The Ultimate Pinterest Guide for Your Online Store


You've probably heard of Pinterest by now. It's a new social networking site that literally everybody is talking about. Pinterest's growth is staggering - the site already has over 1 million members, and it receives almost 12 million unique visitors a month. The whirlwind of excitement that surrounds Pinterest provides online store owners a great opportunity to leverage it's popularity (and overall awesomeness) to bring attention to their online store.

Whether you're already setup on Pinterest or you're a complete newbie, this is a guide that will teach you the basics, and also help the more experienced pinners get the most from this popular social media platform. 

The Basics

What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a pinboard style social photo sharing website that allows people to share and discover beautiful images, videos, products, and discussions. For an ecommerce store owner, it can help your best products get discovered by other users. 

How to Get a Pinterest Invite
Pinterest is still "by invite only" so you'll have to request an invite to start using the site. This sounds more annoying than it is - most people receive an invitation within a day or so.

How to Get Pinterest Mobile
You can download Pinterest Mobile from the Apple App Store or you can get it from Pinterest's website. The mobile App will allow you to browse pins, repin, like, and comment all from your phone or tablet device.

The Buttons

How to Get a Pinterest "Pin It" Button for your Browser
The "Pin It" button is a button that you install on your web browser's bookmarks bar. Once installed in your browser, the "Pin It" button lets you grab an image from any website and add it to one of your pinboards. Pinterest automatically grabs the source link so the creator of the image gets credit. This is the easiest way to start pinning items and images. To get started, you can add the Pinterest “Pin It” Button from the Pinterest Goodies page to your browser's bookmarks bar. 

How to Get a Pinterest "Follow Button" on your Website
The Pinterest "Follow Button" is similar to the Twitter "Follow" and Facebook "Like" button - it allows other Pinterest users to follow your account. To get the button, just go to the Pinterest Goodies page and select the button you want to embed. Currently that have 4 to choose from. Simply click on your favorite button and it will generate the HTML code that you can cut and paste onto your site. Below is a Pinterest "Follow Button" that links to Shopify's Pinterest account:

Follow Me on Pinterest

The Product Specific "Pin It" Button
This is the most important button for online stores! These pins will allow customers to pin a specific shirt, hat, gadget, or anything that you're selling to their pinboard. To get these buttons on your online store, you have two options:

  1. Shopify store owners can simply add a free app called ShopConnection, and it'll get you setup with Pinterest, Tumblr, and Fancy buttons for your products. If you just want Pinterest that's no problem. This app is absolutely free and is the easiest way to get your store setup with Pinterest buttons. 

  2. If you want the DIY version, here's a step-by-step article on how to get a Pinterest button on your Shopify product pages

Pinterest Gift Tab

Pinterest has a special drop-down menu that allows users to browse a random collection of "gifts" between certain price points. There are currently six different price ranges: $1-20, $20-50, $50-100, $100-200, $200-500, +$500. 

When a Pinterest user clicks on one of the prices it takes them to a screen with various products selling in that price range. To have your products show up on these curated gift pages, you need to make sure you have a price in the description of your post. Pinterest will automatically apply a ribbon that displays the price onto your image. That product will now show up in Pinterest's gift search. Every ecommerce store owner should make full use of this functionality! 

Six Strategies to Leverage Pinterest

1. Don't Just Pin Your Own Products
Pin products and images you find interesting and any cool stuff your customers might like. This will boost your reputation as a tastemaker and not merely someone who spams their followers with their own products. Shopify store HOLSTEE has a great Pinterest account - they currently have 8 different boards, and many of them don't link to anything they sell. Check out their "Appreciate Every Last Bite" pinboard - none of these pins link to a product in their store:


2. Don't Pin Every Item You Sell
You may think you're missing out on a great opportunity to list every product you sell, but you're not. It's better to tease your followers and other Pinterest users by giving them a glimpse of your best few items, and encourage them to visit your store to check out the others.

3. When you Do Link to Products - Do it Tastefully
It's okay to link to products you're selling, but you have to do it right. HOLSTEE's famous "Holstee Manifesto" is in their "Words of Wisdom" pinboard along with other non-commercial interesting material. Check it out below, you'll see their Manifesto at the bottom left:


4. Think Visually with Product Photography
Pinterest is all about gorgeous design so it has a huge emphasis on aesthetics. It's really important that you have beautiful product photography that displays the items you're selling beautifully. If your product photography sucks - nobody is going to click on it. 

