Why and How You Should be on Pinterest, Even if You Haven't Joined Yet

As an online business owner, you've likely heard a lot about how Pinterest can drive online sales. But maybe the thought of using yet another social network seems daunting and time consuming.

So we've decided to show you just how easy it is to make sure your business is getting the maximum benefit from Pinterest.

Lets start by looking at the most important thing you need to know to get started.

You Don't Need to Be Active on Pinterest

Surprised? While we will look at the benefits of actually having an active presence on Pinterest, the truth is, you don't need to be an obsessive pinner to actually get Pinterest traffic that will convert into sales.

What you absolutely do need to start reaping rewards from Pinterest are the following:

1. Pinnable Images on Every Page

The way you get traffic from Pinterest is by getting your images pinned by other Pinterest users. And in order to get that traffic, you need to have images that people will want to pin.

For example, let's say that you sell fine art like Rich Helmer Photography shown above. Obviously you will have images of your art on your product pages. But don't just stop there. Include photos of your art hanging on the wall of a well-decorated bedroom. Also add a photo of your art hanging in an office.

This will help your ideal customer visualize how your art will look in their home or office. If they like it, they'll pin it to their home decoration or office inspiration wall on Pinterest. Then their followers will have the opportunity to view that image and the choice to add it to their Pinterest collection.

This should hopefully lead to some traffic back to your product page.

Best of all - you don't have to have an active Pinterest account to make this possible. Everything is taken care of you by your website visitors and customers who have their own accounts.

2. Pin It Button

While avid Pinterest users will pin great images at will, casual Pinterest users might need a little nudge in the right direction.

This is where the Pin It button comes in. If you have enabled the Pin It button on your product pages, then people will be reminded they have a Pinterest account and will find it convenient to pin your image to their account like Girl Meets Dress does in the example below:

You can read more about how to add the Pin It button to your Shopify store here.

3. Rich Pins Capability

By taking the few extra steps of adding additional code to your website and verifying it through Pinterest's business resources, you can have enhanced rich pins for your products.

From the visitor's viewpoint, adding a rich pin of your product to their board is no different than adding a regular one.

From Pinterest users who are growing pins by their network, rich pins have the added bonus of including your business logo within search results and an easier to click on link back to your website. You can see what we mean in the image above from the Cookbook Village. To add rich pins to your Shopify store, follow the directions here

The Benefits of Being on Pinterest

If you can get traffic that is likely to convert into sales back to your website without having to be active on Pinterest, why would you want to be?

The reason is because a lot of shoppers use Pinterest. This means that if you are on Pinterest with them, it gives you a chance to engage with your target customers and drive traffic back to your website.

1. Setting Up Your Business Account

Fortunately, setting up your Pinterest account is easy. You will want to go to the Pinterest Business Section and click the join as a business button. You will then fill out the applicable details about your business.

If you have a Pinterest account already for your business, but it was set up as a personal account, you can convert it to a business account.

Once you've setup your account, you'll want to add some boards to it. This is simply the way you will organize all of the photos you pin.

For example, if your business caters to pet lovers like Lap of Luxury Interiors pictured above, you could have boards like New Products, Cute Pets, Inspiring Animals, Keeping Your Pets Healthy, Cooking for Your Pet, and so on.

These would be the categories for all of the photos you pin. You can always create new boards down the road and move photos between boards.

2. Sharing Photos

When you're ready to start adding photos to your Pinterest account, you'll want to add the Pin It button to your browser using the extensions or the Pin It bookmarklet.

This way, wherever you are on the web, you'll be able to share photos that your target customers would find interesting to your Pinterest account quickly and easily.

What photos should you share on your Pinterest account? You should include a mix of your own product photos as well as random, non-sales photos across the web.

If you have a blog, you can share images from your posts as well. Whenever you see an image on the Internet while surfing the web, just ask yourself, "Would my target customer like to see this?" If the answer is yes, pin it!

The goal with your boards is to show that it's not all about your business. You want visitors to know that they should follow you to learn more about the things that interest them. Sure, you can splice in your own products, but you want to make it more about other things and less about your own stuff. This will help you attract dedicated followers.

4. Engage with Your Fans

The other thing you can do with an account that helps drive brand engagement and loyalty is interact with those who are pinning images from your website.

