5 Powerful Tools for Growing Your Business on Pinterest

5 Powerful Tools for Growing Your Business on Pinterest

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Are you getting the most out of your Pinterest account?

While Pinterest is still a great way to engage with your community and show off your brand’s personality, they’ve recently rolled out some exciting new ways for you to grow your business.

In this post, we’ll walk through how you can increase your sales with some of Pinterest’s most innovative tools. We’ve put together a set of updated strategies for Promoted Pins, Buyable Pins, and other new features that will help you build your most successful social media campaigns yet.

After all, over ⅔ of all of the content on Pinterest is Pinned from a business’ website which means that Pinterest is so much more than just a social media platform - it’s a gathering place for people who are eager to discover new products and you need to optimize your approach accordingly.

Before we get going, set up a Pinterest account for your business and verify your website if you haven’t already.

Let’s dive in!

1. Buyable Pins

Pinterest is huge for shopping: 93% of Pinterest users have used it to plan purchases and Buyable Pins are a convenient and secure way to make shopping on Pinterest even better for your customers.

pinterest buyable pinsBuyable Pins are fully synchronized with your online store and allow users to shop and make purchases without ever actually leaving Pinterest. These Pins look a lot like their normal counterparts and feature pricing, product variants, and a blue “Buy It” button which gives your customers the option to make purchases directly from Pinterest on mobile and desktop.

By integrating your shop right into Pinterest, you can capture your customers right in their moments of highest intent. Buyable Pins have actually been shown to have 2x higher conversion rates on mobile than regular Pins, making them a powerful tool for businesses that are serious about growing their sales on Pinterest.

If you own a Shopify store, turning your product Pins into Buyable Pins is a quick and easy process. All you need to do is add the Pinterest sales channel to your store and wait for Pinterest to approve your request. Once you’ve been approved, every single Pin featuring your products will automatically be turned into a Buyable Pin. Note: Buyable Pins are currently only available for merchants selling in USD and shipping products to the USA.

To help give your Buyable Pins a better chance at being discovered by new customers, there are a few things that you can do to boost your rankings.

It’s important to remember that Pinterest is not just a social media platform, it’s a search engine too and, as a result, it looks at a variety of factors when determining the relevancy of your content. Optimization is key when it comes to getting your pins seen and your products purchased.

Here are some Pinterest SEO tips for boosting your content’s search ranking and increasing the discoverability of your Buyable Pins.

Optimize Product Titles, Descriptions, Tags, and Image Details

Be sure to include product details like material, colour, pattern, brand, and any other keywords that you think customers would use to search for your products.

Wherever possible, add these keywords into your product titles, descriptions, tags, and image details - even your image’s filename will contribute to how your Pins show up in Pinterest search rankings.

Increase Your Engagement

Building your community and increasing engagement will help Pinterest understand that your content is relevant and that it needs to be seen by more people. Encourage users to Repin your products by adding CTAs to your Pins’ descriptions like ‘Add this one to your wishlist!’ or ‘Pin this for later!’. Adding a CTA to your Pins can actually increase engagement by 80%.

A perfect example of CTA-driven engagement is Pretty Presets - an ecommerce business that sells photography presets for Lightroom.

pin it for later

To increase engagement on Pinterest, they include ‘Pin it for later’ shortlinks in their Facebook posts. These links take users directly to Pinterest and instantly prompt them to Pin the post to one of their boards.

To get your own ‘Pin it for later’ shortlinks, you’ll need to first add the ‘Pin It’ button to your browser. Once you have the ‘Pin It’ button installed, head to your desired product page and click the ‘Pin It’ option that appears when you hover over your product image.

pin it buttonA pop-up just like this one should appear. Grab the pop-up’s URL, run it through a link shortener like Bit.ly, and voila! You now have a ‘Pin it for later’ shortlink that you can add to your social media posts.

