10 things you need ot do when getting started on pinterst

10 Things You Need to Do When Getting Started on Pinterest

When it comes to getting started on Pinterest, people tend to fall into one of these three categories:

1. I’ve heard of Pinterest, don’t know what it is, and would like to learn more…

2. I understand what Pinterest is, but don’t know how to get started…

3. I joined Pinterest because someone told me I should, but I haven’t really done anything with it…

If you find yourself in any of these categories—this post was written for you.

Before you get started…

Before you even open your Pinterest account, there are a few questions you need to answer first:

Do you really know what Pinterest is? Take a few minutes to read this post, written by our social media manager, Erica Ayotte. It’s a good introduction to what Pinterest is all about.

Do you know why you’re getting started on Pinterest? You should always have some goal in mind when getting started on any social network. I’m not saying you need to have reports with projections for future growth, but you should at least have an answer when someone asks you why you’re signing up.

Do you know how to get around on Pinterest? It’s a good idea—before you start using Pinterest to market your business—to create a personal profile to help learn the ropes. Get familiar with the language (pin, repin, boards, etc.) and explore the different pages and features that Pinterest offers.

After you’ve answered those very important questions, you’re ready to get started building your presence on Pinterest. Here are 10 things you need to do to get started…

1. Get your names straightened out

On Pinterest, there are two names you need to be aware of: your username and your account name. Your username is the name that will be used in the URL of your Pinterest page (www.pinterest.com/username), but will not be the name that is displayed on your profile.

The name that will be displayed on your Pinterest page (and will be the name that people use to search for you on Pinterest) is your account name. So if you’re setting up a page for your business, Pinterest will still ask for your “First Name” and “Last Name.” What you will need to do is fill in those fields as if your business’ name was your name. (For example, Constant Contact would fill in the account name as First Name: Constant, Last Name: Contact.)

2. Upload a profile picture that’s Pinterest-worthy

Let me clarify by saying your profile picture does not need to be a work of art. But you do want it to be something that catches people’s attention, clearly demonstrates who you are, and stands out in the visual realm that is Pinterest. For businesses, company logos with solid colors tend to stand out better on Pinterest’s all-white background. (Keep in mind that the dimensions of your Profile picture are 600×600 pixels—photos smaller than that will look stretched.)

The Art Impressions Inc logo makes the perfect profile picture. It fits the dimensions, it stands out on a white background, and it catches the attention of their followers.

3. Create a profile that captures your business

The focus of Pinterest as a site for content curation—where people are constantly looking to find content they love and want to share—makes it a place where a lot of new people are going to be exposed to your business.

Here’s how it works:

  • You’re a bakery and you pin a picture of a fresh batch of muffins.
  • My friend, who’s already a customer and follows your “Muffins” board, sees the picture … LOVES IT! and repins it to her “Muffin Madness” board.
  • I, a lover of muffins, but not currently a customer of yours, see the picture … LOVE IT!, repin it to my “MMMuffin” board and click on your name to find out who you are…

So who are you? Tell me, or any customer: who you are, what you do, and why I should want to follow you or your boards.

4. Connect to the right social networks

One of the things that makes Pinterest unique is its connectivity with other social networks. When you sign in to Pinterest from either Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest is going to put an icon on your profile that links your followers to each of those networks.

Keep in mind that when it comes to Facebook, Pinterest will connect users to your personal profile, not your Brand Page. If you’re going to log in with Facebook, just be careful that your profile is not too personal for your followers. And don’t forget to link your profile to your website!

The Constant Contact Pinterest page links to both the Constant Contact website and Twitter page.

5. Find businesses similar to yours on Pinterest

Guess what? You’re not the only business that’s in the beginner stages of Pinterest. In fact, with a lifespan of just over two years, the vast majority of Pinterest users would probably tell you they still have more to learn.

For that reason, and because Pinterest in its very nature is a site based on collaboration—you shouldn’t be afraid to look to other businesses for help when you’re getting started. Reach out to other local businesses, search for bigger businesses in your industry, ask your customers, or navigate to Pinterest’s different “Categories” to find inspiration.

Use Pinterest “Categories” to find businesses similar to your own.

6. Get the tools you need

Like with anything else, if you don’t have the right tools for the job—it’s tough to be successful.

Lucky for you, there are a couple of free tools you can access right from day one that will improve your chances of success on Pinterest.

