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Grow Your Pinterest Following: 5 Simple Steps for Brands 


Pinterest is the fastest-growing social media platform in terms of user numbers. Compared to Facebook’s 6% member growth, Pinterest experienced a huge 57% jump in members in 2014 and many sources project that the site will hit 50 million active users by the end of this year.

However, according to our annual research, B2C marketers are more likely than B2B and nonprofit marketers to use Pinterest, but the majority of users in all groups don’t consider the platform to be effective.

B2C marketers are more likely than B2B and nonprofit marketers to use @Pinterest via @cmicontent #research Click To Tweet


Compared to customers who are referred to a product by Facebook, customers who reach a product via Pinterest are 10% more likely to purchase that product, according to Wayfair. Additionally, according to Digital Buzz Blog, 25% of Fortune 100 companies maintain Pinterest accounts, showing that the platform is truly one of the best places to promote your business.

These foundational tips can help you get started optimizing your Pinterest profile to get better visibility and engagement for your brand.

1. Make your account easy to find

Set up a Pinterest Business account.

Pinterest Business

Make the account as easy as possible for your fans to find. Ensure that your business name is self-explanatory and easy to spell. The ideal length of a username is 3-15 characters. You should also take the time to verify your site and include links to other social media accounts for increased crossover and visibility.

Finally, you’ll need to fill in the brief business description, including keywords, which will appear at the top of your Pinterest home page. Although the allotted space for this description is 200 characters, it can be as short as you’d like as long as it captures the essence of your company. Take Gap, for example:

Gap Screenshot

2. Add a Pin It button to all your content

To increase crossover between your website and your Pinterest account, add a Pin It button to the content on your website. This allows people to connect with and share your content on Pinterest. Since the average pin is searchable months after it has been posted, you can bet that by pinning your content, your users can help you increase its life span significantly.


3. Encourage user-generated content

According to Sprout Social, user-generated content is 35% more memorable and 50% more trustworthy than other types of media creation, which means user-generated content should play an important role in your Pinterest strategy.

UGC is 35% more memorable & 50% more trustworthy than other types of media creation via @SproutSocial Click To Tweet

To make the most of user-generated content, create a collaborative board that allows your followers to post photos of how they interact with your product, good, or service. Take Gap, again, which has a board called You that allows fashion bloggers and other clothing aficionados to show off how they wear Gap clothing, or Starbucks, which has a board dedicated to its user-generated white-cup art.

Gap Styl.d by you board

Starbucks Cup Art Screenshot

Encouraging collaboration is a great way to get your users to engage with your brand and the collaborative, user-generated content boards are sure to be a hit.

4. Make sure your boards reflect your business

If you’re a tech company, there’s a good chance that boards dedicated to pie recipes are going to confuse your fans and not get much traffic. It’s wise to avoid getting tangled in the casual environment of Pinterest and to keep your boards dedicated to the industry within which your business operates. Take GE, for example, whose Pinterest boards offer users an inside look at complex machines as well as hilarious tech, electricity, and software-related “Hey Girl” memes, and images of the work GE has done around the world. These boards serve two important purposes: They are on-brand for GE itself, and they promote interest from a wide variety of users. To glean the same results for your business, keep your boards focused and seek to fill each with quality, useful, and interesting content.

GE Pinterest

5. Make the most of rich pins

For marketers who want to include more information in their pins, rich pins are a great place to start. There are six types of rich pins and each allows marketers to add detail to the pin itself:

  • Place pins – users include address, phone number, and map
  • Movie pins – users provide details about reviews, ratings, and cast members
  • Product pins – users include purchase locations, pricing, and availability
  • Article pins – includes the article headline and users provide detail about the author, story, and link
  • Recipe pins – users offer details about serving info, cooking times, and ingredients
  • App pins – users provide information about an application, including pricing, and description

To get started using rich pins, you first need to decide which type or types fit your brand best. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to prepare your site by including the correct metatags. Then, the only thing left to do is to apply to get the rich pins on Pinterest. For more information on how to apply for and use rich pins, check out this tutorial. Once they’re installed on your site, rich pins can be a fantastic tool for providing a direct link between your customers and your product. Since 25% of consumers purchase a product after seeing it on Pinterest, according to Compete research, rich pins have the potential to increase your bottom line and drive more sales.

25% of consumers purchase a product after seeing it on @Pinterest via @compete #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

Etsy rich pin screenshot


As it stands now, Pinterest has virtually unlimited engagement potential and businesses that take these five simple tips to heart will see their Pinterest following and engagement grow exponentially. Whether you’re a tech brand or an e-commerce company, it’s undeniable that Pinterest can help you connect with your customers, make more sales, get people excited about your business, and spread the word about your services around the web. Now that’s something worth pinning about.

Find more tips for using Pinterest and other platforms to increase the impact of your content. Read our Content Marketer’s Guide to Social Media Survival: 50+ Tips.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute