Pinning for Fun? Why Not Becoming a Pinterest Expert

Pinterest Best Practices for Beginners and Not Only

Pinterest is providing amazing results for small business owners who have jumped on the bandwagon. If you want to use Pinterest to gain influence then you need to be strategic in your actions. As you get started with Pinterest understand what you’re doing and do it with purpose. Pinterest can drive traffic to your website, products, services and more, but you need to go about it the right way.  

#1. Know Your Audience 

audienceIt’s not enough to simply know how to use Pinterest. You also need to learn how to conduct market research. It’s an imperative, if you want to understand your audience. If you don’t know who you want to influence, it’s hard to know how to proceed. Take the time to research your market so that you know who they are, what they like, and what they like to do on Pinterest. Your market is the group of people who are interested in the products or services that you want to promote. The products and services that you want to promote should be solutions to your niche market. If you can provide solutions to a group of people that really work you are bound to become influential.  

#2. Set Realistic and Specific Goals

set-goalsBefore you get started with creating even your first board, it’s important to understand what you hope to accomplish with the board. Do you want to get more followers, get more traffic, cause some other action? Know what it is so that you can create relevant boards. Once you know what your goal is, write it down in a very specific way. Remember that a goal should be possible and specific. Your goal in this case is to become an authority, or influential person to your niche using Pinterest as the catalyst. Write down what you are going to do on Pinterest to achieve those goals. How many boards are you going to create per week or month? What will the topics of the boards be? How will you create the boards? Will you hire someone, or will you do it yourself? What data will you use to create the boards? Be specific, and you will succeed.   

#3. Define Your Boards by Subject, Topic or Category 

boardsEach board should have its own topic or subject. That’s how you keep them organized and relevant to different segments of your audience. Every board should be relevant to your overall audience. Just like you have different categories on your blog, or pages on your website, so you should also have different boards on Pinterest. Start with four or five different boards covering the different categories that you have determined are important to your audience. Most people will not follow every board. They will choose a specific board to follow. Once you create a board, ensure that you keep it updated on a regular basis. Starting with more than four or five boards will be too much work because you want to keep boards updated so choose your categories and topics carefully.  

#4. Be Visually Creative with Your Boards 

creativeDepending on what type of business you have it can sometimes be hard to come up with creative ideas. In order to be super creative use mind maps and other brainstorming ideas to come up with ways to present your information graphically. The more original pins you can create the better. If your pins are created by you then it will show as you being the originator so when it’s shared people have the opportunity to find you. Your creativity will really matter when it comes to creating boards. Pinterest, as you know, is a very visual medium. You’ll have to think outside the box to create images that represent the message you want to send to your audience. If you want people to pin your blog posts, ensure that you’ve added a creative visual element to encourage pinning.  

#5. Engage and Be Engaging with Your Followers 

social_mediaPinterest is social media, and the idea of social media is to be, guess what? Social. Therefore, interaction is key getting people to re-pin your Pinterest content and to follow you. When you think about social media realize that it’s a conversation you’re having with your audience on a regular basis. You wouldn’t just ignore comments made to your face, don’t ignore them made on Pinterest. Don’t just communicate on your own boards either. Engage with others on their boards, and mention people by name when relevant. It’s a great way to keep the conversation going, and bring other people in. Sharing, commenting, and being social is what social media is all about so ensure that you are engaging, in more ways than one.  

#6. To Be Super Influential Seek To Be The Hub 

google-hangoutBeing seen as information nucleus of information that’s interesting to your audience should be one of your goals when seeking to influence others. To succeed, you need to study what they need to know and want to know. That may mean creating new boards, but it might also mean curating other boards of interest for your audience. You can not only curate other people’s information, but your own too. People are very visual and this lets you curate the information in a beautiful way. If you are super organized, and only allow the best quality information to be on your boards, you are creating an image for yourself too. The image of an someone who can influence others.  

