Did you know Pinterest ranks third in generating daily referral traffic across social media outlets?

That’s right, Pinterest is more than a cool way to share pictures and ideas.

We all know how useful Facebook and Instagram can be when it comes to marketing across social media, but used effectively, the little “P” that keeps popping up everywhere could be your secret ingredient to success.

Marketing on pinterest
That little “P” that pops up everywhere!

So, how do you market yourself effectively using Pinterest? Setting up a business account is a good place to start. From there you can really unlock the platform’s marketing potential.

Let’s dive in and take a look at 7 of the most awesome ways to get ahead and become a marketing maestro on Pinterest.

1. Come up with a killer username/account name

First thing’s first: you need a killer account name. People need to know who you are and what your business does, and they have to be able to find you easily. If you’re looking to represent your business on Pinterest, come up with a name that features your business in a creative way. On a platform that is home to 70 million users it’s a good idea to come up with a name that stands out in a crowd. If you have a strong following on other social media outlets, go with a username/account name that is as similar as possible—this means users will be able to find you there too, and will give you a foundation of followers from the start.

Try to avoid generic names such as John Doe shoes or John’s blog. Names like these mean you’ll likely be the small fish in the big pond, and you definitely want to be the alpha fish!

Joy Cho/Oh Joy! Pinterest page
Joy Cho/Oh Joy! Is a quirky and creative username that features both a name and business name in one. 4.5 million monthly viewers isn’t bad either!

Is it a personal brand or a business you’re looking to market on Pinterest? It’s important to understand the difference. If you’re marketing your business through Pinterest, your name alone might not be the best way to represent your product or service. It may be wiser to use your business name as a username so customers can easily find you. If you’re looking to market your personal brand through the platform, your business name might not necessarily tell people who you are, and you might want to be a touch more specific by using your own name.

Get creative, and make sure you settle on a killer username/account name that users will remember and that optimizes your ability to be found on Pinterest.

2. Sell yourself

Pinterest is amazing because it allows users to showcase content online with images, product descriptions and links to product pages all in one place. If that wasn’t enough, the platform takes social media to the next level by making the sharing of content exceptionally easy. If users like a certain business or product, they are able to pin that item on one of their “boards.” The more boards your business or product is pinned on, the more free marketing and exposure you’ll have.

Easy right?

Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. If you want your products or images to be shared on multiple boards, you’ll need to do a good job of selling yourself effectively on the platform. Do this well and you could spread like wildfire. Do it ineffectively and you could find yourself hidden in a little corner of Pinterest lost in the abyss forever.

So, how do you sell yourself on Pinterest?

Bonnie Tsang’s Pinterest profile
Bonnie Tsang’s Pinterest profile displays a clear well-lit professional profile image with a creative use of photo collage above. Her website URL and Twitter/Instagram handles are clearly displayed, and notice how her description sells her in a simple yet effective way by displaying her roles and accomplishments. Selling herself in this way might have contributed towards the 2 million monthly viewers she has—wow.

After you’ve landed on that perfect username, writing a strong about section on your profile is the next step. In this section you have 160 characters to put yourself in the best light possible. The same way you would be marketing a product with a killer description, this time you’ll want to market yourself as if you were the product. Keep things simple, add a little humor and aim to convince people to check out your boards and pins with the ultimate goal of getting them to follow you.

Add your social media accounts to your profile to give users access to them and help them better understand who you are and what your business is all about. Include your location here too as this will make it easier for people trying to connect locally to find you. If you have a website, get the URL on your page and make sure it’s clearly displayed with a concrete link. Doing this will give users a direct link to your site and means you’ll be able to bounce traffic back and forth between your website and your Pinterest account—without any red lights for people to get stuck at!

Be sure to give yourself a good profile image—you know, one of those where your pearly white teeth are on display along with your beauty pageant smile… Well, at least make sure you and/or your business logo are clearly displayed, well lit, and sized proportionately to ensure a high quality image that helps you stand out.

Then, be sure to engage with others on Pinterest (more on this later). The ability to share means you can get exposure across many different profiles, but of course sharing this responsibility with other users also means you’ll be popping up in all sorts of places—which is usually a good thing.

