Shawn Nesaw

By now, we’re sure you have heard of Pinterest, the website allowing users to ‘pin’ their interests from all over the web into one place and profile. Users create boards representing different categories, like ‘favorite food,’ ‘wedding ideas,’ ‘ideas for my home,’ ‘cool decorations’ or ‘places I want to travel.’ It’s as easy as placing the provided bookmark ‘Pin It’ on your toolbar, and whenever you see a photo you like, you pin it to one of your boards. Each board you create could have ideas and images from a hundred different websites, all in one space. Pinterest users are posting content related to your industry every day, and you can take advantage of this growing audience.
A few weeks ago, while looking at website analytics for A. Bright Idea’s website, I saw a few incoming traffic sources from Pinterest. This meant that people came to our website from Pinterest. is a travel website dedicated to Sonoma County to promote tourism. Wanting to find out more about this new traffic, I discovered a photo that we posted on our website was on someone’s ‘Favorite Places’ board. That’s when the wheels started spinning and I finally knew what the other social media experts were talking about; telling us that brands and businesses can use Pinterest to increase their reach, audience and traffic.
To use Pinterest, you must be ‘invited’, but chances are, at least one of your friends uses the site and can send you an invite. I quickly invited my work email to join Pinterest and created an account for I then created boards including Sonoma Style, Food, Wine, Favorite Places & Spaces, Sonoma Weddings and more, and started pinning. Our strategy was to start with our own website photographs, providing e a link back to where the photo lives on our site—our chance to get people from Pinterest to our website. We then moved onto sharing other websites beautiful photography on our boards for things we love. This allows us to build our community and share inspiration on our boards to become a ‘resource’ for finding great things. We quickly got followers and people interested in wine, Sonoma and other topics re-pinning our photos on their own boards, spreading a link back to our website like wildfire.
Like magic, I saw our incoming traffic increase significantly with Pinterest as the referral website. So, how do you use Pinterest effectively for your own business?
Know your market
What would your target audience be interested in? Whether it’s the latest and greatest technology features and gadgets, beautiful hairstyles for weddings, unique cupcake recipes, ideas for the office, general inspiration, event and tradeshow booth ideas or more, pin the right products and services. Business profiles also have the ability to ‘follow’ other boards and users—so build your audience by following others in hopes they will follow you.
Break up your content
Use specific titles for board categories. This allows users to follow specific boards they are interested in and not be bombarded with all of your ideas and content. It also helps keep your ideas organized.
Use hashtags and keywords with your content
Those searching in Pinterest and in Google can find your content through the keywords and tags you use. For example: #travel #style #technology #Apple #food #design. Use multiple hashtags, but beware of using too many or it will look like spam.
Provide links
Providing links to your website about a specific pin will help users find out more information by visiting your website.
Reciprocate your action
Use Pinterest to upload your own pins, but also reciprocate interaction with those you follow by commenting, ‘re-pinning’, and liking others posts. This will encourage others to comment, re-pin and like your posts building your audience.
Use Pinterest Internally
Businesses can use Pinterest for internal inspiration and discussion. Create a board with multiple contributors (your employees) and allow them to pin their ideas and thoughts about a product, event, campaign, book, seminar and more to get ideas flowing.
Pinterest has become an effective tool to drive traffic to your website, build SEO, build your brand and community and has seen skyrocketing popularity over the last few months.
To discuss more Pinterest strategy and what we can do for your business, contact A. Bright Idea at or call 410-836-7180.