Many businesses, even those that use social media for marketing successfully, disregard Pinterest as they mistakenly believe that the site is not for them. However, Pinterest is an extremely useful tool that can benefit a range of businesses from retailers to tech support companies. You just have to have some kind of image that you can pin.

For example, infographics do extremely well on Pinterest, as they give a lot of information in an easy to digest graphical story. If you have never had an infographic made, then it’s certainly something you should think about, no matter what industry you’re in.

The figures

According to a study carried out in February 2013, Pinterest users spend 15 times more on Pinterest than they do on Facebook. That’s cash, not time, and with figures like that, you’d be crazy not to try to take advantage of it. This is somewhat confirmed by a 2012 Shopify study, which found that Pinterest users on average spent double that of Facebook users when it comes to referral traffic and Pins with prices received 16% more traffic than those without.

Add to this the fact that as of February this year the site also had 25m users and according to Business Insider, many of these are young women with a substantial income who just love to shop.

Those really are statistics to get excited about, so if you don’t use Pinterest, or if you rarely do, it’s time to get pinning!

Getting started with Pinterest

Firstly, if you don’t already have a profile, you’ll have to sign up to the site and get one. Pinterest offer business accounts and if you have a personal account, you should convert it. This is a simple process and can be done by visiting Pinterest for Business which also has tools for analysis.

A business account, which is free to use by the way, allows you to carry out the same tasks as you would if you were a personal pinner, including:

  • Pinning from various sources around the web
  • Creating various boards to showcase your products
  • Using Rich Pins

Using Pinterest is a great way to strengthen your brand and learning what customers like, but remember not to go on a massive pinning campaign so as not to overwhelm followers.

Rich Pins

These are perfect for retailers as they allow you to show pricing details and add a link to the product page. However, it’s not a particularly straightforward process, so you may need your web designer to help you with this if you’re not particularly technologically minded.

Firstly, you have to request Rich Pins from the site though and to do this, carry out the following steps:

  • Choose what kind of Rich Pin you would like to apply for, product, recipe, movie or article
  • Read the documentation on the developer site
  • Add the appropriate information to your site
  • Validate the pins and apply to get them on Pinterest

You will need to have a specific markup code added to the backend of your website and the preferred way that you can do this is by using oEmbed or Semantic Markup. Further information on how to do this is available on the developer site using the link above.

Then it’s just a case of waiting for the site to approve your rich pins and you’re ready to go. Remember, you’re not restricted to using rich pins and you can continue pinning as usual, so make a habit of it, perhaps pinning a couple of times a day and taking some time to pin to other boards (you will begin to get invites to do this from other pinners once your account is being used regularly).

Promoted Pins

Pinterest has also recently introduced Promoted Pins, which work much in the same manner as normal pins but have a “promoted” label. At the moment, these are still in the testing phase and Pinterest are selecting pins from a limited amount of business groups that they choose.

This is how they will work:

  • No banners or pop-ups
  • Transparent so that users know it’s an advertised pin
  • Appearing to people according to their likes and activity

All-in-all, they will be akin to Twitter sponsored tweets/companies and the Facebook Ads that appear in newsfeed based on user demographics and activity. However, it doesn’t sound like these will be intrusive on Pinterest as they want to keep users happy while developing their business model.

In the meantime, when using Pinterest for marketing, keep an eye on Pinterest Analytics or Pinalytics to see what’s working best and adjust accordingly. Remember also to show your products in their best possible light by taking clear and creative photographs and in no time, you’ll begin to notice traffic coming from the site in your Google Analytics.

What are your plans for Pinterest Rich Pins? Let me know in the comments or grab me on Twitter to discuss.