How to use Pinterest for business

The Pinterest hype may have died down significantly this year, but there’s still no denying it’s an incredibly useful and powerful tool for marketers when used correctly. I’ve created a list of 12 examples, explaining how you can use Pinterest for business and how to promote it.

The majority of brands which have great success with Pinterest are those which sell a product, or a highly visual service – for example travel agents / companies can post images of destinations to promote their business. Whether your business is one of those two examples or not, hopefully you will find some form of inspiration from the examples of how to use Pinterest for business below.

1. Catalogue your products

how to use pinterest for business

If you want your products to be seen by a wider audience then Pinterest is a great tool for that. Its search is keyword focused, so for example Lush might title one of their face masks as “seaweed face mask”, then anyone searching for that term will see Lush’s product appear, thus increasing their awareness and audience.

It’s a great way of showcasing your products in an appealing way too. Get creative and think of different ways you can photograph your product to grab some attention.

2. Create a lifestyle for your brand

How to use Pinterest for business

Red Bull have done a fantastic job of positioning themselves as a lifestyle brand; no longer are they see as just an energy drinks company. They’ve supported this image by posting photos which inspire and build that lifestyle positioning. Images of intense sports and brand focused ‘mood lighting’ all help to build the image of Red Bull and the lifestyle Red Bull fuels.

If your brand supports a particular lifestyle, for example, perhaps you own a high-end hotel, post some photos of things that ooze luxury to you. Whether that’s colour schemes, décor, interior design, food, table centre pieces etc… Posting images that support your company lifestyle show you not only know it, but you live and breath it too.

3. Competitions

How to use Pinterest for business

Competitions are a great method of raising awareness, getting people involved and getting your products seen. The norm is to get people to create a board and pin their favourite products of yours, or to pin images which represents what your brand means to them. They then send it in and you pick the best. But of course, the beauty of a competition is that you have the freedom to come up with whatever you want.

Competitions are a great way to interact with your audience and get them involved. Everyone likes getting something for free too, so again, it’s a great way of increasing your reach and raising awareness. People have no reason not to take part.

4. Crowdsourcing

How to use Pinterest for business

Crowdsourcing is a great way you can use Pinterest for business. For those that don’t know, crowdsourcing is where companies gain images, ideas or content by seeking them from large groups of people. Although I couldn’t find an exact example of crowdsourcing, this is the closest I could find, mainly because it seems Mulberry have taken these shots themselves, rather than the shots being sent into Mulberry.

Either way, Mulberry do a great job of showcasing celebrities and trendy young things loving and living the Mulberry brand, adding to their lifestyle of being a high-end luxurious product.

How to use Pinterest for business

5. Show some behind the scenes

How to use Pinterest for business

People love behind the scenes footage. Whether it’s behind the scenes footage for a film, TV ad, photo shoot, or the process of how something was done, people love to know what went on off camera and it adds another dimension to your brand. So whatever it is you do, if there’s something that you normally get to do that customers don’t (perhaps some early new product development designs for example) showcase them and get people talking about them.

6. Use for inspiration

How to use Pinterest for business

Why not use Pinterest for your own inspiration, to show your audience your inspiration techniques, or how your product has inspired new things?

Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s have a great example of this, showing appetising images of some of their most well known and loved recipes, or images of things that are a spin-off from their products.

Alternatively use it for your inspiration for future products. Don’t be afraid to show you don’t have all the ideas and that you need to illicit inspiration from other sources. It’s also a good opportunity to be on the same level as your fans and audience.

7. Highlight your visuals

How to use Pinterest for business

Publishing house Raconteur know reams of words won’t attract attention on Pinterest, so they make a point of showcasing their in-house designed infographics, illustrations and images they use in their reports.

Infographics especially are still a big thing today and people are always looking for inspiration or work to appreciate, so it’s great way of getting their content out there and raising awareness of their name.

If you have any interesting brand visuals, whether it’s press images or graphic design, get them out there, shared amongst people and get them seen.

8. Create tips and how to’s

How to use Pinterest for business

Whether you offer a product or a service, there will always be a way you can make tips, tutorials and how to’s work for you. Make up brand, Rimmel, have created a series of tutorials, to create certain make up looks using their products. This is a great way of feeding more life and usage into your brand and your products.

However there is a trick I think brands such as Rimmel are missing and that’s how often they post these tutorials and how many. There aren’t that many from Rimmel, however, one avid Pinterest user has taken it upon herself to ‘pin’ her own make up how to’s using Urban Decay. A fantastic resource and one which you should definitely learn from.

How to use Pinterest for business

9. Coverage

How to use Pinterest for business

Pinterest is a great place to put your press shots, especially if you do it on the day of the event.

A Pinterest board was recently created for all the press shots for London Fashion Week. This acts as a great resource for your already-existing fan base, but also a great way of attracting new people. If for example you were showcasing an ‘Alexander McQueen dress’ anyone who then searched for that term would see you image(s), worldwide.

It’s also a nice way of collating all your events and showing that you’re a busy, active brand.

10. Build awareness

How to use Pinterest for business

Oxfam use Pinterest really well for raising awareness for each of their campaigns. Similar to my point earlier about highlighting your visuals, Oxfam have done this, but ensured they carried marketing and campaign messages to raise awareness, get it out there and seen by as many people as possible.

11. Create Themes

How to use Pinterest for business

Follow in asos’s footprints and create a series of themes which showcase your products and / or inspire your audience. Asos have created a balanced mix of both of these, showcasing not just their products, but also a healthy dose of fashion, seasonal fashion and occasion fashion in all its glory.

These fashion based themes also place asos as experts in their field, living, breathing and loving all things fashion. If for example you owned a garden / plant based product, you could create themes such as seasons or colours and feature images to match.

12. Show what your products can do

How to use Pinterest for business

My final example of how to use Pinterest for business is B&Q’s use of Pinterest. They have several examples of what can be done with their products, sparking inspiration from their audience.

What would normally be classed as a typical garden shed as been turned into a summer house or a kids playhouse. Or for a simpler route, they show what a difference a normal lick of paint can do, showing there’s no end to what their products can do and the inspiration you should take from them. Feed new life into your products and inspire your audience.

So those are my 12 examples of how to use Pinterest for business. If you have any tried and tested examples (or even some examples you’ve seen that you liked) then please share them in the comments below, or let me know on Twitter, thanks!