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Pinterest Marketing Checklist: How to Grow an Engaged, Ready-to-Buy Community on Pinterest

Leah Spector / 5 min read

As a passionate ecommerce professional, you want to do everything you can to create an amazing brand, build a loyal fanbase and nurture lifetime customers. Small touches from personalized thank you notes to surprise-and-delight opportunities on your social media channels can help make a difference for beloved brands. But as a human with only 24 hours in the day, many times you are forced to focus solely on activities which drive revenue. When forced to prioritize fulfilling orders or creating a new supply-chain strategy, it makes sense that social media marketing often falls into the bucket of “nice to have” but “not enough time to execute effectively.”

With the rise of social commerce, however, many social media efforts can double down on both brand-building and revenue-driving results, making those Pinterest marketing tactics all the more efficient. Last week, we announced that BigCommerce merchants in the U.S. can now easily sell on Pinterest with Buyable Pins. This means retailers can reach more than 100 million users with posts promoting ready-to-buy products, all while building a visual social media community.

READ MORE: 8 Incredibly Useful Product Photography Tools and Resources for Online Stores

Especially if you’re an online retailer that sells apparel, jewelry, beauty, accessories or homewares, Pinterest provides you with an opportunity to attract and retain customers and build a highly-engaged, shopping-ready community around your products. After all, according according to a broad survey of U.S. consumers conducted by BigCommerce and research firm Kelton Global, 16% of shoppers say they would purchase directly from Pinterest, given the opportunity. Suddenly, marketing on Pinterest doesn’t seem like such a luxury. Instead, it’s an opportunity to reach target consumers who are already in the purchasing mindset.

And if you implement Buyable Pins, Pinterest isn’t just a social media channel for digital window shopping, but a whole new sales channel and opportunity to reach shoppers who maybe wouldn’t have heard of your brand otherwise. The following Pinterest marketing tips will help you engage your audience and increase sales in the process.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

But how can Pinterest support your overall ecommerce growth? Take it from Michael Yamartino, the head of commerce over at Pinterest:

“Ecommerce growth will likely outpace brick-and-mortar retail growth for a long time. Social commerce and distributed commerce, like what we’re doing, will help drive that,” said Yamartino. “It’s a small percentage right now because it’s a new channel — marketers are still figuring out how to leverage it and optimize for it. It’s at the fledgling stage, but over the next few years, it will start growing and become meaningful for retailers.”

Regardless of ecommerce opportunities, growing an engaged audience is still key to success on the channel. Like any social media platform, Pinterest is always evolving and best practices will constantly change. Pinterest is one of the two most visual social media platforms, meaning unique and high-quality content plus fan engagement will always be a requirement for success.

A few basic best practices that will never change:

  • Make sure your product photography is crystal clear and mix things up with both straight product shots and photos showing your products in action as well.
  • Repinning or liking your fan’s content, whether they’re posting about you or something else they’re passionate about, is always a good idea — foster goodwill with Pinterest users early so they look forward to your interaction and eventually look to your boards for other great content.
  • Pay attention to what’s trending, what your competitors are posting and where your brand can add value. Offer content that’s educational, helpful or beautiful with a purpose — never post for the sake of posting.

Drive Referral Traffic & Distribution Using Pinterest

Pinterest is notorious for being not only a social media platform, but also a powerful search engine. Users can browse their feeds to see what comes along, or they can search using keywords to find something specific.

You can ensure you get your content included in these search results by mastering the following Pinterest basics:

  • Use a Pinterest business account to get extra functionality that individual accounts don’t get, including the Save It button on your website, Pinterest Analytics, Promoted Pins and Rich Pins.
  • Confirm your website. This will place your logo on all of your pins and any pins people save from your website.
  • Create images in appropriate dimensions. You can also always outsource your design needs. Agencies like MilkWhale will take on solo projects for a fraction of the cost, and seriously increase the chances that your content will be shared widely on Pinterest.
  • Use detailed descriptions with relevant keywords –– and, yes, hashtags. Start with your product descriptions from your site, but feel free to jazz them up a bit if they could use some excitement. Put highly-trafficked keywords toward the beginning of your description to optimize for what users are searching for most.
  • Use unique and descriptive titles for your boards and your Pinner name, too.
  • Link your image to the specific product page, not just your homepage. If you’re not using Buyable Pins, this ensures users can click directly to your product they’re interested in.

Once you have the basic setup complete, plan out valuable and beautiful content that will enable you to Pin consistently. Try for at least five pins per day.

Pin your products to get them distributed, but don’t forget your audience has many more interests outside of your brand. Research your target audience and look at what some of them are posting to their own boards. Many Pinterest users browse the channel daily, so serving them fresh content that adds value to their own boards –– like helpful tips, recipes or fun facts –– will help get your Pins seen.

Bring Users into the Creative Process with Mood Boards

When you do have high quality content ready, there’s no limit to how creative you can get to showcase your products in your own boards. Consider ‘mood boards’ to put your goods front-and-center while showing what inspired you to produce them in the first place.

Jewelry maker Kendra Scott does this well. Mixing product photography, photos of her jewelry in action and inspirational shots that don’t include products at all, the Summer 2016 Collection board is a summer dream that inspires viewers to buy and visit a tropical location wearing their new jewels at the same time.

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Engage with Contests & Campaigns

Running contests and campaigns on your Pinterest account can also help you grow your audience more quickly. Pinterest made “Pin It to Win It” contests, where users simply repin one of a brand’s pins to enter, against the rules recently –– but that doesn’t mean you can’t tap into the power of prizes and incentives to grow engagement and followers.

Pinterest’s contest rules make it such that your contests aren’t spammy and serve to produce more high quality content on the channel. It is against the rules to require users to repin your own content, rather, you should encourage creativity by asking users to create their own boards to show what inspires them around a certain idea.

For example, home and lifestyle publication Country Living launched the “Dream Bedroom Pinterest Contest” to get their fans thinking about their ideal home bedroom design. The rules were simple –– just pin furniture and decor ideas to their own boards titled “My Country Living Dream” –– and the winning board was selected by a panel of judges looking for creativity. This tactic created a ton of user generated content that got users in the decorating (and purchasing) mindset, not to mention generating boards titled with search terms relevant to the brand.

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Your Turn

All right –– it’s time for your brand to take the step, and we’re here to help you work smarter, not harder. Below is a quick hit checklist to get you or your social media manager up to speed on exactly what to do to begin growing a ready-to-purchase audience through Pinterest.

pinterest marketing checklist

Remember, with Buyable Pins now available, your Pinterest marketing efforts serve two business goals: building an engaged community and driving conversion.


Leah Spector

Leah Spector

Leah Spector is the social media marketer for Bigcommerce. Prior to joining the ecommerce industry, she developed her marketing skills for food and lifestyle brands at Cohn & Wolfe and the University of Texas at Austin.

View all posts by Leah Spector
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4 comments on “Pinterest Marketing Checklist: How to Grow an Engaged, Ready-to-Buy Community on Pinterest

  1. Tracey Wallace
  2. Nancy Doyle on

    The tool I like for managing and automating my Pinterest account is PinPinterest. It has got me about 55k followers in the last 7 months.
    PinPinterest is free for all, runs online, sets up fast, has Pin Scheduling and Speed control features. The mobile optimised website lets you have access to your account anytime and from any device.
    Its intelligent algorithm pins only content relevant to my business, thus keeping my boards clutter-free… The ads are a bit irritating, but that’s okay..its like a small price you pay for the excellent tool :)
    Its truly the tool of the future.

  3. Tracey Wallace

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