How Pinterest Works: the DO’s and DON’Ts for marketing

How Pinterest Works: the DO's and DON’Ts for marketingPinterest is a social media site which focuses less on the users, and more on what the users like or enjoy. Pinterest has grown rapidly. The number of daily users has increased by 145 percent since the beginning of 2012. Businesses and entrepreneurs have noticed the popularity of Pinterest and have discovered its usefulness. It is a great way to market a product or service, and an ingenious way to drive traffic to a website. However, there is a problem. Many businesses and entrepreneurs know how to use Pinterest in a basic way and can see the potential benefits to their business, but they do not understand HOW to use this social media site to benefit the business. Let’s look at how Pinterest works in general, how it works for the entrepreneur, and the do’s and don’ts to effectively use Pinterest for marketing or sales purposes.

So, how does Pinterest work?

Let’s pretend you have cut out pictures from magazines of your favorite clothes or hobbies. You want to organize them, so you put them in different photo albums by category. Essentially, the “pin boards” are just that, online photo albums. Now you can browse the boards of over 2 million other “pinner’s” every day. If you like a picture, you can “repin” anyone’s picture to your board from the Pinterest page. You can click on the picture to see it enlarged, and if it seems interesting, you can click on it again to load the website where the picture originally came from. Now you have access to the information and the source of the picture.

How does Pinterest works for the entrepreneur?

How Pinterest Works: the DO's and DON’Ts for marketingLet’s use another hypothetical situation. 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 really affect your marketing efforts. Here are just a few hints for effective marketing through Pinterest.

The DO’s and Don’ts of Pinterest Marketing

  • How Pinterest Works: the DO's and DON’Ts for marketingDon’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.

Using social media marketing can be very beneficial, but businesses must understand how to use it. Pinterest allows people to share their hobbies, their passions, and of course, their interests with others or to simply archive their interests for themselves. This means that marketing is almost undercover with Pinterest. Understanding how to use Pinterest can give businesses access to customers all over the world without have to seek them out, because people seek out their own interests on Pinterest.


Bio: I am the marketing manager for, a professional printing company based inCleveland,Ohio. We offer high quality printing services for businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs around the country. WePrintQuick offer an endless list of services for all of your printing needs.

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6 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    coming late to the party, but as you may have noticed, Pinterest has exploded thanks to Google search results. It can’t be overstated to say your site needs to be involved with Pinterest more than ever, especially if you have the photos to back up your products.

  2. Seo Search Engine Marketing says:

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  3. Casey says:

    I understand your point for not posting photos from your computer, though I think it really depends on the business.
    Strange’s (the company I run a Pinterest acct for) only sells a small amount of merchandise online, and therefore relies on people to remember Strange’s when they need plants, containers, home decor, etc. I use Pinterest as a way of advertising the products you can find at our store, usually putting ‘Available at Strange’s’ in the text box.

    • Priit Kallas says:

      Thanks for your comment! If you upload images and DON’T link tem to your pages then you lose traffic. That was the point, but it was lost during the editing.

  4. Gail from OliverINK Publishing says:

    Good article, however, your first point is not necessarily correct.

    If you pin an image from your computer, once it posts, hit “Edit” and a dialogue box comes up that allows you to add your website url in the “Link” box. As such, you can change the url of any image you Pin.

    • Priit Kallas says:

      That is so! Just to be on the safe side, people new to Pinterest should pin links. But you are right.

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