If you don’t know what Pinterest is, you aren’t doing a very good job with your marketing strategy. Pinterest is the fastest-growing site to hit the 10 million users mark in history, and it is responsible for generating more referral traffic than Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn combined. Pinterest is bringing businesses big results, and as a free site, Pinterest is a powerful tool that small businesses cannot afford to overlook or to mismanage.

Using Pinterest to its full potential can help you to get significantly more traffic to your site and more exposure for your brand, potentially helping you take your small business to the next level. Here’s what you need to know about how to start using Pinterest and getting results:

Optimize Your Photos

One of the best ways to get more pins of your content – and, therefore, more exposure for your brand on Pinterest – is to optimize the photos on your site. Start by taking great photos. They should be crisp, clear and interesting. Then add banners and text to highlight what the photo is about. Make it interesting and compelling, such as “Best Green Smoothie Recipe” or “Easy Tufted Ottoman Tutorial.” These images will invite others to click on them and to learn more, helping you to increase engagement on Pinterest and on your site.

Create Niche Specific Boards

Though Pinterest is very popular for recipes, home décor and other do-it-yourself projects, you can use it to share interesting information in any niche. It is important to create niche specific boards to highlight the products and services you offer and to attract the target audience that you want. For example, if you write a blog about personal finance, you can create boards such as “Budget friendly recipes,” “Vacation destinations that any family can afford,” or “Dream retirement homes.” The more interesting your boards, the more users you will attract, leading to more traffic for your site.

Share Resources

You may be interested in promoting your brand, but your followers are interested in getting unique and interesting information. Resist the impulse to share only pins that promote your products and services, and cultivate content from other sites that share valuable information for your followers. By creating resources through your boards, you will attract more followers. Those followers will then look through your other pins and find the content promoting your own services, which will translate into more traffic and more sales.

Follow Users in Your Niche and Local Area

Of course, more followers of any kind is not the end goal. You want to actually get followers who will be interested in your products and services. A great way to do this is to follow other users who are in your niche or who live in your local area. Search the site by key terms and find users who are pinning related items or who are following related boards. You can also search for a competitor on the site and then follow all of their followers. When you follow someone on the site, they are likely to follow you back, helping you to get the audience you want to attract.

Link Your Accounts

Get maximum exposure for your presence on Pinterest and all your other social networks by linking your accounts. Pinterest lets you verify your website and to link up to your Facebook and Twitter account. Then you can promote your Pinterest account on those networks. The more cross-promotion you get, the more followers you are likely to attract, which, again, will lead to more traffic.

Pinterest isn’t just another flash in the pan social media platform! It’s a powerful site that is continuing to grow. Use these tips to help you establish a strong presence on the site and to get more exposure for your small business, helping you to increase sales and conversions.


Chloe Trogden is a researcher for collegegrant.net who writes on specific opportunities such as educational scholarships. Along with academic and financial studies, her leisure activities include camping, swimming and yoga.