5 Pinterest Tips to Build Your Business [Examples]

Actionable Pinterest Advice From Beth Hayden

Riding on photography’s white hot growth trend, Pinterest is the social media entity of 2012. Pinterest is an image based social media mecca that keeps users, known as pinners, coming back for more.  While Pinterest’s sweet spot is women, this social media venue can yield measurable marketing results if used properly.

 To better understand how Pinterest can help marketers achieve their business objectives in measurable ways, I asked Beth Hayden, author of Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business With Pinterest for her advice. 

Beth Hayden author of Pinfluence Pinboard

Determine your Pinterest goals.

Here are three ways Hayden suggested Pinterest helps achieve your business’s goals.

  1. Increase brand awareness. Businesses can use Pinterest to engage with their customers and give a human touch to their brand. Companies can use Pinterest to tell the story of how their company was created, let their prospects and clients know what their values are, and show their personality through what they pin. Here’s the pinboard, Hayden created to promote Pinfluence. (Please note: I chose this Pinboard, not Hayden!)  How to promote your book on Pinterest by Beth Hayden
  2. Drive traffic to websites and blogs. According to Hayden, this is the most easily trackable way that Pinterest helps marketers. Check out Sony Electronics’ case study where they used Pinterest to increase to their online store traffic by 800%. 
  3. Cultivate community. By running discussions on Pinterest, businesses can build their community. Hayden noted that PediaStaff, a national staffing firm that recruits and places pediatric therapists, has a thriving Pinterest presence. It speaks to their two primary audiences – the therapists they place, and the schools, hospitals and clinics for which they provide therapists. They run ongoing discussions through their boards

Know your Pinterest audience.

According to Hayden, businesses must consider what their ideal customers want and strategically pin content based on those customers’ desires. Many businesses just use Pinterest to link back to their websites as much as possible. By doing this, these businesses take their focus off of their customers’ needs and desires. (To help you better understand your target audience, create a marketing persona.) As I often remind readers, social media isn’t about you, it’s about the community!

Become a Pinterest curator

Expand your Pinterest sources. In Hayden’s opinion, businesses can become great curators by seeking out original content for Pinterest. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make on Pinterest is only re-pinning other pinners’ content. Since around 80% of Pinterest content is repinned from other Pinterest users, businesses can set themselves apart by pinning original content from a variety of other websites and blogs. (Note: Data point from Hayden, no source given.) Here are seven tips to make your images more effective for Pinterest and other social media networks.

Add value to your pins

Provide context and meaning for the content you’re curating. Remember your goal is to position yourself as a subject matter expert. Specifically, Hayden advises marketers to add a pin description that’s unique. It should explain why that particular piece of content is important and how it fits in with the story they’re trying to tell with their board. This means being selective about what you publish in your Pinterest stream – pick the best, most interesting, most informative content for your audience.

Here are a B2C, Pretzel Crisps, and a B2B, Hubspot example to provide guidance as to how to curate content on Pinterest effectively.


B2B business on Pinterest

Measure Pinterest results

To track results, Hayden recommends measuring the number of pins from your website, the number of repins you get and the number of followers you get on your overall account and on your individual boards. All of those are measurable ways to get insight into how Pinterest is working for your business.

Pinterest can help marketers achieve their business objectives. Based on Beth Hayden’s advice, it’s important to focus on what your target audience is looking for and to curate interesting and original content on those topics. (Of course, it helps if you understand the golden rules of Pinterest.)

What other Pinterest tips do you recommend for businesses?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Photo credit: Amazon

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  • http://www.facebook.com/nigel.sutherland Nigel Sutherland

    Pinterest will collapse once people start respecting other peoples’ copyright issues, (which you probably ignore).

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      Nigel –

      I agree that stricter observation of copyright will change the nature of Pinterest and it should be better monitored.

      By contrast, Pinterest will benefit not decline from more rigorous copyright protection. People love images. Facebook has far more images than Pinterest.

      Happy marketing,
      Heidi Cohen

    • sambredl

      I agree with you Nigel. I was discussing this issue with my dad the other day. Right now everybody is just uploading and sharing content regardless if they have the copyright. However, we also have the same situation on Facebook. It would be really really difficult to have people respect the copyrights. But as a company or brand one should especially make sure that everything is legal. Acting as rolemodels if you will :)