3. Make your images work for you (i.e. create brilliant boards)

Pinterest is all about pinning content across boards to display your personal brand or business in the best way possible. But without high quality and engaging images, the power of Pinterest will diminish and the competition will be leaving you in their wake.

Keep calm and Pin it! Image via Pinterest
Keep calm and Pin it! Image via Pinterest

When creating boards, use images that are relevant to your personal brand or business and display things in a manner that will convince people to buy your products or follow you on the platform.

This means using images that are well lit, tall and displayed in high resolution. It seems pretty obvious, but many profiles don’t grab the attention of users because their images just don’t speak loudly enough. On a platform that thrives off images, falling at this hurdle means you most certainly won’t be winning the race.

Keep your images relevant to what you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you want to advertise your graphic design blog, creating boards and pinning images of furniture is probably going to leave people a little confused. Showcasing your personal designs combined with pinning other graphical works of art is probably a better idea.

HonestlyWTF Pinterest page
HonestlyWTF Pinterest page is all about using DIY to create awesome items. Immediately from the profile page, you can see how the boards are all relevant to her personal brand, and how creative she keeps things when it comes to selecting the right images. Awesome.

Another method of staying relevant and making your images work for you is to create boards that are appropriate to certain events or seasons—be careful here though because when certain seasons are over, images featured on those boards may no longer be relevant—so be sure to keep things updated! Including images on seasonal boards means you’ll be marketing to users searching for specific things such as “summer outfits” or “designs perfect for winter.” This will give you better reach and help to improve SEO.

Making your images work for you means using images that represent your business or personal brand in the best way possible. Do this and you’ll be manipulating the power of Pinterest to your advantage and your reach across the platform will be exponential.

4. Pin at the right time

That’s right, there are good and bad times to Pin your awesome content. Pinning at the right time means getting your images onto Pinterest at times when online activity is going to be at its highest.

Pinterest has a smart feed algorithm that moves the highest quality Pins it discovers to the top of the pecking order. Optimizing your ability to score high on this algorithm means your ability to market yourself, and your exposure across the platform could explode. While using high quality images is also essential to scoring well here, Pinning at the right time will directly influence how much you appear across user searches.

So what is the best time to Pin?

best times to Pin your content
This infographic via Louise Myers helps in providing an idea of the best times to Pin your content

Generally people have more time to browse during evenings after work and on weekends. Pinning during these “rush hours” will likely improve your SEO and get more eyes on your Pins. While Pinning during these times will increase your exposure, to really capitalize on timing you also have to factor in the nationwide/global picture as well as local times.

A board showcasing Winter shoes
A board showcasing Winter shoes might not be a good idea during the middle of July (unless of course you live in the Southern Hemisphere)

Consider where your target audience or biggest area of success is located and aim to Pin during times that will see the most activity for these people. According to Fannit, the best day to Pin is Saturdays, so being active on this day will give you a solid advantage in increasing your exposure.

Pinning seasonal content should also be relevant to the season you’re Pinning it in. While this seems like a no brainer, it’s easy to forget when you’re managing a busy schedule and are marketing specific products.

5. Nail those killer keywords

Keywording on Pinterest means using specific words across your profile or pin descriptions that allow Pinterest users to find the content they are searching for on your pages. For example, if I wanted to search for recipes for the perfect lasagna, Pinterest will display its results based on keywords it finds relevant to what I’ve searched for. Using keywords also makes sure things on your boards can be organized effectively, making things appear cleaner and making you easier to locate.

Whole Foods spring recipes board
Whole Foods uses keywords to help people discover their foods. This board uses keywords like “spring recipes”, “springtime parties”, “spring herbs”, and “Easter recipes” to help steer people searching for similar ideas in the right direction

Be specific and strategic with your keywords. Don’t drown users in keyword soup by trying to include as many as possible. Being a keyword genius means carefully selecting the right keywords that will get you found by people searching for exactly what you have to offer. Try putting yourself in the position of the user and think carefully about what you would search for if you were looking for something specific.

Before throwing your keywords out all over your boards and profile, do a little research on potential winning keywords. It’s not a one size fits all and certain keywords will do better than others. Researching effective keywords means scouting competitors and discovering the words they are using to be found.

Having a stellar Pinterest profile with awesome boards on display is no good if nobody can find you. Killer keywords will drive people to your page and your fabulous content can do the rest of the work.