Install the pin it button to your browser: Pinterest offers a free integration with all online browsers that will let you pin content to your page directly from any website. The “pin it” button not only makes it easy for you to curate content, but it will also link that content directly to the website it’s sourced from, helping you avoid any possible problems.

Download the Pinterest iPhone app: If you’re an iPhone user, the Pinterest app lets you manage your page on-the-go and also pin pictures with your location, directly from your phone.

Find a free analytics tool: At Constant Contact, we love Tailwind. This tool not only helps track the ways people are engaging with your content, but also focuses on showing users a relationship between what people are pinning and what they are buying online. You can also check out some of these other cool Pinterest analytics tools.

7. Create your first 3 boards

Believe it or not … you’re now ready to start creating your own boards.

I recommend creating at least three boards with a few pins on each, before you really start promoting your page. You don’t want to tell people you’re on Pinterest, until you’re actually on Pinterest.

Here are three ideas you can use to get started…

A board about your products or services: This board can be a great way to start contributing to the Pinterest community and to showcase your business. Be careful not to be too promotional, even when you’re just starting off. Make sure to give your board a better name than “Services” (maybe try… “What We Do”) and make sure your pins all have descriptions and link to your website.

A board designed to help: A key to not being too promotional on Pinterest is creating boards that your customers can actually use. If you’re a clothing store or boutique, that could be a board about fashion tips for the upcoming season, or if you’re a marketing company, that could be a board with infographics or pictures that link to blog posts—anything that will showcase your expertise and get people involved.

A board that’s just fun: I know getting started can be a little stressful, but try to lighten up. The beauty of Pinterest is that you can showcase your business and have fun while you do it. Think of something you love and that your customers will find entertaining. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

Creating boards with creative themes and unique goals is a good way to avoid being overly promotional on Pinterest.

8. Tell your network

Pinterest users LOVE finding out that their favorite business or organization is on Pinterest. Use the networks that you already have to spread the word. You can use Facebook and Twitter to tell people to find you on Pinterest.

If someone has already joined your email list, they most likely would love to connect with you on Pinterest too.

Send out an email to your contact list, inviting people to follow your boards or business. It’s easy to do with Constant Contact’s email templates.

9. Connect your touch points

A recent study found that 80.5% of small business websites do not link to social media networks. Not connecting your website to your social networks is a bad practice for all social networks, but especially for Pinterest. Adding a Pinterest logo to your website will not only help drive traffic to your page, but will act as a reminder to people who visit your website to pin your content. You’ll also want to make sure you’re inserting a link in your email newsletter with a strong call to action.

10. Keep pinning!

You’ve set up your profile, you’ve created a foundation, and you’ve begun spreading the word—don’t stop there! Continue to explore and find new and creative ways to market your business on Pinterest.

It won’t be long before you’re the one that other businesses look to for advice on getting started.

Want to learn more? Watch our recorded webinar, You’re Social, Now What?


Leave a comment »
  1. Thanks for the step-by-step intro. Pinterest is on my radar to add in the near future and having some easy to follow orientation is a big help. CC continues to ROCK!

  2. Can you pin your own artwork if you do not have a website?

    • Ryan Pinkham •

      @Lael Yes, you can upload pictures of your own to pin. It won’t drive traffic (which doesn’t appear to be a problem if you don’t have a website) but it will let you showcase your work. I would just make sure you make the most of your description to tell people that it is your original work.

    • Gaelle •

      make sure to add a copyright notice to protect your work or a watermark :)

  3. Can you promote your website? I make jewellery and have an online shop braceletsbyS.com
    alot don’t like you promoting your business why not? thought we all helped each other out
    I love Twitter please connect with me @braceletsbyS on fb but don’t like it
    I’ve just just started on pinterest and put my website on a board is this ok?
    Thanks Suzanne

  4. Hey there…So i have a problem in Pinterest…My Pins do not show up in Pinterest search.
    I have uploaded around 24 pins but none of my pins show up in Pinterest search result. If i google the same keywords it shows my pinterest page but when i search it on Pinterest it dosent show me my pins. I have been working hard on it but nothing has worked out as of now. I really want to fix this issue urgently. Please help me out. The page url is :http://pinterest.com/tallenge/


    • Ryan Pinkham •

      Hey Sara, thanks for reading!

      I took a look and asked around and came up with a few suggestions that may help…

      It’s possible that your boards won’t show up right away if they are new. If you just recently added them to Pinterest, it may take some time before the content gets picked up.

