[intro] Before you begin this guide, you need to ensure that you have installed the Social Plugins feature and that you can create images in order to customise your Pinterest Profile. [/intro]

[summary]

Pinterest is a social media platform that is a little different from the rest, as the main goal is not to stay in contact with friends and family (Facebook), read the latest news updates (Twitter) or view images (Instagram); Pinterest in its most basic sense is there to provide inspiration. Pinterest was originally introduced to me by a friend who described it as ‘the most fun you can have online shopping but without actually spending any money’, which is probably the most accurate description I’ve heard for it.

On Pinterest, users share links which are represented by images - these are called Pins. You can create a folder to add your Pins to, and this is called a Board. Imagine virtual corkboards and you’re not far wrong. On Pinterest, your boards can be public or private, and be used for a whole host of ideas.

Originally, Pinterest's biggest purpose seemed to be helping it’s users plan weddings; boards would be created for ‘Dress Ideas’, ‘Hen Night Inspiration’ and ‘Table Decorations’ and these would be populated with hundreds of pins the user was considering for their own wedding. Pinterest is fantastic if you’re learning about a new hobby or skill, such as gardening, cooking, running and house renovation; simply create a board of your own, run a search for your interest and pin any links which take your fancy.

It’s this action of pinning that you can use to your advantage, as many users do search for products with the intention to buy them, and it’s for that reason that you should open a Pinterest account. You need to upload your Products to provide another pathway for potential new customers to visit your EKM online shop.

How to create a Business Pinterest account

There are two types of account you can create - Personal and Business. This guide concentrates on opening a Business account because this comes with an analytics tab which allows you to get an insight into how well your account is doing and who is viewing your profile - useful for tailoring your content around your target customers.
1. To make a Business Pinterest account, click here and then click the Sign Up button:


2. You then need to complete the details in the fields provided. Ensure that your password is a minimum of seven characters, which includes at least one capital letter, a number and an odd character such as $ or £ for added security. When you have completed these details, click the Create Account button:

3. Click the Find New Ideas button:

4. Select your Language and Country and click Next:

5. Now you need to 5 or more topics that you think your customers may be interested in. When you have picked enough topics, then click Next:

6. Dependent on your browser, Pinterest will then offer you the chance to add a Pinterest button. If you use Chrome regularly, I strongly recommend installing this Chrome Extension as it makes it easy for you to pin not just your Products but also anything else you notice online that your customers may be interested in. You can read more about the Pinterest extension here. Click Get It Now to install it on your browser:

7. Pinterest will then display your dashboard and a range of pins based on the interests you selected earlier on:

How to customise your Pinterest Account

8. To add a profile image to your Pinterest account, click your name on the top left of the dashboard:

9. This will take you to the ‘front-end’ of your Pinterest account. This is what other users will see when they visit your profile. As this is a brand new Pinterest account, I have not set up any boards or pinned anything yet, so my profile is very empty. Click the profile icon on the top right and select Settings from the drop-down menu:

10. Click Profile on the left-hand side menu. You now need to upload your Profile picture, which needs to be 165 pixels square. Bear in mind that the shape of the image as it is displayed is circular, so ensure any text is enclosed within this shape when you create it.

11. When you have uploaded your profile image, you then need to complete the About You and Location fields, before scrolling further down the page:

12. Add the domain name from your EKM online shop into the field provided, and click Claim Website:

13. Select add HTML tag from the window, and copy the code within the pointy brackets:

14. You then need to log into your EKM online shop in a separate browser tab and click the Design tab:

15. Click the Edit button next to your Theme and select Inject Custom Code from the drop-down menu:

16. Paste the code into the HTML Head Code field and then click the green Save button on the bottom right:

17. Return to the browser tab that is displaying Pinterest and click the Next button:

18. Now click the red Submit button. Pinterest will email you according to the email address you added when you set up your account:

19. Scroll further down the page, and connect any other social media accounts you have set up already to your Pinterest account. Simply click the switch and enter your login details to connect them before clicking the red Save Settings button to the bottom right of the screen:

How to Pin

Returning to your Pinterest Profile, search for something that you and your target customers would be interested in. In my example, Eve’s Test Shop sells stationery, so with that in mind, I’ll run a search for 'bullet journal' - these are a must-have for any stationery addict.

