201403242301This post assumes you have heard of Pinterest and have some idea that it is an online pin board but are looking for tips about how you can use it as a marketing tool for your business rather than as a fun thing for personal consumption.

If you haven’t, take a look at the Pinterest site first and the basics.

On your website or blog without needing to do anything on Pinterest

1 Include appealing images on your website/blog pages that are ‘pin-able’, even if they are not products that you are selling. When images are pinned there is also a link back to the source, so this helps with SEO and driving trafic back to your site. Also if people are using pins as bookmarks you may get return visits to your posts for more detailed look.

2 Make it as easy as possible for people to pin the pictures on your website/blog. You can add a Pin It button from the Pinterest site.  (If you have a WordPress.com free blog, you won’t be able to add the javascript widget code. Instead you need to include Pinterest in the share it button options. See http://en.support.wordpress.com/sharing/).

3 Learn about Creative Commons licensing. Licensing images by Creative Commons, and making it clear that you have and what that means, will make people feel more comfortable to pin from your website/blog.

4 Include Alt-Text on your images with any text that is in the image including links – for anyone with slow Internet speeds which stops image downloading, for disability access, and for indexing netbots.

5 Include more than one appealing image on each page/post to give the possibility of multiple links back to a specific post by the same person.

6 Include your website url or other contact information on any artwork on your site, then even if it is pinned without a link back, there will still be a promotional opportunity from the image.

Need help setting up and using Twitter? pph.me/karencropperOn your Pinterest Account

7 Set up a business account on Pinterest, not a personal account – http://uk.business.pinterest.com/ – if you already have an account that you are using for business, there’s a convert option.

8 Make sure you have your website URL in your profile and verify it. This involves either uploading an html page to your site or adding meta data that you cut and paste into your home page. This gives you access to analytics to monitor the effectiveness of your pins.

9 Set up boards on topics and include pins from your own site along side popular pins from other people’s. This means your pin has a chance of being shown to someone pinning a popular image by association.

10 Use multiple hashtags to label your pins to help them to be found by others.

11 Search on Pinterest for content that is similar to your own product/service and use the hashtags that popular posts use.

12 Include a link in the description back to something on your own website/blog when you pin images from other people .

Promote Your Pinterest Account

13 Add a widget or link to your Pinterest profile and/or specific boards to your website/blog – see: http://uk.business.pinterest.com/widget-builder/ but be aware that code may not always work for your situation (for example cannot post these widgets into this blog so below I have made a screen cast image of the widget preview and linked to the board).

14 Link to your Pinterest profile and/or specific boards from your other social media channels – eg Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+

15 Search on Pinterest for people pinning things that are similar to your area of work and follow them for them to possibly follow back.

Pinterest board widget

Rich pins, for products, recipes, movies, articles and places, to be covered in another post. In the meantime info for developers here: https://developers.pinterest.com/rich_pins/ and in more straight forward language for the non-IT types here: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/rich-pins-on-pinterest/