The Marketing Power of Pinterest [UPDATE]

Besides just being plain addicting, Pinterest is an incredible marketing tool. The site has become one of the most popular social media sites of 2011, and will get even bigger in 2012. In fact, in 2012 expect to see brands and businesses flocking to Pinterest.

This tutorial will cover:

  • How using Pinterest benefits your business
  • Ideas for using Pinterest
  • How to add a Pinterest button to your site
  • Tips for using Pinterest

What is Pinterest?

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Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you can organize and share cool things you find on the web. It’s great for design ideas, fashion and style ideas, color, fonts, packaging, planning a wedding – anything you can think of. Many people use Pinterest to find inspiration for all of these things.

You can browse Pinboards by other people too. It’s easy to use, just add the Pinterest button to your browser tool bar, and start pinning. When you pin from a website, it automatically grabs the image and adds a credit to the owner/creator.

How Pinterest Works

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To join Pinterest you need an invite. On the top of home page there is a “Request Invite” option. You can view items without being a member, you just won’t be able to “repin” or share.

In most cases you will receive an invitation to join shortly after requesting and invite.

Organize your favorite things

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You can organize your favorite things by adding Pins to your created Boards by Pinning and Re-pinning items. You also have the option of just Liking an item.

What is a Pin

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A Pin is an image or video, from a website that is uploaded by you.


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A Re-Pin is something that was Pinned by another user, that you can add to your boards by Re-Pinning.
You can also tag another Pinterest user by using @ in front of their username.

Create Boards

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You create Boards to organize your Pins. You can follow boards that have been created by others, and users can follow your boards as well.


Similar to Twitter, you can follow other users, and others can follow you as well. If you sign up for Pinterest with your Twitter or Facebook login, Pinterest will display a list of Twitter followers and Facebook friends who are on Pinterest and give you the option of following them.

You can also follow other Pinterest users boards.

How to Pin on Pinterest

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Drag the bookmarklet to the browser

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The Pin Window

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  1. Add a description
  2. Choose a board to add it to
  3. Share on Facebook or Twitter

Pin with the iPhone app

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Take or upload an image

Add the Pin

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  1. Add a description
  2. Choose a board to add it to
  3. Geo Tag the image
  4. Share on Facebook or Twitter

How being on Pinterest benefits your business

Pinterest is an incredible viral tool and visual platform which makes it perfect for businesses like photographers and designers. Being on Pinterest can help:

Get Discovered and drive more traffic to your site
When an image from your site gets Pinned, that Pin links back to that page on your site. Links can also be added to the pin description box.

Links help SEO
Link Building is a major part of search engine optimization. Off site links to your site are a big factor in how well your site ranks in the search engines. Along with that, social mentions now factor into to search engine ranking.

The Pinned links from your site, get a “followed” link back to your website. Because Pinterest has a very high domain authority that makes incoming links to your site even more valuable.

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Follow vs No-Follow Links
No-follow links, are link attributes that can be set by site owners that instruct search engines not to let these links influence the targeted links search engine ranking.

Follow links of course do the opposite. Which is what makes Pinterest a valuable SEO tool.

Keep in mind that just posting images with links back to your site, isn’t necessarily going to drive traffic to your site. The goal isn’t to get a better search rank number. The goal is providing value and brand awareness. This is done by curating content that is engaging and useful for clients and prospects.

Market Research
Get an insiders look at what people like, especially your target market. Keeping up on this can give you insight and help you create products and images, and also seeing which images people are sharing is valuable insight as well.

How to find items that have been Pinned from your website

Go to and you will be able to see everything that has been pinned from your site.

Tips & Ideas for using Pinterest

Create board names related products and services that you offer

  • Show how your products are used: Ideas for displaying art and images at home, ideas for albums, greeting card design ideas, Decorating Your Home With Portraits
  • Have a board with clothing ideas. Don’t forget to add a good description to each pin so it can be found through search
  • Session Ideas – pose ideas, locations for shoots
  • Hair styles
  • Make-up tips

When you create a board, you can add a description for the board as well – again, take advantage of this for search.

Pin Session Images
Only pin your best images, and pin a variety. Make sure to add a description with a link back to your site. Remember, people search Pinterest so add a description that users would use to search.