#7. Give Credit Where Credit is Due 

When you use an image or idea from someone else, always be kind and credit the information. If they have a “pin it” button on their site you can assume they want you to pin it, but it’s nice to give credit where credit is due. When Pinterest started there was a lot of buzz about plagiarism and copyright infringement. You can avoid any problems with this by following a few simple rules. Only re-pin other people’s stuff, don’t down load it to your computer, then upload it back as an original board or pin. Try taking your own pictures, or using only legal images in the boards and pins that you create. Be sure to credit properly all images that you use. Don’t separate an image from the creator without express permission to do so. Even when given permission it’s a good idea to credit the source. (Note: Watermark your own creations with your name and website information to avoid being copied.)  

#8. Nothing’s Done until the Numbers are Evaluated 

computerIt’s kind of like the saying that “Nothing is complete until the paperwork is done.” Well, paperwork always involves numbers. As such, nothing can be deemed successful (or a failure) without studying the metrics. Look at how many followers you get for different actions. How many people re-pin something you’ve pinned. Can you figure out why they re-pin one thing over another? How many people pin a blog post with no images compared to an infographic? How many click-throughs you receive and any other factor that can help you determine the effectiveness of your boards is an important metric to understand. Pinterest has its own analytics tools today that are quite good at giving you the information you need. That combined with Google Analytics and there isn’t much you can’t determine by looking at the numbers. If you want to be a real influencer and an authority in your niche, it’s important to know what is working and what is not working. Getting started with a goal in mind, and developing your Pinterest presence over time will reap many more benefits than going in without a clue as to the direction you want to go. Having goals and understanding your topic and your audience will go far in helping you pin your way to influence. One way to become more influential is to build your following.

Building Brand Authority with Pinterest


Using Pinterest offers you a unique opportunity to influence your audience and build the visual message of your brand. Pinterest is free to use and since it has over 70 million users, you have a large audience to reach out to. This is also an audience that has money to spend. With over 25 percent of the majority female audience having household incomes of over 100K per year and a bigger buying mindset than any other social media, it would be crazy to miss out.

Becoming a major influence on Pinterest is more than being an everyday user; you will be taking advantage of every tool and benefit Pinterest has to offer. During which you will discover that Pinterest may be the best opportunity to help you build influence with your target audience.

  • 2-insightsGain Consumer Insights — Using Pinterest to test marketability of new product or service ideas is an excellent way to gain consumer insights that will help you improve your brand visibility. Using Pinterest analytics will help you know how many people pinned your information from your site, and what pins are most popular right now among all pins being pinned. If you have insight into what your audience wants and needs you’ll be that much more likely to become an influence to your market. 
  • Make Valuable Connections — By creating a group board you can invite others to contribute to your board, creating a valuable way to connect with other movers and shakers. Even with regular boards, if you are creative enough and promote it well enough you can connect with others and become the influencer. 
  • Develop Authority — By demonstrating your knowledge about a certain topic through your boards, and through the boards and pins that you share from others you can become a thought leader in your industry. 
  • Get More Traffic — There is no doubt that Pinterest, when used right is a dynamo at helping improve traffic to your online real estate. Most businesses report getting more traffic from Pinterest than any other social media. 
  • Showcase Your Work — Boards are a great way to demonstrate what you do. If you have a visual business it will be easier but there is no reason you can’t create visual elements to any number of bits of data focused toward your audience. 
  • Get New Product Ideas — Surfing around Pinterest looking at other people’s boards and pins will enable you to spark ideas for new products. People who are on Pinterest are product and service minded, therefore you will find a lot of wish lists and vision boards that can give you terrific ideas. 

There are so many benefits to using Pinterest that it’s hard to list them all, but I think you get the idea. Using Pinterest can help you build the authority you need to become an influential voice in your niche.

10 Creative Ways to use Pinterest for Business

Pinterest_for_BusinessPinterest is the fastest website in history to hit more than 10 million unique monthly visitor – Faster than Facebook, faster than Twitter and faster than Google. It went from 4.8 million unique in November 2011 to 11 million in January 2012, a mere three months.

While many business people consider Pinterest to be a small site, it’s really not. Its user base is already huge and it’s growing at an astoundingly fast face. Business owners simply can’t afford to ignore Pinterest anymore.

Over 80% of Pinterest users are women. Pinterest is a powerful tool for interacting with female buyers and decision makers online. Here are ten creative ways to use Pinterest for your business.

1 – Buzz for Your Product with a Photo Contest


Pinterest is a great platform for contests. You can use it in conjunction with another tool like Facebook to organize the details of the contest.

