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How to Use Pinterest – And Why You Should as a Creator or Business

Kirsti Lang
Kirsti Lang Content Writer @ Buffer
How to Use Pinterest – And Why You Should as a Creator or Business

13 min read
You will learn

Pinterest is one of my most used social media sites. While I love the buzz of TikTok, the inspiration I find on Instagram, and the opportunities for learning on LinkedIn, I often need to take breaks from the major platforms. 

But never Pinterest. No matter where I’m at in my life, there’s always something I need from the visual search engine. I’ll often hop onto the app or website with a specific query in mind — “living room decor,” “capsule wardrobe,” and “productivity tools” are some of my most recent searches. As you’ll have guessed from those examples, I usually open up the Pinterest app with one of three goals: 

  1. Find inspiration
  2. Figure out how to do something
  3. Buy something

And I’m not unique in this, either — according to data from Pinterest, more than 85 percent of users have made a purchase based on pins from brands. 

Pinterest boasts 498 million global active users, making it one of the most popular social networking platforms in the world. But it’s how those Pinterest lovers use the app that’s worth paying attention to. According to a 2024 report by DataReportal, 36.6 percent of active users are on the app to follow or research brands and products, making it the main reason they use Pinterest. 

To put that into perspective, Pinterest beats YouTube, X (Twitter), and even LinkedIn for brand and product research. So, if you’re a business or a creator looking to monetize, using Pinterest as part of your marketing efforts is well worth exploring. 

Convinced yet? The good news is that learning to use Pinterest is simple, even if you’re new to the platform. This beginner’s guide will walk you through everything you need to know about how to use Pinterest, step-by-step, from creating a business or personal profile, scheduling your pins, measuring your success, and more. 

Now you can schedule your pins with Buffer whether you have a business or personal account! Find out how to use Buffer with Pinterest →

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is “a visual discovery engine for finding ideas like recipes, home and style inspiration, and more,” as the platform describes itself. In practice, the social media platform looks a lot like a virtual pinboard where users can discover and save ideas represented by visual cards or ‘pins’ to their own ‘boards.’ 

Brands, creators, and private users can create pins by uploading an image or video from their devices. Each pin can have its own title and description and a website link (important for brands and creators looking to drive traffic elsewhere). Users can also save pins of images they find online with Pinterest’s browser extension. 

All Pinterest users, whether they have a business or personal account, have a profile where others can see their Pinterest boards and pins (unless they choose to make a board private).

Beyond the mechanics, I love this definition Pinterest marketing expert and agency owner Heather Farris shared with Buffer: “If Google Images and Instagram were to have a baby, you’d land on Pinterest.”    

The benefits of Pinterest for businesses and creators

Like other social media platforms, Pinterest can be a powerful marketing tool for reaching new followers. It can help:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Drive website traffic
  • Increase sales and conversions 

Heather says Pinterest is like a search engine that drives new customers to businesses and creators. “It has allowed them to thrive,” she says. “Pinterest users are different from others because they have a higher intent to purchase and often spend more money per purchase.”

“Pinners are also planners, so they are very meticulous about how they use this platform, carefully organizing their Pinterest pins into curated boards they can refer back to later,” she adds.

Another point in Pinterest’s favor: because of how the algorithm (content ranking) on Pinterest works, users don’t have to follow you to discover your content, nor do your pins have to be very new for them to be recommended. 

“They can simply search for something, and if you’ve done your research and optimizations correctly, you have the chance to show up right when they search for you,” Heather says.

Unlike other social media sites, older content, if well-optimized, isn’t immediately excluded — that’s not how Pinterest works! This means your pins could continue gaining traction months or even years after you first publish them. “Pinterest will send you traffic for the long run,” Heather says. “I have personally made pins for my brands that, five, six, or seven years later, are still bringing people to my website.”

Who is Pinterest best for?

While any business or creator can succeed on the platform, some industries and niches tend to perform best, whether you’re a creator, blogger, or brand. 

