In Your Brand’s Best Pinterest

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Adding Pinterest to your ecommerce strategy

Last month, Pinterest showed off its first ad at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and it’s a beautiful tribute to how the platform connects and inspires 70 million users worldwide. Just four years from its beta launch in 2010, Pinterest has 2.5 million page views per month, making it the fastest growing social platform today.

But its popularity is not the only draw – Pinterest is more successful than Twitter and Facebook at turning followers into consumers. Take a look at Pinterest by the numbers:

Clearly, Pinterest is an essential platform for ecommerce retailers. It also appears to be especially merchant-friendly; last week, Pinterest introduced a new tweak to its popular follow button that makes it easier for consumers to follow retailers off-site. Below you’ll find a quick roadmap for adopting (or improving) your Pinterest ecommerce strategy.


To begin capitalizing on Pinterest’s potential, make sure your Pinterest business account looks its best with optimized image and pin specs. Pinterest is all about visual inspiration, so don’t lose potential followers with distorted images or unattractive content.

Ideal Pinterest image specs:

Profile image: displays 165 x 165px can upload 600 x 600px

Board cover image: 217 x 147px

Main page pin: 238 x adjusted height px

Enlarged pin: 735 x adjusted height px


Users spend more on products they discover on Pinterest than users on any other platform. Take advantage of this fact by tailoring your profile and pins to your target audience. 80% of all content on Pinterest are shares or repins. You can entice followers to share your content with these tips:


Boards – where your pins are organized – are just as important to your Pinterest strategy. Think about what kind of content resonates with your target audience – whether that is your own products or something that fits with your audience’s interests and lifestyles. Better Homes & Gardens did this with a “Blogger Recipes We Love” board, which is now one of the most successful boards on Pinterest with over 1 million repins. Check it out:

Consider how your product can interact with other brands to encourage a cross following of users. Maybe your lemonade recipe would look great in a mug from a glassware store or would taste great with herbs from an organic food store. Pinterest is all about sharing the love, the pins, and the followers.


Like any other social platform, Pinterest is constantly changing, making it difficult for retailers to keep up. Here we break down different types of promotional pins and the ways ecommerce businesses can take advantage of the features.

Promoted Pins

In May, Pinterest announced it would begin testing “Promoted Pins”. Promoted Pins are ads that allow businesses to increase pin visibility. The reaction from users was generally positive. Promoted Pins should be available to all retailers soon, but in the meantime you can sign up for priority access here.

Rich Pins

Rich Pins are topic-specific details you can add to pins to provide extra information to followers. Etsy shop owners are especially good at tagging its products. There are five types to choose from – movies, recipes, articles, products, and places – which add info like showtimes, ingredients, prices, and locations.

To add Rich Pins to your account, add the correct meta-tags. Pinterest’s For Developers section will help.

Pinterest goodies

Pinterest Goodies are a variety of resources that can help you enhance your social media strategy with Pinterest. These include apps, bookmarks, share buttons, profile-website syncing, mobile-friendly browsing, interactive comment sections, and site-based analytics.

Check back often, because new Goodies are always being added. Just this month Pinterest improved functionality for its follow button. Now when users click a retailer’s Pinterest button, they’ll get a pop-up preview of that company’s latest pins, allowing them to check out a store’s social presence without leaving the actual shopping page – a win for everyone.

For more information on these options, head to the Pinterest Tools page.


Pinterest’s hashtags serve a similar purpose to those on Twitter by monitoring brands and trends. They are great for search purposes and can help track contest entries.

Keep in mind, hashtags are only useful when placed within the description of a pin. This means they won’t work in board titles, board descriptions, account descriptions or profile names. Hashtags are clickable, and if you’re trying to expand reach of a pin use simple, trending hashtags. When a similar hashtag is clicked, your pin will show up in the search results. On the other end of that spectrum, if you’re hosting a contest, use a unique hashtag to find and track entries more easily.

Promotions & contests

Contests are a great way to expand your email list, increase the number of followers, and engage an audience on Pinterest. The platform has the capability to host extremely interactive contests that breed brand loyalty, so take advantage of it!

You can jump start your Pinterest following with a “Pin It To Win It” contest. Ask your followers to repin or upload content featuring a branded hashtag, then randomly choose one contestant as a winner.

Of course, the easier it is to enter a contest, the more likely someone will participate; some contests only require a “follow” or a “comment” for a chance to win. Still, many brands require contestants to finish off their entry with an email address so they can reach out to them later on.

You can also ask contestants to create “themed” boards as a means of entry. Finally, don’t forget to cross-promote your contest on Facebook, Twitter, and your website.

During the 2013 holiday season, this approach scored Kahlua 16,000 unique email addresses, 1.4 million impressions, and boosted the brand to 14 times the original number of followers!

You can find legal implications for contests on Pinterest’s official rules here.


While online links and buttons are a no-brainer, smart omnichannel stores are taking the initiative to promote their Pinterest presence among shoppers in the real world. This strategy creates a virtuous cycle – social interaction boosts product awareness, and in-store shopping increases Pinterest engagement. One great example: Nordstrom recently placed labels on in-store products that are most popular on their Pinterest page. Not coincidentally, Nordstrom is one of the most followed brands on Pinterest.

SEO Potential

Similar to other social media platforms, your Pinterest profile will be indexed by search engines. But, unlike other platforms, your posts will also be indexed. As a result, Pinterest provides a good amount of SEO power. Here’s how you can capitalize on it:

  1. Name your boards, pins, and images to correspond with product names and popular keywords so they show up in relevant searches.

  2. Be sure the link associated with each pin is correct.
  3. Pinterest links are nofollows, so don’t try to use them to build rank.
  4. 3% of boards still have default names. Use unique names to stand out.
  5. Board names will be used in the Pinterest URL, so choose wisely.
  6. Give your image files proper names and alt text before uploading.
  7. Use hashtags, including branded terms, to increase pin discovery.
  8. Optimize your username and “About” section to capitalize on industry-specific search traffic.
  9. Leverage long-tail terms to expand your audience.

The wrap up

With some social media platforms, the shelf life of a post is extremely short-lived (some say Tweets have a 18-30 minute lifespan). Pins last a bit longer, but it’s important to understand when your pins get the most engagement and views. The chart below breaks it down. On average, the majority of your clicks will occur in the first two days of posting.

Adding Pinterest to your ecommerce strategy will push your products the extra mile, ultimately bolstering sales and brand engagement. So whether your company is small or large, new or old, virtual or physical, smart use of Pinterest has the ability to attract and influence a wide audience of potential customers.

Ripen Services

Amplify your online presence with social media marketing services. With viral media to attract fans, contests and promotions to increase followers, and compelling content to engage and retain loyal customers, Ripen will build an in-depth experience for your brand. See more ecommerce solutions.


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