Pinterest basics: Why Your Business Needs a Business Account

Are you like the small business owners I talk to all the time who are unsure about how to go about starting a Pinterest presence? Or maybe you’re already on Pinterest but aren’t sure how best to showcase your Pinterest content to your target audience. If so, this series of blog posts is for you! 

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Today, I’m going to convince you that whatever type of business you run, you need a business Pinterest account to be truly successful and follow best practices on this platform. We will talk about the main differences between a Pinterest business account vs the one for personal use. We will discuss why a free business account will help grow your business and reach the most Pinterest users possible.  

Consider this your beginner’s guide to starting to use Pinterest strategically as part of your social networks and marketing toolbox. I’m starting literally at zero. So whether you’ve never used Pinterest before or you’ve only used it at the personal level to browse holiday destinations or sewing patterns, you CAN learn to leverage this search engine for your own commercial use, I promise! Let’s get started! 

Do I really need a business account?

Maybe you’ve heard conflicting information about whether or not you truly need a business account to make Pinterest work for you and you’re just not sure. You’ve read or heard other people say that your existing personal account is good enough. I’m sure it feels easiest to just believe that. Well, let me give you the goods on why you’re really going to want a Pinterest business account vs a new personal account AND why it really isn’t that much trouble to make the change. 

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Is a Pinterest business account free?

This is probably your number one concern! It makes sense that a business account would come with a fee of some kind, right? Wrong! A business account (or business profile) is absolutely free. It does not cost you anything to sign up for this type of account. Is it starting to look like a good idea yet? There is no cost to having a business account on Pinterest.

What is the purpose of a Pinterest business account?

Besides the account itself being free, once you have a business account you have access to a whole range of information tools and business resources that you cannot access with a personal account. Let’s talk about all the different ways you as a small business owner can leverage your new account to help your business grow. There are even certain features that are only available to business owners and creators if they have a business account.

1. Access to your Pinterest analytics 

This feature helps you track your overall account performance. You can also see how the individual Pins that you are sharing on Pinterest are actually doing! This allows you to measure your return on your investments (or, ROI). Time is still an investment! You want to make sure the time you spend creating and sharing Pins on your Pinterest account is getting you something in return. You can take the analytics data and use it to inform your strategy going forward. This data allows you to look hard at YOUR particular niche and YOUR Pins and products that you’re sharing to Pinterest and ask, what is actually doing well? You can use this data to focus on what’s working, ditch what’s not, and keep improving your Pinterest marketing strategy.

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2. Access to resources

There are several resources you can access with your Pinterest business profile that your personal account does not have. This includes instructions and tips for how to use the platform as a business owner or a creator. More information can only be a good thing! Without these resources, you will have to do more from scratch, which means more time-consuming guesswork.

3. Claim a website

Claiming a website is something you are allowed to do as a business account holder, and it’s a valuable feature! As long as you can embed code in the backend of your website, you can claim it. Once the code is embedded, Pinterest can send a signal and ensure that you actually own that particular website. (Otherwise, they might give you access to information you’re not supposed to have. It is a safety feature.) You can do this if you have a stand store, a Shopify store, or if you have your own domain. At this moment, you can claim more than one website, and Pinterest is even beta-testing allowing business account holders to claim an Instagram account! Why does this matter? Claiming your store or website will give you access to even more rich data. Depending on your website platform, the instructions for how to claim your website is different so what I suggest you do is look up the instructions by simply heading to Google and entering “how to claim my website on Pinterest + _______ “[insert the platform you use such as Squarespace, Wix, Showit etc). Ensure you are cross referencing this with the information provided by Pinterest available here. Be wary of out of date information – the internet evolves and moves quickly.

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4. Pinterest advertising  

And the final reason for becoming a Pinterest business user vs a personal user is that having a business account allows you to market yourself more effectively and do more business-related posting (which shouldn’t really be surprising, should it?). For example, you can tag products in your videos if you have a business account. You can also add affiliate links. (While you COULD do that as a personal user as well, you wouldn’t have any analytics to analyze.) If you want to learn more about how to use affiliate marketing on Pinterest, head to this blog post I wrote recently.

Can I change my Pinterest account from business to personal?

If you are STILL hesitant about taking the leap from a Pinterest personal account vs starting a new business account, here’s a secret: you can absolutely convert a business account to a personal one if you decide a bit later on that this whole business thing is not for you. Just know this: it is NOT possible to convert a linked business account (a business account linked to your personal account), so it is best to start a brand new business account that is standalone and independent from your personal one (with your business email). Trust me, it will just make things simpler down the road. All of this comes down to personal choice, but it is hard for me to stress enough that becoming a business account user is the best way to grow your business on this platform. 

