Modern Business: Utilizing Pinterest

If you’re anything like me, Pinterest conjures up images of cheesy DIY projects you’d never dream of doing, outdated home decor ideas (that literally everyone seems to love for some reason), and recipes with so much cheese and cream you might as well just give up and change into ugly sweatpants permanently. But while yes, all those things are true about the social media platform, there are some hidden gems in there too, if you keep a keen eye out.

Now, I know there are a lot of other people out there telling you “How to Use Pinterest to it’s Fullest Potential!” or “18 Ways to Grow Traffic with Pinterest!” — I won’t do that. You’re an intelligent, smart woman, who can make up her own damn mind without listening to what every fly-by-night business coach has to say. I’m just here to give you some thoughts on what I've learned about Pinterest over the years.

It can connect you to your target audience.

Stay with me for a second. There are a ton of different types of people on Pinterest, and it’s getting more and more diverse as time goes on, so your ideal audience actually may be there, but you might have to dig a little to find them. Start by searching for things that resonate with your business, be it modern art, couture fashion, goth rock, etc. And then click through the profiles of those people that are pinning things related to your business — odds are, they’ll look freakishly similar to the people you’re trying to reach.

Business profile > a personal profile.

No matter if you’re a one-woman show, like I am, or you work with a team, make sure that if you’re using Pinterest for your business, you have a business account. While similar to a personal one, it not only makes it clear to visitors that you’re a business and not a random person, you’ll also get access to Pinterest’s analytics tool. The analytics will tell you who is looking at your profile, who is pinning what, their age, their gender, and what their interests are, so you can tailor your content accordingly.

Secret boards are the best.

Take me for example: I happen to love gardening, and now that we’ve moved somewhere where they might have a chance of survival, I’ve planted a vegetable garden. Unfortunately, a lot of the information I want to keep bookmarked has horrid graphics. Like, avert your eyes horrid. Also, I know from using my analytics that my audience really only cares about design and art, which is no surprise. The solution? Keep my gardening board secret, that way I still have the info available when I need it, but it doesn’t fuck with my expertly-curated profile.

Linking to your products is a smart move.

I have a board with all things Studio Sara Kraus pinned, and nothing else. Make the name obvious, put it at the top of your profile, and pin anything you’re selling, anything you’re writing, anything you want your followers to know about that comes from your business. Just make sure the graphics are damn good, because you never know what will go viral and who will see it down the road. (PS - I’m really great at social media graphics, if you need help with that part).

Make sure your profile is complete, current, and pretty.

Let’s be professional here. Upload your profile photo or logo, whichever you prefer, as long as it matches your branding and is consistent with the rest of your social imagery. Next, fill out your profile description with what you do or your business tagline. Make sure to include keywords that relate to your business, and bonus points if you include how you can help your followers. It’s a free space for a shameless plug, utilize it! But, like your profile image, make sure you update all your other social profiles to follow suit (I know I don’t need to tell you about the importance of consistency). Also, please, please, for the love of god, make sure the cover images on all of your boards work together, and that they’re clean and simple. Think holistically here, because when someone lands on your page, it should look consistent with your brand aesthetic, not like a four year old barfed on your page.

Be ruthless in who and what you follow.

Bring out your inner judgy bitch, I know she’s in there, and be picky with who you follow. Make sure whoever you follow resonates with your style and your business goals. There’s nothing worse than logging on and seeing a feed clogged with things you don’t care about. Also, a piece of advice — you don’t have to follow ALL of a person’s boards, you can pick and choose. I never follow any boards about kids, weddings, or cooking, since I don’t have any kids, weddings have nothing to do with my business, and I’m already a damn good cook.

Use third-party tools to help manage your profile.

If you’re sitting there saying, “Sara! I don’t have time for this shit, I have an empire to rule!” — I feel you, girl. If you’d rather not dedicate so much time to sourcing and pinning, time to outsource. I personally am a huge fan of BoardBooster. I use it mostly to bank pins I want to post, and then it schedules them out for me over a certain period of time, so my pins don’t get lost in the shuffle. BoardBooster also has the capability to source pins for you, but I haven’t ventured into doing that quite yet. You can also utilize the “looping” feature as well, which is great if you have boards with a ton of pins. It takes the oldest pins on your board and re-pins them to the top, then deleting the old one so you don’t have duplicates. That allows people that either haven’t made it to the bottom of your board, or just started following you, to see the good stuff hidden down there.

So you see, just because you and I are both much more suited to MoMA and The New York Times arts section, than we are burlap-wrapped candles and Crockpot recipes, doesn’t mean we can’t work the system to our advantage.

This post contains affiliate links, because, well, shoes are expensive. I would never promote anything I don’t love and use myself. All opinions and text are mine. Cover photo shot by Alexa Mazzarello