target (go for ones with at least 20 contributors and as many followers as possible!)
Step 3. Use Tailwind
Once you have pins created and you’ve got access to a variety of group boards, it’s time to start pinning! You can do this manually but I prefer to use a service like Tailwind that allows you to schedule your pins in advance.
With Tailwind you can completely automate your Pinterest strategy. They tell you when is the best time to post per day and automatically drop your pins into those specific slots, then push them out without any further input from you! They even track your pin and board performance and help you optimize with their ‘smart recommendations’, ‘tribes’ and ‘smart loop’ features.
Tailwind truly is a life saver so I highly suggest checking it out. Click here for a free trial and $30 off your membership!
Once you’re inside Tailwind you’re going to upload the pins you’ve created by going to the ‘Publisher’ tab and clicking ‘drafts’. On the right hand side, click ‘create new pin’. Then select the appropriate files. From here you’ll write out a description for each one (don’t worry, you’ll only have to do this once!)
If you already have pins published to your Pinterest account you can skip to the next step for a quicker method!
Beneath each pin you will see a place to ‘select a board’. You can use this feature to manually select each board for each pin, one by one, but I prefer to share all my pins to all of my boards using the mass pin feature. (Keep in mind that if your pins cover all different topics you’ll want to be careful pinning them to boards that don’t relate.)
In the top right you’ll see a box that says “Add board to all”. By placing your cursor in that empty box, you’ll see a drop down of all the boards you have access to. Select all of your boards. (Note: there is a way to group your boards within Tailwind to make this even quicker!)
Once all of your pins have been designated to the boards, click the green ‘schedule all pins’ button at the bottom. This will then put all of your pins into your queue which is visible on the right hand side.
The first thing you’ll notice is that you have duplicate pins one after another. We don’t want this so select the ‘shuffle queue’ button in the top right. This will shuffle your pins and distribute them evenly.
That’s it! Depending on how many pins and boards you have, you can easily schedule out your Pinterest pins for days to months in advance!
Step 4: The 70/30 rule
When it comes to using Pinterest for business, we of course want to be pinning our own content, but we can’t ONLY pin our own content. The Pinterest algorithm will be more likely to favor your account if it sees a variety of content from different websites (also, board owners and visitors to your page will see you aren’t just self promoting and will be more likely to add you to group boards or follow your page!)
The 70/30 rule means that you’ll be pinning 70% your own content and 30% other creators content. This number is not a hard and fast rule but it’s a good ratio to aim for.
You can easily do this with Tailwind as well by using their chrome extension. After downloading it, you’ll be able to open up Pinterest, search for a topic, then click the extension and it’ll allow you to select as many pins as you want to add to your schedule.
Simply pick and choose, press the blue ‘go schedule’ button then select the boards you want to add the pins to (don’t be too diligent here – the idea is that you’re getting lots of content scheduled – not spending hours working on it!). Hit schedule and you’re good to go!
Step 5: Optimize your account and your pins
Pinterest gives you a variety of options to super-charge your account so when you have some extra time, here’s a few things you should do:
1. Enable Rich Pins (to do that, follow the steps on this page)
Rich Pins pull extra data from your link and includes it within the pin such as the price, ingredients from a recipe or an excerpt from your blog post. This makes your pins more complete and compelling to click.
2. Convert to a Business Account (details here)
Pinterest business accounts allow you to access in-app analytics to track your pin performance and also allows you to create paid pins for advertising purposes.
3. Optimize your captions
Pinterest is technically a search engine so every pin’s caption should be filled with searchable keywords, calls to action and even a handful of hashtags! Adding these elements will ensure your pins are shown to more people and you get more traffic to your site.
Need help selecting keywords? Check out my Keyword Research blog post.
Step 6: encourage others to pin content from your website
Pinning your own content is the best way to get started, but ideally, over time, others are pinning your content as well creating more instances of your link on Pinterest and increasing the traffic they bring to your website!
To make this easy for your viewer, make sure they can pin content directly from your website.
To do this, install social sharing buttons on every blog (you’ll notice mine at the end of this post!) if you’re using WordPress there’s many plugins you can add to help with this and SquareSpace should have social sharing automatically included in their templates.
You’ll also want to install the official Pinterest ‘save button’ to your website so whenever someone hovers over an image, a small ‘share’ button appears that lets them pin your content on the fly (try it on the image below! Hover and click that ‘P’ icon in the top left to pin this post to Pinterest!)
Step 7. Track your traffic using Pinterest and Google Analytics
When it comes to business, tracking every metric you can is super important in being able to grow and scale. By using both the in-app Pinterest analytics and your Google Analytics you can see exactly which pins are bringing the most traffic to your site.
In Pinterest simply click the ‘Analytics’ tab on the top left (remember you’ll need to convert to a Pinterest business account to access this), then select ‘overview’. From here you can select a date range and check which Pins are performing the best. I typically select the ‘link clicks’ option to see which pins are actually sending traffic to my site (impressions will be a lot higher but don’t always relate to link clicks!)
In Google Analytics go to ‘Acquisition’ on the left side bar, then ‘Social’, then ‘Overview’. From here you can see how much traffic you’ve received from Pinterest in any given time period. To dig deeper, click on ‘Pinterest’ then any of the ‘Shared URLs’ listed. On the next page you’ll see the exact pins that are bringing you traffic!
When you’ve identified what those pins are, you can double down by pinning them more often or turning them into a paid pin.
If you’ve identified pins that haven’t brought any traffic you can consider changing the design, improving the clarity of the text, re writing your description, or simply re-pinning them to new boards.
So that’s it, my 7 step strategy for using Pinterest for business! By following these steps you can significantly increase the amount of targeted traffic to your website which will ultimately increase all of your numbers from email list subscribers to social followers and even paying customers!
Never skip creating a pin for every new piece of content and continually look for group boards to join as they are what provides the most value to this strategy.
Do you use Pinterest for business? If not, will you be implementing this strategy?
Tell me in the comments below!