Chapter 2: Create a Pinterest Profile That Rocks
In the previous chapter, you learned how to join Pinterest as either an individual or a business/brand. Once connected, your next step is to set up your account profileand here’s where you have an opportunity to create a killer first impression.
If you’re a serious entrepreneur, hot-shot marketer, or just plain smart, you will take the time to maximize your Pinterest profile to its fullest. The more the people who check out your pins know about you, the stronger your personal and business brand will be.
For individuals, before you begin to enter your autobiographical information, Pinterest will ask you to follow five boards that share your same interests. Not to worry; you can always unfollow them later when you have time to step back and apply some strategic thinking to the types of boards you want to create, including the names you give them. In Chapter 4, you will find step-by-step instructions on setting up, naming, and designing your boards.
For businesses and brands, you will be taken directly into the profile setup as part of joining, without having to choose starting boards. While the process for creating a profile is similar for businesses and individuals, there are some slight variations. But since there are some overlaps, read through the information for creating each for the useful tips that apply to both.
CREATING AN INDIVIDUAL PROFILE
Once you have chosen a few starter boards, you will need to locate the settings file, under your name, and complete the profile process. Profile elements include:
Not to worry; this isn’t shown on your public profile.
By default, Pinterest is set up to notify you right, left, and center about all the great new happenings in the world of all things pin, such as news updates and a summary of weekly activity. Pinterest will also email you when:
One of your pins gets liked
One of your pins receives a comment
One of your pins is repinned
One of your group pinboards receives a new pin
A new user decides to follow you
If all this sounds like just too much of an inbox influx of pinning information, your notifications are the place in your profile to set limits. By going through each of the various options, you can change your email settings to decide when you do and do not want Pinterest to let you know when one of the above actions is taken.
First and Last Name
This is a different field than your username on Pinterest and should reflect your real name, or the name of your business, if your account is being set up for your business.
As discussed earlier, if you created your Pinterest account via Facebook, your username was automatically generated for you. If you signed up via Twitter, you provided a username. In either case, your username is critical because it becomes the URL upon which your Pinterest account is based.
Now, if this one seems obvious, Pinterest, in all their political correctness, has provided the option of “unspecified” as a gender choice. So if you just don’t feel like being pinned down (no pun intended), you’re free to stay uncommitted.
Pinterest only gives you a brief 200 words to describe yourself or your business in this section, so make them count. They are text-only and can’t be changed into bold or italics, just plain old letters. Since these are the details that someone sees when they visit your profile page, aim for information that lets the viewer get an at-a-glance look at who you are, what you offer, and why they should care. You may want to consider including your basic elevator speech about what you do; your book, business, or product name; what you are passionate about pinning; and your website address. By the way, it won’t be a live link.
Keep in mind that to strengthen your brand, you should maintain a consistent message across all your social media platforms. This means that a similar description should show up on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other places on the internet where you publicly declare your brand.
One advantage to adding your location to your profile is that potential customers looking for a local resource will be able to see that you are geographically desirable. If for some reason you would rather remain a gypsy, just leave this section blank.
Pinterest only allows you to list one website URL, so if you have several websites, think carefully about which one you place here. In general, I recommend to my clients that they use their main website. You can always go back later and easily change this by editing your profile. By the way, unlike in your “About” section, this website URL is a live link represented by the world symbol under your profile pic, which visitors can click through to your site.
If you are one of those people who think that forgoing a profile photo is an OK optionit’s not. By some accounts, social media profiles with photographs are seven times more likely to be viewed than those without. When you first sign up for Pinterest, it will pull a profile image from whichever social network (Facebook or Twitter) you connected with at startup. However, you can change that image at any time via three methods:
Upload an Image
This allows you to instantly browse your computer and find the image file you want to upload as your profile picture. The exact size of your Pinterest profile picture is 160 by 160 pixels. Stretching or shrinking to fit will automatically resize square images that are larger or smaller than 160 by 160 pixels. Rectangular images are centered, resized, and cropped, possibly leaving you with a profile picture that is less than optimal. For this reason, the ideal image is a square photo around 200 by 200 pixels in size.