5. Create a Re-Pin Board
A re-pin is when you pin someone else's pin on one of your boards. This is an awesome way to make Pinterest friends and engage others. You'll boost your Pinterest follow count and you'll also have a pinboard of great curated content. Shopify store Hopps Limited sells fashionable athletic apparel and accessories. They have a re-pin board on Pinterest that has nothing to do with their own products - but it brings attention to a whole bunch of awesome stuff their customers will undoubtedly enjoy:


6. How to Get Pinterest Followers
Chances are you already have a pretty good following on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ (Maybe). Stream some of your followers to your new Pinterest account by frequently posting Pinterest content to those streams. Remember to keep the focus of your posts on things that are visual appealing. 

Check out Shopify on Pinterest

34 comments

  • Justin Winter
    Justin Winter
    February 21 2012, 12:48PM

    Diamond Candles has just started using pinterest, while a work in progress we are looking at making it a big part of our overall social media strategy in the coming weeks and months.

    http://pinterest.com/diamondcandles/

  • Kimberly Alleyne
    Kimberly Alleyne
    February 21 2012, 01:56PM

    This is a great resource! Thanks for sharing it.

    Best,
    Kimberly Alleyne

  • James Stevenson
    James Stevenson
    February 21 2012, 02:32PM

    I have a personal Pinterest account, but is it possible to set up a company one?

  • @Shopify Alex Commons
    Alex Commons
    February 21 2012, 05:19PM

    James: It certainly is! Simply invite your work email to pinterest from your personal pinterest account. You then just need to set up your details as if your company was a person. There currently aren’t any dedicated Company pages the way there are on Facebook.

  • christian
    christian
    February 21 2012, 07:01PM

    Great thoughts! When you say that we need to have a price in the description of the post, do you mean adding the price to the actual “description”/text? Or is it sufficient to have the price under the inventory/price section of the product page? Thanks!

  • Shawn Graham
    Shawn Graham
    February 22 2012, 09:46AM

    Great post. In typical Pinterest fashion, it’s great to see actual examples of pages you think are doing a great job including your thoughts on what makes them really stand out.

    With so many social media options to pick from, it’s definitely nice to have a reference guide written specifically for online store owners.

  • Lindsay Christianson
    Lindsay Christianson
    February 22 2012, 11:15AM

    Great Post Mark and very helpful. Can I do an interview with you for our food business audience on the Topic? It would be something that our audiences could benefit from. Let me know and we can discuss more.

  • anastasia
    anastasia
    February 25 2012, 04:04PM

    what should i do?

  • Brandon
    Brandon
    February 27 2012, 10:51AM

    When I try to publish images from my website I get a “no suitable images found”. I have plenty of big images on my ecommerce site, so I don’t know what the problem is. Does anyone have any suggestions for fixing my site for this error?

  • VICKI
    VICKI
    March 04 2012, 09:21AM

    This is a very interesting article and explains in plain English what pinterst is all about. Now to find out how to be invited??

  • lyndonr
    lyndonr
    March 19 2012, 10:52AM

    any thoughts on how to add the pinterest button to our shopify blog page? since there’s no “featured image” in a blog per se, what media should we feed the button? is there like a “first image to appear in the article” liquid snippet?

  • Michelle
    Michelle
    April 02 2012, 07:02PM

    You should add SAGA swimwear to your cool products on Shopify. I have been using pinterest for a few months now and have just set up the SAGA account. It is designed to motivate our customer to be healthy, and travel!

  • Natasja
    Natasja
    May 19 2012, 11:31AM

    I get the same problem as Brandon. I have a Pinterest icon on my webshop http://www.deepdevotion.be and with certain items (not all) I can not pin them to Pinterest. I get “no suitable images found”. I have no idea how this can be solved.

  • Ydeveloper
    Ydeveloper
    May 21 2012, 04:36AM

    It was right time when Pinterest came, for the expose of all the products from your store, this is the best place to share, with pricing and other details. I have one more tips on showing pricing in pinterest if you noticed on top-left corner, this is easy – you need to enter price in your description with $ sign will automatically generate this pricing tag for that image. You can find it here, https://pinterest.com/ydeveloper/

  • Andrea von Moeller
    Andrea von Moeller
    June 05 2012, 09:27AM

    has anyone had actual sales through Pinterest. I love the site but have not seen any direct benefit. Would like to exchange ideas.

