We’ve all heard the recent hype about Pinterest, one of the fastest growing social media services in the world and the third most visited social site in the United States. Pinterest has taken the internet by storm because of its exciting features that allow users to “pin” visually appealing and interesting images and videos that are found on the internet, or uploaded onto virtual “boards.”

But what does all of this mean for small businesses? Since most of us have Facebook and Twitter pages, shouldn’t we have a Pinterest page as well? Many businesses, both small and large, have set up Pinterest pages and maintain them regularly. This flowchart posted on the Intuit Small Business Blog is helpful for deciding if your business should be on Pinterest.


When you create your Pinterest page, the first thing you need to do is set up your pinboards. Of course you’ll want to pin your own company’s products and services, but to avoid pure self-promotion you should also pin other things. To determine the categories and pins right for your boards, narrow down your interests and the interests relevant to your brand.

For example, inBLOOM Communications has the following boards: social media, pets and animals, things to do with and without the kids, food, going green, books, and inspiration. We focus on our community, our interests, the industries we represent and our clients. The number of boards that you have is up to you; we have 13 boards, but other businesses have 20+. Just make sure that your strategy for pinning is meaningful and reflects the values of your business. Be authentic.

5 Pointers for Pinning

1. Personal vs. Business Pinterest

Pinterest has yet to make a distinction between personal and business pages like Facebook, but there are ways to distinguish your Pinterest page as a business. A neat feature with Pinterest is that you can create your account by syncing with your Twitter or Facebook; however, you can only sync your Pinterest with your personal Facebook profile, not your business page. So what you should do is choose the email associated with your brand’s Twitter account to set up your profile. When you sync your business’ Twitter account with your Pinterest, you can keep the photo that has been pulled from Twitter, or you can change it. For your Pinterest profile description, add information about your business or your brand. You can also choose to link Twitter to your account publicly. Follow pinners that have an interest in your business as well as pinners related to your industry. Make sure to also follow your personal friends, they will help to spread the word about your brand.

2. Maintain Your Pinterest Pins and Boards

Pin regularly to maintain your presence and keep your boards looking fresh and current. Make it a part of your daily or weekly schedule as you manage your other social media pages. Try to see what the popular pins are in the “popular” category on your Pinterest homepage so you can get an idea of what the community is favoring at the moment. Also, look at the pinners who follow your business and see what they are pinning and who they’re following. Following a few months of socializing on Pinterest, you’ll get a good sense of your community and will be able to offer them promotions that speak to their intetests.

3. Stay Targeted and Use Keywords

Create targeted boards using industry-related keywords. As you pin, post relevant content to each board and write brief descriptions using keywords.  Make it easy for searchers to locate and share what you’re pinning by using broad keywords that will connect you to large audiences (ex. recipes, drinks, cooking, cats, flowers, fashion).

4. Don’t Upload Your Pins, Pin them!

If you are trying to get people from Pinterest to go to your website, they can’t do that without a link on the pin. If you upload a photo from your computer that has to do with your business, the pinners will not be able to see the source of where that pin came from. So always pin images from your website instead of uploading them. If you want to pin photos that are not on your site, you may want to start a blog to hold your photo content and then pin from there. To make pinning from websites easy, install the “Pin It” button to your social bookmarks.

5. Run a Contest or Promotion on Pinterest

Many businesses are creating promotions on their Pinterest pages, encouraging users to follow the profiles of brands and pin items from their websites. Recently, British Midland International (BMI) launched a “Pinterest Lottery.” The airline posted a series of boards on its page with photos from five destinations. Each photo featured the company logo and a related number, strengthening its brand presence on Pinterest. Pinners were asked to repin up to six images from the company boards. At the end of each week, the company randomly choose pinners who repined the photos to enter a drawing to win airfare to any BMI destination. Back in December, Lands’ End Canvas launched a promotion called “Lands’ End Canvas Pin It to Win It.” Fans were asked to pin items from the company website to Lands’ End Canvas pinboards for a chance to win one of the items pinned. Promotions are great ways to engage your audience and potentially turn followers into customers.

Feeling Pinned Down?

Okay there is a lot of info to digest in this post, but the most important takeaway is make sure you add a “Pin It” button to your website or blog because Pinterest’s popularity is undeniable. Earlier this year, TechCrunch reported that Pinterest had hit 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors in January.

Because Pinterest is so new, the only way to tell if it will remain the third most visited social site in the United States is to wait and see. And, the best way to tell if it’s worth your time, or right for your small business is to give it a try. Who knows, it could end up being one of your most successful marketing platforms!

What Are Others Saying About Pinterest?



5 Pinterest User Insights Marketers Can Use to Drive Sales, May 8th by Miranda Miller via

Pinterest’s Facebook App Is On the Rise with 2.5 Million  Daily Users by Devon Glen, May 8th via social

4 Pinterest Promotion and Contest Ideas to Gain More Followers by Andrea Cole, February 15th via

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Jennifer Smiga
Jennifer founded inBLOOM Communications to help brands bloom in a digital world. inBLOOM’s team of writers, designers, publicists and marketing specialists excel at converting followers to customers. inBLOOM’s clients benefit from Jennifer’s experience in donor relations, marketing, public relations and event production.

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