Ever heard of a little something called “Pinterest”? If you haven’t, just know that it has rapidly become a big deal in the business world, with even companies like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart using it to promote their interests. Essentially, it’s a visual search-engine, as well as something of a poster-child for online marketing. But it’s not just another trendy social media company; it’s a giant, and it’s getting bigger and stronger every day.
Created in 2010, by September 2015 Pinterest had already surpassed 100 million active monthly users, and was valued at more than $11 billion dollars! With that kind of growth, it’s no surprise that businesses of all kinds and sizes are rushing to “pin” their products, services, and brands to the hearts and minds of Pinterest users all over the globe. So the only question left is: why aren’t you?
Maybe it’s because you’re not familiar with Pinterest, and creating and using an account seems intimidating. If that’s the case, relax; it’s actually pretty easy. Sit back, crack open a refreshing beverage, and let us show you, step by step, just how easy it is to get your business on Pinterest.
Creating A Pinterest Account:
First, go to https://www.pinterest.com/business/, then click the big red “Sign up” button.
On the next page, you’ll be asked to enter your email address, create a password (don’t lose it!), select your business type from a menu, and provide a link to your business’ website. Click here if you don’t have a business website.
Next, you’ll be asked to pick 5 topics to follow. Try to pick something appropriate for your business. For example, if you sell professional services, follow other professional services (though probably not your competition). To make things easier, you can start typing what you’re looking for, and Pinterest will show you matching topics. Once you’ve chosen 5 (or more), click the “Done” button.
After that, you’ll be given the choice to add (or skip) the Pinterest browser button. If you add it, you’ll see a little “pin” button when you hover over pictures. Click this, and whatever you clicked will be added to one of your Pinterest boards (more on that later), making it easy to share what you find with others on Pinterest.
Once you click “create account”, your account will be created. See? Told you this isn’t complicated.
Next comes filling in your business’ profile. You’ll do this by editing your profile. To do this, click the red pin button in the upper right corner, then select the “my profile” option. Some of the fields will already be populated for you, but others will need to be filled in.
Warning: This next section might seem very long and very complicated. It’s not; hang in there, and I’ll explain more after the screenshots.
Tip: when entering your website’s address, make sure you use the main homepage/domain (like “blessedbeginningpuppies.com”), not a specific page (like “blessedbeginningpuppies.com/puppies”), or you won’t be able to verify website.
Tip: Confirming your website might be tricky. If you’re a Castlewood client, we’ll do it for you! If you’re not, become one now.
Still here after all that? Great! Don’t worry about filling in all the options, you only really need a few, and can worry about the others later. That said, here’s a few tips to help you along:
Search privacy: off (default)
Leave this alone so Google (and everybody else)can find your pins.
Determines what your Pinterest url will be. You can try changing it, but if somebody else has already claimed that address, you’ll either have to think up another one, or just use what’s already in the box.
Choose if you get notifications from everyone, or just people you follow. Decide if you want individual notifications (1 email each time something happens), or a digest email once a day.
Choose if you want desktop or phone notifications.
Tip: You can’t link a Facebook Business page to a Pinterest Business account, only a personal account. This might seem like an inconvenience, but it actually protects you from having some random yahoo claim your page. You can, however, link a personal Facebook account, as well as various other social media accounts.
Pins and Boards
Now that you have an account, you need at least 1 pin, or else why are you even here? Pins are like posts, in that you enter information, add a sweet picture or two, and release your creation into the wide world, hopefully driving customers to your business or website in the process. Of course, you can’t have a pin without a board to actually pin it to, so let’s cover that first.
Creating a board:
Pins are always attached to boards. You can have as many boards as you like (covering topics like “rustic furniture”, “puppies”, “history”, etc), but if you want to pin anything, you need at least one to start with.
To create a new board, go to “my profile”. Click “boards”. There will be a button that says “create board” on the bottom. Click that and fill out the information. Make sure it is not “secret”, or nobody will be able to see it.
Note: the information I entered was just for an example, and probably isn’t the best way to set a board up; I’m sure you can do a better job.
Once you have created a board, you can now create pins to put on it.
Tip: If you forget to create a board first, you can still create a pin, but you’ll be asked to create a board to pin it to once you’re done.
Creating a pin:
After you’ve created a board, you’re ready for the fun part; creating pins! To create a pin, first click the small “+” in the upper right of the screen, the choose “upload pic from computer”.
Choose a picture for your pin, add a description, give it a name, and click “create”. It really is just that easy!
Editing a Pin:
You can edit your pin any time. Go to “my profile”, then click “pins”. Click the pin you want to edit and make any desired changes. Don’t forget to save when you’re done.
Tip: If no board already exists for a pin to be attached to, you’ll be asked to create one now.
The Checkered Flag
That’s it! You’ve created an entire Pinterest account for your business, filled out your vital information, and created your first pin and board. What’s next? That’s up to you! Create a few more pins, check out and comment on other people’s pins (which might lead them back to yours), and just have fun as you familiarize yourself with your new favorite marketing tool. Sure, it may take you a little time to become comfortable with Pinterest, but once you do, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the benefits it offers to businesses of all types and sizes, and just possibly give your business or marketing efforts the boost you’ve been looking for.
By Eric S. Streeter