The digital ecosystem of social media seems to be dominated by brands such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, as these are the social networks with the largest number of active users in the world.

However, when carrying out digital marketing campaigns, many companies and agencies focus their attention (and their investment) on a smaller social network, but with enormous strategic potential: Pinterest, which already has more than 478 million users.

  • What is and how is Pinterest for business users?
  • What are the main features of Pinterest?
  • Why should you use Pinterest for your business?
  • What should you know before starting your Pinterest strategy?
  • 6 strategies to use Pinterest in your business effectively
  • 5 tips to optimize your Pinterest strategy for businesses

To better understand the business impact that Pinterest has for businesses in the social media ecosystem, let’s look at the following 10 facts about this platform in business:

  1. 80% of millennials say that Pinterest helps them find products they want to buy, while 71% use the platform to find recommendations on what to buy.
  2. In general, millennials prefer to use Pinterest to make purchases over any other social network. In fact, almost 50% of them have bought a product with which they have interacted within the platform.
  3. 87% of pinners (Pinterest users) have bought articles that they have seen on this platform, and 93% of them plan to do so.
  4. 90% of weekly users use Pinterest to make purchase decisions, whether they end up making them at the same time or later, online or offline. Even 72% do it to decide what to buy offline.
  5. 55% of pinners use the platform especially to search for products, a behavior that is four times higher compared to other social networks.
  6. Proportionally based on the number of users, Pinterest generates 33% more shopping traffic compared to Facebook, 71% more than Snapchat, and 200% more than Twitter.
  7. 77% of users have discovered a new brand or product within the platform.
  8. 78% of users affirm that the content published by brands is useful , while more than 75% of pins pinned (saved publications) come from brands, companies and businesses.
  9. Digital campaigns on Pinterest generate almost four times more sales compared to those on other platforms.
  10. 96% of active pinners use Pinterest to research and plan events like weddings or trips, for example.

According to the Digital in 2019 – Spain report, carried out by Hootsuite and We Are Social, 60% of the total Spanish population uses social networks, and Pinterest is among the main ones.

Although the top is dominated by the ecosystems of Google (YouTube) and Facebook (Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp), Pinterest has characteristics that make it the most powerful platform for digital marketing in certain specific contexts.

Keep reading if you want to know how, at a very low cost, you can benefit from this community for your business.

What is and how is Pinterest for business used?

Pinterest is a social network specialized in visual content: photos, images, infographics, and videos. The publication of these graphic materials by brands pursues different objectives, among the main ones are to inspire users through visual ideas, motivate a lifestyle and educate on a subject through tutorials. All this against the background of capturing prospects and converting them into buyers.

In fact, 98% of Pinterest users actually test and apply the ideas they find on the platform. This is because the nature of Pinterest is to be inspirational and motivational. Quite different is, for example, the case of Facebook, a social network that has to make great efforts to make its feed less passive and much more attractive to users.

To understand how Pinterest works, it is necessary to know certain key concepts, some of which we have already mentioned above:

  • Pinners: are the active users of this social network, who publish, share or save content.
  • Pines: there are two meanings for this word:
    • On the one hand, there are the pins as a tool. These are visual markers in the form of a thumbtack ( pin , in English) that users use to “fix” all those images that are of interest to them. In some cases, instead of showing the pin, we can see the thumbnail of the Pinterest logo, which serves the same pin function.
    • On the other hand, there are the pins as ideas. They are precisely those images that users have fixed and that, generally, represent or convey an idea that they want to revise in the future.
  • Boards : boards or boards are the gallery-like places where users save and organize (by theme) the images they have “pinned”. These boards can also be created by companies, but I will explain this point later so that you can get the most out of this resource in your marketing strategy on Pinterest .

Something very interesting about how Pinterest works is that the images that users can pin do not necessarily have to be on the platform. That is if you publish content on your website, blog, or any other portal, pinners can save the image associated with your publication on their Pinterest boards.

In this way, they can access your original post in the future through the image they have pinned. Thus, users have a great facility to save ideas, products, news, articles, and any other type of content that is inspirational and of value, and that is all over the internet. As a fun fact, did you know that more than 14 million articles are pinned every day?

These and many other competitive advantages that are exclusive to Pinterest have managed to position the platform at the top of the most important in the world.

According to the Annual Study of Social Networks – 2019  carried out by IAB Spain and Elogia, Pinterest is a social network that enjoys a good reputation among users and its use has remained stable over time. For example, in terms of user satisfaction, this platform scores above even Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Regarding the frequency of visits, its indexes remain stable and solid.

These are very positive achievements when you consider that social applications are increasingly struggling to gain the attention and retention of users in their environments. 

