How Can a Business Use Pinterest Effectively?

Ask Mandy Q&A: How Can a Business use Pinterest Effectively?

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I have many names for Pinterest… land of lost time, time suck, the rabbit hole, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Pinterest. It’s the one platform I use more for personal than business. It’s provides a wealth of information – recipes, home decor ideas, and yes, business articles and infographics.

This leads me to our question for today…

Pinterest: How can a business use it effectively? And can/should the business set up a separate account or identity from that of an individual?

Let’s look at the first part of this week’s question – How can a business use Pinterest effectively?

There are many ways a business can use Pinterest effectively but it will take some serious time management and commitment. It’s so easy to lose track of time using Pinterest so when you do use it, make sure you set a timer. That being said, here are some ways businesses can use Pinterest effectively –

  • Use Pinterest consistently. I see many businesses use Pinterest like they use Twitter – maybe once a month or they use it once then never again. Using Pinterest is like using blogging – the more consistent you are the more attention and traffic you will get. For example, set aside 30-45 minutes three times each week to upload and re-pin content.
  • Pin great content. The most popular pins have to do with food, clothes and kids. You may not own a business that falls under one of those 3, so what type of content should you post? Post graphics with customer testimonies (and tag them if you can), post funny industry-related pictures, post graphics that link to relevant articles. Pin something that you know your audience will want to re-pin.
  • Have a contest! Pinterest contests are very popular. There are several ways you can go about this and these are are the most popular – asking people to re-pin a certain graphic or ask people to re-pin a certain number of images with a certain hashtag. Of course your contest is only as good as the prize you offer.

One key component to using Pinterest effectively is to let people know you are there. People won’t know you are there unless you tell them – promote your Pinterest link on your website, your other social sites, in your storefront (if you have a physical location), on your business cards or on any print items you create.

A side note: according to DMR, there are over 500,000 Pinterest business accounts, with Nordstrom having the largest following at 4.4 million.

The second part of the question asked, Can/Should the business set up a separate account or identity from that of an individual?

The answer – yes. It doesn’t matter if you are your business or you have a brick and mortar business, you still need a business account. Having a business Pinterest account gives you access to promoted pins (which are coming really soon), analytics, and a jump on any news from Pinterest. If you are one in your business, meaning if you are your business, then you can create a business account with your name and use it like you would an individual account. This is what I do. I am one in my business – I am my business, so my account is set up as “Mandy Edwards” as a business account. If you are an individual who owns a business that is more than just you, for example, a retail shop or restaurant or an agency, then you definitely want to have a business account for the business aside from your individual (personal) account.


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