I call Pinterest the forgotten social platform, as most people automatically think of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and forget that Pinterest is there too. This could be because it works in a slightly different way to other social platforms. This difference can work to your brand’s advantage. 

Whether you’re a sustainable brand selling eco-friendly products or a service-based brand (like myself), discover how to use Pinterest to grow brand awareness and increase visitors to your website. 

What is Pinterest and how does it work? 

Pinterest is an image and video hosting and sharing platform that’s created to inspire and inform. Pinterest can be accessed on a desktop or through its app. 

Ideas are organised by ‘boards’ and images and videos saved onto boards are called ‘pins. This can be a little hard to grasp, particularly as no other social platform works like this, so here is an example of boards and pins.

Example Pinterest Board

Example of a Pinterest board
Source: Pinterest

The image above shows four separate boards that came up for a search of ‘eco-friendly brands.’ 

Example Pinterest Pin

Example Pinterest pin
Source: Pinterest

Clicking on the first board shown – Eco-friendly shopping’, these two pins appear. One is promoting an eco-friendly tea gift box and the other a soy wax candle. 

Now that I’ve explained what Pinterest is, how does it work? Well, in simple terms, a board is created around a specific theme or idea. For instance, say you want to share recipes on Pinterest. Instead of having a generic recipe board, create boards for different types of recipes, e.g. Low sugar recipes, vegan cake recipes, etc. 

Another thing to add about boards is that you can choose to keep it private or public. Public boards can be viewed by anyone. So, if you’re setting up a board to host ideas that inspire you in your business, you can opt to keep it private. 

Also, if you come across someone else’s pins that you find inspiring, you can pin them to a board you’ve created. It may seem odd to share someone else’s content, but sharing relevant and informative content on your board can help you be seen as an authoritative source of information. 

Reasons to use Pinterest for your business

Pinterest may not jump straight to your mind as a social platform that you should be using to share your business’ content, but hopefully, these points will persuade you: 

  • 478 million actively use Pinterest each month
  • Pinterest’s monthly active users are growing fast
  • Pinterest is searchable, so search engines like Google – no other social platform has this ability 
  • Pinterest is a platform for all businesses, so you don’t have to be a big brand to do well here
  • 77% of users say they have discovered brands through the platform
  • 80% of Pinterest users say they’ve made a purchase from a brand after finding their content on the platform

If you’re not on Pinterest, now is the time to set up your account. 

It’s all about the pins

What gets you noticed on Pinterest is great looking pins. Your visuals have to be top rate, so crap images, out of focus photos or illegible text won’t cut it. 

It’s worth remembering that pins that perform the best take the most space on a board – think tall instead of square. Pinterest states that the optimum pin size is 1000 x 1500 pixels. I’m no designer, so I use templates on Canva as the basis for my pin designs. Here’s an example of a pin template on Canva: 

Canva pin template
Source: Canva

To make it fit my brand, I changed the colours, added a new photo and modified the text. Here’s how it looks: 

Catch marketing Canva pin
Source: Catch Marketing

The quality of the images you use for your pins is so important. I can’t stress this enough. 82% of people use Pinterest on their phones, so your audience will be looking at your pins up close, this means any mistakes will be amplified. 

If you’re confident taking your own photos, fantastic, but I suspect most of us aren’t (I’m definitely not!). It’s not difficult to find quality stock images; Canva has a wealth of images that you can access from within its platform, some are free, but most have a small fee attached to them. Also, check out Unsplash and Pexels, they both have a wide range of quality images that you can use for free. 

When choosing photos, something else to consider is picking images that relate to the content you’re linking to. Say, for example you’re linking to a blog post about sustainable summer shoes for women, it makes sense to use a picture of shoes on your pin, right? 

Choose your words carefully….

Images attract your audience’s attention, but the text explanation is what gets them to interact with your pins. Whatever written message you use on a pin, it needs to be short, concise, related to the page the pin links to, and the text shouldn’t obstruct the image. Writing a short and snappy message can be tricky but it gets easier with practice. I suggest writing out a few different ideas first before applying it to your pin design. 

Don’t forget to add your brand name or your website’s URL to the pin as well. 

Adding pins to Pinterest 

So you’re finished creating your pin, now it’s time to upload it to Pinterest. It’s fairly straightforward, but here’s an image that shows what you need to do: 

How to add a pin to Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

  1. Drag and drop, or upload your finished pin from your laptop
  2. Add an attention grabbing headline that summarises the page you’re linking to. Pinterest recommends the headline is between 40 to 100 characters
  3. Write a description to tell your audience what the pin is about. Put your most interesting or important information at the beginning of the description. Pinterest recommends a description length of 100 characters. Studies show that longer descriptions perform better so aim for around 300 characters 
  4. Destination link is the URL of the page you’re linking to 

Pinterest pin publish button
Source: Pinterest

5. Press ‘Publish immediately’ or ‘Publish at a later date’

So you’ve added a pin to Pinterest, now what?

Firstly, come and follow me on Pinterest. 

Need some inspiration for your social channels? Check out these brands who are doing great things on social media. For tips on how to make your marketing messages more engaging, download my FREE eBook, ‘Kick Your Content Into Shape’. 

About me: I’m Emma a copywriter and content manager based in Harrow, London. I have a passion for writing and for creating amazing content for brands that have a strong sustainable, social and ethical mindset.