Taking into account all of the above, we can end up defining Pinterest as a platform that offers memorable moments through images, that manages to seduce with its content, and that provides a unique visual experience among all the social networks that exist.

It is a community between brands and users that maintains a powerful relationship based on mutual charm, aspirational luxury, and the emotion of inspiring and feeling inspired. 

If you are a company with products or services whose characteristics can be exploited visually, then you must learn to incorporate Pinterest right now in your digital marketing strategy.

Throughout the article, I explain in detail how to do it.

What are the main features of Pinterest?

The main products and functions of Pinterest are:

  • Home feed : The feed is where users explore the images, topics, and profiles of the people they follow.
  • Browser button r: This button is available for Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Safari browsers (versions prior to 11). This tool is used to save pins from any web page.
  • Search : the search bar allows content searches by entering keywords on the subject of interest.
  • Visual Search : Users can activate the visual search option on any image they have found. In doing so, the platform analyzes the image and identifies the elements within it, providing the user with similar product results. For this functionality, Pinterest uses advanced artificial intelligence and computer vision algorithms. 

This visual search engine is Pinterest’s greatest value proposition, and its impact has been such that 80% of users start the purchase process with a search of this type.

Source: Pinterest

Pinterest Lens: The Pinterest camera fulfills two very particular types of visual search functions. One is called Lens your Look. This consists in that a user can take a photo of a product that he already owns, then the platform analyzes the image and thus generates recommendations on styles and ideas of how he can use it or combine it with other elements, whether it is clothing, furniture, etc.

The other is called Shop the Look. Its operation is basically the same, but instead of focusing on finding and recommending styles and ideas for use, this functionality provides results on products similar to the one pictured for sale.

For example, if the user is walking down the street and sees someone else with a pair of shoes that they like, then they take a photo of those shoes and Pinterest will show them where they can buy them and what other similar styles are available on the Internet.

Both functions work together and can be used for other very practical purposes. For example, if the user sees a plate of food and wants to know what its recipe is and how it is prepared, he simply takes a photo and the platform will return the desired information as a result.

Source: Pinterest

However, the power of Pinterest Lens goes much further, as it is considered to be one of the most powerful augmented reality (AR) tools that exist today within a social network.

The new function of this AR technology, called Test, allows, for example, that a user can point the camera towards herself and see how a certain lip color or makeup can look on her. Based on your selection, the platform will recommend brands and beauty products according to your preferences.

Source: Pinterest

  • Pinterest Ads Manager : is the section through which you can control everything related to advertising campaigns.

Here you can find out about the different formats of Pinterest advertising ads and here you can check the technical specifications of these formats.

Before you start testing any functionality, the first thing you should do is create a company profile. Here I leave you the link to the step-by-step of Pinterest to do it.

Why should you use Pinterest for your business?

As we’ve seen so far, Pinterest for business has extraordinary qualities on the business side. In fact, investing $ 1 in Pinterest Ads makes an average profit of $ 2, while the gross return can reach $ 4.30.

On the other hand, daily, more than 2 million users pin images of products they plan to buy. 

Thus, the proven effectiveness of advertisements and increasing user demand make this social network very fertile and promising for businesses seeking scalability, growth, and market penetration. Is it your case? So keep reading.

Another advantage of Pinterest for businesses is that, even if a user finds you and visits you once, they will not forget you. The link will continue to exist because you can follow your account or save one or more of your pins to refer to later.

This aspect is important that you take into account because the action of pinning on Pinterest is not the equivalent of giving a like on Facebook or Instagram. In this case, pinning is a much more declarative demonstration that a user is interested in your products and wants to be able to access them in future opportunities.

Therefore, that “simple action” is ultimately an essential step in your conversion funnel.

In addition, the useful life of the pins is much longer compared to that of a post on any other social network. For example, the average life of a post on Facebook is 90 minutes, while that of a pin on Pinterest is 3.5 months. That is, the impact of a pin lasts, on average, 1680 times longer than that of a post on Facebook. 

So, if your pins are correctly optimized and if you continue to take care of your Pinterest marketing strategy over time, the effect of your published content could last forever.

One of the advantages of this is that the pins will continue to send traffic to your website permanently and with very little effort. This is because the greatest effort is made especially at the beginning, having to invest time and resources in creating visually attractive content that encourages interaction, and then optimizing it.

The advantages of using Pinterest for business are innumerable and depend, to a large extent, on the nature of your business. For example, do you have a physical store? You should know then that more than 60% of pinners consult Pinterest while shopping in a store.

What should you know before starting your Pinterest strategy?

