4 Ways To Use Pinterest For Business

by Sarah Burns on August 10, 2011

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Who doesn’t like visual things? We all do.

We live in a visual world, and that’s what makes Pinterest so great for small businesses. It’s a way to share your products and interests through photos to create a vibe, evoke a feeling and make a connection with a potential customer.

Today, I’d like to share four ways that you can use Pinterest to further your reach and grow your business.

But first things first, what is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard, a vision board or mood board of sorts. It’s a place to save cool things you find on the web, in a magazine, or even in a shop. Users can simply add Pinterest to their browser to capture things they find online or they can snap a quick pic of something they see on the street or in a magazine and upload it to their board.

Best of all, Pinterest is social. You can share pins via twitter or facebook, users can like a pin or repin it. You can also follow people on Pinterest and be notified when they have new pins. Or you can go old school and use the search function to find something specific.

All of this means that there are a lot of eyes to potentially see what folks are pinning on Pinterest. 

So, how can you use Pinterest to grow your business?

  • Show your style If you run a design company of some sort, Pinterest is a grand slam for you. You can find clients solely based off your boards. Share your winning design boards and ideas. Don’t be shy. Or if you are looking for a designer, search Pinterest to find one that’s your style.
  • Market research If you run a retail store you can create a collaboration board where anyone can add to it. Title it “Things you’d like to see” and ask your followers to pin cool things they would like to see in your shop. Or if you design and create goods, use Pinterest to see trends. Check out what people are pinning and use boards for inspiration. Now, that’s a fun way to do market research.
  • Word of mouth Pinning your own goods over and over is frowned upon on Pinterest. But offering a really easy way for visitors to your site to share your goods on their boards, is a fantastically smart marketing move. Pinterest makes it really easy to create a “pin it” button for your retail site. They even have a button creator that will automatically fill out a description for the person pinning. This means users can share your marketing message with just a click of a button.
  • Community building Because Pinterest supports open, collaboration boards, it’s a great place to share like-minded finds. Create a board for your friends, fans and followers to collaborate. Title it, add a description and moderate it from time to time. Creating and moderating a pin board is a fun way to further your “expert” factor.

Drive traffic home

As with all social media, make sure you have your Pinterest account driving traffic back to your site. Pinterest is so cool that it allows you a place to link up to your website, Facebook and Twitter account in your profile.

So what are you waiting for? Go get that “pin it” button, add it to your site pronto and like any social network, engage and have fun!

How are you going to use Pinterest for business?

{Top photo credit}

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ina April 17, 2013 at 10:37 am

Thank you again Sarah, you just made me join Pinterest today! :).


2 Angel August 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I dont have a pinterest account but i really think its time to get one! Thanks for all the tips!


3 Nicole August 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Still trying to figure out how to best use Pinterest. It really depends on the type of business that you have. Not sure that mine fits well with the model…Great article though!


4 Lily Pants May 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm

We started using Pinterest a few months ago to update new and popular products in our baby and children site. It hasn’t been a big time investment and our strategy has been very simple, but we’ve definitely received traffic and sales as a result. The idea to let others post ideas is a great one. Great site by the way, this is the first I’ve seen of it but will be back.


5 Mike the Gardener April 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Excellent article! I found using Pinterest in my own business is pinning photos of useful and creative ideas, such as neat tricks or turning household items into something useful yet related to the business.


6 Marie Ricci March 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I have had wonderful success with my company through Pinterest!
I am a huge fan and I have created a board to promote friend’s products.
Help friends!


7 Laura February 9, 2012 at 11:08 am

I have sort of a backwards Pinterest success story. I actually started my business (etsy shop where I sell onesies http://www.theonesie.etsy.com) after I saw a picture in my flickr photostream blowing up with views. It was a picture of a onesie I had made as a gift for a friend (http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurahartrich/4661383223/). Somebody randomly pinned it. I don’t know the person who originally pinned it, but I owe them a debt of gratitude. The onesie went viral, so to speak, on Pinterest. I suddenly had hundreds of views every day. It took me a while, probably too long, but I set up an Etsy shop to try to capitalize on my onesie’s popularity. Then I went back to the original flickr picture and added a link to my shop. I have had some good success, 350+ sales since September! At first I was painting all the onesies by hand but I soon had to learn how to screen print in order to keep up with demand. Now I have a facebook page for my Etsy shop, and whenever I post new designs to the shop, I encourage my fans to pin the ones they like. :)


8 Sarah February 23, 2012 at 2:34 am

What a fantastic success story! Gotta love Pinterest!


9 Mary Witt January 15, 2012 at 6:14 pm

This will expose my tech-less-ness. Why are people posting a comment that is a restatement of the Title followed by a random (non-name) http?


10 Sarah February 23, 2012 at 2:33 am

They are tweeting this article and The Mogul Mom has a plugin to grab those tweets and add them as comments here.


