Web Marketing Today

Using Pinterest for Web Marketing; 4 Guidelines

The concept behind Pinterest is for users to share photographs of things they like via pinboards. Users categorize these photos so that Pinterest members can discover them easily.

Pinterest had more than 11.7 million users in early 2012, according to published reports. It is popular among women — and as a tool for shopping. In fact, according to Bizrate Insights, 70 percent of Pinterest’s audience uses it for purchase decisions, versus 17 percent on Facebook.

So, how do you get started with Pinterest?

Take a moment to consider the similarities between Pinterest and Facebook. Both are tools to share things. Where Facebook uses the “status update” as a means for communicating those interests, Pinterest focuses on photographs. Users sign up for Pinterest and add something that reads “Pin It” to the top of their browser. It is JavaScript-driven and allows the users to “pin” anything they see online that interests them. Users can categorize photos however they want on Pinterest “boards.” If Pinterest users like what they see from you, they can “repin” your image.

Pin It JavaScript Button

Adding a “Pin It” JavaScript bookmark makes it easier to pin to Pinterest.


Here are four guidelines to using your Pinterest account for web marketing purposes.

1. Keep your personal and business Pinterest pins separate. Becoming Pinterest-savvy is going to take some time. Create a personal Pinterest account and get used to how it works, leveraging it for your own surfing and buying habits. Follow many people and get used to Pinterest in general.

The biggest challenge will be to make Pinterest a habit, and that likely starts as a consumer. The more comfortable you get with using Pinterest, the better you’ll understand how it works and how to use it to promote your business and brand.

2. Decide what to share. Ideally, your business website will be chock-full of pin-able photos. If not, this might be the spot where you consider whether Pinterest is a viable option for your web-marketing plan. Pinterest is all about photos. If your business is service-oriented, perhaps you could start a blog and add photos — or other images and videos to accompany written content.

But if your business sells products and you have photos or images of them online, this should be easy. However, a note about strategy: Similar to Facebook, you shouldn’t merely post pictures of sale items. Establish yourself as an expert in your given field by pinning subject-related content from all over the web.

If your business sells cookware, consider a “board” dedicated to recipes as well as one that shows off all your products.

3. Follow, follow, follow. Much like Twitter, proper Pinterest etiquette is to follow people who have followed you. Find the Pinterest users in your space with the most followers, and follow them – and that means your competition, especially.

Likewise, encourage people to follow you. One way to do this is with giveaways or discounts. If people are interested in your topic and products, consider a money-saving carrot to entice them to follow you.

4. Optimize your website for Pinterest users. Many business websites include buttons or images that people can click to recommend items to Facebook or tweet information to Twitter. To reach the Pinterest audience, add a call to action to your website to encourage pinning.

Pin It Images

Add a Pinterest call to action button on your site to encourage pinning.


Moreover, Pinterest helps drive page views by linking photos and images back to web pages. For this reason, Pinterest is a valuable search engine optimization tactic, too.

Ryan Welton
Ryan Welton
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