#SMTLive today!

Pin to Win: The Ultimate Short Guide to Pinterest for Business

social media marketing pinterest pinboardReady to ramp up your efforts on Pinterest? Here are the no-fail guidelines to become a real “pinner.”

Rule 1: Keep your boards in order. A common mistake is to dump all your content onto one board. Instead, use different boards to break down content in a way that makes sense. This is a way to broaden your reach by reaching out to multiple segments of your audience. Doing this also shows your followers that you respect their time enough to have your content organized.

Rule 2: Image quality matters. For Pinterest, which is all about images, this seems like something that shouldn’t have to be said. Yet many images uploaded are actually blurry or too small. Or, just as bad, have an obvious watermark.

Of course, this guideline should be about much more than just avoiding the bad. Not every image has to be something that qualifies to hang in a museum, but the more effort you put into making your images as professional as possible pays real dividends.

Rule 3: Give 30 minutes back to the community. You already know that social media success is not built on self promotion and spam. It comes from being a real participant in the community. The problem is, when time is limited, it is natural to fall back on just pushing out content that is only promotional.

Try this instead. Set aside 30 minutes a week for doing nothing but being a good participant and citizen of Pinterest. Look for content to re-pin. Add links that have nothing to do with promoting yourself or your business. Have fun and participate. Some who practice this 30 minute rule find that they often continue well past the allotted time because it is so enjoyable.

Rule 4: Go ahead, be a tattletale. This is an extension of Rule 3. Being a good participant means reporting spam, offensive images, and broken links. Of course, this is not really about being a tattletale but keeping the community free of low-quality time-wasters.

Rule 5: Take care with your links. Have you ever clicked on a link to get to specific content only to be taken to a homepage or some general page and then have to hunt for what you were promised in the first place? Of course you have, because it’s happened to us all.

Don’t frustrate others this way. Make sure that your Pinterest links take the viewer directly to the exact right content. Another important point is to check links for images that you are re-pinning. When you re-pin, you are implicitly delivering a recommendation, so make sure the link works and is not spam.

Rule 6: Put a Pinterest button on your website. Forgot this one, didn’t you? Most savvy websites and blogs have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and RSS feed buttons. But Pinterest often gets forgotten. This is not a game-changer, but it is so easy, why not get it done?

Rule 7: Hang out with the right crowd. Who is successful on Pinterest? Who would be natural allies in getting you more traffic? Follow them and pay attention. For one, you can observe what they are doing and pattern your own activities after their example.

There is another dividend as well. Just like with Twitter, those that you follow will often return the favor. Be sure to find out who is re-pinning your content and make a special point of following them.

Rule 8: Use your other social media to promote Pinterest. This is very easy, but is also an opportunity that often falls through the cracks. You don’t want to blast your Facebook fans or Twitter followers with too many references, but you should be mentioning and linking to your Pinterest account.

Rule 9: Go ahead and promote. If you take the time to implement rules 1 through 8, you can feel confident in linking to things that sell your products or services. It is important to keep the imaging fun and entertaining. As long as your promotional images are part of an overall mix of quality participation, you should feel confident that you will be successful.

You can generate a lot of traffic from Pinterest in a short amount of time. You can make your path even quicker if you let these 9 rules guide you to success.


As loyal readers I would like to extend a 60 Day Free Trial of our All-in-One Digital Marketing Software, CriticalMaas, to each of you. We just opened our public beta and would love to hear your feedback. Thanks!

Join The Conversation

  • Natasha Gaiski's picture
    Jan 23 Posted 4 years ago Natasha Gaiski

    I definitely agree with this article. Pinterest has potential for certain markets.

  • gyminsight's picture
    Nov 28 Posted 4 years ago gyminsight

    Hi Brett,

    I have just discovered Pinterest and was confused on how to really promote my <a href="http://www.gyminsight.com/" target="_blank">gym software</a> on the site...until I found this article.  I have enjoyed the interaction I have had with Pinterest so far, but now I know how to make my time more valuable.


    Thanks for paying your knowledge forward!

  • Nov 27 Posted 4 years ago incitrio

    The importance of Pinterest for businesses continues to grow with the introduction of the business accounts. Click the link below to learn more.


  • Courtney Hunt's picture
    Oct 26 Posted 4 years ago Courtney Hunt

    I just pinned this to our Pinterest Resources board. : )


    We've written several pieces about the professional value of Pinterest, starting with this one:


    We also have a daily feature called "We're SMOPin!" in which we share a pin of the day via Twitter, FB, and G+. It's been very popular.

    Courtney Shelton Hunt - Founder, Social Media in Organizations Community (SMinOrgs)

  • Oct 25 Posted 4 years ago jojoanne9

    Thanks for sharing these clues! I am really enjoying my Pinterest at the moment!

  • Oct 24 Posted 4 years ago Pixelfarm_NL

    Hello Bret,

    Good post! I recently uploaded a Pinterest presentation myself which covers the do's and don'ts and some interesting Pinterest cases from well known brands. Might be an interesting addition to this article.

    You can view the presentation here: http://slidesha.re/NYHjFy

    Have a good day!



  • BrettRelander's picture
    Oct 23 Posted 4 years ago BrettRelander

    Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you found the article useful.

    Have a great week!


  • visisearch's picture
    Oct 23 Posted 4 years ago visisearch

    You should really give Pinterest some SEO efforts. Despite being image based, google can still index keywords attached to photos, not to mention getting backlinks from the photos pinned.


  • Oct 23 Posted 4 years ago MDwebpro (not verified)

    Excellent post Brett. This is a great post that directs the doctors who want to use pinterest in marketing their medical services.


    Erick Kinuthia

    Team MDwebpro.com

Webinars On Demand

  • May 09, 2017
    With all of the technologies available to marketers today, have we lost that personal touch? Join VP of Content Marketing for ON24, Mark Bornste...
  • April 05, 2017
    In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, operational efficiency, quick turn-around times, testing and adapting to change are crucial to...