2. Flashlight Search Tool

Flashlight Search Tool is an innovative feature that allows users to organically discover products based on their appearance.

With the click of a button, users can identify and find related images for products featured in photos across Pinterest. The Flashlight Search Tool opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for product discovery on Pinterest since customers can now find your business just by seeing your product or a similar item in another Pin.

Let’s quickly run through how your customers can use Flashlight to discover your products.

pinterest flashlight search party suppliesSo, I’ve come across this Pin from Mashable about Susty Party, an ecommerce shop for sustainable party supplies, and that small green plate up front has caught my eye.

I think it might be a cool choice for an upcoming party, but, unfortunately, clicking on this Pin won’t take me straight to its product page. If I want to make a purchase or learn more about that plate, the first thing that I’ll need to do is click on the Flashlight icon in the top right corner.

pinterest flashlight search selectionNext, I’ll adjust my selection to focus only on the object that I’d like to see more of - in this case, the small green plate. Once I’ve highlighted the plate, I’ll be served a series of relevant images along with some related search terms.

pinterest flashlight searchSusty Party has done a great job with their visual SEO here - the first result that I’m shown has actually been Pinned straight from Susty Party’s website and it links right out to the plate’s product page on their online store. If I wanted to purchase some plates, I would easily be able to do so right now.

How to Use the Flashlight Search Tool for Your Business

To use Flashlight to your advantage, you’ll have to anticipate how Pinterest users might use it to discover your products. Try to create and Pin product-only images that link out to their respective product pages as well as lifestyle images that show how your products will fit into your customers’ everyday routines.

For instance, if you’re an artist trying to sell prints of your work, you can take high-quality photos of your art hanging in well decorated spaces. Pin these photos to your Pinterest and optimize their descriptions so that users might come across them while searching for things like home decor, style, or the pieces of furniture that might also be in your photos.

Content like this will help you reach a wider audience by creating more opportunities for people to organically discover your products and visualize how they might fit into their lives. If your aspirational, lifestyle content is supplemented by product-only photos that are Pinned to your profile and linked to product pages, then you’ll easily be able to create a pathway for curious users to purchase your products.

3. Guided Search

Guided Search is Pinterest’s way of grouping search results to help users discover content that better fits their interests.

Pinterest’s endless stream of images can be a bit overwhelming for some, so Pinterest now uses a category-based system to help guide users’ search queries. These categories give users a chance to keep searching by narrowing down their initial queries with recommended keywords, rather than becoming frustrated and leaving if they can’t find what they’re looking for at first.

Let’s take a quick look at how a typical Pinterest user might use Guided Search to make a purchase.

So, I’m looking for a new chair for my home workspace, but I’m not quite sure what I’m interested in yet.

pinterest guided search modern chairsI might start off with a simple search term like ‘office chair’. Before Guided Search, I would’ve looked at this page, not seen anything that I wanted, and headed elsewhere to find my chair.

However, since Pinterest is recommending me related topics, I’ll try one out. Let’s click ‘Modern’.

pinterest guided search workspacesOkay, I’m starting to see some better options - but I’m not totally sure how they’ll vibe with my space. Let’s try clicking ‘Workspaces’.

pinterest guided search officeI think I see one that might work. Let’s take a look.

pinterest guided search closeupUpon closer inspection, I don’t totally love the material. Let’s use Flashlight to look for something similar.

pinterest guided search flashlightThat one’s not too bad, let’s try to get some more details.

pinterest guided search final stepAwesome, I’ve got all the information I need to make my purchase. This is a great example of how a Pinterest user might discover one of your products with Guided Search.

How to Use Guided Search for Your Business

The best way to optimize your pins for Guided Search is to think like one of your customers.

Brainstorm keywords that someone might use to find your products and then search for them on Pinterest. Take note of which keywords Guided Search suggests and then try your best to incorporate any relevant ones into your product titles and descriptions, so that your products will also have a shot at appearing in the results for those categories as well.

