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Pinterest works best as a long-term marketing investment. — Getty Images/Rawpixel Ltd

Pinterest is making it easier than ever for small businesses to reach customers. In addition to boosting sales with tools such as Rich Pins and Buyable Pins, Pinterest is a great way to get the word out about your business.

Pinterest may have a reputation as a platform for planning your wedding or pinning pictures of your dream home. However, more and more users are using it to actively shop. More than 60% of users report having discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest; more than 90% of users report using the platform to make a purchase.

And, more importantly, it’s not just moms looking for recipes who make up Pinterest’s user base. In 2018, 40% of new users were men. As more and more shoppers flock to this social media platform, here’s what you need to know to market your business on Pinterest.

[Read our guide to marketing your business on social media.]

Master Pinterest’s search function

One of the things that makes Pinterest so powerful for shoppers is the search function built into the platform. Unlike other social media channels, Pinterest’s search function will actually suggest niche and category-specific keywords to help users find exactly what they’re seeking. For example, search “pants” and Pinterest will add suggestions (“high-waisted,” “sports,” and “wide leg” are just a few qualifiers a shopper might add to their search).

For small business owners, these keywords can be a great way to reach new customers. Add keywords everywhere: your profile, your board titles, your profile description, and even to your pin descriptions. Pinterest makes it easy to do the keyword research right on their site. Type in one of your key products and see what modifiers the search bar serves up!

Organize your boards strategically

Despite having a powerful search tool, Pinterest is first and foremost a visual site. Organizing your boards by theme or category not only helps keep your page neat and tidy, but it also helps you get more followers. This is because you are optimizing for more keywords that your audience may be searching for, making it easier for users to find your page. In addition, users can quickly see what your brand is all about. Niche communities in particular use Pinterest to find highly specific products or services. So, don’t be afraid to have many, distinct boards that optimize for relevant keywords.

[Read: Pinterest Is Betting Big That the Future of Online Shopping Will Be Pictures — Not Words]

Despite having a powerful search tool, Pinterest is first and foremost a visual site.

Know what images work best

Images that say something specific will give you the best return on investment when it comes to marketing on Pinterest. According to the Pinterest team, “Lifestyle images are often more effective than product shots. Much of what works with traditional print ads works on Pinterest as well (angles, graphic backgrounds, color, use of space, etc.)”

Use high-resolution, uncluttered photos on your page. Pinterest’s maximum aspect ratio is 1:2.8. In addition, research from Curalate and Pinterest found the following data points as to what makes good content:

  • Images with multiple dominant colors have 3.25 times more repins than those with a single dominant color
  • Very light or very dark images are not repinned often
  • Red-toned images perform higher than blue-toned images
  • Images with less than 30% whitespace or background perform better than other pins
  • Images without faces get 23% more repins than those with faces.

Make it easy for customers to find you

Pinterest works best as a long-term marketing investment. Where posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram tend to see peak engagement analytics within 48 hours, Pinterest’s content will continue to get user engagement over weeks and months. Use Pinterest to build on other your other marketing efforts. Create an “About Us” or “Employee Highlights” board to showcase your team and brand while highlighting the things that make your business unique. Link to your account from newsletters and email marketing, and make sure your Pinterest page leads back to your business website.

CO— does not review or recommend products or services. For more information on choosing the best social media management tools, visit our friends at business.com.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Published June 24, 2019