Pinterest: A Beginners Guide For Micro Businesses

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Pinterest Homepage

Pinterest is one of the newest social media platforms. It’s grown rapidly and has collected many enthusiastic users who love it’s functionality. But is it right for your micro business? If you’re yet to fully explore and discover Pinterest, read on and I’ll reveal some of the basics as well as outlining why it may be a beneficial addition to your social media strategy.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterests’ aim is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting”

It does this through a series of virtual Pinboards to which you can pin any image or video. In turn you can create and manage theme based image collections.

Or if you prefer a more technical definition Pinterest is a visual social curation service. 

Pinterest is all about beauty, simplicity and inspiration. The platform is a fantastic way to group or organise useful information and pictures that you have found online in a format that’s easy to refer back to at a later date. You can collect things like:

  • Blog posts
  • Craft tutorials
  • How to  videos
  • Quotes
  • Recipes and pictures.

It’s great fun but can be very addictive!

Are people using Pinterest?

Yes they are! Just take a look at the statistics…

  • In Jan 2012 Pinterest became the fastest Social Media site to reach 10 million unique users
  • In Jan 2012 statistics showed that Pinterest drives more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Google+ & YouTube to sites
  • March 2012 – 3rd largest social media network in the US
  • Popular categories include Food & Drink, DIY & Crafts and Womens Fashion
  • A high percentage of women use Pinterest
  • Recent Developments – Secret Boards and Business Accounts

As you can see, for certain micro businesses, Pinterest could become a powerful platform.

Terminology & Etiquette

If you’re new to Pinterest some of the language and terminology may be confusing. To help, here’s a quick run down of what different words mean.

  • A pin: Is an image or video that you add (pin) to a board
  • Repin: Is when someone else adds your pin to one of their boards.  This is similar to a share or retweet
  • Group boards:  Boards where there is more than one person pinning to the board
  • Secret boards: Only you and people you add to the board can see the board and the pins on that board, you can only have a maximum of 3 secret boards.  Secret boards have a padlock symbol next to them and are at the bottom of the rest of your boards. It is possible to make secret boards visible but once you have made them visible you can’t make them private again.
  • Linkage: To get Pinterest to work for you, you need to ensure that your pins link back to your website or the original source if the image doesn’t belong to you.  Pinning an image or video that is not yours and adding a link to your website is not good Pinning Etiquette.

Like other Social Media sites you can repin (share), like and comment on people’s pins.

Anyone can see all of your boards apart from 3 Secret boards that you can set up, which only you and people you add can see.  Like Twitter anyone can Follow you and your boards, seeing what is on your boards and seeing when you pin something new in their activity section.  Anyone can see your boards and pins, even if they don’t follow you, images and videos that you pin will appear in Google search, which also means people without a Pinterest account might also see your pins.

Advantages to Pinterest

Pinterest became popular and fast. Here are some reasons why…

  1. It is very visual but you can still use it for promoting your business if you don’t sell pretty products
  2. If you link your images and pin properly it is great for driving traffic to your website
  3. It is a slower, less frantic, more permanent and longer lasting form of social media
  4. As with other Social Media quality content is still a high priority
  5. It is fun, positive and inspirational
  6. It is very versatile

What micro businesses can benefit from Pinterest?

Pinterest is an amazing tool for retail businesses that sell products with good imagery such as jewellery, fashion, gifts, homeware, cakes etc. It also works well for all types of businesses in the holiday industry. For example, if you run a B&B you could have  boards showing pictures of the venue, and boards showing what there is to do locally.

You can also use Pinterest to tell the story of your business or more about you. This is a great strategy for helping people to know, like and trust you.

How to get started on Pinterest?

It is really easy to get started with Pinterest.

Simply go to www.pinterest.com and sign up using your Facebook or Twitter account or your email address.  Don’t be surprised if when you set up your account Pinterest automatically follows lots of accounts you don’t know, it is trying to be helpful.

It is up to you whether you want to set up a business account straight away or whether you want to set up a non-business account to start with to get a feel for Pinterest.  Write a little about yourself in the profile.  If you know people that are on Pinterest follow them.You can follow me at:

Green Aspirations pinterest boards

Now create some boards and get pinning

The first thing to do is install the Pin it button to your tool bar. This can be found in the About section.

This will enable you to pin pictures directly from your site and other sites. When pinning pictures think about describing the pin so that it can be found when searched for.

Your boards should be a mixture of boards about your business and products, and other boards that are associated with you or your business but repinning other people’s pins.

Here are some examples of boards you could set up:

  • About the business – blog posts, pictures of the office and people that work there
  • Product boards – be specific and think Keywords
  • Quotes – quotes are popular pins that get repinned
  • My style
  • Food I love – do you love cake or chocolate pin some of your favourites
  • Places I have been – beautiful, inspiring pictures not Skegness on a rainy Tuesday
  • Places I dream of going
  • Gadgets I love
  • Books I have read
  • Hints & tips – blog posts, infographics and tutourials that you think your followers would find useful
  • Awards that you have won
  • Work that you have done

Over to you

What do you think about Pinterest? How have you used Pinterest to grow your micro business? Do you have any questions? Please let me know in the comments below.

micro business actionToday’s Micro Action

If you think Pinterest is right for your micro business, it’s time to get started. Simply follow these easy steps and get pinning.

  1. Set up a Pinterest Account, create some boards, pin some pictures and follow people
  2. Add the Pin It button to your tool bar
  3. Check your website is Pinnable by trying to pin directly from your site using the Pin It button
  4. Add good quality pinnable images to your blog posts so that people are more likely to pin your posts.
  5. If you already have an account check that your pins link back to the correct source
  6. Consider converting your account to a business account