Once you have created your Pinterest business profile,  you must consider certain basic aspects before executing your Pinterest marketing strategy. Let’s see some of the most important:

  • Segmentation and buyer persona : because it is a very visual social network, the characteristics of pinners are quite particular, which means that their behavioral habits and preferences are very different in relation to when they are users of other platforms.

Therefore, first of all, it is essential to know our buyer persona well, only in this way can we understand what drives them to search on Pinterest and thus determine how we could proactively offer solutions to what they are looking for.

Also, beyond focusing on our buyer persona, we must take into account the characteristics of the segments that make life in this social network. Some data that give us an idea of ​​this are the following:

  • 36% of pinners are millennials , 34% are Gen Xers and 18% are Baby Boomers.
  • Almost 80% of users are women .
  • 83% of them use Pinterest to plan events and moments of life , 70% to find accessories, watches and jewelry, and 52% to learn about food and drink.
  • When traveling, users are twice as likely to consult Pinterest rather than conventional travel websites.
  • Commercial sector : in the same way, due to the very nature of Pinterest, there are commercial sectors in which the presence on this network becomes much more relevant. Such is the case of companies related to the areas of events, clothing, makeup, cooking, decoration, travel, or tourism. In this last sector, I recommend that you consult our article Hotel Marketing: 7 keys to increase your reservations.

In this sense, a recommendation is that you collect data on how the presence of both your sector and your market niche has been in this social network.

On the other hand, as a niche channel, Pinterest is really powerful for brands related to wedding products and services. In fact, 81% of engaged users started planning their wedding on Pinterest even before they got engaged.

  • Effective time : in terms of social commerce, buyer behavior is different on Pinterest than on other social networks. Although it is much more effective, it can also be slower. A user can pin a product they want to buy and then decide to make the purchase six months later. For this reason, brands usually run their campaigns related to a season a few months before the arrival of that season.

It is important to have the necessary resources to take care of the online presence in a sustained way over time, because, if this is not the case, maintaining the profiles on the networks without a clear strategy behind it could give an image of abandonment. 

Therefore, it is necessary that you analyze the above points to determine if you really should be on Pinterest or not. It is better to focus your efforts and work on your presence in the networks where you know that you will be able to dedicate time, effort, and resources, rather than opening profiles on all platforms just because it is fashionable or because you “have to be there.”

6 strategies to use Pinterest in your business effectively

Once we have covered many key aspects of Pinterest in some depth, you are ready to know 6 effective strategies that you must implement in your Pinterest marketing strategy to obtain excellent results :

  • Determine the best time to post your pins: As you already know, a great advantage is that the pins can last forever. However, if you build a community that is usually connected to Pinterest at certain times, then it will be important to take that into account when choosing when to update your profile.

A key tool to know this type of information is Pinterest Analytics.

You can also consult studies and reports that address this issue of days and hours, although you should know that, in general, each study gives different results. This is because the data varies depending on the nature of each business, the audience, and the markets.

For example:

  • According to each category, the best days to post are: 
    • Monday: fitness.
    • Tuesday: gadgets and technology.
    • Wednesday: thematic or inspirational phrases.
    • Thursday: outfits.
    • Friday: gifts.
    • Saturday: travel.
    • Sunday: food, art, and leisure.
  • Some of the best times to post are:
    • Between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.
    • Between 8 pm and 11 pm (or 1 am).
    • Between 2 pm and 4 pm

As we have seen, these data can be the first reference to take into account, but they are very subjective. As time passes, you need to start to be guided by your own Pinterest Analytics data.

One certain thing is that we do not recommend publishing during business hours, since at those times the active audience of Pinterest is very small (according to each niche).

  • Post on trending topics and use calls to action on your pins: by using CTAs on your images you can increase engagement levels by 80%, while if you post on trending topics, your CTR can increase up to 94%.

To find out about trends on Pinterest, you can use two very powerful tools that Pinterest launched in 2019:

  • One of them is Pinterest Trends, which gives you insights into the most popular search terms in the last twelve months.
  • The other is Pinterest 100, an interactive report on the top 100 search trends in 10 specific subject categories.
  • Enable the pins button: Make sure you have the pins button enabled on your website. In this way, users will be able to save the images from the web to their personal Pinterest account, even when they are offline. This way you will be able to feedback the visits to your page since surely the user will consult that pin that he saved again.
  • Add a link in your pin: the generation of traffic to your website is one of the pillars of Pinterest marketing strategies. To do this, you must always link each of the pins to your website or to your products (in the case of eCommerce), and this is achieved by simply placing the link on the respective pin.
  • Be consistent in your posts: Pinterest rewards consistency (and punishes the lack of it). If you have a company profile and do not keep it active for a certain time, the platform could penalize the positioning of your pins, even if you did everything else well.
  • Keep in mind Pinterest Ads: although organic positioning is very effective, investing in promoting your pins can ensure much faster and stronger growth. Remember that, as I said above, advertising on Pinterest is the cheapest of all social networks.