Host a contest for the best pin of pictures of your product or wearing your logo gear being used in the real world. People from all over the world will pin photos of your product in action or sharing your brand, bringing in more traffic and free branding.


2 – Become an Authority on Pinterest


Much like on Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere, one of the best ways to get attention is by providing high quality content.

If there’s an industry you know like the back of your hand, create content-based boards that give other people ideas and help solve problems. Keep doing this until people see you as an authority on Pinterest.


3 – Shopping Lists


Create helpful shopping lists. For example, let’s say you run a party supply company.

You might create a Pinterest board for each different kind of party: Kids’ party, surprise party, office party, etc.

For each party, create pins as shopping lists. For example, a kid’s party would need a cake, party hats, noise blowers, confetti and so on.

Provide real value with your pins and if it’s appropriate you can slip your own products in there.


4 – Add the Price Tag to Suggest a Gift


Have you noticed how some items on Pinterest have a price tag on them? You can do this just by adding the price in the description while using the $ symbol.

For example, if you say “This bowl only $9.99” the price tag $9.99 will appear on the image and it will also appear in the “Gifts” category.


5 – Market Research


Use Pinterest as a market research tool.

What are your customers thinking? What do they want to buy? What are their hopes and dreams? What products are trending?

Figuring out the answers to these questions has traditionally been quite tough.

With Pinterest however, you have a live feed of exactly what everyone in your target market is thinking about and cares about right now.



6 – Product Bundles


Use Pinterest to create product bundles. Group several different items together and promote the whole package as a bundle.

You can even put out product bundles on a regular basis. For example, if every week people know that you’ll have four product bundles out, they’ll subscribe to your feed to see if you release a bundle that they’ll be interested in.

7 – Future Product Ideas


What kind of ideas is your company considering?

One way to let your users participate in the decision making process is to just throw up all the possible ideas on a Pinterest board.

If there are ten different products and ten different directions your company could take, just throw them all up there and let your customers decide.


8 – Coupon Pinboard


A coupon pinboard can help you give value to your customers by helping them save money while giving you a chance to promote your own products.

Create a pinboard out of all the coupons and discount codes you can find in your industry. Slip a couple of your own in there as well. Customers who’re looking to cut costs will come, find your pin board and buy from both your recommendations and from your company.


9 – Show the Behind the Scenes


How is your product made? What does your back office look like? Who runs the company? What ingredients or components go into your product?

Believe it or not, consumers are actually very curious about the behind the scenes of the products they purchase. One fun and education pin board you could create is the “making of” photos of your products.


10 – Vision Board


Create a pin board of where you want your company to go in one, five and ten years. Use this to guide your decisions and boost employee moral.

What products do you want to be selling? What customers do you want to be serving? What countries do you want to operate out of? What size do you want your business to scale to? What should your office look like?


How Following on Pinterest Works


One of the core features of Pinterest is the ability to follow other people’s pins. By following them, you cause their pins to appear in your feed. They’ll also see that you’re following them, making it more likely that they’ll follow you in return. Here’s how to find people and boards to follow.

Finding People You Know

If you have already connected your Facebook account to your Pinterest account, it’s easy to find people you know. To find and follow the pins of your existing connections, just hover your mouse over your name in the upper right corner. This causes the drop-down menu to appear. Click “Find Friends.”


You’ll be taken to a page with all your friends’ names displayed. Just click “Follow” to follow them.


NOTE: When you choose to follow a specific person, this will have you follow all their boards and their pins. Alternatively, you can choose to follow specific boards only.

Follow Specific Boards Only

What if you only want to follow a specific board and not all of a person’s pins? You can do that and it’s a feature that’s useful if you only have some interests in common. Just click on their name, which will bring you to their profile page.

On their profile page, choose the specific board you want to follow and click “Follow” at the bottom of that board’s detail.

If, it at some later point, you want to follow all the boards of the individual, just go to their profile and click “Follow” from that page, instead of just on the board.


Finding Boards from People You Don’t Know

One rich source of images and ideas is boards by other people. People you don’t know. To find these boards, just click “Everything” along the top. A drop-down menu will appear with the topics of all the boards you might be interested in. Pick a topic.