Inspiration/Mood boards
This board is perfect for pinning images that inspire your work. Clients and potential clients like to see this as well.

Holiday Wish Lists
Pinterest is often used to plan for big events or occassions. Take advantage of this by creating a board around these things.

New products
If you are releasing a new product – post teaser images

Post Videos
Videos can be posted on Pinterest too. You could create a video on how to use a product, makeup tips, clothing advice – something helpful. For example, “How to hang a framed image.”

Don’t just use Pinterest as tool to broadcast product promotions. Pinterest is about sharing things you love, not talking about yourself. It’s ok to share your images, but anything that is overly promotional won’t work on Pinterest.

Partner Businesses & Clients
Pin and Re-Pin client images, and other businesses you work with. Share things from other local businesses, especially ones that you are interested in partnering with.

Encourage clients to pin and share
Like all your other social media sites, let clients know you’re on Pinterest, and encourage them to share or Pin things from your site.

Adding Pinterest to your site

Adding Pinterest follow and share buttons to your site can grow your following there and it encourages users to share – which of course drives more traffic to your site.

Adding a follow badge

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Select the type of button you’d like to display, then copy the code.
Paste the code into your site, where you’d like the button displayed.

If you’re using WordPress, the sidebar widget or end of your blog posts are good places to display.


You can display the Pinterest icon with your other social media links

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Adding a Pin-it button to your site – Update

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There are a couple of ways you can add a Pin-it button to your site. Right now, there are not a lot of plugins out there, or social sharing tools that have a Pinterest option. However I expect there will be more available in the near future and I will post an update when something becomes available.


Add code to your post or page

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The example above is a gallery from a Hi-Fi WordPress Theme. I found this code using a tutorial on Clickin Moms.

I uploaded a Pinterest Icon to the WordPress Media Library. Then I added a link to the icon into the code below (in bold), and pasted the code into the html window in the post editor. This option works if you are using the button on a few pages. It would be a bit more of a hassle to do on every blog post.

Copy and paste the code below into the WordPress editor window (copy the text between the <code> and </code>)

<code><a href=”javascript:void((function(){var%20e=document.createElement(‘script’);e.setAttribute(‘type’,’text/javascript’);e.setAttribute(‘charset’,’UTF-8′);e.setAttribute(‘src’,’’+Math.random()*99999999);document.body.appendChild(e)})());”><img src=”” alt=”Pin It” /></a></code>

The item in bold is this image:

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Download this button and upload to use the Pinterest Button on your site.

Pinterest also has code that you can copy and paste

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I found the Pinterest snippet not as reliable as the first snippet of code. Plus it requires you to enter link and image information for each page or post that you want to use this on.

Pin it on Pinterest WordPress Plugin

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At the time of writing this, there are only a few plugins with Pinterest sharing, and the Pin It On Pinterest plugin is the only one that has worked for me so far. Like I mentioned above, I expect that to change soon.

Install the Plugin, like any other WordPress Plugin.

Once the plugin is activated, there will be a meta box on the post page. The video below gives you a walk through of the plugin.

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2/3 NEW – Pinterest Plugin

I new plugin for Pinterest was just recently released for WordPress. I have tried this one out on a couple different sites and it works really well. I like that it works just like the Pin It browser tool, and that the settings are more flexible. Here is a link to the Pinterest Pin It Plugin.

Add a description and upload an image

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A Pin It button is now added to that blog post

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This is the window that pops up when the Pin It button is added. You can see the description along with the image you just selected.

If you choose not to add an image or description, then there will be no Pin It button that shows on the post.

It’s a bit of an extra step, and the best solution I have found so far, besides manually adding the code. On the upside, you control the image and description that gets shared, and by having a pre-filled description you make it easy for the person Pinning.

This plugin, works a little different from the Pin It browser button, in that the person Pinning does not get to choose an image to Pin, they can only Pin the image you select.

How other brands are using Pinterest

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Lands End is using Pinterest for a Holiday contest promo.
West Elm – curates ideas on modern home decorating and style
BHLDN – Urban Outfitters new wedding line – has boards dedicated to inspiration for anything weddings
Nordstrom uses Pinterest to showcase upcoming fashion trends


pinit The Marketing Power of Pinterest [UPDATE]




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