6. Engage with followers and share the love

The more you share the content of others and engage with them through comments, the more likely they are to keep sharing your amazing content on their own boards. If somebody comments on your Pins, try to comment back as much as possible. On a platform where sharing really is caring, building a strong rapport with followers means you’ll maintain the ones you have while you continue to gather more.

Nadula’s Pinterest page
Nadula’s Pinterest page features an incredible amount of giveaways for followers to enjoy. While you might not want to go quite as crazy, a few giveaways and competitions here and there is an awesome way to share the love with your followers and encourage reciprocated engagement.

Another way to increase engagement on Pinterest is to run competitions. Competitions (such as offering followers the chance to win something through Pinning your content) are great for gathering new followers and remaining active with the ones you have. Who doesn’t love the opportunity to win free stuff? I know I do.

Pinterest fans love being recognized for contribution. Adding fans as board contributors is a great way to keep them involved with your brand or business and will give them a chance to increase their own exposure. Running offers or occasionally doing free giveaways is a good way to encourage engagement with your followers. The words free and giveaway are remarkably effective at turning heads in the direction of your Pinterest profile.

7. Get rich with rich pins

Rich Pins make you rich!

Well, not directly, but if you have an online business in particular, Rich Pins might just become your new best friend.

To use Rich Pins, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve set up your Pinterest business account, but this is easy, and according to Pinterest, can be done in a mere 15 seconds!

Rich Pins provide more context about an idea because they show extra information directly on a Pin. There are 4 types of Rich Pins:

Product Pin showcasing a stocking stuffer idea
An example of a Product Pin showcasing a stocking stuffer idea from Etsy on Pinterest
  • Product Pins: If you have an online business, coming to terms with product pins is a great idea. These Pins allow you to include pricing, availability and the location of where users can buy your products. This is a great idea for you if you’re using Pinterest to market your business and want to double up on exposure by using the platform to provide potential customers with information about products that may only be available on your website.
A Recipe Pin from Tidy Mom’s Pinterest showing a recipe for Buffalo Shrimp Sliders
A Recipe Pin from Tidy Mom’s Pinterest showing a delicious recipe for Buffalo Shrimp Sliders. Are you hungry yet?
  • Recipe Pins: Do you like to cook and want to share some of your amazing recipes with other users? Recipe Pins will be a smart addition to your Pinterest game. Recipe Pins allow you to display recipes directly on your Pinterest boards, providing information about ingredients, cooking times and serving sizes. Combined with Pinterest’s ability to showcase fantastic images, this is a pretty awesome way to cook up some exciting new dishes.
Article Pin Pinterest
This Article Pin provides access to an article directly via Pinterest. Notice how the publishing date and author are clearly displayed
  • Article Pins: Article Pins help users save articles that are important to them. If you’re using Pinterest to market your blog or something similar, Article Pins mean you can display the headlines, authors and story descriptions on Pinterest. Using Article Pins and then sharing your work across different boards is a pretty neat way to expose your content to the Pinterest masses.
App Pin allowing a user to install an app directly via Pinterest
This example via Apsalar shows an example of an App Pin allowing a user to install an app directly via Pinterest.
  • App Pins: Have you designed a new mobile app and are looking to market it as much as possible? App Pins allow you to display your App on Pinterest and also include an “Install” button directly on the platform. This extra exposure means users won’t have to visit an App store to download your incredible new app—a pretty cool way to leverage the power of Pinterest.

Getting started with Rich Pins takes a little time, but Pinterest provides an easy to follow step-by-step guide to the process here.

Unleash the power of Pinterest

Now that you have a clear understanding of the way Pinterest works, you’re ready to get out there and dominate the game. From giving yourself that recognizable username, to using Rich Pins to boost your brand or business, getting ahead with these tips will have you well on your way to Pinterest domination.

Remember, Pinterest is all about sharing. If you want people to engage with your content and click that magic little follow button, reciprocating the love only seems fair, right?

Millennials use Pinterest as much as Instagram, and getting to the top of the pack on Pinterest could prove to be the secret weapon you’ve been searching for in boosting your personal brand or business.

So get creative, unleash the Power of Pinterest and start rising to the top of the game.

Want to learn how you can market yourself on Instagram next? Read all about it here.