A large feed of boards will appear. Click on a specific board to open the board. Click on a name to view that person’s profile. If you see a board or person you like, just follow them by clicking “follow” as shown above.

By selectively following people who pique your interest, you’ll be able to create a diverse, interesting and stimulating feed of pins for you on your home page.

That’s all it takes to start following people and just like it’s easy to follow them, you can remove a board or person from your stream, just as easily.


Pinterest and Potential Copyright Concerns


One of the big concerns that plagues the Pinterest community is the question of copyright. Simply grabbing an image off the web and putting it on a board could be perceived as copyright infringement.

Is Pinterest legal?

At the moment, there is no concrete court ruling that answers one way or the other. These are the most important things you need to know about Pinterest copyright issues before you jump right in and get started.

User Holds All Copyright Risks

Pinterest does not take responsibility for the content on its website.

According to Pinterest’s Terms of Service, the user takes explicit responsibility for any and all images that are posted on their Pinterest account.

By using Pinterest, the user agrees that in the case of a copyright lawsuit they and they alone are responsible.

Here’s an excerpt from the terms:

“[Y]ou either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content, as contemplated under these Terms.”

Furthermore, Pinterest’s Terms of Service agreement say that not only is the user responsible for any damages and legal fees that arise out of a lawsuit, but they’re responsible for Pinterest’s legal fees as well if Pinterest gets sued as a result of a copyright infringement on their account.

Is Pinterest “Fair Use?”

Again, there is no precedent setting case for Pinterest yet. However, the rough consensus by the lawyers who’ve looked at Pinterest say “probably not.”

In order for the use of an image to fall under fair use, the image must be used for parody, journalistic reporting, for commenting, for teaching or for research.

While a case can be made that Pinterest is a means of commenting on an image, it’s a weak argument. Most lawyers agree that Pinterest probably does not fall under the fair use act.

Kelly vs. Arriba Soft Corp – Thumbnails

One case that’s often brought up in relation to Pinterest is Kelly vs. Arriba Soft Corp, where a search engine was sued for using thumbnails of images. The court ruled that the defendant was not guilty of infringement, because they only published thumbnails and not the entire images.

However, this case does not really set a precedent for Pinterest, because Pinterest actually stores the entire image on their servers.

While a loose connection can be made between the Kelly vs. Arriba Soft Corp case and Pinterest, most legal experts also agree that this case doesn’t give Pinterest much protection.

Appropriate Image Credit May Not Be Provided

Pinterest is a thriving community because users can pin images they find and they can also repin images. The ability to provide appropriate credit for images sources relies on the person who originally pinned the content to provide that appropriate credit.


To break it down, here are a couple of examples of potential issues:


  • Instead of pinning from a website, a user decides to save the image to their computer and upload the pin. The original “pinner” has not provided appropriate credit for the image. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Once anyone else repins the image will further perpetrate the problem.


  • Licenses to use specific images are often negotiated through 3rd parties. For example, if a blogger purchases a license to a stock photo, the blogger is usually only allowed to publish that photo on their own website. They do not have the license to allow others to republish that photo, but through the use of Pinterest, this can happen. So while someone might pin a photo on a blog post and provide appropriate credit to the blog post, the blogger is not the actual source of the image.


There are many other scenarios that can play out and can potentially be problematic. It’s definitely something to think about with your participation in Pinterest.


Site Owners Can Opt Out

 To combat copyright issues, Pinterest has recently crafted a special piece of code that allows site owners to prevent their images from being pinned. The code looks like this and should be placed in the header of your HTML.

<meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin” />

When someone attempts to pin a photo from a website with this coding on it, they will see message that looks this:

Of course this won’t necessarily stop copyright lawsuits as it requires website owners to be aware of the code. It also doesn’t preclude people from simply going to Google Images and pinning the images from there instead. However, it is one small step in the right direction for website owners who don’t want their content pinned.

So the question remains…is Pinterest legal? Or does it promote copyright infringement? Right now Pinterest lies in a legal grey area that will likely need to get cleared up as the site progresses.


Pinterest is an extremely fast growing website that’s only going to get more and more relevant as time passes. Are you ready to get involved?


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