How many times have you gone to search Google for an image and multiple Pinterest pins pop up in the results? It happens quite often because people are constantly looking for inspiration or for that perfect look they can shop. And with roughly 444 MILLION active monthly users around the world, Pinterest should absolutely be a part of your small business marketing strategy. You want to have your products out there for those users to find!
But first, let’s dive into the basics:
What Is Pinterest?
For those of you who have never used Pinterest, here’s how it works: imagine you’re at a flea market, and every vendor has a stall full of beautiful, interesting, compelling pictures. These pictures are free. As a customer at this flea market, you go shopping around to various vendors – maybe one full of cute cat pictures, maybe another with images of barnyard weddings, and another with finished pictures of autumn recipes – and you place them in your basket.
Once you’ve collected all the pictures you would like, you simply bring them home, hang them up, and enjoy them. Maybe you would use them as a reminder to try a recipe or hobby later on. Maybe you would use the pictures as inspiration for a wedding. No matter what, copies of those pictures are there for you to enjoy and use how you see fit.
Pinterest is the digital version of that. Instead of a farmer’s market, you’ll tour around the boards of other users and pin content that you find charming and would like to save for later.
As a small business owner, this is the perfect opportunity for you to create visually compelling pins to capture the attention of potential customers. Seasonal bouquets, lively centerpieces, and the like are all key to getting users to remember your brand at a later date. Even better – these days you can actually make purchases on Pinterest, making it a powerful tool in your marketing mix.
How To Create a Pin
As with all social media platforms, unfortunately things aren’t as easy as “upload and go.” There’s always a process of tweaking your images to look just so. Pretty much no one uploads social media images without SOME editing (except for my husband, bless his heart.)
To make the process super simple, I like using either Canva or PicMonkey. Both are free software programs (with optional paid upgrades) that make it super simple to create the perfect pin (and other business graphics so I recommend getting yourself set up with an account with one or both right away!). Because these two websites have optimized the formula, you can be assured that a lot of the guesswork has been taken out of the process. Simply follow the steps on their website and you’ll have a pin worthy of anyone’s attention. Here’s a step-by-step process using Canva:
On the Canva home page, you will see a wide variety of templates. Circled is the section on creating a Pinterest pin. If you don’t see that on the home screen, you can enter “Pinterest” in the search bar at the top.
Once you have selected the button to create a Pinterest pin, you will now be able to edit it. Canva does a great job of giving sample pins in the Template section (where the arrow above is pointing). You can use one of their designs to get started and just change out what the text says, which picture you want to use, colors, etc.
You will also see templates for Pinterest video pins. Most social media platforms are moving in the direction of videos and Pinterest is no different!
When you have a template that is working well in your Pinterest analytics and is a good representation of your brand, you don’t have to recreate the wheel each time you want to pin something! Above, you will see the button to push if you want to duplicate your pin. When that is selected, it will replicate everything from your original pin so be sure to change the text copy and image to fit your next idea. You also have the option to create a brand new pin if you are still playing around with styles.
From Canva, you can publish your graphic straight to Pinterest but I prefer to download the image first just in case anything is off or needs adjusting after being viewed as a png or jpeg!
Now that your graphic is ready, it is time to officially pin it! Log in to Pinterest and select “Create Pin” from the dropdown in the top left of your screen (see circled section above).
Here is where the magic happens!
- The left side of the screen is where you will add your image. You can add just one image or video or you can create a carousel of images. The carousel is great if you want to show more angles or further details of your product.
- When you have added your image, you can click on it to tag any of your products. Since I used a cutout, flowers and greenery that are in our shop, we wanted to be sure to tag each item.
- The top right dropdown is where you select which of your Pinterest boards you want to pin to. You want to make sure your boards are clear and the pins you add to it enhance the overall vibe of the board. For example, the pin above would be very out of place in a “Spring Weddings” board!
- When adding your copy for the Title and Description, this is your opportunity to get in your key search words! Above we have made sure this pin is searchable when a pinner is looking for a “wreath”, “holiday decor”, “sola wood flowers” or a “winter” piece.
- Below the tagged items section, you will see an option to add your “Destination Link.” This is your best way to connect people looking through Pinterest directly to your shop or item!
- Not pictured (below the destination link): An option to Publish Now or Publish Later. You can plan out pins to go out days, weeks and months ahead of time!
Pin Strategy 101
By now, you know the value of Pinterest and the steps that go into creating a pin. Now, let’s talk about strategies for pin creation!
Here are some general tips we think about when working on our Pinterest board:
Keep a focal point (which has a strong, searchable keyword) in your pins. Users will be searching for specific items, so if you have a bouquet AND a centerpiece AND corsages, it may show off the breadth of your talents, but it may be much more difficult for people to find that specific item they are looking for.
While you want the majority of your pins to highlight specific products, it is also great to sprinkle in some collective shots of your work in action. For example, if you have done a photoshoot of a classic, romantic wedding, get some of those shots pinned (but be sure to tag specific product listings too!).
Remember to think about seasonal shopping trends. So, for instance, get some holiday pins up there by mid-September to better align with your shipping strategy.
Include a broad range of your products. Wedding-adjacent designs will always be popular, but don’t shy away from everyday decor, event design, and more.
Think vertically! The ideal pin is a vertical image so you will want to play with formatting and using text if the product you are highlighting works best in a square or horizontal frame.
- Don’t forget to track performance! Keep an eye on which of your pins does the best. Then, try to draw some insights as to why, and keep pinning in that direction!
And that’s it! Now go take some of your favorite photos or short videos, head over to Canva or PicMonkey, and get started! I’m looking forward to seeing all your wonderful pins.