Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

How Pinterest Works for Business

How Pinterest Works for Business


How Pinterest Works for Business


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Pinterest "gurus" spend a lot of time telling you all about why you should be on Pinterest and how great it is for getting traffic to your website. But how does Pinterest actually work? How do people find your content? How should you be using Pinterest so your content gets seen? In this blog post I am going to teach you about how Pinterest works and how to make it work for you.


The Pinterest algorithm aka 'Smart Feed'

'Smart Feed' is the name of Pinterest's algorithm - a collection of different metrics that are taken into account by Pinterest to determine what content is displayed in your normal feed. The algorithm is ever-changing, but it's based on things like:

  • Who you follow

  • Who follows you

  • The type of pins you upload

  • What types of boards you create

  • The subject/niche of images you re-pin

  • Individual boards you follow

  • Group boards you follow

  • Group boards you contribute to

  • Sponsored / Promoted pins

  • Search querie

  • and more

Originally, Pinterest showed you pins from people you followed (and ONLY those that you followed) in chronological order. Over time, they produced Smart Feed so that you are able to discover fresh, useful content in your feed based on what Pinterest determines you have an interest in or care about (again, using a mixture of the metrics listed above). That's why it's so important you determine who your audience really is and who you want to pin for so that the algorithm can work for you - not against you.

A reminder: you can get your free two weeks of graphics and social media marketing instruction by requesting a Sample Kit from our website

Search Engine Optimization is a MUST

Because Pinterest is actually a search engine, you need to learn about Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Think about what your audience would be using as search terms for finding your content and be sure to use them in all of the appropriate places:

  • Board Names

  • Board Descriptions

  • Pin Names (don't just name them "image1.png"

  • Pin descriptions

You can even use Pinterest to help you discover new keywords in your niche by using their guided search feature. Like Google, you can begin typing and guided search will offer you suggestions to fill in your query based on what others have searched for. It's an excellent way to find relevant keywords and hashtags in your pin descriptions.

Group Boards have an actual purpose

Have you ever wondered what the purpose of a group board is? Why is everyone pushing you to find these boards and how does being part of one help you? Truth is, being part of an active, well-niched board can be really helpful in getting your content out there.

The idea behind group boards is that multiple pinners would get together to collaborate on pinning around a certain niche or topic. Just being part of a group board and pinning your content there is helpful in itself. In addition to it being more likely that your content will be seen by people contributing to that group board, Smart Feed will take it being there into consideration when determining what pins to show others.

Group boards are operated mostly on the honor system and as a contributor you are expected to re-pin as many pins of others as you contribute of your own. It's sort of an algorithm hack - multiple people re-pinning your content tells Pinterest that it must be useful and in turn, it bumps it up in the smart feed and shows the pin to more pinners.



Group boards come in all sizes and niches, and typically have a small list of rules you need to follow in order to participate. Things like...

  • Following the board owner + the board itself

  • Pinning only on topic / on niche content

  • Only uploading vertical pins

  • Not spamming the board with more than 3 pins per day

  • Re-pinning content from the group board to your own boards


To find a group board in your niche to join, check out or look around at pinners like you to see what group boards they contribute to.


Hashtags are totally a thing

Up until September 2017, Hashtags were a solid "no" on Pinterest and there wasn't any use for them. Now, you can add hashtags to your pin descriptions and actually make use of them. When someone searches for a hashtag, Pinterest will show all of the pins using that hashtag in chronological order. That means if someone searches for #PinterestTips immediately after you have pinned using that hashtag, your pin is going to show up first.


A lot of Pinterest beginners like this because it can sometimes be difficult to compete with older, high-ranking pins. Using hashtags gives you a chance to get discovered a different way. You can use up to 20 hashtags, but should stick to using only 3-5 in your niche.


How are you using Pinterest for business?

Hopefully you learned more about how Pinterest works and picked up some new tricks to make it work for you. How are you using Pinterest for your business?

A reminder: you can get your free two weeks of graphics and social media marketing instruction by requesting a Sample Kit from our webiste

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