5 tips to optimize your Pinterest strategy for businesses

Finally, I want to go deeper with 5 tips that you should keep in mind if you want to increase the potential of your marketing tactics on Pinterest:

  • Create boards according to your previously established strategy . This will help your profile to have consistency both in content and at a visual level, and it will make it easier for users to navigate through your pins according to their own topics of interest. 

For example, if you have an eCommerce of decoration elements for the house, you could have a board for each style of interior decoration and put the corresponding images with their related keywords on each board.

So, you could have the following:

  • Board name: Nordic style decoration.
  • Inside that board, there would be the pins of decoration elements that correspond to that style.
  • Each pin would have a description, it can be something like “Nordic style rug, perfect for home and living room with Nordic decoration”.

Regarding the visual aspect, I recommend creating templates and color palettes. The templates can be cloned and used for the images that you are going to share on Pinterest. The palettes will help you to have an attractive and harmonious page, a must for a social network based on inspiring images.

  • Take good care of the images! They are your showcase (if you had a physical store). Therefore, aesthetics is the most determining factor that will make a user decide to click, or not, on your pins. It is through images that you communicate on Pinterest. This is why making sure you stick to what works best and putting as much effort and time as possible into creating images that are no less than perfect is so crucial.

In this regard, remember that the vertical format is the best on Pinterest, and as for the quality requirement, the ideal is 1000 x 1500 px.

  • Optimize pins for better positioning . Yes! You can do SEO on Pinterest! The tags and descriptions of the boards and pins help the platform to better understand your content, in order to recommend it to users who are interested in those same topics.

Therefore, be sure to include within the description the keywords of the pin that you have created and for which you want to position it. Interestingly, descriptions of between 100 and 200 characters gain more popularity and generate more engagement.

To find out which keywords to use on Pinterest, the strategy I recommend is the Pinterest search engine autosuggest itself since it usually suggests the most searches performed by users.

  • Get the most out of Pinterest Analytics. In this section you will be able to obtain many insights about how your content is working on Pinterest: which pins have worked better, which ones are receiving the highest impressions and clicks, what are the demographics of the users who interact with your brand, etc. Thus, you will be able to obtain clues of what type of images, formats, and contents about your business tend to like your audience the most.

Therefore, it is important that you learn how to use  Pinterest Analytics to optimize your digital marketing strategy.

  • Integrate the strategies of your different social networks with each other . Those who follow you on Pinterest will probably also follow you on your other social networks, so your whole social media strategy must be coherent with each other, taking into account that each social network has its own nature of content and formats.

Being new to Pinterest, a good technique is to share and promote your Pinterest profile on your Facebook and Instagram company profiles. In this way, you generate traffic to your new visual communication channel.

To conclude, all social platforms have, in one way or another, a significant degree of potential depending on each market segment and the nature of each business. It should not always be just Facebook and Instagram, sometimes it may be convenient for you to advertise on YouTube or execute a WhatsApp marketing strategy.

The same goes for Pinterest. Let’s see some examples of real cases that prove it:

  • Taking into account, among other insights, that 6.3 million pinners actively interact with content about vehicles within the platform, the Toyota company decided to launch a campaign on this social network, which obtained millions of impressions and managed to increase 53% of your video viewing rate.
  • The home decor category is one of the most popular on Pinterest. To take advantage of this situation, the Easy Argentina company was able to connect with its target audience within the platform through excellent quality photographs of decorative elements at home, thus achieving 5 times more impressions on its website.
  • A similar case is that of Tastemade Brasil, a social network specialized in food and travel. Tastemade, to connect with a wider audience, made Pinterest one of its main communication channels. So by posting images with recipe ideas with stunning visual aesthetics, he was able to get 97 times more impressions and 85 times more recommendation traffic.

Taking these and many other success stories as a reference, I will never tire of repeating that the most important thing in a Pinterest marketing strategy is high-quality images, and I don’t mean only in terms of resolution, but also in terms of aesthetics and content.

As you already know, Pinterest is a platform that stands out for being motivational and inspirational, and inspiration is usually beautiful, neat, attractive, and exciting. So your images should be too!

Depending on how you assimilate this maxim, you will be able to capture the attention of the pinners, making them stop scrolling and decide to click on your pins.

So … do you know if this social network is the ideal one for your business? Have you been encouraged to create a company account? Or do you already use Pinterest and have you come up with a new idea to apply? Let me know in the comments.

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