Refresh from Facebook
If you have chosen to integrate your Facebook with your Pinterest account, you can instantly update your profile photo to match the image being used on your Facebook account. Just click “update,” and your profile is automatically changed. Remember to hit the “Save Profile” button at the end before exiting.
Refresh from Twitter
Opting to also connect your Twitter account to Pinterest works in the same way as the Facebook button. You can change your current profile image to match the one you are using on Twitter with one click. Again, save before exiting to have the change take hold.
FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ACCOUNTS
Even though Pinterest no longer requires you to sign up by linking to your Facebook or Twitter account, once you are in, you can adjust your profile to link as you like. However, before taking this step, consider a few things:
By turning on the “Publish Activity To Facebook Timeline” button in the settings, you are creating another form of engagement with your tribe. If you’re worried about bombarding your friends with nonstop images, don’t be. Pinterest publishes your pins as a group, not one at a time.
If you want to Tweet your pins, switching the “Login with Twitter” setting to “On” allows you to automatically send any new pin you create to your tweet stream by simply checking the Twitter box that appears when you create a new pin.
To Hide or Not to Hide?
Most people want their Pinterest boards to be as public and accessible as possible for marketing and branding purposes. But if you want to hide your Pinterest account from the search engines, you can do so in your profile settings, via an on/off button at the bottom part of the profile page, just above the “Delete Account” button. When you start your account, the default setting is “off,” which I recommend you keep. For most people, being found via a search engine is a plus. However, if you really want to keep your Pinterest activity private, go into the profile and adjust to turn “on” the privacy setting.
If you’re thinking that this all seems to be much ado about nothing, consider this: The first impression you make on a Pinterest user who stops by your boards for a peek can determine your long-term online relationship. Whether they become a fan who regularly repins your work, a loyal follower who clicks through to your website and converts into a buyer, or a one-time drop-by can rest on the strength of your personal profile.
CREATING A BUSINESS PROFILE
As part of signing up for a business/brand account, you will be automatically directed to the business profile page. If you already have a personal account and are converting to a business account, some information will automatically fill in from your personal profile, but you can modify or edit it to reflect changes. The profile questions include:
Whether you are new to Pinterest or converting an account, you will be asked to choose a business type from nine categories.
Professional (attorney, blogger, artist, etc.)
Public Figure (actor, musician, politician, etc.)
Media (magazine, newspaper, channel, etc.)
Brand (Lululemon, Burger King, Marvel, etc.)
Retailer (Nordstrom, Pier 1, etc.)
Online Marketplace (eBay, Amazon, etc.)
Local Business (tattoo shop, specialty grocery, etc.)
Institution/Nonprofit (World Wildlife Fund, Amnesty International, etc.)
While your business or brand may fit under more than one category, other users will find you by type, so pick the most relevant to your brand. You can always change it later.
The name of the contact person for the Pinterest account. This could be you or whoever manages the social media for your business.
The email address of the account’s contact person.
This is the way you will appear on Pinterest, so you can either use the Pinterest username from your current account or choose a new name for your business or brand.
If you are converting an account, your previous bio will be automatically filled in and you can make changes or leave as is. If this is a new account, you will need to fill out this section.
Terms of Service
To finalize your business account, you must indicate that you have read and agree to the “Terms of Service” at the bottom of the page. The conditions aren’t radically different from a personal Pinterest account; the only real difference is the acknowledgment that businesses may use Pinterest for commercial activity, which, while previously permitted, is now explicitly OK. Please note that Pinterest still reserves the right to remove any content that violates their “Acceptable Use” policy such as pornography or spam.
Once you have provided all the information, go to the bottom of the page, and click “Convert” or “Create Account” to continue with your setup.
Get Started with Your New Business Account
Now that you have officially declared yourself a business with Pinterest, you will be taken to a screen that provides you with four options for next actions:
1. Verify Your Website
Following these instructions ensures that your full website URL shows up in your profile.
2. Start Pinning
This takes you through the steps to install the Pin It Bookmarklet so you can easily pin images from a website to one of your boards.
3. Drive Traffic Back
Provides a “Pin It” button you can add to your website that makes it easy for people to pin from your website to Pinterest.
4. Grow Your Audience
A “Follow” button you can add to your website that invites visitors to click through to your account and follow you on Pinterest.