Pinterest: Good for Business?

Jan 30, 2012 by

This entry was written by , one of the OxonDigital members. The author's views below are entirely their own and may not reflect the views of OxonDigital.
Pinterest: Good for Business?

If you don’t know what it is yet, it wont’ be long until you do. Pinterest is a new social networking site which “lets you organize and share of the beautiful things you find on the web” and while still being invite only it has reached nearly 4.5 million users this month. I think Pinterest has got huge potential for business; it’s time to open your eyes to the benefits.


Getting started: Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you can create boards of things you like; think about what kind of content you want to share and save and take it from there. There’s really no limit to the kinds of boards you can create why not start by showcasing the best typography or design the web has to offer.


One of the best ways to raise awareness about your company is to start following people who are actively engaged with Pinterest with similar interests, the amount of ‘pins’ and ‘likes’ a person has will help you define those who are influential and highly engaged, also find out who is pinning your images and follow them to see if they follow you back, most do! You can automatically share your posts on you other social networks too, under the settings tab set to automatically post on Facebook & Twitter, it’s also possible to use @mentions in your descriptions to tag people in your ‘pins’.


10 ways to optimise Pinterest:


  1. Use Pinterest as a team: When you create a new board you can allow others to contribute to it, manually add users to the board using their username or email address. This feature turns Pinterest into a great project collaboration tool, allowing you to exchange ideas and inspire their team with new ideas.
  1. Showcase your own work: Whether you’re a web design agency, freelance designer, photographer, visual artist, or even writer, you can use Pinterest to showcase your own work. Take screenshots of the best of your work and create a board that showcases your finest.
  1. Optimize your website for Pinterest: post big beautiful imagery on your website, people are more likely to pin you if you’re website has interesting and engaging images, Infographics are a great example. You add also add the Pin it button to your website so people can pin your images easier, configure the code for the button on the Pinterest Goodies page.
  1. Improve search traffic: Pinterest has also proved a great way to drive traffic, in some cases providing more referral links than Facebook. Encourage people to click through to your website by adding descriptions, your location and a link to your website, make it easy for them to connect with you outside of Pinterest.
  1. Get personal: make your brand personal, give your clients an inside look into your company by creating a board featured photos from your offices, or put up pictures of your team. I might try this with @obergine’s latest cookie bake off!
  1. Create inspiration boards to share with clients: use Pinterest to test the reception of potential designs or create inspiration boards for new branding research. You could even make these available to clients who are not sure what they’re looking for in terms of look and feel for their website, provide them with some different styles and ask them to ‘like’ their favourite. This is a great way to get clients involved in the decision making process.
  1. Get clients to create a brand channel: encourage clients to create a brand channel to contain product photos, a virtual catalogue that’s there’s for the sharing.
  1. Go viral: encourage people to visit your website and pin their favourite products / designs, because Pinterest incorporates Facebook and Twitter, the viral potential is huge. A great way of gaining new customers could be by asking users to pin pictures of themselves with their favourite product and tag it with the company name. This is a fun way of showing off your product without it looking like self-promotion because it’s coming from your followers. Prizes could be given for the most creative.
  1. Generate new business: if you’re a freelance designer why not use Pinterest to create a visual CV to generate interest, post screenshots of your latest work with a link back to your website and encourage existing clients to ‘re-pin’ your work.
  1. Sell your products: when you ‘pin’ items you have the option to add a ‘price’ and direct people to your online shop, if a price is added your post will also be automatically listed under Pinterest’s ‘Gifts’ section. This offers a great and free way to market and sell your products.

Certified Scrum Master & Agile Project Manager at award winning Oxford based web agency White October.



    I love, love, love the idea of using it to gain client approvals. Fantastic for graphic design, advertising, interior design. Anything that has visual capabilities.

  2. Another great post Holly.

    I have heard a lot of buzz around Pinterest, but haven’t had time to get involved yet. Your post has given me a bit more of a push to get involved a lot sooner. I would be interested to see how you use it for Obergine and the results.

  3. Fantastic for visual inspiration, and the thoughts on the business really make sense … onto it. Thanks for the great post.

  4. Thanks for your comments. One of my only niggles with it so far is the lack of privacy settings, I’m all for sharing content but when it comes to using it for client approvals I would love to have a bit more control i.e. be able to create contributor groups and then establish individual viewing permissions for each of my boards for those groups. I’ve also been interested to see on Twitter the difference in opinions in terms of it’s benefits for businesses between the US (generally for) and the UK (sceptical of any real benefit for business) but it’s still early days so will be interesting to see what happens. I’m yet to find mind UK companies using it really well though, i’d be interested if anyone knows of any?

  5. Richard

    Good for business, but bad for productivity 😉

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