Click Here To Download Sophie’s Presentation Slides (To support the notes below)

Sophie Bawa of Esme Loves was our guest speaker at The Decorcafe Surrey Home Business Club yesterday. She runs a small jewellery business and has found pinterest to be very effective in generating sales. Interestingly despite having few followers, hundreds of thousands of people visit her pinterest boards, every month. This leads people to her website, translating into sales. Here are the notes we took and action points to help you too…

How To Use Pinterest For Business

1. The starting point is to change your mindset from thinking about pinterest as a form of social media and recognise that it is actually a search engine. Unlike facebook and instagram, people are very specific in their intentions when they use pinterest, searching for a particular idea, information or product. There is an opportunity for your product or service to be in the right place at the right time.

2. Because pinterest is a search engine google (or safari, firefox etc) will often bring up a link from pinterest towards the top of the list when you search in your browser. This makes it a very poweful sales tool. Even if people don’t have a pinterest account they will still access pinterest through their searches.

3. Unlike social media, pinterest isn’t so much about followers. Followers are satisfying to have but they do not always relate to sales. The greatest opportunity that Pinterest offers business users is to get exposure for their product and service at the precise time that someone is looking for a solution to a problem they need to solve. If you have interesting content on pinterest you will get found by potential customers even if you only have a few followers.

4. The top three things searched for on pinterest are fashion, food and home decor. People search by problem such as “meals for fussy three year olds”. So, if every time you post something on pinterest you think about what problem you are solving and provide the answer your business will be found. This is the main reason why pinterest has been far more successful for Sophie’s business than instagram, facebook or twitter.

5. Pinterest is all about pins and every pin contains three elements: a picture, a link and a description. It is important to choose the key words you add to each of your pins carefully. The more precise the words you use the better. For example, “Best paint colours to use to make a small apartment seem bigger” has more chance of being seen than “best paint colours”. Perhaps you have written a blog about the best paint colours to use to make a small apartment seem bigger and so you would pin the pin from your blog. To be useful to your business your pins need to link to your website.

6. Canva is a really useful editing tool to use to create your pinterest pins, as well as other social media. It is easy to use and it is free. Have a bank of good quality brand images that will appeal. These don’t all need to be of your product or service as long as they are relevant, and they may not all appear on your website but they will all add value to your brand and attract people to you at the right time.

7. It is a good idea to pin each of your pins about a topic in groups on separate boards. For example, if you have a board called “Small Bathroom Rennovation Ideas” someone who is doing up their small bathroom may follow your board even though they do not follow you. The pins you pin will ideally be a mix of your own pins and also other peoples. It is about sharing content. You pin other people’s pins driving traffic to their website and others are likely to do the same for you, as long as you have good quality pins.

8. If you are serious about using pinterest for your business you should set up a pinterest business account. This will give you access to pinterest analytics so that you can monitor the success of each pin and board that you create and direct the development of your approach. With a business account there is an option to pay for ads which Sophie has found to be very effective,and much better than facebook advertising. You can also create “rich pins”.

9. When you pin pins from yours or someone elses website pinterest will take all the information that was attached to it in the original location (url, photo title, description and ALT text) to pinterest. If your pin is a “rich pin” this information cannot be removed by someone else when they pin it, so wherever it is pinned on pinterest your original information will go with it leading it back to you and your business. If decide to change the information that is contained in the pin on your website, for example if you change the price of a featured product, it will automatically change on the rich pin wherever it is pinned also, keeping it up to date.

10. Creating a pin is simple. Just click the red plus bottom at the top right-hand side of your pinterest page. It is obvious how to add the image, linking url and text. The only thing worth noting is that when you put in text, unlike facebook and instagram, people do not want a story they just want the facts. So keep it short and simple and linked to the problem or question that you answering in your head.

11. Hashtags are becoming popular on pinterest as a way of searching, just like on Instagram. If you choose to use them put them at the bottom of your content and not too replace what the key words in your description.

12. People buy from people so as a small personal business it is a good idea to show the face behind the business so make sure that you have a good picture of yourself on your profile. The more personal you can make your written profile the better too as there are likely to be many people on pinterest offering the same service as you. You can also include a downloadable pdf in your profile “50 ideas for Autumn floral arrangements” for example. This will take people to your website which is of course brilliant for you.

13. Keep an eye on your analytics. By looking at her website analytics Sophie can see that the people coming to the website from pinterest far outweighs the number coming from anywhere else and, most interestingly, they are in the mood to buy when they arrive. This comes back to the original and main point that people on pinterest are searching because they have a question “what colour should I paint my bedroom?”, “what shall I buy my Dad for his big birthday?” “what are the best recipes to cook for my kids before their exams?” People do have questions they want answered on Instagram and Facebook too but very often they just like the videos of the cute puppies and celebrity content.

14. Pin consistently. The points that Sophie is making are really brought home when you observe that she has only 76 followers on pinterest but received 149,500 unique views this month. In fact, for Sophie, these figures are quite low as she wasn’t on pinterest over the summer at all and when she is, she pins consistently and typically gets twice as many visitors – so about 300,000 each month. This number of viewers is only achieved if you pin your pins consistently.

15. Use helpful apps. Pinning consistently is helped by using the tailwind app. It is really useful. You are given a free trial and then you have to pay but it means that you can schedule your pins at the beginning of the week so that they pin every day and you do not have to be doing it yourself. It even suggests the best times to pin your pins and will do it for you even if the best suggested time is in the middle of the night.

So what to do next? Here is your homework, a 9 point action plan:

  1. Create boards that are in line with your business
  2. Verify your website through pinterest
  3. Create RICH PINS from your website
  4. Get familiar with CANVA
  5. Pin other peoples content
  6. Create good pins with links to websites
  7. Join Tailwind – which allows you to schedule pins
  8. Pin away to your hearts content
  9. Oh and measure analytics

And some useful links:

  1. Simple Pin Media is a blog site all about Pinterest with lots of useful content to help. Click here 
  2. How to create RICH PINS. Click here
  3. How to get your website ready for pinning. Click here 
  4. The Tailwind app for scheduling. Click here
  5. CANVA. Click here
  6. Links to Sophie on Pinterest Click here and the website Click here


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