A Beginners Guide to Pinterest [Free PDF Guide]
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Let’s take it from the beginning.
Everyone starts out as beginners at some point, and it takes patience, time, and consistency to become a professional.
To become a professional, we all have to take a route. As with driving, there are different roads you can take that leads us to the same destination. Some might be twisty, some might be quick, some might be slow – but they’ll get you to the destination.
They have one thing in common though. Whichever you begin from, you always start from scratch. And the same goes for learning how to master Pinterest.
In this article, we’ll give you the basics of Pinterest. From common terms and words to setting up your page, to creating killer content and dominating the platform.
In this post, we’ll cover it all.
Download 10 page “Pinterest Business Best Practices Guide” – PDF file.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a social media platform that allows you to share, discover, and save your own or others posts to your profile, making it a collection.
You don’t need many sentences to explain Pinterest. Here’s how Pinterest describes it:
Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save creative ideas.
People use Pinterest to find and store images of clothes they wish to buy, the food they wish to cook, places they wish to visit and furniture that they would love in their homes.
- Pinterest is powerful
- Pinterest is growing
- Pinterest is unique
- Pinterest is free
Pinterest for Business/Brands
Pinterest is, in essence, the shop window of your site. Big and small businesses have cottoned on to the many benefits that Pinterest can offer including:
- Increased visibility and brand awareness
- Builds dofollow backlinks
- Social engagement
Pinterest can be used to create a look book for your company, displaying your products and creating an idea of what your business is about. Success relies on creating ‘pinnable’ images that other users will want to repin. Travel, food, fashion, weddings and interior design are among the most popular niches.
Pinterest promoted pins
Pinterest promoted pins offers a simple advertising module. Just dive in and get your promotions going. To start off, you will select a pin that you want to use to promote your brand. Next, you will set your goals and then you will choose your audience (potential pinners). Then you will set a CPC bid for your campaign and budget. Read Pinterest Promoted Pins: 14 Tips How to Get Awesome Results.
How to create an account
You can access Pinterest directly from your desktop by visiting Pinterest.com. The desktop is the most convenient option when working on your marketing activities.
There are two types of accounts you can create. You can either create a regular account or a business account. Of course, which account you choose should reflect your purpose of use. If you are going to use the social media platform as a marketing source and a way to reach your target audience, creating a business account is a wise choice. If you are going to use to app for pure entertainment, creating a personal account is the most appropriate.
How to create a personal account
According to Pinterest, it only takes 15 seconds to set up your account. Whether or not that is true is up to you to prove.
There are two ways to create an account on Pinterest. The first method is to create one from their website. To do so, choose if you want to create an account using your Facebook account, Google account, or your email address.
The second method of creating a Pinterest account is to do it through the app. Open the Pinterest app, and you get the following screen.
The same goes here. However, the difference is that you cannot create an account using Google, nor can you create a business account directly when signing up. Business account has to be done at a later stage of you signing up.
How to create a business account
As of today, there is no possibility of creating a business account directly through the app. You have to do it on the Pinterest website.
To create a brand new business account:
- Visit Pinterest for business.
- Fill in the asked details, including who will manage the page.
- Read the Business Terms of Service, accept, and click “Create Account”
To convert your personal account to a business account: If you have already created a regular account but want to convert it to a business account, you can do so very easily.
- Go to the “Convert to business account” page on Pinterest’s website.
- Fill in your business name and website (optional).
- Click “convert“
Why business account?
Business accounts have access to a few more features than regular accounts, such as Pinterest Analytics, which is a built-in analytics tool that lets you study how your page performs. In addition to Analytics, you will also need a business account to create ads on the platform.
Common words & terms
As with all social media platforms, Pinterest has its own dictionary of words and terms that are dedicated solely to the platform.
Of course, for beginners, these words can be confusing, and make the usage of Pinterest more difficult than it needs to be. Therefore, one of your highest priorities, when getting started, should be to learn the meaning of the most common Pinterest terms.
A pin is a visual bookmark that redirects you to another website if you click on it, often the original source.
When you save a pin that has been posted by someone else, to your board, it is called repinning. Repinning is also known as re-pinning and saving. Re-Pinning is the new re-tweet. Pinterest may not be the newest social site but it is quickly taking over the old favorites and research has uncovered that Pinterest drives more traffic than Twitter.
A board is a place where you save related pins. You can create how many boards as you want, and normally, you add pins that have something in common on the same boards and name them to separate them better. Boards are like folders that let you keep your pins organized on the platform.
Pinterest’s users are often referred to as pinners.
When you find a pinner who shares appealing content, you can follow that user. Now, when that individual adds a new pin, it will appear on your homepage.
A source link is the website URL that a shared pin links to.
Similar to most social platforms. Like a pin to show your support, and that you endorse it. A bonus of the like feature on Pinterest is that you can like a pin and then later look at it without sharing it on your profile.
Creating a board
Before you start creating pins or repinning, you need somewhere to put them. Therefore, before you begin pinning, you need to create one (or more) boards.
To create a board, open up your profile and tap on the plus symbol (+). Give the board a name, and choose if you want the board to be secret or public. Once you are done, click “Create“.
If you want to edit your board later go to the board you created and tap the pen icon in the top left corner. Here you can name your board, add a description, add a topic, invite collaborators that can contribute to the board, add more people, and delete your board.
Every board you create should have a distinct theme. As you start creating more boards, you need to take a moment to think about what topics resonate well with your brand, what topics speak your brand language – and reflect your personality.