  • AA
    AA
    July 11 2012, 01:45AM

    for bday and xmas gifts, check out http://pinterest.com/nexusgadgets/

  • annette  haley
    annette haley
    November 10 2012, 02:54PM

    please help me out to get started i have a great site………….www.sextoysvideosandgadgets.com with…….lovely picture onfront adult shopping in privacy help somebofy

  • TransPacific Software
    TransPacific Software
    January 08 2013, 12:09PM

    Similar to Amazon and eBay Pinterest should open up its API for custom development.
    Currently their system is highly restrictive for any customized products like Pinterest-stores or third party development
    Prashant Telang TransPacific Software

  • Jason Greenberg
    Jason Greenberg
    February 25 2013, 04:28PM

    Pinterest shows the most growth in social media platforms and definitely is the best for e-Commerce. Some social platforms utilize Pinterest to generate sales on e-retailers. We offer a Pin-it to Win-it, if you share an item on Pinterest you’re entered to win it automatically; Social Annex; http://bit.ly/VccB1t.

  • Rafal
    Rafal
    February 27 2013, 04:50PM

    Great post! Thanks! Our company is moving from local sales to global ones, so Pinterest might help us grow our business in EU and US. I just can’t figure out how to attract customers… we sell online shops, so basically application that help people sell their products and run business online. Hmmm… http://comprado.eu

  • suhana
    suhana
    April 09 2013, 07:28AM

    HI
    Today i came across this amazing new website named nupinch.com…i really think you guys should check it out..
    Link: http://bit.ly/XczfI3

  • Michael Fensterstock
    Michael Fensterstock
    April 25 2013, 02:30PM

    Really great article. Thanks for the clear message.

  • David Palic
    David Palic
    April 25 2013, 03:54PM

    Great article with some extremely valuable tips. Not that you should, but if you need any more convincing that your brand should be on Pinterest, at Social Annex we just released an infographic highlighting the meteoric rise of this relatively new social network, which you can see here: http://bit.ly/10DgL7Y

  • Jane
    Jane
    May 13 2013, 08:00PM

    I just started dabbling on Pinterest (May 2013). Is there any updates to this process? I know that we no longer need an invitation to join. What else? http://pinterest.com/cagirljewelry/

  • Briana
    Briana
    June 19 2013, 12:59PM

    Go check out Sutter Buttes Olive Oil on Pinterest for award winning California infused olive oils, balsamic vinegars, homemade preserves, tapenades, etc. Follow us for recipes, new products, and great gift sets.
    www.pinterest.com/sutterbuttesoo/

  • Nancy Chaltry
    Nancy Chaltry
    November 13 2013, 05:23AM

    I just want to sell a set of weights and bench my husband has in the basement. How do I do that?
    Thank you,
    Nancy

  • Shathy Aktar
    Shathy Aktar
    June 13 2014, 08:47AM

    Wow! This is a very useful product and I really enjoyed to using this products. Bits and Bobs is a family run business offering exceptional value and low cost. We are one of the best cheap shops online, with hundreds of quality cheap household essentials in store, in fact we have all you need in one place. The best in cheap online shopping!

  • Jody
    Jody
    August 11 2014, 08:50AM

    There r 2 sm pics of 2 people I am following I don’t know where they came from. How do I remove them. This is in Pinterest

  • Anchal
    Anchal
    November 03 2014, 04:29AM

    Hi i am a small clothes designer. How do i sell on pinterest?

  • Roxy
    Roxy
    November 03 2014, 09:22AM

    How do I get started selling my wooden pot hangers on Pinterest. I have been selling in he French Market in New Orleans, la. for four years. I wanted another way for people to see my product. I have looked on Pinterest and have not seen another one like mine.

  • smmsells
    smmsells
    November 29 2014, 11:48AM

    thanks for your help and good content.
    so if anybody wants to increase pinterest likes followers and repins then please be free to visit http://smmsells.com/
    thank you

  • Tanya
    Tanya
    December 03 2014, 09:48AM

    Thanks for the comments and helpful instructions. Just set up my first board on Pinterest today. Will be challenging myself to add other content over the coming weeks. Thanks again…
    www.mybugle.com

  • Ben Arbi
    Ben Arbi
    December 14 2014, 10:47PM

    I got change my strategy on pinterest now, this thing opened my eyes wide open. Thanks for sharing
    It would on www.casbahdecor.com

  • Taiymi
    Taiymi
    December 14 2014, 10:51PM

    Great post, I have to get on pinterest after reading this, I’m not gonna miss a thing from now on www.artezanya.com

    Thanks for sharing

    Regards

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