Heather says that Pinterest is a must if you work in one of the niches below. “I have worked with brands across all these categories, and they have all seen success in some form or another.”

  • Home decor/interior design
  • Beauty
  • Wellness
  • Fashion 
  • Children’s activities
  • Parenting
  • Design 
  • DIY and crafts
  • Food
  • Gardening
  • Health
  • Mindset
  • Wedding
  • Travel
  • Education

Which Pinterest account is right for me? 

Pinterest offers both personal and business (professional) accounts. There are some key differences between the two.

“Personal and business accounts on Pinterest are similar, but business accounts include features that are helpful to business owners and marketers,” the platform says.  

Business accounts will have access to:

A personal Pinterest account is great if you’re just using it to save ideas for later. If you’re using Pinterest as a creator, business, or marketer, a Pinterest business account is your best bet. 

Good news if you’re just exploring the platform or already have a personal account: you can switch to a business account or connect a business account to your existing personal profile.

How to create a Pinterest personal account

Here’s how to create a Pinterest personal account from scratch:

  • Navigate to
  • From the top-right of your screen, click Sign up
  • Enter your email, create a password, and date of birth
  • Click Create account
  • Follow the prompts to enter your gender, language, and country.
  • Click on the relevant tiles to choose your interests, then Meet your home feed
  • Start pinning! The more you pin, the better the recommendations on your home feed will be. 

How to create a Pinterest business account

To create a new business account not tied to a personal account:

  1. Navigate to
  2. From the top-right of your screen, click Sign up
  3. At the bottom of the pop-up, click Create a business account
  4. Enter your email, create a password, and enter your date of birth
  5. Click Create account
  6. Follow the prompts to fill out your profile (at this point, you can choose if you’re a business, creator, marketing agency, or several other options).
  7. Choose what you’d like to do first (create a pin, create an ad, or build your profile), and click Next.

How to create a pin

Now that you have your own board(s) ready, it’s time to start pinning! There are multiple ways to do this — I’ll walk you through them all. 

On your computer

  1. Log into
  2. If you have a personal profile, choose Create on the top left of your screen. If you have a business account, click the hamburger menu (three lines) on the top left, then Create pin.
  3. Drag and drop an image or video from your computer or click the arrow icon to open your folders. You can also choose the Save from URL button under the image upload icon to grab an image or video from a web page. 
how to use pinterest
  1. Here, you can add information about your pin, like a title, description, related topics, the board you want to save it to, and a website link. Choose More options to turn comments and shopping recommendations on or off. 
  2. When you’re ready, click Publish.

Pinterest Save extension

One of the easiest ways to Pin content to your boards from around the web is to pin it with the Pinterest Save extension or browser button. Here’s how to install and use it:

  1. Go to Pinterest’s Save extension page here and choose where to use the button (Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge).
  2. Navigate to the appropriate browser store and follow the prompts.
  3. Once installed, the Pinterest save icon will appear whenever you hover over an image on a website. Click on it to pin an image, then choose or create a board to save it to. 
  4. Click View on the pop-up that appears to edit the image title, description, and more. 
how to use pinterest

Create a pin with Buffer

The beauty of scheduling a pin with Buffer is that you can cross-post it to other platforms, too! This means you can simultaneously post to Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or one of the other social media platforms supported by Buffer.

You can schedule the pin to automatically publish at a specific time or share immediately. 

To start pinning with Buffer:

  1. Make sure you’re logged into the Pinterest account you want to connect.
  2. Sign up or log into Buffer.  
  3. Click the New channel button under your channels list on the left. Scroll down to Pinterest, then click Connect. Click Give access. Congrats, your Pinterest account is all set up!
  4. Click the Create post button and choose Pinterest. Select the board/s you want to save your new pin to. 
  5. Click Share Now to publish the pin immediately, or use the drop-down menu on this button for more options. Add to Queue to schedule your pin for the next time slot in your queue, Share Next for the next empty time slot in your queue, or schedule to set a specific time. With that, you’re all done!

