Actually, I was going to start the overview of social media platforms you can use for online personal branding with another one (express survey here: which one do you think to be more logical first choice here?), but I received so many questions and comments about Pinterest after this piece was published, that I decided to address them first.
Yes, indeed: in order to introduce you to the web Facebook profile seems more appropriate, along with LinkedIn as your CV / resume, Twitter to express your opinions on trending topics, and Instagram to give it all more visual perspective. But still Pinterest is worth adding to the scope.
TL;DR: Should I use Pinterest for personal branding?
Yes, Pinterest can be used for personal branding online.
- Create account,
- fill in the profile information,
- build at least one board on it
- describing it with industry-related keywords
- pin visual content there from the sources you trust or
- upload unique content that you own
- use hashtags to amplify your content visibility.
And now let’s go into more details!
Why choose Pinterest for personal branding?
It’s a technical trait here: pins you create there are able to rank rather high on Google for your name’s searches. It definitely won’t suppress main results like your blog, profiles on other social media platforms, or high-profile mentions on the news or reputable blogs and in communities, but will provide the searcher with additional context about your interests and field of expertise.
On the other hand, it is very useful when you need to bury some negative results that you cannot remove completely (let’s say because you don’t have direct access to the publication).
In a nutshell, you need to have Pinterest account for successful personal brand management.
So, how to use Pinterest for personal branding?
1. Getting started
Registering personal profile with Pinterest is easy. You go to pinterest.com and either create your login and password or use Facebook or Google account to sign in.
Once there, you don’t have that much information to fill into your profile:
- First name;
- Last name;
- Account handle;
- Short bio (“about your profile”);
It’s not much, but with a relevant profile photo, mention of your industry in the bio, and a correct location, you can easily see this page added to the branded search results for your own name (learn more about the importance of consistency for your personal branding on social media).
2. Creating relevant boards
Even if you are not going to use Pinterest daily for personal needs, I advise you on creating one to three professional boards. Select the most visual aspects of your field of expertise, and create a board for that.
When adding a board, you can name it and describe its future content using industry related keywords and phrasing. Also here you will select Category (let’s say Technology, Photography, or Science).
General settings for the board allow you to make it private so that only you will be able to see it, but it’s not useful for personal branding as it won’t allow for appearing of your pins on search results.
Another interesting feature for your board is inviting other Pinterest users as collaborators and contributors to it. It’s very convenient when you start building partnerships in your work field, or when someone joins your small business or a company.
3. Curating content strategically
Now is the funniest part! Whenever you read something interesting on the web, and if the article or a blog post has some visual content like graphics, photos, or video, you can pin it to your board.
Once you decide to do so, Pinterest will show you all the content available on the page for pinning. Note that whatever you choose, your pin still will be linked to the article you are sharing, and by default will borrow image’s alt text (brief alternative text added on the html level) as a description.
When saving a pin to your board, you can add some personal touch to it by changing default description to something you consider to be more informative and useful. It’s also worth your time because after the pin is added, people will be able to find it on Pinterest using keywords mentioned in this description.
Naturally, you also need to select the board you want this pin to appear on. You will have the list of all your existing boards and those you are a collaborator to.
4. Tools to make work with Pinterest easier
First of all, in order not to go to the Pinterest page every time you want to pin something to your boards, you need Chrome extension that will add a Pinterest button to your browser.
It’s very convenient and allows for the full functionality you actually have on site when saving content.
5. Things to keep in mind when working with Pinterest on your personal brand
Best formats to use on Pinterest
The most “pin-able” formats you can use to get most attention to your profile are:
- large graphic images;
- high quality high resolution photos;
Though Pinterest will allow you to pin smaller images, they won’t look as good for your visitors and might not permit you to tap into the Google image search potential for your personal brand.
Saving your own unique content to Pinterest
Remember, that you can not only curate but also add unique content on Pinterest! Especially useful for photographers, travelers, and those working with unique products not featured anywhere else.
When creating a pin, choose Upload instead of Save from site, and make sure that you describe your image or video in all details using relevant keywords and hashtags.
If you run a blog, or post articles on LinkedIn Publisher or platforms alike, you can link your visual content on Pinterest to the most appropriate articles and posts there.
Hashtags on Pinterest
Speaking of hashtags, you can add those to your pin descriptions. It’s not mandatory but can increase the visibility and discoverability of your content.
Pinterest doesn’t have a separate field for hashtags, but you can embed them to the description itself.
Can my personal Pinterest account be used for business?
Yes, it can, or even better — you can run personal and business accounts under the common login. Actually, it’s very easy to apply for business profile by going to Settings -> Add Free Business Account. You will be allowed to pick up to 20 boards to add to your business profile, and the first 250 Pins from each board will be copied.
If you manage a small business under the same name and do not feel uncomfortable sharing on the personal board, then maybe it’s not something worth time investment.
On the other hand, if you are going to get serious about Pinterest, launch the ads there, and establish strong business presence for your company, not only for the personal brand, then for sure you should dive in and explore its Business Hub and all the options it offers.
And now that you know more about how to use Pinterest for personal branding online, I encourage you to follow YouGetBranded on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and Subscribe below for our daily tips!