A Beginner’s Step-by-Step Guide for Selling on Pinterest

Pinterest provides visual inspiration on an infinite scroll. It's a great place to market your business if it has a visual component, especially since users share your ideas with friends and family.

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Pinterest is a source of inspiration for crafting ideas, gardening projects, and other interesting topics. It's also a great platform to sell, with over 250 million users. This platform brings in more social media traffic than Twitter and is only beat out by Facebook. Shopping is also a top priority for 48% of Pinterest users. Using Pinterest to sell products can help improve your sales.

Selling on Pinterest isn’t difficult. If you already know how to advertise on social media, you can apply many of those principles on Pinterest. If you are unfamiliar with social media advertising, these simple steps will teach you how to sell there.


Overview: What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a visual discovery search engine for finding ideas such as gardening tips, recipes, style, and home decor inspiration. There are billions of pins on Pinterest that can lead you to find ideas that will spark your imagination. As you discover pins, you can save them to boards to organize your ideas.

Pinterest has a home feed where you'll discover pins, people, and businesses recommended to you based on your activity. The search function allows you to type in keywords to find ideas that others have pinned. For example, if you type birthday party in the search bar, you'll see ideas for birthday party decor, party food, gift ideas, and recipes.

People can pin pictures, videos, articles, and even products. As products get pinned and shared, they also get purchased. This makes Pinterest a great place to sell.


Is selling on Pinterest right for my business?

Before you create a ton of boards for your business on Pinterest, assess whether Pinterest is the right social media platform for your business. The first thing to consider is whether your target audience uses Pinterest. Is your business visual? Do pictures represent your product or service well?

6 reasons to sell on Pinterest

It may seem strange to think about Pinterest boards as a sales outlet, but they work well. Not only can you sell products through Pinterest boards, but you can also drive traffic to your website, improve your website rankings, and conduct market research on Pinterest.

1. Pinterest converts more browsers into buyers

Pinterest reduces the number of steps from discovery to conversion. Visitors from Pinterest are more likely to convert into sales or leads faster than other social media sites. Pinterest is a big, visual search engine. People often use it during the research phase of their customer journey.

2. Pinterest drives traffic

Pinterest is a great tool to increase links back to your website — one of the most effective social media tools for driving traffic to a website. This will help to improve your website rankings and drive more traffic to your site.

But you'll need great content to drive traffic. If you're creating and sharing content that your audience loves, they'll follow your links. The best content on Pinterest starts with quality images.

3. Pins get you more inbound links

Since every pin is a link, it makes it easy to lead back to the source of the image. Imagine how many visitors you can bring to your website by posting all the images of your products on Pinterest. You can get creative and pair your images with photos of people using them on boards.

4. User engagement is very high

Pinterest users are happy to find and share things with small groups of people. This means your pins are more likely to be seen by your target audience, and they're more likely to go viral.

5. Pinterest integrates with your website and other social media

The ability to communicate across platforms allows users to share pins on Facebook or Twitter as well as their own boards. This expands the number of people who will see your pins. Don’t get carried away on this one, and make sure each post fits into your social media strategy.

6. Discover what your audience loves

Pinterest allows you to discover what's trending right now. You can follow anyone who follows you and learn what inspires and interests them. This gives you a first person look into their thinking. You will learn what's hot now and use that information to position your offers and products.

3 reasons selling on Pinterest may not be right for you

Pinterest doesn't work for every business. Let’s face it, each business has its own unique business model that's as different as our fingerprints. If your target market isn’t on Pinterest, don’t waste your time creating pins and boards.

1. Target market isn’t on Pinterest

A whopping 71% of Pinterest users are female. The median age range of Pinterest users is 40, but the majority of active pinners is below 40. If you're targeting men in their fifties, they aren’t likely to be using Pinterest very often. You may have more success using another social media platform or marketing strategy.