For even better results, keep diving down the rabbit hole! Go further and further through relevant keywords to get more insights into how you can optimize your products.

4. Promoted Pins

With over 50 billion Pins out there, it’s easy for your posts to get lost in your followers’ feeds, but Promoted Pins are opening up massive opportunities for businesses to lift their products above the noise and get them right in front of new customers.

Promoted Pins give your posts priority in search results and push them all the way to the top of your target audience’s feeds. These native ads look almost identical to regular Pins which allows them to seamlessly blend in with the organic content around them. By putting money behind your Pins, you’ll be able to get them served up to your target audience in no time.

Let’s get our first Promoted Pins started.

How to Create Promoted Pins

Currently, Promoted Pins are only available to US Pinners. If you’re a merchant who sells in USD, ships to the USA, and would like to use Promoted Pins to sell to these Pinners, you'll need to have a US Credit Card to enter in billing information.  

To create your very own Promoted Pins, head to the Pinterest Ads Manager and login. Once you’ve logged in, make your way on over to the Promoted Pin Creator.

campaign goalFrom here, you’ll be able to create two different ad types: Engagement and Traffic. If you choose ‘Boost engagement with your Pins’, you’ll pay whenever someone clicks, Repins, or views your Pin closeup. If you choose ‘Get traffic to your website’, you’ll instead pay every time someone goes to your website via your Promoted Pin.

Depending on what you’re hoping to achieve, either option could work. Engagement is great for raising your brand’s profile and building a community, but Traffic is what you really want to focus on if you’re hoping to make sales.

For the sake of this article, let’s try building a Traffic-based Promoted Pin.

choose campaign goalClick on ‘Get traffic to your website’ and fill out the details for your new campaign. Give your campaign a name that will help you easily identify it (your campaign’s name will only be used for internal purposes) and set a schedule and budget.

Remember: The budget that you’re setting up is a daily budget - take your total ad budget and divide it by the amount of days that your campaign will be running to get the correct amount.

Once you’ve dropped in your details, click ‘Pick a Pin’ and select the Pin that you’d like to promote for your campaign.

promoted pins detailsAfter picking a pin, you’ll be able to add more details for your ad and fine-tune your targeting.

Define the URL that you want to drive traffic to (you can use trackable links and links from shorteners like Bit.ly or Google Link Shortener for this part) and customize your targeting options so that your ads are only served to your ideal audience.

Under ‘Terms’ be sure to include any keywords about your product that people might be using to search for it. Brand name, categories, material, color - anything you can think of. It’s recommended that you use at least 20 - 30 terms per Pin to get the best results.

For your Maximum CPC bid, you’ll need to experiment and see what gets you the most clicks. Bids will vary depending on your targeting and budget, so play around with them and optimize as your campaigns move forward. You will, however, need to bid at least $0.10 to actually create a campaign.

Ideally, you want to see how the bid rate is qualifying the traffic you’re paying to see on your site. In other words, it’s not how much you’re paying per click, but which bid rate is getting you better quality clicks. You always want to take the total amount spent over a period of time and then divide this by your total sales revenue. Sometimes, you may pay more per click, but you could be bringing in more sales volume, reducing your 'cost per sale' average.

When you increase your bid rate, it doesn’t mean that you'll actually pay that amount for every click. Pinterest uses a similar system as Google Adwords. It’s a live auction and your $7 bid may win you against the second highest bidder of $5.50, but you’ll only pay $5.51 as the winner.

Once you’ve entered a Maximum CPC bid, Pinterest will let you know a range of what your competitors are bidding for similar targeting. You can try to use this information to your advantage, but, if you’re just starting out, it’s best to just remain within the recommended range.

Scroll down and click ‘Promote’. You’ve just created your first Promoted Pin!

Pinterest will now need to review your pin to make sure that it follows its advertising guidelines. This process usually takes about 24 hours.

