“Pinterest is where you keep your wishlists, vacation plans, dream home ideas, and other things you want to do soon and in the future.”

Even the founder of Pinterest is utilizing Pinterest for such things. But, besides the up and coming “sponsored pins” how else can Pinterest be used to drive traffic or sales?

This site gets droves of traffic and there is no sign of stopping. When people go looking for something as a reference, having your site as an answer can be a large tool for conversion. However, there are rules to making Pinterest work for you and your brand.

Pinterest pins

1. More than Just a Dream Board, Pinterest Can be Used for Business, But Pin Intelligently

Things that generally convert really well are how to articles, lists, DIY, workout sheets, recipes, etc. That’s why infographics are so popular on Pinterest right now.

People also pin things to boards that they can use or want to use in their real life and it is less “schemed” than some of the manipulation tactics used in other image advertising.

With Pinterest, you are delivering exactly what the consumer wants, they’re reviewing it, and you’re getting the traffic and (potentially) the customers.

2. Like in Other Image Social Sharing, the Pins Must be Eye Catching and Attractive

Your images have to be eye catching. While the text is still really important, if your image is easily passed over in a feed you won’t be getting the conversions that you like.

How do you make your images eye catching? Surprise people, be trendy, use color, and don’t be afraid to try new things.

3. Categorize Correctly When you Pin

A big mistake I’m seeing among a lot of new pinners is the tendency to go so quickly in uploading their pin that they’re not selecting the right category for it. Doing this makes a pin seem awkward in a crowd of unrelated images, and be construed as spammy. Miscategorizing images can prevent reaching the target audience that the image is aimed for.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen tattoo posts in the fitness category or recipes in the beauty category – give the people what they’re looking for, where they are looking for it.

4. Prepare Blog Posts for Being Pinned with Worthy Images

It may not seem like it, but a lot of the pins that happen on Pinterest are things people found first on other blogs. Don’t just pin things and hope they’re re-shared. Make sure all of your best posts (or all of your posts, if it makes sense) have Pinterest worthy images in the body and that you’re encouraging shares actively.

One good suggestion is to make your “featured image” a regular stock photo, and then also add a “share me” style image at the end of your post for easy sharing.

Having large rectangular images spanning the length of the post screen, above the fold and below the title, is a growing trend. These images get shared more and occupy more real estate in social media. Square images floating to the left or right of content is falling by the wayside.

5. Like With All Social Media, Don’t Just Share Your Own Stuff

Make sure that when it comes to content, you’re diverse. This also applies to many social media streams and not just Pinterest, too. It’s crucial that your followers see you sharing content that will be valuable to them – regardless of if you’ve created it for them or not. By sharing the credit, you’re adding credibility.

Selfishness in terms of social media will be noted by your followers and almost never appreciated. Put them first, and you’ll be sure to grow in popularity.

On caveat that I can think of for “selfish sharing” is with sites that have multiple authors. Multi-author sites can get away with sharing their own content exclusively a lot of times because of the diversity of the contributors.