Whether you are new to Pinterest or an experienced user, this article should have something for you. It’s hard to be comprehensive about Pinterest, because it’s growing and changing all the time, but here is a list of things you need to know.
Read the Pinterest help centre
Anything you need to know about Pinterest is in the help centre (or ‘center’, if you want to use the proper American name). A half hour spent in this section will be time well spent.
Add the Pin It button to your browser
The whole idea of Pinterest is to let you pin images that you find when you are browsing the web. The best way to do this is to have the Pin It button installed in your browser toolbar.
Add a Pinterest tab to your Facebook page
There are several tools out there to help with this, but I like Woobox, whose free Pinterest app is quick and easy to use. Just make sure you are logged in to Facebook and that you are an administrator of the page. Then go to the Woobox Pinterest Tab application and follow the instructions.
Add the Pin It button to your website content
The PinIt button described above is about letting you pin things from your browser. You should also add a PinIt button to your web pages to encourage people to pin your content. To do this, go to the Pin It Button and Widget Builder.
You can also use the Pin It Button and Widget Builder to embed your boards into your own website.
Verify your website link
Website verification establishes the link between a website and a Pinterest account. You can verify your website by uploading a Pinterest file to your server or by inserting a special meta tag into your content. Once verification is complete you can remove the file or the tag. Read more about this here.
Use Pinterest as a business
Pinterest knows many people will want to use the site for commercial gain. In order to divide casual use and commercial use, they created Pinterest business accounts. If you are going to use Pinterest primarily to promote your products, your brand or to promote your site, you should use a business account. You can sign up here, or convert an existing private account.
Use the Analytics to view reach and engagement
If you have upgraded to the new version of Pinterest, you will be able to view Analytics. Hold the mouse over your picture in the top right menu to see a contextual menu appear. One of the items in there will be Analytics, which works in a similar way to the analytics available for Facebook pages.
Link Pinterest to Facebook or Twitter
You can link your Pinterest account with Facebook and Twitter to allow you to easily log in using those accounts, or to share your pinning activity on your Facebook profile. Read more about this here, or view this handy instructographic.
Pre-select text when pinning
To save time when pinning from a web page, you can pre-select text on that page before you click the Pin It button. Then that text will be used as the description for the pin. As shown in the example above.
Prices appear at the top of pins
If you include a price in the text of your pins, Pinterest turns this into a small icon at the top of the Pin, as you can see on this example from A2Z Kids’ charming Harry Potter fancy dress costume.
Edit your board images
You can change the main cover images on your pin boards. Just hold your mouse over the main image and you will see the option to change the cover photo. This allows you to control how your collection of boards looks. By default, the last item added to the board becomes the cover photo.
Create secret boards for private sharing
Pinterest lets you create up to five secret boards which you can share with people privately. This is a great way to share content with a small group of people where you don’t want that content in the public domain.
Follow individual boards
You don’t need to follow a user completely. You can follow just one of their boards. If you see a board that’s all about knitted products and you like knitting, you can follow just that board. Content from boards or people you follow will appear in your stream (which is what you see when you are logged in and you go to the Pinterest.com home page).
Create group boards to widen your content
You can invite other users to post pins to your boards. This is a useful way of allowing friends or colleagues to populate a board for shared interests.
Remember to like, re-pin and comment on other people’s pins
Pinterest is a social network. You can like things, re-pin things to your boards and you can comment. Engage with your followers and reach new ones by being a social user of the site.
Remember, text matters as well as images
The text used to describe your pin is important. Remember people use search and the Pinterest search likes exact match. In the above example, I searched for ‘red sports car’ and Pinterest returned lots of pins whose descriptions contained the same phrase. Use keywords and descriptive phrases that people are likely to use when searching. Don’t just pin an image with the description reading ’4353465.jpg’.
Remember, Google indexes Pinterest content
Employ an SEO strategy for your Pinterest content. As you can see from the above example (I searched Google for ‘pinterest sports cars’), Pinterest boards do feature in search results. Because Pinterest has a high domain authority, you may find it possible to get a ranking for your Pinterest account where you can’t get a ranking for your website.