11 Mary Witt February 23, 2012 at 9:10 am

Thanks Sarah.


12 Annette Frey January 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I’d love to add a board customers can put up photos of their dogs enjoying our treats. If done right, think that is acceptable? I’ve only put one product up, out of all my boards, yesterday – and already have seen some traffic to my site from Pinterest.


13 Sarah February 23, 2012 at 2:33 am

Yes, that’s a great way to use Pinterest…in fact, make that part of your marketing, ASK them to share photos and create a mini community on Pinterest!


14 Rhonda Hurwitz (@RhondaHurwitz) December 16, 2011 at 3:55 am

Check out: 4 Ways to Use Pinterest for Business| http://t.co/9q2alzpK via @TheMogulMom) Are you #pinning ?


15 Amanda (@HighImpactMom) December 13, 2011 at 7:02 pm

4 Ways To Use Pinterest For Business — http://t.co/0BDsEoZu RT: @TheOhanaMama @themogulmom


16 Sarah Burns (@TheOhanaMama) (@TheOhanaMama) December 13, 2011 at 6:40 pm

@HighImpactMom I did a quickie post on how it can rock for small businesses on @themogulmom http://t.co/S4dBOYHe


17 FrazierHeiby (@FrazierHeiby) September 28, 2011 at 11:43 am

How can you use @Pinterest to grow your business? http://t.co/CYFXGUsL


18 abbejacobson (@abbejacobson) September 28, 2011 at 9:16 am

4 Ways To Use Pinterest For Business (vision boards, design people take note) – http://t.co/FtqvkI8z #RT via @Lizzie Larock


19 A Cup of Sparkle September 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm

These are all great tips. I am looking forward to use some for my jewelry business.
I am under the name /ACUPOFSPARKLE/ on Pinterest. Come and see my creations as well as my other interesting boards…


Kelly, what about using a similar name like Green, Baby Designs by Kelly.. Something that your fans will recognize but, different that you can open a new account.


20 Kelly September 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I have a pinterest board under my name and wanted to start one specifically for my business. Since my facebook business and name are related, pinterest won’t let me start another account under Green, Baby! Designs. I really would like to use this for a marketing tool, but don’t want people going to my private boards. Any hints/helps?


21 Cynthia Keenan August 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Thanks… I tried that last week and I never got an invite. I’ll try again!


22 Heather Allard August 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Oh, could it have gone to your spam folder?


23 Cynthia Keenan August 15, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Can you tell me how to be invited to join Pininterest? I’m dying to use it, but I don’t know anyone who can invite me! Thanks.


24 Heather Allard August 15, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Hey Cynthia,
On the upper left corner of Pinterest.com, there’s a button that says “Request an Invite” – just click that and follow the instructions. :)



25 Gregory C. August 11, 2011 at 9:36 pm

I’ve had a Pinterest account pretty much since the beginning, and I’ve never thought to use it effectively, thanks for this post!


26 Sarah August 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Awesome! Let us know how it goes if you follow any of the tips!


27 Jasmine August 11, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I requested my invite – I just saw this last night via a Facebook connection and was immediately interested. I’m a visual person and loved the idea of “pinning” my ideas/visual interests somewhere.


28 Prerna Malik August 11, 2011 at 8:20 am

Wow! I’ve been hearing so much about pinning and Pinterest. Now I have to check it out. Thanks for the post, Sarah!


29 Sarah August 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Thanks Prerna! So glad you liked it! Pinning is so fun…don’t cha love it when biz and fun collide :) I try and make that happen as much as possible :)


30 Maria Luce (@theempoweredmom) (@theempoweredmom) August 11, 2011 at 7:04 am

@ScrublyClean Thx for the RT! @theempoweredmom:4 Ways To Use #Pinterest For #Business http://t.co/sfEc6VB #SocialMedia http://t.co/J87mIR9


31 The Mogul Mom (@TheMogulMom) (@TheMogulMom) August 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm

New! 4 Ways To Use Pinterest For Business – Who doesn’t like visual things? We all do. We live in a visual world, an… http://ht.ly/1ebLN0


32 karen gunton (@karengunton) (@karengunton) August 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm

i LOVE pinterest!! need to try these ideas =) RT @HeathALL 4 Ways To Use Pinterest For Business – http://bit.ly/n9h6TV


33 karen gunton (@karengunton) (@karengunton) August 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm

i LOVE pinterest!! need to try these ideas =) RT @HeathALL 4 Ways To Use Pinterest For Business – http://bit.ly/n9h6TV


34 Maria Luce (@theempoweredmom) August 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm

4 Ways To Use #Pinterest For #Business http://t.co/sfEc6VB #SocialMedia #Marketing


35 Leslie (@Funatorium) August 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm

@seemummyjuggle 4 Ways To Use Pinterest For Business http://t.co/GbjHVtn


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