Upload your image or video. Scroll down once in the Create Post box to find the fields where you can add your description in the main text window and your pin title and destination URL in the boxes below.

how to use pinterest

If you want to cross-post this image or video to your other social media channels, click on the appropriate icons at the top of this window.

how to use pinterest
Pro tip: if you want to automatically pull through an image on your destination website, enter the URL in the Destination link box first — Buffer will find the available images automatically!

How to create a board

A well-organized Pinterest profile is one way to optimize your profile (more on this below) and make it more appealing to your target audience. To create a board on Pinterest, you’ll need to use the Pinterest mobile app:

  1. Click the + button at the bottom of the app
  2. Choose Board
  3. Choose a name for your board, add collaborators, and toggle Make this board secret ‘on’ to create a private board.
  4. Add suggested pins to your board (you can choose to add these later, too).
  5. Your board is created, but you’re not done yet (don’t miss this step if you’re a small business or creator!). Choose the three dots to the top right of your new board, then Edit board. Here, you can edit each board's individual settings, including name, description, board cover, and more. Choose an eye-catching board cover image and add a description that features important keywords in your niche. Filling out these details for each board will help with SEO (search engine optimization) and provide users with additional context about your account content.
Only you (and anyone you invite) can see your secret Pins and boards. Secret Pins and boards won’t appear in the home feed, search, or anywhere else on Pinterest.

Setting your boards to “secret” will allow you to fill them with great content before ever sharing them with the world.

How to use Pinterest as a business or creator

You’ve created a new business account and started creating pins and boards, but there’s a whole lot more to using Pinterest for business. Be sure to include the tactics below in your social media marketing strategy for Pinterest to grow your following. 

Optimize your profile

Completing your profile is a key step in ensuring that your account is discoverable and looks appealing to users on Pinterest.

Make sure that your business name, profile picture, username, and description all match your brand identity across other social media networks.

Find your audience

Like many other social media networks, focusing on a niche group of highly engaged users will produce better results than targeting a broad, unspecified audience.

If you focus on sharing consistent content within your niche, people will start to look to you as a continual source of inspiration and information. Focusing on a niche audience will also produce favorable results within the Pinterest algorithm.

Use eye-catching, uncluttered images

Pinterest is a visual-first platform, so a good image can make all the difference in maximizing results. Images that stand out, are colorful and unique, and say something specific about what you offer will give you a significant edge compared to other content on the platform.

Like most social media networks, you want to ensure that the images you share are high quality. If your images are pixelated, small, or unclear, they will not capture users’ attention in the Pinterest feed.

You’ll also want to steer clear of cluttered images. Many Pinterest users will be viewing your pins on the app, so make sure the message is easy to digest (and that text is legible in the desktop feed and on smaller, mobile formats.)

Don’t forget about video

Video content on Pinterest can be an incredible way to bring your ideas to life. They’ll also auto-play and stand out in users’ feeds. 

To use up as much screen space as possible, ensure your videos are designed for mobile and exported in either square or portrait format. Shorter videos work best when you want users to discover you (if your goal is awareness or storytelling). Go longer when you want people to do something with your idea (great for education or tutorials).

Use a vertical aspect ratio

Pins in the home and search feed are organized into columns. This means that vertical images take up more space and stand out more in the feed. 

The ideal aspect ratio for a vertical pin is 2:3 — 600px wide x 900px high. Square images – 600px wide x 600px tall — can work well, too!

Consider adding a little copy

If your image doesn’t give enough context, add text to the image to help land your message. But try to keep the copy simple and not clutter the overall image. 

Provide helpful, detailed pin descriptions

Pins with descriptions drive more clicks to your site than those without. If your objective is to drive clicks, use the description to hint that there’s more to see on your website. Don’t give everything away on Pinterest – just enough to pique a user’s curiosity. A strong call to action (CTA) — like “shop,” “make,” “find,” or “buy” — will encourage people to take the next step. 