When logged in to your Pinterest account, just go to http://pinterest.com/source/domain.com/ and replace domain.com with your website's domain. Then you'll see all of the images people have pinned from it, like these from Pop Chart Lab.

A simple thanks to those people is all you need to do to show that you are involved with your community.

How do you use Pinterest to drive traffic to your business and gain fans?

12 comments

  • Lauren
    Lauren
    July 10 2013, 10:57AM

    Great article! I use Pinterest for my business, http://www.LaMaLu.com to allow my customers to pin items that they love. We are going to begin a Pin It To Win it contest soon, where whoever gets the most repins of an items, will win that item. I think that it is a great way for our customers to interact with our brand while using one of their favorite social media tools.

  • Bridgette Salvon
    Bridgette Salvon
    July 10 2013, 11:37AM

    I have been using Pinterest since it started and I have to say that it has changed my life and my business. I now have over 1.3 million followers and have had many amazing opportunities because of it. http://pinterest.com/earmarksocial/ – I have met awesome new people and it has helped to elevate my business as well. I am pretty active on there, posting roughly 100-400 pins per day and gaining an average of 1,750 new followers within 24 hours as well. DO NOT underestimate the power of Pinterest. I have been able to offer my friends the opportunities to enhance their businesses as well and that is really awesome! I can definitely say that I cannot imagine my life without Pinterest anymore. Great article!

  • Wendy
    Wendy
    July 10 2013, 12:54PM

    Great to see this article. Pinterest has been beneficial to Cookbook Village. We’ve seen some increased visits to our store pages since Pinterest implemented their new rich pins feature (and some sales from it). We are also happy to see us in your article! Thank you. We love the Shopify blog.

  • Christina Mendoza
    Christina Mendoza
    July 11 2013, 03:27PM

    Quality article! I like the point that you don’t have to devote a lot of time and effort to Pinterest marketing (though being active helps). I use Pinterest to promote my business, Pin4Ever, which provides backups of Pinterest accounts. We’ve saved more than 19 million pins for our customers since September 2012, and we’re always adding new features to make using Pinterest easier and more fun. Please visit www.pin4ever.com to learn more, and try a free backup!

  • Adeel Vanthaliwala
    Adeel Vanthaliwala
    July 18 2013, 12:34PM

    Good post. I’d add that it also impacts for search engine results on Google. I think you hinted to it in the article. You can check out the research by Search Engine Watch here: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2175367/Why-Your-SEO-Social-Strategy-Should-Include-Pinterest

  • idol chan
    idol chan
    July 26 2013, 09:53PM

    Point 1, 2, and then 4.
    BTW, it’s a good article. Point 4 just impress me.

  • Jana
    Jana
    August 07 2013, 03:13PM

    Wow, this is sort of ironic… I want to pin this article, but there’s no pinnable image or “Pin it” button.

  • Tom Franceschin
    Tom Franceschin
    August 30 2013, 04:42PM

    This is a great article! I would add that, in order to make the best out of every Pin, stores should also add labels to their images, so that when a visitor pins the product, the description is automatically inserted into the pin. That way, it is possible to add valuable keywords that will make the pin more visible.
    Since Shopify does not have a built in tool to label images, it is possible to add a description using the Pinterest Widget Builder.

    A short time ago I wrote a guide on how to develop a successful Pinterest strategy for E-commerce. It also includes a list of Shopify Apps that makes it easier for stores to take full advantage of that social network. You may check it out here: http://viralica.com/content/ecommerce-pinterest-guide

  • Maggie Vlazny
    Maggie Vlazny
    September 04 2013, 07:39PM

    But doesn’t it say in their terms that they have the right to sell our images
    without our consent or compensation?
    Love the article, but this is my only fear!

  • Joyce
    Joyce
    September 24 2013, 06:48PM

    Wonderful information – I’m just starting out and this was very helpful.

    Thank you!

  • Michael Greenwood
    Michael Greenwood
    October 20 2013, 02:47PM

    Also building a corporate image using Pinterest is a good idea .

  • Jessie
    Jessie
    February 28 2014, 01:51AM

    Thanks for the article. I’m planning to start an arts and crafts business. This has really helped me.

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