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Pinterest is one of those social platforms that people either ‘get’ or don’t.  People have heard about it, but don’t really know how to make it work.

It’s particularly good if you’re selling products or services direct to the consumer, but it can work for B2B too.  Here are my top 5 tips to make Pinterest work for you.

1: Focus first

Before you start creating content, think about who you want to influence.  When you know that you can do your research to find out what they are looking for.  A good way to do this is to use one of the free SEO tools to see the kind of thing people are talking about.

Try or (the latter only allows you one free search per day, but you could upgrade or just do your research over time).

This will ensure you create content that will attract those people.

If you don’t do this you’re likely to end up taking the approach of ‘if you create enough content someone will notice eventually’.  This means you’ll end up putting a lot of effort in to get a result you might get far more easily.

2: Plan your boards

Consider what subjects your boards will be.  I made the mistake of not doing this when I started on Pinterest and ended up with some random boards. 

Remember that Pinterest is, effectively, like having a bunch of pin boards that you pin images to around a subject.  The subject is important as images tagged with the board will have the board name attached as a tag.

If you have areas of specialism then that’s a good place to start, but always remember that what you DO isn’t what people GET.  If you can come up with a board name that reflects what your potential customers will search for, you’ll get more views.

3: Create a content plan

The biggest challenge for any social media platform is generating great content.  If you want to avoid that ‘blank-screen’ syndrome the best way is to have a plan.

I suggest you make a list of all the things you deliver, whether that’s products or services and then sub-divide these into more specific categories.  So, for instance, I might have a board called ‘Social media’, but that would include subheadings such as LinkedIn profiles, LinkedIn company pages, Facebook pages, Facebook groups, Facebook ads, etc.

Then you need to look at what might make interesting images around each subheading.  It doesn’t have to be just an image – it can include words; infographics work well on Pinterest, but don’t overload the image with content, just because there’s more space!

4: Add a description

When you’ve created your graphic (check out for loads of professional templates) you’ll find that there is an option to add a description (that’s the ‘tell everyone what your Pin is about’ section).  Don’t ignore this – write a description that includes at least one of your key words and phrases, and add hashtags too.  This will help your pin to get found in searches.

Also add a destination link – this is usually your website, but, rather than just stick your web address in, link the pin to a relevant service or product page or a blog around the subject.

5: Check out other people’s pins for more great content

Like all social media, Pinterest should not be a one-way street.  Pinterest is good at finding pins that are around the same keywords your boards and previous pins carry  and makes it easy by emailing these to you for review.

Do make it a habit to repin other people’s posts around your core subject boards – it adds depth and variety to your boards and engages other pinners.