I've been getting into using Pinterest more, because why not? It's a good way to put things out there and have them live forever, unlike a lot of social media platforms, which will push your photos down the line and bury them.
Pinterest is interesting as far as social media platforms go, because something that you pin a year ago can suddenly get REALLY popular. And the things that you pin that you don't think will be popular are usually the most repinned.
The first thing you need to do to use Pinterest for your business is to get a Pinterest business page. A personal account has different rules, so go through their Terms Of Service to see what you can and can't do on a business account. Confirm your website following their instructions here: Confirm your site
Read the Pinterest for business blog posts they have up there, it's better to do that than to take advice from me on this because they change things occasionally. Getting the information directly from them is the most accurate way to go.
Now, the fun part. You should create some boards for your pins, but this is where the tricks come in. Don't, for the love of God, create boards on your business site for things like "Hot Guys I Lust After" or "Underwear I Want To Buy." That goes on your personal page, preferably on a secret board that your customers won't see if they online-stalk you. If I have to explain why that shouldn't be on your business page, it's time for you to close your business.
One way to get ideas about what kind of boards to create is to go onto the pages of other businesses that are similar to your and see what they have. Most cake decorators have boards for cakes, obviously, but they also have boards for business articles, tutorials, videos, decorating tips, art, crafts, etc.
The most popular types of boards on Pinterest overall are crafts/DIY, food, fashion and home decorating kind of things. One of my most popular boards is the one I started for paper crafts. Don't worry if the boards that people are looking at to begin with aren't directly related to your cakes. The goal is to get a lot of traffic through your page so that your pins will be shown to people more often.
To get people to follow your boards, you'll need to be proactive. Think of businesses that you like, and go to their page. See who follows them and follow some of those people's boards. Either like or repin some of their posts so that you'll show up in their feeds a few times in a row. Chances are they'll go to your page to check it out if they see that you're following them, and they might follow you back.
If you're trying to get customers to follow your boards, you'll need to think about where your customers are in order to find them. First of all, keep it local. If your city has a hashtag, use it in the search to find local accounts. If you do weddings, follow some of the local reception venues and see who's following them. Chances are there will be a decent number of brides who follow them, so you can probably find some there.
Use hashtags judiciously, this isn't Instagram. SEO-rich descriptions generally work fine, you don't have to hashtag things on Pinterest as much, if at all. Write your own description of the pin and comment on other people's pins to get your account name out there.
Oh, there's so much more, I could go on...Next week I'll be showing the results of a Pinterest account I've been working on for another decorator, watch for that, because it's interesting. In the meantime, follow my Pinterest account at www.pinterest.com/acaketoremember.
For more Pinterest for business articles, click here: Trends on Pinterest, and Promoted Pins
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, online cake supplies www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com