      The most common reason certain searches don’t get picked up on Pinterest is because the names that are being used are too common. Considering that your’s are unique to your biz, it’s unlikely that’s the problem. But you can consider adding hashtags to some of your pins. Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter anymore (they’re now being used on Instagram and Pinterest) and using them on Pins could help direct people to the content you’re trying to promote.

      If your boards are in fact new, I would keep checking back over the next few weeks to see if your search results improve. If not, you can always submit a support request to Pinterest at https://support.pinterest.com/anonymous_requests/new.

      Hope this helps and please make sure to let us know how things turn out.

    • Hi , message for Sara if you see this or Ryan if you’ve further info – did your search issue sort itself out in the end? I’m having exactly the same problem but my boards have only been up under a week. I can see now that your your images are coming up for Tallenge via search keywords. Did it take a long time to resolve?
      Thanks, Claire

      • hi there, i know that you all dealt with this pinterst search thing a while ago, but i find myself having the exact same problem. did it ever resolve over time? i am new as well and wonder if this is the same thing? since i’m new i’m not showing up in the search? please let me know, any help would be so appreciated

        • I can’t speak for either of these, but I have not shown up in the pinterest search for about a year now, and at least three completely useless messages sent to pinterest about it. It doesn’t seem like this is an issue they are working on, or that will change for individuals very soon.

      • i am having a problem with my images that are hash tagged not coming up in the search! did you get this resolved? how? i am entering a contest that is due tomorrow and i am so sad about it not working!

        • Angie •

          I am having this same problem! Photos with hash tags…I can see them….but no body else can! Were you able to figure it out?

  5. While using Pinterest, and uploading a photo, using Pinterst to log in, NOT Twitter or FB, I make sure the boxed for Twitter and FB are NOT checked.

    But it is uploading my Pins to Twitter and sometimes FB. I don’t want that since my 1Twitter account is business only, and I am using PInterest for fun, personal photos.
    How is this happening since neither box is checked and I am signing in using only PInterest?
    Please help!



    • Diane Davis •

      Karen, you may have figured this out by now, but one thing I found was, I had to log out (after checking boxes) and log back in. That fixed it for me…

  6. Although it can be very time consuming, I feel Pinterest is going to be very beneficual to my business. I have linked all social medias to my website and vice-versa. This is a great article to get you started on the right track to Pinterest for business success!

  7. Do you know if Pinterest has addressed the issue of copyright infringement? In the early days there was a big uproar over recipes and photos being “pinned” without attribution. Basically straight up plagiarism. Pinterest held individual users responsible for policing the plagiarists, declining any enforcement at all. Has this changed?

    • It’s still the users responcibility is it not. Basically I believe you have to ask permission if the image does not belong to you. Please correct me if wrong.

  8. Pinterest recently came out with services for businesses. If you have an existing account, you can easily convert it to a business account.

    • Ryan Pinkham •

      Thanks Rebecca, just saw this today. We’ll have to update our Pinterest material across the board. Thanks again!

  9. Hi there love the Pinterest post… I am just starting to dabble in it but am really excited with the new business platform… do you know when you will have post on that? I’d love to hear your input on best use and effectively setting up a biz pinterest profile. Our business is very visually based so it will be helpful for us… Thanks

  10. I really needed this post. I’m on Pininterest (sort of). Didn’t really know what to do with it or how posting pretty pictures would help me with my business. I’m still not sure that people go there looking for information on businesses, but any exposure is good exposure, so I’m going to get back in there and do a little work. Thanks for sharing!

  11. This is a great way to start with my site. Thanks so much.

  12. diana •

    Hello, I need help. I wanted a business account on Pinterest. But I would like to keep it separate. I changed my personal account to a business one. How do i do to switch back from a business to a personal again. Hope you can help me. Thank you.

  13. we run an online shop http://www.nowexport.com, and how to market on pinterest?
    do we have to build pinboards for each categories?

    and, do you know any effective upload bulk images tools?
    it would be too time consuming if post one pic a time…

  14. Pinterest is still in the infancy stage for business development. Few understand it now but that will change. Mostly people are looking at recipes and travel photos at the moment. But there is a lot of potential with Twitter and Facebook integration.

  15. AnnMarie Deis •

    Do you have any idea how to filter content? I keep seeing pins of wedding dresses, baby nurseries, tattoos from people whom I do NOT follow. How do I filter this out and see only content that is interesting to me?

