In our other chapters in this Social Media 101 guide we have looked at setting up a Facebook Business page, creating an Instagram Business account and the first steps to using Twitter.

In this article we look Pinterest. This platform might be considered the odd one out in this guide because in actual fact, Pinterest isn’t a social media platform but more of search engine.

People who use Pinterest tend to use to search for certain trends, ideas and inspiration on their particular interest … or should that be Pinterest.

According to Hootsuite (Feb 2019), Pinterest statistics include

  • 250 million users per month
  • 85% of female users use Pinterest to ‘plan life moments’ such as wedding, new house, travel and important parties
  • 59% of users between the age of 20-35 have discovered products on Pinterest
  • 90% of all users use Pinterest to make purchase decisions.

These statistics are quite significant, not to mention exciting if you are looking to build your creative brand online and sell products. Pinterest can also be a great platform for vloggers and bloggers sharing articles about their experiences or travels, just like the award-winning travel blogger Emily Luxton uses here. Read more about our collaboration with Emily on how museums can use digital influencers to reach new audiences here.

Here is a simple guide to setting up and using Pinterest to raise your online profile and attract new audiences to your creative business or practice.

Starting out on Pinterest

If you are completely new to Pinterest, it is a good idea to start using it as a personal account first so you get the hang of the platform. All you need is your name and an email address to set up your free account. Pinterest will ask you for your preferred interests (there is usually a minimum amount you need to choose) when you set up your account. This allows Pinterest to show you pins from other users that you will be interested in on your homepage.

When you see a certain image, video or article you like the look of and want to save for later you ‘pin’ this to a board.


Once you first choose to ‘pin’ an image, video or article Pinterest will ask you to add this to a board, or create a new board. Board are one central place to keep all your interesting pictures. These can be images you have uploaded directly to Pinterest or images you have pinned from other users. You can create as many boards as you like and you can name and categorise them however you wish, such as if you are planning your wedding, refurbishing your house or have a keen interest in black & what photography for instance.

Here is an example of some boards we created using our Arts Development Company Pinterest account.

You can also be inspired by a Dorset based illustrator Octavia Bromell known as Tink Outside the Box on Pinterest who has hit over 1 million viewers and has built an extensive audience from the United States too! Take a look how Octavia uses her Pinterest account here.

You also have the option to keep a board secret so anyone following you or anyone who happens to land on your profile won’t see these boards. You might want to keep certain boards secret if 

  • They have a personal theme like wedding dress ideas or life goal inspirations. 
  • You are developing a new brand design for your company and you don’t want others to see your idea inspirations 
  • You are working on building ideas or a moodboard for a piece of work for a client that can’t be shared with the public yet.  

Uploading your own pins

As well as pinning other peoples images, videos and articles you can also upload your own. When you upload a pin you can add a title, description and a link to you website or online shop for the reader to find out more or purchase the item in the image.

Adding in a title and description is probably the most important part of the pin, because this is how people will find it on Pinterest. 

Top tip: By adding in keywords to your description of each pin is important to not only describe the item in the image, but it should include what others might type in to the Pinterest search bar. This will mean your pins will more likely be seen and saved. 

Following and Followers 

Pinterest operates similarly to other social media platforms where users can follow your account and you can opt to follow others. This means that your followers will be notified when you upload any new pins or add to or create a new board. You can also choose to follow other Pinterest users either by searching for them by name, or discovering new people by looking at the people Pinterest suggests based on the topics you like.

However, your number of followers doesn’t necessarily translate to the number of people who might see your public boards and pins. You might have only 100 followers, but the number of people who see your pins or boards might be over 1,000. This means that others have seen your pins, or seen others who have saved your pins; your reach can be much wider than your number of followers.

Switching to Pinterest Business profile

Switching to a business account on Pinterest has a few advantages. Including: 

  • Having a verified business page 

This is similar to the blue tick you see on verified accounts on Instagram and Twitter. You need a business account to apply to become verified. Once you are verified, anyone who visits your Pinterest page will see your business is legitimate and they trust that they are following (and eventually purchasing!) from a trusted source. Find out more about how to get verified here

  • Having access to analytics 

Being able to see how many times each of your pins were viewed and saved over a certain time period and by type of users who are interested in your pins will give you real insight into your online consumer base and their behaviours. It might throw up some useful insight you hadn’t been aware of before such as a different age or user location than what you first thought. Looking through your analytics often will give you a steer on what to pin and upload next from your website.

  • Being able to use rich pins

Rich pins basically mean users can click on your pin and it leads them directly to your website. (This isn’t possible from a personal account). By adding a link to your pin that leads the user directly to the page to purchase the item will generate more sales than not. 

Top Tip:The less clicks a user has to make online to find what they are looking for, the more success you will have in selling and keeping the interest of your customer for future purchases.

Switching from your personal account to a business account is simple and free to do.

Simply go into your profile and choose the big red button that says ‘Switch to business account’ option.  

Adapt your profile

From here, you will be asked to modify your personal account details by choosing a type of category for your business.

It is also a good idea to change your profile picture to your logo and your business name and short description to reflect your creative enterprise so people know it’s you when they search for you online. If you don’t want to convert your personal account to a business one, you can create a new account entirely just for your business and keep your personal one separate. You will need a separate email address for this when setting up.

Claiming your website

Claiming your website is another important part of your business account set up as it allows you access to website analytics and people to find out more about your and your content online. Another bonus is that your profile picture will show up next to any Pins that come from your site, and a small globe icon will appear next to your website URL on your profile.

Learn more about how to claim your website on Pinterest here

Other features on Pinterest 

As well as pins, boards and analytics there are other features on Pinterest you can use. 

Try a pin

On your Pinterest profile page you will see a section called ‘Tries’. This section is for you and others to share how the pin ideas turned out in real life such as a craft piece or handmade hobby. It can also serve as a useful tool for others to share how your product looks in their home or your customers wearing your product to show other potential customers how your products look in real life. Read more about Tries here

Pinterest Activity 

The activity section allows you to see what people have pinned from your website and linked accounts to Pinterest. You can keep this section public or remove it from view in your settings.

Pin images from other sites using Pinterest save button

You don’t always have to upload images (pins) directly to Pinterest. You can also save images from your own website or other websites or social media pages that you like. You can do this easily by downloading a Pinterest Save button that appears on every single you look at online if you hover over it.

Find out more about how you download your own Pinterest Save or Browser button here

Scheduling Pinterest with Tailwind

If you are finding managing your online profile is tricky to fit in with your daily working routine, you can consider using a scheduler such as Tailwind. 

Tailwind is designed specifically for scheduling your pins on Pinterest as certain times so you can reach a target audience when your busy doing other things. This also includes being able to target an overseas audience such as the US market while you sleep! 

Tailwind has a free trial option and affordable payment plans for small businesses thereafter. Find out more here 

Pinterest Ads 

As with the social media platforms we mention in our Social Media 101 guide, there are also paid advertising options on Pinterest. These can be tailored to a quite specific demographic that is inline with your target audience. You can assign your adverts to reach your preferred audience by a range of criteria including: 

  • Age 
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Interests and keywords they might search
  • And even by device such as mobile or tablet

Find out more about advertising on Pinterest here  

Are you on Pinterest? Find out more useful resources and small business ideas with us here or why not invite us to see your public boards? 

Illustration by Beatrice Simpkiss