How to Track the Success of Your Promoted Pins

To track the success of your Promoted Pins, you’ll need to drop a piece of code - called a conversion tag - onto your website.

Conversion tags can help you figure out exactly how many times Pinterest users are signing up for newsletters, purchasing your products, and more. You’ll be able to track your customers’ actions on Pinterest as well as their shopping behaviours on your site.

Note: If you’re using Google Analytics in conjunction with Pinterest’s conversion pixel, your data may not end up looking the same. This is not uncommon. However, it’s best for these numbers to be at least close. If you have experience with Facebook Ads, you’ll notice that the same thing can happen when you’re using the new Facebook Pixel.

There are many reasons behind this, but it’s mainly due to the fact that Pinterest will track the conversion as long as they met your customers on their platform whereas Google Analytics is going to attribute the conversion (by default) using a last click attribution model. So, you could be tracking a customer using a Pinterest conversion pixel, but you may have interacted with that customer via a Google search on your online site or a Facebook Shop page, producing different results in Google Analytics.

conversion tagTo set up your conversion tags, click on ‘Ads’ in your navigation bar and then select ‘Conversion tracking’ from the drop down menu.

Click ‘Create tag’ and fill in the details for your campaign and specify what you’d like to track. Your conversion type will depend on the goal for your campaign - for instance, if you are trying to increase your sales, you’ll probably want to track how many times customers proceeded to checkout from your Promoted Pin.

Once you’ve created your conversion tag, you’ll be given a piece of code that you’ll have to add to your online store. Copy your code and paste it just before closing the <body> tag on the page that you’re hoping to track conversions for.

shopify admin settings checkout

If you own a Shopify store, you’ll just need to head to your Shopify admin and click on ‘Settings’ then ‘Checkout’.

additional content scriptsHead to the ‘Order processing’ section and drop your code into the ‘Additional content and scripts’ field. If you need a little extra help, take a look at our conversion tracking guide.

Okay, you’re all set! When your campaign starts producing results, you’ll be able to track it on your main Ads Manager dashboard.

5. Rich Pins

Rich Pins are an easy way to give your customers more context and insight into the products that they see in your Pins. They’re incredibly handy, but can sometimes require a bit of coding on your part to make sure that Pinterest can find the appropriate information on your website.

There are currently six different types of Rich Pins available: app, article, movie, place, product, and recipe - although, product will be the most useful one for us right now.

Product Rich Pins are very similar to Buyable Pins: They include information like pricing, inventory, and store details - however, unlike Buyable Pins, customers cannot make purchases from inside Rich Pins. Nonetheless, they’re still a great option if you don’t have access to Buyable Pins yet.

dodocase product rich pinHere’s an example of a Rich Pin for a product from DODOCase - the pricing, inventory status, and seller information are all easily accessible, along with a CTA that will push viewers through to the product page on the website.

How to Get Rich Pins for Your Products

To set up Rich Pins for your products, you’ll need to edit the metadata on your store’s product pages to make sure that Pinterest can pull the correct information. If you own a Shopify store, your metadata will already be filled out and you can go right and get your Rich Pins validated.

Validating Rich Pins for your online store is as easy as heading to Pinterest’s Rich Pins Validator and entering the URL for one of your product pages. The validator will take a look at your product page and notify you of any errors that might be stopping Pinterest from collecting your product’s details.

If your metadata is good to go, you can then select which format you used to mark up your product page (Shopify store owners will just need to select ‘Shopify’) and click ‘Apply now’. Rich Pins will be enabled for all of your store’s products (not just the one you validated) in less than an hour.


With these exciting new tools at your disposal, your business should be well on its way to getting more sales with Pinterest.

What are your favourite strategies for growing your business on Pinterest? Let us know in the comments below!

kevin donnelly shopify-author

About the Author

Kevin Donnelly is a content creator at Shopify with an unhealthy Drake obsession.


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