1. Type your keyword into the search bar at the top of the screen:

2. Press enter on your keyboard, and the page will be populated with pins all related to your keyword:

3. If you click your cursor next to your keyword in the search bar, you will see a drop-down menu which provides related searches which you might want to check out too:

4. When you find a pin that you want to save, click the red Save button:

5. You will then see a window which asks you to name the board where you want to add this pin. Add a name to the board and click Create:

6. Now you have pinned your first pin and created your first board! Click on your username on the top left:

7. This will take you to your Pinterest profile, where you can now see the first item you’ve pinned. Click Boards:

8. You can now see the Board that you have created:

9. Further down on this page, you can see any secret boards you have created. These are private and visible to your alone. You can make any Board Private, by hovering over it and clicking the Pencil symbol:

10. You can then click the Switch next to Secret within the window to make your Board private:

You can also upload an image to represent your board here too, which is lot like the Category Images on your EKM online shop. Images which represent boards should be 222 pixels wide by 150 pixels high. When you have made any changes within the Edit Your Board window, click the red save button on the bottom right to implement them.

[tips] It’s definitely worth creating a secret board for social media, and regularly running a search for pins related to Social Media strategies; Pinterest is an excellent place to learn about different social media platforms and there are lots of pins that provide prompts and inspiration if you’re struggling to create your own social media content.[/tips]

How to share your own content

Now you know how to create Boards on Pinterest, create boards and name them after each category on your EKM online shop. You then need to pin each of your Products within each category to your most appropriate board. The quickest way to do this is by using the Google Chrome Extension and visiting each Product Page before clicking the Pinterest extension. This will automatically create a pin for you on your chosen board.

Repeat this process until your Products are all displayed on Pinterest, which may be a gradual task dependent on how many Products you have on your EKM online shop; Pinterest does have a limit of fifty consecutive pins before it makes you take a break and return an hour or two later to complete the rest.

When your Products are converted to Pins on Pinterest, they will be displayed with their Product Image, a snippet of the Product description and a link to the Product Page on your EKM online shop. So if Pinterest users want to buy your Product, they just click the link to visit the Product Page, add the Product to cart and complete the transaction.

What to Pin

  1. If you have set up a blog for your EKM online shop, it would be wise to pin each of your blog posts on Pinterest too. This will encourage more people to visit your shop via your blog. Make sure you create an image especially for that pin too, which will encourage Pinterest users to pin it.
  2. It’s also worth creating Boards and pinning links that you feel that your customers could be interested in, which gives Pinterest users a reason to follow your profile. For example, if you sell pet accessories, it would be worth creating Boards dedicated to pictures of pets; you could have a whole board dedicated to unusual dog breeds or dog grooming competitions. If you sell hairdressing products, you could have a Board dedicated to Avant Garde hairdressing competitions, where every example is a work of art. If you sell walking gear and accessories for outdoor hobbies, you could make a Board of Pins all dedicated to specific walks in the UK, or the best camping sites in the world, and so on.

The key to populating your Pinterest account is finding Pins that your customers would be interested in and pinning them to give a reason for visiting your profile again. The knowledge and passion you have for your Products and industry should be visible in your content, and this will in turn, encourage users to shop with you.

Pinterest Analytics

From your Profile, click the Analytics tab on the top left and select Overview:



When you have just created your account, you will need to sign up for Analytics. Click the Get Started button:

This will take you to your Pinterest Analytics dashboard:

Obviously, this account I’m using as an example is brand new, so I have no traffic yet. However, you can see from the tabs available what traffic is measured; You can see how many people saw your Pins, who saved them, who clicked on them and what type of Pin they were. You can see the number of users who view your account and how many are engaged with it on a monthly and daily basis.

Since the account is still very new, Pinterest has not yet visited my EKM online shop to confirm my account; if they had we would also be able to see the tab on the Pinterest Analytics dashboard where you can view how many users have pinned Products from your EKM online shop onto their own Pinterest boards.

Linking to the Social Plugins feature

1. To link your Pinterest account to your EKM online shop, you need your Pinterest username. You can find this by visiting your Profile and clicking the Profile image in the top left:

2. Click Settings, and then scroll down to the Profile header. If you need to change your username, amend it in the Username field before clicking the red Save Settings button on the bottom right:

3. When you’re happy with your username, copy it from the username field. Log into your EKM online shop and open the Social Plugins feature on the Features page. Drag the Pinterest icon from the top field into the lower field:

4. Then you need to paste your Pinterest username into the Username field, and click the green update button:

You have now successfully linked your Pinterest account to your EKM online shop. Be sure to read Creating your Social Media Strategy for further advice on creating content for your target market. 

[more]

[/more]

[contact] If you need our help with your EKM online shop, contact your Account Manager or Customer Support, who will be able to point you in the right direction. We're open from 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-5.30pm on the weekends. If you'd like to suggest a feature or an upgrade on any of the EKM platforms, please let us know on the EKM Suggestions board. If you have a non-account specific question ask the EKM Team, join us in ekmCommunity.  [/contact]