Pinterest Tips for Small Business – An Evening with The Pintester

The-Pintester-shares-tips-with-Vend-RaleighDid you know that Pinterest is overtaking Instagram as the fastest growing social platform out there? (Source: Global Web Index, Nov. 2014) For many, Pinterest comes second only to Facebook as what drives the most traffic to their sites. So how do you make Pinterest work for you? How does Pinterest for small business really work? 

Recently, Sonja Foust, also known as The Pintester, came to Vend Raleigh to share Pinterest tips for small business. With nearly 30,000 Pinterest followers, and 80% of her blog traffic coming from Pinterest referrals, she knows what she’s doing. There was so much to take away from the session, but here are some of the highlights.

Pinterest Tips for Small Business from The Pintester

If you are a business person, then you need a business Pinterest account. 

Often in social media, you’re left trying to question whether or not you keep your personal identity and your business identity separate. According to Sonja, there is no right or wrong answer here. You need to look at your small business and your brand.Then, do what is best for you. However, having a business Pinterest account is a must. A business account gives you: incredible analytics, rich pins, the ability to run contests, and the potential for promoted pins. Business Pinterest accounts let you see the activity from your site (who is pinning what) and see top pin impressions from everything you’ve pinned on your boards. All of these insights can help you better plan for things in the future. You can see what topics are popular, what style pictures work best, and what your followers want to see. 

Make sure you are interesting and easy to follow on Pinterest.

There are certain ways to make yourself and your small business more Pinterest friendly. Keep your boards organized and make sure your categories are pretty tight. If someone wants to follow all of the recipes you share, don’t throw a random “favorite outfit” pin onto the same board. At the same time, you have to remember to, “pin like a real person.” Real people pin things that actually interest them and caption them in a way where their voice comes through. For example, Sonja has a “Photography for Noobs” board because that’s something she’s interested in. It has nothing to do with her business necessarily, but a lot to do with who she is. You hear her voice (funny with a touch of sarcasm) in each of the captions she writes for the things she pins. 

Another part of The Pintester protocol is testing all of the pins. Nothing is more frustrating than clicking on a pin that is just a broken link. Sonja tries to only pin things that she can find the original source for and always makes sure the links work. Your followers will appreciate it.  

Optimize your images for Pinterest.

The size, appearance, and caption of an image is key to getting it pinned and re-pinned. According to The Pintester, your watermarked images (yes, all of your images should be watermarked) should have an ideal ratio of 2:3 with a maximum width of 736 pixels (minimum 200). This keeps them tall enough to look good in a Pinterest feed, but not obnoxiously long. Why watermark? For Sonja, less of the concern is on someone stealing your image, and more around the possibility of your image getting separated from your original link. At least people can see your brand on the image and find you or your business online if they really are interested in what they see. 

You should also overlay text on your images. One of my favorite Pintester quotes is, “The point of a Pinterest image is to tell a story.” Putting text on your image certainly helps. You can even run a few tests with your own pins. See what types of captions work best and which just bring out the crickets.

Sonja Foust, The Pintester, loves new friends. Feel free to reach out to her:

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Ashley Shaffer
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