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What every business should know about Pinterest. If Pinterest isn’t on your radar when it comes to using social media for business, it’s time to take a closer look. As an image-based platform it could become one of the most valuable marketing tools you have for your business – after all, pictures are key when it comes to selling most products and services.

Here’s our guide to Pinterest and how you can use it to gain more customers:

What is Pinterest?

Essentially, it’s a virtual noticeboard. Users can set up as many boards as they like, each with a different name, and then ‘pin’ images and videos to them, each with their own description.

As with most social media channels, you connect with others to form your network. Once you pin something, your followers can like it and re-pin it to their own boards – as you can like and share their pins in return. You can have shared boards too, where multiple users are able to add pins.

This means there’s a lot of opportunity for your content to spread widely, and Pinterest is one of the few social networking sites where posts have quite a long shelf-life rather than dropping almost instantly down a constantly-updating news feed.

Most businesses realise that Pinterest is a key platform when it comes to marketing their products or services – the reputation it used to have of being full of handicrafts and holiday pictures is long-gone.

Most Pinterest users are women, with more than 64% falling within the 25-54 age bracket – so it’s an audience worth targeting.

What kind of images should I share?

While you could have a board simply about your business, it’s unlikely to attract much interest. Simply adding your product listings isn’t the way to go – you need to build up your profile so that your followers automatically associate you and your business with all things related to your marketplace.

As an entrepreneur, you will fit naturally with images related to your business. For example Gardeners could include images related to landscape gardening, stunning views and beautiful homes. It’s absolutely fine to show your human side, too, so if you want to share humorous quotes or photos of adorable animals, go for it.

Your aim is to post images that inspire others to share them by pinning them to their own boards, so bear that in mind – if it doesn’t catch your eye, why will anyone else like it enough to repost?

Ideas for your boards

If you’re not sure how to organise your boards, we’ve got some suggestions. Each one can be used to attract a different group of Pinterest users, so when you’re posting keep the key focus of each board in mind.

  • Product listings. Of course you should have one for the products / services you promote, but remember to pin images that will really grab attention. This isn’t the place for run-of-the-mill utility pictures. If there’s a stunning view from your offices, beautiful architecture or a state-of-the-art kitchen that includes what you sell, this is where you put them. Don’t feel you have to put all properties on one board, either – you could group them according to location or key features, such as family homes, rural living etc.
  • Local communities. A board for each of the main neighbourhoods you cover is a great opportunity to share information about those places – restaurants, events, places of interest, shopping centres. It helps you establish yourself as a local expert and you’ll quickly build up networks among others who live and work in a particular location.
  • Product design inspiration. Separate your boards into styles – traditional and modern, for example – and you could even have boards for different product categories. Make sure you pin really stunning images and you’ll see them shared time and time again.
  • Another big interest area and one that can cover a range of topics from major developments in your marketplace to the latest thinking and ideas. You could include a board for useful tools and products.
  • Your team. You want to make followers feel they know you and your business, so include one board where you can feature images that are more personal, shots of your offices and so on.

What do I include with my pins?

Some of your images will be originals and some will be re-pins from other boards, such as industry portals. You will have to select which board you want to add a pin to, and add a description – make sure this is as catchy and creative as possible. Include keywords so your pin is easily discoverable by the Pinterest ‘search’ feature.

You can also add a link that takes the user to a particular website or page when it’s clicked, which is obviously very useful when it comes to promoting the properties you have for sale. Always double-check to make sure your links work – both on your own and re-pinned content.

As with any new platform, Pinterest may seem daunting at first – but the more you use it, the easier it will become. As well as being a valuable marketing tool for any estate agent, Pinterest is arguably one of the most entertaining social media networks – adding to your boards could become one of the most enjoyable daily tasks you perform!