Young Upstarts

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Pinterest Is For Small Businesses, Too

by Danny Maloney, CEO and co-founder of PinLeague

Pinterest should be an accessible channel for everyone – not only brands who can invest millions in building up their presence. At PinLeague, we pride ourselves on serving businesses and organizations of all sizes, from local businesses to Fortune 100 megabrands. With small businesses, there are two recurring themes that crop up:

  • “Resources are tight. We need to participate on Pinterest efficiently and not distract from the core of the business.”
  • “Our marketing team is 1 person. We don’t have time to learn best practices on our own.”

The first of these themes has lead to many a lengthy chat with our clients. If you’re doing it right, you should view adopting Pinterest as making it part of the core of your business. With time and growth, that becomes easier.

The second, however, is much easier to address. And that’s the point of this article. Without further adieu, here are 8 critical tips for small businesses on Pinterest:

1. Be authentic and pin in the spirit of the community.

Focus on sharing beautiful or useful content people will love to gain acceptance. To learn which of your own content fits best, add the Pin It button to your site and let your website visitors tell you!

2. Learn how your target customer is using Pinterest; then build a content strategy that fits in.

Search for keywords related to your business to find relevant pins and click through to learn about the people who pinned them. What else do those users pin? What types of boards are they building? A Pinterest analytics tool like PinLeague can help save a lot of time in this process.

3. Be responsive.

When users pin from your site or comment on your pins, respond in a timely manner. There’s nothing worse than reaching out to someone with a question, issue or compliment and being ignored. Monitor the free email alerts from Pinterest to know when you need to reply.

4. Engage users interested in your products.

This will lead to a more engaged community, which will help you organically grow followers. It can be tedious to sit on the site for hours following or repinning from users with interests related to your company, but it pays off in time by amplifying he virality of every pin you add. You can also use a tool like the Audience Engine to help identify those users and engage them organically.

5. Engage your advocates and influential followers.

Your advocates are pinning about you because they love your product. Engage them and they’ll love you, too. Influencers hold the key to large audiences. When someone follows you who has 1,000s of followers, reach out and build a relationship. Them pinning your content could impact your ROI more than anything you do in the early days. An analytics tool will help massively here, too.

6. Avoid the “Pinterest as a product catalogue” approach.

If you just pin your own products over and over (especially if you don’t have beautiful photography), your profile will look spammy and untrustworthy. Many small businesses take this approach, but instead you should…

7. Curate.

Pinterest is about curation. You don’t need a huge content budget to participate; don’t let it hold you back if you don’t produce much content yourself. You can – and should – still participate. To make that easier, install the Pin It button in your browser toolbar so you can easily pin from around the web.

8. Invest for the long-run.

The top 100 accounts on Pinterest have been pinning for at least a year and a half. And, they had less competition for audience as they grew. If you look at these accounts and think: “I’m going to have a million followers in 3 months,” you’re likely setting yourself up to be disappointed. focus on achieving consistent, steady growth. If you set expectations too high, you’re likely to abandon the platform before you hit your stride.


Danny Maloney (@danielpmaloney) is CEO and Co-founder of PinLeague. PinLeague is the leading Pinterest Analytics and Marketing platform, trusted by over 1,000 brands and agencies to help maximize ROI on Pinterest. Prior to PinLeague, Danny lead New Initiatives at YouTube and Google Maps/Local Search and served as GM of AOL’s Video business. 






This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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