What is Pinterest All About?

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Pinterest badgeWhat is Pinterest all about anyway?

Is it a social media site or is it a search engine?

Alexa ranks Pinterest as #4 in popularity only behind Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Yet, based on number of active users, Statista ranks Pinterest as #17.

Yet, according to VPDM Digital Marketing,

“Pinterest is the 2nd largest search engine in the world, that Google doesn’t own.”

Which is it? A social network site or search engine?

Consider this. How important do you think organizing visual information is or will be in the future? Do you realize that most people are visual learners? How many products do you buy online without looking at a visual image of the product?

Pinterest is a social search engine with the focus on images!

FREE Download: Click here to get a downloadable PDF version of Essential Pinterest Tips. You can print out and read later. Or use as a reference.

Pinterest members share interesting things they have or find by sharing (pinning in Pinterest parlance) images or videos to Pinterest boards. A “pin” is an image or video that links back to its originating website.

I optimize my webpage articles and posts using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. I also optimize my Pinterest “pins” (post) using SEO techniques.

Getting followers in Pinterest is not important. I only have 134 as of this writing. My Pinterest “reach” is much greater as you can see from this chart.

Pinterest reaches many people.

 

Why you should use Pinterest

As Pinterest usage continues to expand, especially outside of the United States, you will see more visitors to your business. It is becoming more than just about Pinterest home decor or Pinterest recipes.

In other words, Pinterest helps you get more targeted traffic to your business.

With the introduction of the Pinterest Lens beta, Pinterest is developing and refining their visual discovery technology. Lens will enable Pinterest users to search for information based on images. The Pinterest Lens appplication already recognizes objects in 750 categories.

Now people have more than just simple text-based searches available for use.

This new tool makes Pinterest a visual search engine.

How to use Pinterest for Business

Now that you have an idea what Pinterest is and why you should use it, it helps to know how to use Pinterest.

This section will cover:

  • How to set up a Pinterest account
  • How to set up your Pinterest boards
  • How to organize your Pinterest boards
  • How to create Pinterest pins
  • How to create Pinterest images
  • When is the best time to share on Pinterest
  • How to share other pins

How to set up a Pinterest account

  1. Join Pinterest. It is free. Follow the step-by-step instructions.
  2. Set up your business account. The Pinterest terms of service require the use of a business account if your intent is to use Pinterest for commercial purposes. The business account gives you access to Pinterest Analytics.
  3. Read and accept the Pinterest business terms of service.
  4. Complete your business profile. Include your picture or logo. Select a user name. (I chose my website name as a way to brand my Pinterest account.) Include a biography.
  5. Enter your website information. Pinterest will access you to verify your website.

TIP: It is important to have Pinterest verify your website!

How to set up your Pinterest boards

Setting up a Pinterest board is easy.

1. Start by finding the create board button within your account. The button looks like this.

Pinterest create board button

Clicking the create board button will open the create board window.

Pinterest create pin board pop-up window
2. Fill in the name of the board and save. The name of the board should reflect your website or business niche, preferably using a keyword. Using a keyword will help Pinterest users find your boards and pins. This example shows the title of my webpage, which is one of the main pages on my website. You are given the option of making the board secret. This prevents anyone from finding and viewing your board until you are ready. I have several secret boards I am building out first before making them public. I am doing it this way because I plan on sharing the collected pins to another board.
3. Edit the description of your new board using keywords to help people find your board. Save.
4. Your board is ready for you to start sharing.

Newly created Pinterest board showing title and board description.

How to organize your Pinterest boards

Start by setting up one primary board for your niche or topic. And then several secondary boards that relate to your primary board.

The hierarchical structure would look something like this.
Pinterest board strategy
Here is the taxonomy of my Pinterest boards, which is a textual display of the organization.

Weight Loss
Weight Loss > Healthy Diet Plans
Weight Loss > Healthy Diet Guidelines
Weight Loss > Healthy Recipes
Weight Loss > Weight Loss Products

The only things that get added on these boards are pins that lead back to your website. Every article and post will be added to the main board. Articles and posts related to a secondary topic will be posted to the appropriate secondary board.

You will also want to set up some additional boards related to your niche or website. The purpose of these boards is to cross-pin other Pinterest pins as well as you own.
For example, I have a Pinterest board labeled “Healthy Foods” to which I post pins from my Weight Loss website. I will also add other images I find on Pinterest as well as other interesting, related websites I find.