2. Business isn’t visual

While mouth-watering cakes and decadent pies are highly likely to get pinned and shared, accounting financial charts may not be topping the charts on Pinterest. If your business doesn’t have a visual component to it, Pinterest may not be the best platform for your social media campaign.

3. Success on another social media platform

If you're on multiple platforms and not seeing success, it isn’t the time to get started with Pinterest. Focus on creating success on one social media platform. Once you're ready to grow your business, you can dedicate more time to building an audience on Pinterest. Additionally, if you are already seeing success on another social media platform, expand that rather than try to generate a new audience.


How to sell on Pinterest

Before you jump into selling on Pinterest, there are a few things you need to complete. You need to have your framework in place, and you need to have the right kind of photos to do well on Pinterest.

1. Create an online store

Whether you're using Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest for marketing, you need to start out with an online store. This allows you to showcase your products and make transactions.

Setting up an online store can be intimidating. E-commerce software makes setting up your store simple and easy. If you don’t want to design the entire website, you can select from a variety of templates for your online store. For example, Kylie Cosmetics, used the Q3 Main Theme template for their Shopify store. The niche store, Shhhowercap, was built using the Squarespace Pacific Family template.

2. Set up a Pinterest business account

A Pinterest business account gives you access to the Pinterest Business Hub. It features analytics and top pins, and it allows you to connect your account to your online store.

3. Connect to your online store

The next step is to connect your business account to your online store. This lets you pull the product information you need from your store and tag pins.

Each e-commerce software platform, such as Shopify or Squarespace, has a slightly different way to connect their store to Pinterest. For most, you go to settings, select integrations and then choose Pinterest. Shopify has a dedicated app that will add Shopify to your dashboard. Simply follow the prompts to install it.

4. Organize your Pinterest boards

Pinterest is described by many as a visual discovery engine. It's a place to explore, save, and organize things. Saved images become pins when they’re saved to collections. Collections become boards.

It's important to organize boards that represent your business and use targeted keywords. This will help get your visuals into circulation and help customers find you. Keep in mind that Pinterest is similar to a search engine. Quality is key. It's important to have boards composed of beautiful and appropriate pins.

5. Use Product Pins

Product Pins help you sell on Pinterest. They connect to your online store and give the consumer access to your product catalog. Product Pins tags products in images.

Your online store generates metadata on its product pages which contains information on the price and description. When a product is featured in a Pinterest image, all that information will be pulled through. These are known as Product Rich Pins.

6. Set up an ad

Pinterest has a lot of organic traffic, but advertising can ensure your pins are seen by a target market. Promote your pins by going to ads.pinterest.com, where you can create ad campaigns for your pins.

Setting up an ad is simple. The Ads Manager walks you through selecting campaign goals, budget, and target demographics.

7. Use great images

Pinterest is a visual discovery platform, so people are looking for great photos and ideas. Make sure your photos are bright, colorful, and stand out. Photography needs to pop on Pinterest. Include the alt text with your images so people can discover them.

Feature the product being used in photos. Pins that feature the product are 67% more likely to convert to sales.

8. Track social media metrics

If you're serious about selling on Pinterest, track your social media metrics. New trends always emerge that will increase your exposure. Regular management is vital to stay on top of your sales.

Pinterest has a great analytics tool for business owners in the Analytics section of your business account. It provides you with information on paid ads and organic reach including the following.

  • Top pins
  • Top boards
  • Paid impressions
  • Outbound clicks
  • Engagement

Creating regular reports will keep you focused. It's important to understand reach vs. impressions. When certain types of posts consistently perform better, create similar ones. If something isn't working, you can always change direction. Social media management tools can help you maintain consistency with your posting.


Sales success on Pinterest

Pinterest can be a great social media outlet to help you sell more in your e-commerce business. The potential is enormous, especially if your target market actively uses Pinterest. The long-term success of your Pinterest marketing depends on posting quality pins and engaging your followers. Share beautiful and inspiring images accompanied by effective keywords to attract potential customers.

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