Use solid, well-researched keywords

Leaning on keywords is a vital part of any good Pinterest strategy. “You cannot overlook keywords on Pinterest if you want to create a sustainable long-term Pinterest presence,” Heather says. 

Consider users’ search intent when they are looking for Pinterest content like yours. What are they likely to be looking for? What words and phrases are they typing into the search bar?

The Pinterest Search function can help you find new keywords if you’re stuck. For example, if your pin is a roast chicken recipe, search for “roast chicken” on Pinterest. You’ll see suggested searches for “roast chicken whole” and “roast chicken oven,” and search guides like “simple” or “cast iron.” These free SEO tools can help, too.

These keywords should be used in your pin title and description, as well as titles and descriptions for your boards. The more information you give the Pinterest algorithm about your content, the better. 

That said, don’t simply dump keywords into the various fields and hope for the best. Keyword stuffing looks spammy and can be off-putting for your audience. 

Add relevant hashtags

As with most social media posts, hashtags are important to the Pinterest search and discoverability experience. But you’ll need to be strategic about them for them to be effective. Hashtags should act as broad search terms, not niche humor (#springfashion is great, #ilookterribleinhats is not).

Many people save pins as their visual, digital bookmarks to help guide them back to a site they want to see again. So when they click on a pin, they expect to be taken to a landing page to learn more about the idea or information you shared on Pinterest. That means ensuring that your Pinterest content includes a relevant link to the source every time — even if the link does not lead to your website.

People come to Pinterest well before the season, holiday, or event they’re planning for.

Start saving pins about upcoming trends, seasonal events, or holidays around 45 days in advance. Then keep adding more ideas daily and maintain a steady pace of content.

Repurpose the right way

Heather calls this “repurposing with purpose.” Sharing content across social media platforms is a great way to maximize your reach. However, this doesn’t just mean downloading your TikToks and Instagram Reels and popping them on Pinterest. 

Watermarks from other platforms and copyrighted music could harm your content performance, she says. Before pinning, remove those (or, better yet, create videos outside Instagram and TikTok). 

Be patient, stick with it

Unlike social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, where engagement and reach typically happen within the first 24 to 48 hours, content on Pinterest will continue to grow for days, weeks, months, and even years.

How to use Pinterest Analytics

With a Pinterest business account, you have powerful analytics tools at your fingertips to help you understand if your content is resonating with your target audience. 

To find these metrics, 

  • Log in to your Pinterest business account
  • Click the hamburger icon (three lines) at the top-left of the page
  • Under Analytics, select Overview

Here, you’ll find a host of helpful metrics, like engagement, engagement rate, impressions, save rate, pin clicks, video views, and more. Pinterest has a handy guide to understanding all the Pinterest analytics terms.

All this data can be overwhelming initially, but Heather recommends focusing on a select few. “I’m going to say impressions, pin clicks, saves, and outbound clicks, in that order.

  • Impressions: The number of times your pin was viewed
  • Pin clicks: The total number of clicks on your Pin or ad so it opens in closeup.
  • Saves: The number of times people saved your Pin to a board.
  • Outbound clicks: The number of times people perform actions that lead them to a destination off Pinterest.

“Without impressions or pin clicks, you’ll never get outbound clicks. Focus first on reach via impressions, then optimize for each phase of that customer journey to your website,” Heather says. 

The long game of Pinterest

Remember, you won’t get incredible results right out of the gate with Pinterest. Pinterest growth takes time. Perhaps more than any other social network, Pinterest is a marathon, not a sprint. 

However, for many marketers, small business owners, and creators, this is a welcome change of pace — unlike TikTok and Instagram, your Pinterest content will not disappear from feeds after 48 hours. 

As I’ve mentioned, users could stumble upon your content, finding exactly what they’ve been searching for weeks, months, and years after posting. If you’ve set your pins up for success by following the guidance above, your Pinterest content will have the longevity that makes this possible. 

Happy pinning!

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