  16. I have the same problem as Sarah. None of my pins show up in searches. They’re not new, either. Most of them are several months old. While some may have too generic descriptions, a few certainly shouldn’t (such as “cherry blossom parasol,” something that brings up only a few results, but not mine with those keywords). I thought maybe it was just an issue with the pins, or a super long time delay, until someone repinned one of them. A couple days later I searched the same “cherry blossom parasol” keywords, and voila! The pictures had appeared under the repinner’s name, but mine were still nowhere in sight. I have sent pinterest to messages about this, a few months apart, and have received no reply from either of them. Err… help?

    • Ali,
      MY PINS ARE NOT SHOWING UP IN GOOGLE SEARCHES: I’m having the same problem. I joined pinterest recently, created 12 boards, built 50 pins, seo’d & maxed out 500+/- words per pin, pushed links to my site, etc. Still nothing showing up in google. My pinterest user name is a “top level keyword”; http://www.pinterest.com/lakenormannc .

      I’m not sure how often pinterest is being crawled. I must note that I joined pinterest less than10 days ago and I do not have any pin / followers yet. Likely the problem. Anyone on this board know what I can do to show up on google searches, other than hashtags? Or, is it a sit back and wait to be found by google? Please help…thanks

  17. I would like to know why some/most of my picture do not show on my boards. The box is there with description & space where picture should be. What is weird is that they are all from my computer and are identical in properties & some of the pictures showed up. I have even tried to re-upload several. I email Pinterest and they did even try to help.

    Please Help!!! If someone could look at my Board/Page, look under “Beautiful Landscapes” or “Garden” or “Water fun”. A suggestions??

    • Ryan Pinkham •

      Hi Carolyn. I reached out to our social media team and this isn’t a problem they have noticed on Pinterest before. A possible source of the problem could however, be the size of the image your uploading.

      Right now, Pinterest only allows for images that are 554×5,000 (pixels). You may want to try resizing your images and uploading them again.

      After doing a Google search, I also saw a number of queries from Mac users saying that they had sizing and display problems when uploading images to Pinterest. If you have access to another computer, it may be worth a shot.

      Sorry we don’t have a definite answer to your problem but give that a try and let us know. I will continue to ask around, as well.

      • Thanks Ryan for reply. 2 answers I am using a PC & the images size should be small as it is from my IPhone 4.

        —- when i have tried to upload photos from my computer some of the pictures upload fine and others are on the board but the square where the picture should be is blank with a question mark in the middle what does this mean ?

  18. Angie Frattaroli •

    In my emails I recieve “this person is following all your boards” and I know what that means. What does it mean when it saids “this person is following YOU”? Please help me understand the difference between them. Thank you

  19. This is exactly the kind of info I was hoping to fnd. It’s better than what Pinterest offers on its site esp as relates to business purposes.

  20. Never knew about PinReach. Will try it out now. Thanks for sharing!

  21. I want to use the images I like form Pinterest in emails I send to clients. I have a Mac book Pro and do not get how to copy an image and paste it into my email?

  22. Mad Harper •

    I set up Pinterest for my friend Mary Acton. Her business is Ceramics Conservation and Restoration. The URL for her Pinterest a/c is http://www.pinterest.com/maryacton HOWEVER if I search for “Mary Acton” or “Ceramics Conservation and Restoration” her page doesn’t appear – in Pinterest search or on google. I think it’s a glitch and I’m guessing I might have to delete her a/c and start again, but do you have any ideas? Very grateful for your help. Thanks.

  23. Debbie •

    How do I add pins on the iPhone app?

  24. NOTE: Many companies, like ours, are blocking Facebook or creating extreme limited access to facebook through application controls in order to keep employees from getting distracted and focused on doing their job AND to help avoid having thier networks infected by malware that has been associated with various links coming through facebook. So, it would be great if we could access ebooks you offer (i.e. Download our free Pinterest eBook, How to Drive Social Visibility and New Business with Pinterest.) without having to go through facebook which is blocked at our company. Can you email me the eBook or provide another way to download it? Thanks.

  25. This was really informative! One thing I’d like to learn more about but can’t seem to find, is how I can use this as a Sales Execuitve for a small handbags & accessories company. My role initially is direct selling, sort of similar to the Stella & Dot concept – social selling. My goal is to develop a client/customer base where I promote her business, but customers that are introduced to her brand, buy through me. How can I use Pinterest to that effect? Can it beneficial to me even though I’m not the owner of the company? Thanks for any insight or guidance you can provide!

