5 Pinterest Tips for Small Business Owners

Online pinboard site Pinterest reportedly has more than 70 million users – expert Danny Maloney says small businesses in almost any industry can use the platform to connect with customers.

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Maloney, the CEO of Pinterest analytics and marketing firm Tailwind, says despite Pinterest’s reputation as a go-to site for women-focused topics like fashion, food and weddings, Pinterest has a little something for everyone.

“There’s a huge variety. Our largest industries are retail and food -- some of the ones you might expect – but we also see everything from law firms to real estate agents, to one guy who sells food truck insurance,” says Maloney, describing Tailwind’s customers.

Regardless of the type of business you run, Maloney says there are some general guidelines business owners should follow. Here are his top five tips for mastering Pinterest:

No. 1: Be patient.

Maloney says business owners need to think of their Pinterest efforts as a long-term investment.

“There’s a lot of hype around social media, and people think they are going to post pins, and overnight there will be tons of profits coming in,” says Maloney. “It doesn’t work that way! It takes time to build up your presence.”

The good thing is that he says pins have a longer shelf-life than tweets, for instance. “The average pin lives for multiple weeks or months,” says Maloney, meaning that users will still be able to easily find content you posted on Pinterest in the past.

No. 2: Think quality over quantity.

Because pins have a longer shelf-life, Maloney stresses the importance of creating a strong brand identity on the platform by only pinning content that makes sense for your company.

“What you pin today should be relevant six months from now,” says Maloney. The takeaway? Don’t pin 1,000 pieces of content per day, and only pin content that is of interest to your key demographic.

No. 3: Curate, don’t just create.

According to Maloney, many businesses feel (incorrectly) that they need to be pinning content they’ve created themselves.

“Pinterest is about curating, not just creating. You don’t have to create every pin yourself; you can re-pin others’ pins from across the web,” says Maloney.

No. 4: Incorporate Pinterest on your business website.

The fastest way to use Pinterest as an effective marketing tool is to feature the “Pin It” button on your business site, says Maloney.

“Let people pin from your site,” says Maloney. This is especially valuable advice for businesses selling products or services, or those that are producing original content.

No. 5: Promote your Pinterest boards on other social media sites.

Feel like social media is taking up too much time? Maloney says one effective and efficient trick is to share your pins on other sites, like Facebook. Not only does it update your Facebook page, but it also lets your followers know that you’re active on Pinterest.