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The Picture Perfect Guide on How to Use Pinterest

Grow your audience with this inspirational platform.

In the social media marketplace, Pinterest is often an afterthought behind Facebook and Instagram. But Pinterest has serious value to small business owners, especially because people come to the platform to get ideas—and get inspired.

This guide will discuss how to create, optimize, and strategize a Pinterest business profile. We’ll also take a look at incorporating it alongside a small business’s existing social media marketing efforts.

Why is Pinterest an impactful force in social media marketing?

Pinterest has 250 million users as of April 2019. This is just a sliver of the audience that platforms like Facebook (2.3 billion users), YouTube (1.9 billion), or Instagram (1 billion) are able to conjure up. Some marketers assume that, because of its size, Pinterest isn’t worth the effort.

Fewer users, however, means less competition. And that makes it is far easier to have your messages stand out on Pinterest than other platforms—especially if they’re crafted well.

The Pinterest audience is also very unique. According to the social media site, their platform caters well to women in the United States, particularly millennials and moms.

Their stats show that:

  • Seven in 10 millennial women are using Pinterest
  • Eight in 10 women ages 22 to 54 with high incomes will use Pinterest, even over Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat
  • Pinterest reaches 70% of moms and a third of dads in the U.S.

These are impressive numbers for these specific demographics. If you’re marketing to moms and millennial women, this is an inescapably powerful tool to reach those audiences! (Oh, and dads, too.)

The visual DIY-focused content that many Pinterest users post is easy for businesses to reproduce in their own Pinterest content strategies.

A quick overview of Pinterest

Pinterest uses some platform-specific jargon and features that you may not be familiar with. If this is your first time using the site, here’s a very quick break down of a couple of terms:

Pins: When a user saves something that they’ve found on Pinterest or the web, it becomes a “pin.” Each pin is attached to the original source via a link. Thus, linking your Pinterest content to your website can produce great referral traffic.

Boards: Boards helps pinners (Pinterest users) keep their pins organized. When a pin is saved, the user can choose what board they’d like to pin it on. With your Pinterest business account, you’ll also make boards that include lots of interesting pinned images and graphics. pinners can choose to follow your entire account or a specific board that they like.

How to create and optimize a Pinterest business account

The steps to creating a Pinterest business account are very easy, but there are a few areas that need some extra attention. Just follow these steps:

1. Create the account

First, create a business Pinterest account, which gives you access to business-focused features like follower analytics, advertising, and more. You can also convert an existing Pinterest account into a business account to take advantage of these features.

This initial account creation step will ask for basic information about your business. You’ll supply an email and password for your account, tell Pinterest the name of the business, select a category that your business falls under, and provide your business’s website address. (This last step is optional.)

When prompted, select some topics that describe the types of content that you want to post. Don’t be afraid to choose more than one category, as this can help users better understand your profile as well as find your content.

2. Finish your profile

Now that you have the foundation of your profile, you’ll need to add some information. When you find your Pinterest account settings, you’ll be able to complete the areas that are still blank.

Profile image: The best image you can choose is a picture of your business’s logo. This will appear next to your profile and alongside pins that users pull from your website or boards. The optimal image size is 165 x 165 pixels.

Username: Ideally, your username will be the same as your business name, but it’s possible that another business or user already claimed that username. The username will be used in the link to your Pinterest account (, so it’s very important to pick something short and immediately recognizable as your business or brand.

Location: It’s best to include both the city and state because pins can be geotargeted. People can search for pins based on certain areas, and you want your pins to populate for the area you’re in.

About you: This is the section that you’ll want to spend a little extra time on. Pinterest limits users, even business users, to only 160 characters for their “About” section. This gives you 2 to 3 short sentences to explain your business, what you offer, and what pinners can expect from your account.

3. Claim your website and social media accounts

Did you know that you can extract value from Pinterest before you even create your first post?

In fact, you may already have users pinning content from your website or other social media accounts! To find out, you need to confirm that you’re the owner of your website. Pinterest will ask that you copy and paste some text into the HTML of your website’s index page.

If you need help claiming your website and pasting the text, Pinterest offers this great resource.

Once the platform verifies that you’ve done this, you can begin seeing what people have pinned from your website. Your Pinterest logo and account will also appear next to these pins. This is a great first step in growing your reach on Pinterest.

You can also claim your Instagram, Etsy, and YouTube accounts, which will further add to the impact and reach of your Pinterest efforts—and help connect all of your social media experiences together.

4. Create your first pin and board

Now it’s time for you to create your first pin (and for the fun to begin). The anatomy of a pin can be broken down into several parts:

Visual asset: This is what you’ll be pinning, whether it’s a video, graphic, or image. You can drag and drop or click the open space to upload directly from your computer or device. The platform recommends that images are high quality, use the .jpg format, and are less than 32 MB. For videos, they recommend .mp4 files that are less than 2 GB.

Alternatively, you can click the “Save from site” button. This allows you to pin content from an outside website (including your own). Just enter the link and Pinterest will find all of the possible pictures and/or videos on that page. Then you can choose the content asset that you want.

Title: Your pin title can be 100 characters long, but only the first 30 characters will show up before it is cut off in pinners’ feeds. It’s best to keep it under the 30-character mark—or to include the most important information first. You can also take advantage of emoji, as these only take up 1 character but tell viewers a lot.

Description: A description of a pin can be 500 characters, which is a good amount of space to explain whatever it is that you’re pinning. Again, however, the description will be truncated after a certain character limit, so a pinner has to click “See more” to view the rest. So be sure to make those first couple of sentences count!

Destination link: Where do you want pinners to visit when they’ve seen your pin?

Pinterest board: Don’t forget to also select a board for this pin to show up on. If you don’t have any boards yet—or you want to create a new one—you can click “Create board” next to another large, red plus sign. Remember, pinners can choose to follow one of your boards instead of the entire account itself, so it’s smart to have multiple boards for different categories.

Publishing time: You can choose to publish a pin now or at a later date. Scheduling posts for later can be a great way to stay organized and ensure that your account is actively publishing content for the next couple of days (or even weeks).

Additional Pinterest content strategies

Having trouble getting started? Here’s a few Pinterest strategies to think about.


Let followers on your other social media accounts know that you’re active on Pinterest. You can also add a “Pin It” button on your website so customers can pin their favorite products to their boards and help expand your reach.

Create a board for testimonials

People love hearing how great your business is from other consumers. Creating a board just for testimonials is an excellent strategy to create this social proof.

Pin promo codes

When we think of Pinterest, we think of pictures and videos. But you can also pin a picture of a promo code and help your pinners save money.

Engage with followers

Every social media platform, Pinterest included, is an online community. Participation in that community is an important way to gain followers and improve brand awareness. Engage with your own audiences but also find Pinterest users in similar spaces and interact with their content. You may be able to forge connections with powerful influencers in the Pinterest community.

Reach more potential customers

Pinterest is a thriving social media platform that many businesses strive to connect with. Plus, creating content on Pinterest is fast and easy. You’ll save time, face less competition, and connect with strategic segments of your audience.

Now that you’ve conquered the basics, get pinning!

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