Note: The reason for creating multiple boards is to further define specific audiences. For example, members may follow my “Recipes” board, but not have any interest in following my “Diet Plans” board.

How to add items to your board.

There are several ways to add an image to your Pinterest boards. Use an existing Pinterest share button found on a webpage or use a browser extension button.

Websites may include social media share buttons.Many websites and webpages have social media share buttons already added. The website owner or manager wants visitors to share the content on the social network sites.

Occasionally, you may find a webpage without social share buttons. The major browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge) have browser extensions to add Pinterest “Save” buttons to your browser. This enables you to share interesting content. With the browser extension button enabled, a Pinterest save button appears whenever you “mouse over” an image.

Browser tool bars includes space to add your own share buttons.

The third way to add an image is to upload it from your computer. Pinterest has an add image function which enables you to select an image from your computer and save it to a board. Pick the board and add a description of the image.

Another method is for website owners or developers who prepare or develop their own images. There are third party graphics application vendors who have created the ability to directly add created images onto the applicable Pinterest board.

Stencil provides ability to pin or post directly to social media.

How to create Pinterest images

Not all images or videos are Pinterest worthy.

Every post or article you create should have an optimized Pinterest image. A standard size Pinterest image dimensions are 735 x 1102 pixels.

In other words, Pinterest likes long images.

Besides, long images look better on a mobile device.

Depending on how a webpage has been developed, not all images on a webpage are worthy of sharing. The following is an example of a page I wanted to pin. By clicking on an image, the Pinterest share button opened up a window with several images to pin. Obviously, I would select the one on the left as it was optimized for Pinterest.

Selecting the correct image to save to a Pinterest board.

To make Pinterest worthy images for your website, there are a number of free graphics applications available online.

I frequently use these two free tools:

Canva – is an award-winning app that has a million image library, templates, icons, standard image sizes for you to create almost any kind of image.

picresize – is a handy app to crop, resize, and edit images.

For my heavy lifting, I use this new application. It is a real time saver as it lets me change my image sizes to meet different social network or website posting needs. Plus, it allows me to post directly to social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook.

When is the best time to share on Pinterest?

Studies about the best practices of social media networks show us the best times to post. The research sources included Hubspot, Forbes, Neil Patel, Kissmetrics, Buffer, Fast Company, and others.

Posting at the optimal times to social media sites help get more traffic, more engagement, and more followers.

For Pinterest, the consensus is Saturday is the best day as well as late at night.

The best times daily are between 8pm and 11pm.

Using Google Analytics helps identify days and times you get the most traffic.

How to repin other pins

While browsing the Pinterest home page or boards, you may find images and related stories you like and want to “share” with others.

Sharable images will show a Pinterest save button when moused over.

Mousing over an image will show a red Pinterest Save button. Clicking on the button will open up a list of boards to select for saving the pin.

Saving a pin to one of your boards is a way of sharing content that may be of interest to people who follow your boards. Actively sharing content encourages people to share your content as well. It is the the old mutually beneficial “scratch my back and I will scratch yours.”

Summary

Hopefully, this article has answered the question what is Pinterest all about.

Pinterest is a social network or a search engine.

Used as a social network, members can view, follow and share friends’ pins (posts).

Pinterest can also be used as a search engines. Members with business accounts can optimize their Pinterest boards and pins to increase their business visibility and traffic to their website(s).

If you want more website traffic and sales, then click here to get a copy of Pinterest Success Strategies now.

 

 

 

 


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17 Comments

  1. Great post! I had no idea Pinterest was considered a search engine and a social media site. Very interesting!

    Wow! I did not know how to use Pinterest for my business. I didn’t think it would be that useful for getting traffic. After reading your post I will make a Pinterest account.

    I also never thought about when the best times to post on social media. I just always posted whenever I felt like I needed to, but it makes sense that there are better times each day to do it. I will keep this in mind for sure.

    Have you found Pinterest to be better than Facebook for getting traffic to your website?

    Thank you!

    Weston

    1. Weston, you are welcome. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Approximately 30% of my website traffic comes from Pinterest, which is much more than what I get from Facebook.