  26. I forgot my password, and when I enter my email Pintrest has never sent a reply,so I deactivated my account and want to reestablish it.Can you tell me how to recover my pintrest account?

  27. I “liked” the CC FB page in order to access the “free ebook” about Pinterest, and could find no feasible way to access the book after doing that. (A billboard popped up about using Mobile to Market. Aside from being off-topic, it didn’t even appear to be an ebook, and offered no “download.” It looked like a live event.

    I am “unliking” the CC page as a result. If someone can email me the free ebook, I would be happy to “like” it again.” Thank you.

    • Dave Charest •

      Hi Paula,

      Sorry you had some trouble. I’ve sent you an email with the guide.

  28. Kristin Ranuio •

    Hi, I set up a page today for my business but my Facebook fans told me they cannot find it. Is there a wait time? Do I need to make it public like on facebook? Any help appreciated, the business Name is Napa Scents, and I did it like you said in the first/last name.

  29. Lauri •

    Before I had to create an account, I “Pinned” a lot of stuff. Now with my new account, my old pins are gone. how do I get them back onto my new account?

  30. someone please explain why i cant bring up the page that has the catagories on the bar right below the pinterest sign ? it’s always been there now it’s gone . when i click on pinterest it just brings up whatever and it doesn’t have alot to get to the end of the page. i used to click on diy or humor or whatever and i could keep going for a long time it never seemed to end. now in less than a minute i’m at the bottom of the page. not happy!!!! HELP i miss my pinterest

  31. I have a question. I have two direct sales companies that I am involved in. How important is it to have two different Pinterest accounts? Can’t I just use my personal and make separate boards for my business or will that not drive the amount of traffic I am seeking?

  32. Thanks for the info. Definitely going to book mark it. How do I find out what my pinterest url is to put in my subscription options on my blog?

  33. I can not figure what my pinterest url is? I know this should be easy.I have pinterest in my Facebook tabs and on news letters but can not figure the url?

  34. A great list of points.
    I find that a lot of people are unsure about how to get started on Pinterest and how to use it for their business. Your post and screen shots provide a very handy guide.

  35. sue •

    I’m wondering if I can pin a recipe of my own? Does it have to be on the internet somewhere already?

  36. Hi, I would like to replace some of my photos, (for two reasons, I rebranded my blog and the watermark is different and I also increased my photo sizes on my blog so I want them to appear larger) therefore I’m not happy with some of my old photos and would like to replace them as new files.
    However, those are already surfacing on Pinterest.
    Can I just edit my post and delete the photos and upload new ones?
    Will this affect the old photos on Pinterest and will that break the link?
    I will not change the url of the post.
    I’m trying to understand if Pinterest uses the url only as a method of sharing the post and not the image file/ upload url.
    I would appreciate some help in getting this done.
    Thank you in advance.

  37. Pinterest is social media site which get popularity in a few days. And this blog describing about fast pinterest followers is really good and how to market on pinterest? Thanks for sharing such useful information.

  38. Eugenia Loukidou •

    When you pin a page and it shows you where that page came from I ‘follow’ that page but where can I go and see all the pages I follow?
    It says on my account I follow something like 4000 pages, where can I go and see these pages?

  39. Anastasia •

    How do I put more than one picture on the board every time I try it makes a new board and I don’t want that.

  40. Nicki •

    I wanted to see if you can help me. I accidentally converted my personal account to a business account. I can’t get it back to a personal one. Do you know how by chance?

  41. Jana Williams •

    Does anybody know where I need to go to keep my pins from being pinned by others? I know I am supposed to type a bit of code under the head section of my page and I have the code but I don’t know where to start! I don’t know where my blogger is and how to get there! I am not a complete idiot, I am just not that great with computers! If I just knew where I am supposed to go or what I am looking for than I know what to do when I get there! I am more of a visual person and it’s hard to understand without seeing something right in front of me! I would greatly appreciate anyone who could help me, as I have looked everywhere for help in this area! Thank you, Jana

  42. I just started usingin interest and I can’t find where I made comment its a bit confusing can u help??

  43. Maria Visser •

    I have been on pinterest for more than a year but lately In find it difficult to log on. Why???

  44. Carol •

    I just deleted a pin and I dont know if I deleted my Pintrest account? I am totally new to this and do not know\
    what I am doing. Please let me know if I am still on Pintrest or how to get instructions on how to use Pintrest
    Thank you very much

  45. Poor little Pinterest newbies. This was a little harsh albeit helpful.


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