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Optimizing Pinterest for eCommerce

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One of the fastest growing social networks of 2012, Pinterest has not only connected users through its image-rich site but has also attracted the attention of major brands. With several retail brands launching Pinterest accounts over the past twelve months, here are some ways brands can optimize their Pinterest efforts to drive more traffic to their eCommerce sites…

  • Study the effect of the Pinterest price banner – Many brands immediately use the Pinterest price banner when selling products online. Believe it or not, past research has shown this may not always be a best practice to drive eCommerce sales. Try using and removing the price banner to see which option drives more site traffic and sales to your site.
  • Use Pinterest to enhance SEO efforts – Unlike Facebook and most of Twitter, Pinterest is indexable by search engines. This means although a brand may distribute the same image-rich content across their major social networks, it’s likely that Pinterest is where it will continue to live and be seen for years to come. Pinterest also offers 500 characters for a profile description and for additional text related to each pin. Focus on desired keywords in the 500 character description and focus on keywords and critical product information in product-related pins.
  • Naming and sizing images for Pinterest – If there’s one thing you need to get right on Pinterest, it’s correctly naming your images. Pinned images must be at least 400 pixels wide (maximum of 554 pixels – Pinterest resizes images larger than this) and make sure to optimize the file names of images uploaded to the site (separate words with dashes, not underscores). Focus on the SEO keywords you are targeting in the image name.
  • Remember Pinterest is interest-based and not timeline-based – Although Pinterest is classified as a social network, simply syndicating content from Facebook and/or Twitter isn’t a best practice. Content posted on the “feed” of Facebook and Twitter loses importance over time – this isn’t always the case with Pinterest, where people have featured the same boards with a dozen pins for years. Post pins which will last on the network and will remain engaging over time (i.e. no contests with dates on the images). In addition, it’s important to have a solution in place for Pinterest links as the pins age – the last thing you want is your pins to direct to dead links with no path to proceed on the site.
  • Offer exclusive product launches via Pinterest – As an example, one cosmetics company has engaged influential bloggers on Pinterest, giving them exclusive links to purchase new products early only by clicking on their specific pins and boards. This initiative has not only increased the brand’s awareness with these blogger communities but also the unique Pinterest tactic has gained notice from online industry publications.


As a whole, Pinterest continues to gain ground quickly on its social media peers in relation to the eCommerce industry. One major beauty brand in particular said Pinterest followers spend 15 times more than Facebook “followers” which may emphasize the true purchasing power of Pinterest users. Gaining a following on Pinterest is also easier than Facebook as a Pinterest follower has been projected to cost five times less to acquire.

In conclusion, optimizing your Pinterest account may take a little time and creativity but it is likely worth the effort given the success of Pinterest in relation to eCommerce transactions. While Pinterest is still growing as a company and faces competition from similar sites that are more “eCommerce-ready” (such as TheFancy and Wanelo), one can argue Pinterest has changed the way consumers discover products online and will continue to spark change in the eCommerce industry moving forward.