      1. That is good to know. I will definitely create a Pinterest account because I haven’t gotten much traffic at all from Facebook. Thank you!

  2. I’m so glad to have stumbled across this site! A week ago I downloaded the pinterest app, made my account, pinned one thing to my board. Wasn’t real sure after that what else to do on there, so I unistalled it. The next day, determined to google up how to use it, and what to do. I once again installed it to try again, but I was still lost as to how to post something to help my site. And once again unistalling it, thinking I wont need it anyway. So when I came across your site, it restored all hope. The other sites I tried were not as helpful as yours, I actually understand now what to do, and how to do it. Thank you so much, over the next few days I will try again!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Audra. I appreciate you taking time to read and comment. I am glad the article was useful. There is so much to Pinterest. So checkout the Pinterest help section.

  3. Thanks for all the info about Pinterest. You have explained some really useful about how it all works. I am an artist and I love using website like this to show off my work. I love making GIFs at the moment. Can you add some information about uploading GIF’s on Pinterest? I would love to see how I could use Pinterest to promote my GIFs.
    gifhacks(dot)com
    Mark

    1. Hi Mark, Thanks for commenting. I saved one of your GIF’s to my board. You can see it here.

      There are a number of ways you can upload your images to Pinterest. Use a browser Pinterest extension, which is what I did to upload your GIF to my board. Even though the GIF image is on my board, it links directly to your About GIF Hacks webpage.  Or you can save directly to one of your boards (assuming you have a Pinterest account). Hope this helps.

      Glen

  4. Glen,
    I’m so glad I ran into your site. I’ve been using Pinterest for years as a personal account and have recently been trying to develop a business account for my niche. You have laid out all the information I have been looking for concerning image pins and boards. Your post was easy to read and the visuals helped me to know exactly how to proceed, Thanks!

    1. Kendra, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I am glad it helped you. Once I had my boards set up, it does not take long to pin and revise pin descriptions and share to other boards.

  5. I am so glad you’re sharing your knowledge on Pinterest! It is such a powerful tool, I’ve found. It is also just fun to explore around and find interesting things related to your website. I love diving into Pinterest for an hour and creating new pins or boards. There is so much to learn and see out there. I highly recommend it for developing an online business!

    xx

    Helen

    1. Thanks so much, Helen! I like exploring Pinterest too! I repin many of the ones I like. Plus I am using a secret board to collect my favorites. One of my planned projects is to create a new webpage and curate my favorite pins.

  6. Thank you for sharing this information about Pinterest. I am not that familiar with Pinterest. With your step-by0step instructions, I was able to set up my Pinterest account for my website—in no time at all. So, if someone clicks on the pictures, it will take them directly to the website to read more. I like this idea. Currently, I am only using facebook and is not getting much results. Again, thanks for sharing.

    1. Good to hear you were able to set up your Pinterest account, Kay! I have had mixed results with Facebook. So I put more effort into Pinterest. And it’s paying off with more traffic to my websites. Best of success to you!

  7. Hello, I myself use pinterest to promote my website, but I have found that out of all social networks I use (twitter, facebook, google +, pinterest has the least amount of traffic/interaction with my website, and by the least amount of interaction, I mean that out of the social networks I use, I get zero interaction from pinterest. Any advice on upping my pinterest game?

    1. Hi Jacob. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. When it comes to social media, I put most of my effort into Pinterest and then Google Plus. Pinterest provides a good percentage of my website traffic. The key is to create Pinterest worthy images that people will repin frequently. The ideal size is 735×1102. The other important aspect is to use good keywords in your Pinterest images. Having followers or following people in Pinterest is not important. Pinning and repinning is. Here are my Pinterest boards: https://www.pinterest.com/glen… You can see that I have a few interests.

  8. I have been thinking about pinterest a lot lately and I think it’s time to act upon it, because it can definitely boost any business! It’s such a great way to attract more visitors, but not many do it, because they don’t know how. I think my main problem, is not knowing how to create amazing images for pinterest, but it seems like you’ve got a solution for that! Thanks!

    1. Thanks for commenting. I, and many others, use an online graphics program called Stencil to create and post images to Pinterest. They have an extensive library of images that can be edited, resized to fit different social media as well as add text to graphics. I have also used Canva, which is very similar to Stencil. But I found Stencil easier to use. 

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