Creating your first pin
Now that you have created a board, you are ready to start creating your first pin. There’s a difference in your original pin, and repinning or liking others’ content.
You can share a pin using different methods.
If you are visiting a website, you can share a pin of the images that are on that website – if the website has integrated share buttons.
If so, tap on the Pinterest icon and share your pin.
If you want to create a pin directly from the app, you can do so. Go to your profile, and tap the “+” located at the top of the screen to the right. Choose Pin from “Photo” or “Web“.
By choosing “Photo,” you can share photos from your photo library – or take a photo right on the spot
By choosing “Web,” you are opted to write in a website URL and then redirected to that website. Once you are there, you can look around until you find an image worth pinning. To pin an image you see, tap on it, and you’ll be presented with options to share it.
However, one of the simplest methods is to install the Pin It button directly from Pinterest. Once installed, this button will appear on your browser bar. When you find an image online that you like, press the pin button, and Pinterest will ask you to confirm which image you would like to select for pinning. By pinning with the button, there is no need to attribute the image as Pinterest will link it back to its original location. Simply add your new pin to the most relevant board and add a caption to ensure it is sufficiently optimized.
Features to know about
On Pinterest, you can send and receive private messages from other users on the platform. To access your messages once inside the app, choose the speech bubble icon at the bottom of your screen. Toggle from Notifications to “Inbox” to see your messages.
To send a message, choose”New message” and search for the users you’d like to send your message to.
Many don’t know this, but Pinterest has a visual search feature that lets you identify, and sometimes even buy products in a pin. Pinterest will present similar products like the ones seen in the pin and suggest similar products from online stores, that you can put in your cart and shop without ever having to leave the app.
To access this feature, tap on the magnifying glass in the top right corner of a pin, and then on the suggested dots that appear on the pin after Pinterest has identified the object(s).
Pinterest browser extension
Pinterest has developed a browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox that lets you save links to images that you find on the web.
Once the extension is activated, you’ll see a red “Save” button in the corner of the images you hover over with your mouse. Click “Save,” and choose a board to post it on to share it on your Pinterest account.
In the bottom right corner of every pin, you can see a small circle. If you tap on that, Pinterest will present you with more pins similar to that – without redirecting you to a new page.
Filter your searches
To get more exact results, you can filter your search results by tapping the funnel icon located just right to the search bar.
Filter your search by the following criteria:
Pinterest for Your Business
Pinterest is used by many businesses – but also ignored by many as well. By not taking advantage of what Pinterest has to offer in terms of marketing for brands, you’re missing out on some tremendous opportunities.
Because marketers are always in the hunt to know where the attention is, they often tend to look at the number of users across the various social media platforms and choose the ones with the highest numbers.
Pinterest allows you to optimize your pins and include tags to attract users with keywords. You can track Pinterest traffic in Google Analytics, and you can also track the number of repins from other users also.
There are a variety of ways that Pinterest can benefit your business:
Drive Traffic to Your Site
Pinterest is a great way to drive traffic to your site. As long as your site contains high quality, interesting images, people will want to pin them. These pins or recommendations will ensure larger numbers of people see your pins and can be directed back to your site with minimum fuss.
Boost Your Keyword Strategy
Get found for the phrases that matter to your business. Pinterest boards and profiles are indexed by Google which means that you can optimize your boards with specific keywords to help you appear in the search results.
Identify Pins that Convert
Google Analytics allows you to identify which pins convert into sales. In doing so, you will get a better feel for the types of images your target market is likely to pin and the products they will be interested in purchasing.
Encourage Natural Links
Content assets are a great way to encourage natural links to your site. However, if people do not know they are there or cannot find them through traditional search methods, it may be wise to pin things like infographics on Pinterest. This will enable your target market to find your content assets and pass them on quickly to other people, making them highly visible in a short space of time.
Instagram has 700 million active users, while in contrast, Pinterest “only” has 200 million. But on the other hand, Pinterest has 150 million people who use the platform regularly. 200 million! That’s almost half of the population in the U.S.
How Pinterest Works: the DO’s and DON’Ts for marketing
Let’s say you are a professional food blogger and you want to drive more traffic to your site. You post a picture of your amazing no-bake cookie dough truffles. They look good, so others repin the picture to their boards. Some think it looks so good that they want to try to make the truffles themselves. The pinner clicks the picture twice and arrives at your site for the recipe. The picture has driven traffic to your site. The pinner may subscribe and start following your blog; Pinterest has successfully marketed your site.
So the concept seems easy. Provide engaging, aesthetic images of your product or service on your website, pin them to Pinterest and allow the image to bring your customers to your site. This is easy; however, there are some important things to remember that can affect your marketing efforts. Here are just a few hints for effective marketing through Pinterest.
The DO’s and Don’ts of Pinterest Marketing
- Don’t upload pictures to Pinterest from your computer. This will not link back to your website
- Do put them on your website and pin them from your site. Not only does this link people directly to your site, but the more links you have going to your website, the higher your search engine rankings can be.
- Don’t pin pictures from your site that have no content on your site. If someone has followed the photo to your website it is because they want to read more about the topic of the photo.
- Do provide a visible subscription button to your page. If they like the content they may want to subscribe, you should make this as easy as possible.
- Don’t direct people to a sales page (the “add to cart” page) with no product information. Prices, reviews, etc are always good to have immediately.
- Do provide easy purchasing directions on your site. If it is confusing, or there are technical problems, customers may be deterred from following through with their purchase.
About the author: Jens Wirdenius is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Veloce International and the influencer directory Veloce Network. He is a social media and marketing nut, sharing his passion for business in his articles.