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Getting started

Now that I have convinced you of the benefits of a Pinterest business account, it’s time to sign up! I recommend taking a moment to think about what your name should be and how you should present yourself to the public. After all, absolutely everything you do on Pinterest should be done strategically to increase your brand awareness and show your audience that you are the kind of business they want to deal with. So, let’s talk for a moment about how best to set up your new business account. Pinterest is a top of funnel marketing platform which means it was designed to drive discovery and visibility to businesses and creators.

My first recommendation is to set up your account using a desktop computer. I know that we live in a mobile age where everything happens on a phone. But I would like to point out that a desktop view gives you more control for this initial stage. So, log on to your laptop for this. If you don’t have your own, go to your parents’ house and borrow their office for a little while or just beg, borrow, or steal a laptop from a friend! It will be worth it in the end. Besides the initial setup, a computer will give you access to more rich information, data, and resources on the desktop version of Pinterest. I know using our phones is the go-to nowadays but taking the time to set up your account on a computer is worth it for the extra features.

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Once you put your basic information on the first screen, click “Create a free business account”. Pinterest will then take you to a new screen where you can set up your new account! Here is my advice to you: even if you have a personal profile on Pinterest (where you may even have been pinning some business-related content), I recommend starting fresh with your business email and a brand new standalone business account. Using your personal email can get messy farther down the road when you decide to hire a virtual assistant or if you want anyone to help you in any way with your Pinterest account. 

So, go ahead and start a new Pinterest profile with your business email. Make sure you save your new password in a secure place.

Once you’ve done that, you will be asked to fill out a few more basic things about yourself and your business: your birthday (to make sure you are old enough to be on Pinterest), the type of business you run, and some “Tell us about your business” information. 

What should my Pinterest business name be?

This is where we FINALLY get to the name of your business!  This is the first question on the “Tell us about your business” page. You’re going to use whatever your business is called in this field. But here’s my pro tip: pick a few keywords that make sense for your produce or service-based business and add them after your name in the same field. This advice doesn’t change no matter what kind of business you run. So, whether you run a gift shop selling home decor and gardening tools, make one-of-a-kind scarves, blog about your pet or being a mother, you are going to enter your name in a very strategic way. Put in your name, then add some keywords that are relevant to whatever type of content you will be creating. 

This helps you because when people are actively searching for a certain type of product, service, or content, if you have the right keywords your business name will appear in the search bar! Exciting right? So make sure the keywords you choose include information about how you are different from other accounts offering the same products and tell people what they can expect from you. If users can get a feel for you at first glance, they are much more likely to stop awhile and get to know you better!

You will also be asked for your website, if you have one, great! Put it here. If you don’t have one yet, it’s fine to leave this field blank and fill it in later when your website is up and running. 

Then, Pinterest is going to ask you for your goals. They do this just so they can check in with you later, so it isn’t a big deal. What you put there won’t affect how people are able to find you or interact with your content. You don’t have to stress too much about how to answer these questions – this is just so Pinterest can segment it’s outreach to you in the future.

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Then, you’re in! You will see all kinds of fun resources and prompts available to your new business account. You will see, “Share ideas”, “Grow your audience”, “Showcase your brand”, etc. Spend time getting to know the app at this point, BEFORE you start creating Pins. Poke around your settings, explore all the business options, add a picture to your profile, etc. It’s important to get comfortable with how to use a platform before you dive into creating a customized, strategic approach for the platform. Don’t be intimidated, explore Pins, check out how other businesses are using Pinterest and get a feel for it.

I would also recommend that while you’re in the business settings, go ahead and claim your username. You do NOT want to use the series of numbers and letters you will find there right now! Use the same name you have on your website and any other social media platforms you currently have for your business.

And that’s it! You’ve taken the first step and signed up for a business account. You’ve strategically chosen a business name and keywords, uploaded an image, and made sure your username (or, your handle) is not a random string of numbers and letters. It wasn’t so hard, was it? Stick with me and I will take you to Step 2 and beyond! If you want to learn more, I actually recently created an entire Pinterest for Beginner’s short video series on TikTok. You can learn in short, video tutorials how to get set up absolutely for free.

Check out my Pinterest for Beginners series on TikTok

screenshot of Meagan Williamson's TikTok account

Happy business pinning! Let me know if you have any questions about using Pinterest for your business.

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