What is Pinterest, What is It for and How Does this Visual Social Network Work?

It is possible that, unless you have an eCommerce or online business, you still do not know what Pinterest is exactly, although you have probably heard of this platform on occasion.

Therefore, if in addition to knowing what it is, you want to know how it works, today I will explain it step by step, so that you understand that this may be the piece that is missing from the social media plan of your brand.

Despite being a social network with more than 200 million registered users around the world, it is possible that you do not have an account or know all its advantages.

Precisely for that reason, I would like to start this guide by revealing its definition, which will make you understand the special attraction it possesses:

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is one of the largest visual social networks, in which it is possible to share images, videos, infographics and all kinds of contents that are predominantly visual. In addition, most users who have an online project or are thinking of creating it use it as an “ideas box”.

Its format allows you to organize, archive and share your "pins" (publications) by themes, interests or hobbies, among other options.

His unique style has been very popular since its inception, hence its great success (especially in English speaking countries), as it is one of the platforms with the highest growth rate in recent years.

It is likely that, although you did not know what Pinterest is, upon hearing its name, you would have asked yourself the reason of its name.

Well it is called like this way because its creators have digitized the typical cork panel where you hang photos with a pin.

How was Pinterest born? Brief history about this social platform

Once you know exactly what Pinterest is, I’m sure you’re curious to know how this social network was born and originated, right?

To review its origins, we must recommend ourselves to 2009, when its founders, Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp, decided to start a new business, in which the first of them was already working in their company, “Cold Brew Labs” .

They started with “Tote”, a fashionable iPhone app designed for women. Seeing that basically what they did was to mark the clothes they liked the most and keep them on their board to see them and buy them later, they thought that what is now Pinterest could be possible.

Already at the end of 2009, they launched their first “beta” version, a private network that you could only access if you had a prior invitation from one of its founders.

They gradually improved their creation, until 2011, when they launched it for the general public. The reception was such that in June of that same year, it already had more than 10,000 active and registered users.

What exactly is Pinterest for?

Taking into account all that I have told you about this platform so far, I am sure that you already understand at least what it is for.

Certainly, it is difficult to define what it is for and how to use Pinterest within your strategy, given its multiple functionalities.

If you dig, you will surely find a great variety of additional utilities to these that I indicate below, both for private users and for companies:

► Drawer of ideas for “better times”

It is a good platform to neatly archive a wish list, as do some of the most prestigious online stores.

In relation to this, and as anecdotal data, I must tell you that in Spain this utility was widely used, given that it arises in the middle of the economic crisis.

Therefore, users interested in buying clothes, furniture or other types of accessories, enjoyed collecting and sharing objects of desire, to have them archived for when “better times” arrived.

► You will follow styles and interests in common with others

Thanks to the existence of this social network, you will not follow people or brands, but to styles, tendencies, types of information and themes according to your interests and your professional sector.

To put it in some way, here there are no “influencers” or “normal” users, something that is very much appreciated.

► You can communicate with images

Pinterest is also ideal for telling stories through the image, thanks to the famous infographics published by many of its users on their respective boards.

► Publish findings and news

It is an excellent digital service to disseminate findings that will delight you for hours and hours, launched by other companies or brands in your sector, that could be interesting for your audience.

In addition, if you have a business with presence on the Internet, you can also present your news here, to which you want to give greater visibility online.

It allows you to disseminate information and share it with your contacts through the option of "repining".

► Sell the products of your eCommerce

Companies that have already decided to open an account on Pinterest have taken advantage and already opt for the promotion and sale of products through it, thanks to the great option of being able to accompany the image of a link to your Web, so that it directs traffic to the Landing Page of your interest.

► Get traffic for your blog

To the thread of the previous utility, if you have a Blog in WordPress or another digital platform, one of your main pretensions should be to gradually increase Web traffic towards it.

A fantastic idea in this sense could be to upload the cover image to your board or, even better, the infographic with which you accompany this content and add the URL of your article.

In this way, if you liked what you contributed to them, they will be attracted to know the subject more in depth, so you will inevitably have to visit your Blog.

How does Pinterest work and what can I do in this social network?

Once I’ve described what Pinterest is and what it’s for, I’m going to the core and the essence of the matter: how it works.

If you are just starting and have just created a Pinterest account for your business, I encourage you to do solo tests: before following anyone, do tests such as uploading pins, design boards, follow people you have as reference in your sector, among other options.

At the beginning, you may find it complicated by its differences with other networks, but it is a very simple and intuitive platform, where you can do this series of things:

1. You can create a very visual profile for your business

You can insert and create planks, grouping them by the themes that you are going to share and in which you will be hanging pins. Do not generate confusion. That is, try to see what your interests and related topics at first glance.

Place the hook board in the first position, the one that best defines you. If you are a company, it will be for sale or in which you offer some type of lead magnet or infoproducto.

Thus, it will be more accessible to whoever visits you, who will not get lost between boards.

2. You will give more visibility to your infographics

The essence of Pinterest are the infographics you create, which add value to your profile and make it more or less engaging.

Ok, it’s more work, but it’s better to upload an infographic than a cluster of images. You will be more successful.

3. Labels and descriptions are the keys

Pinterest users perform many content searches. Therefore, it is essential that you add hashtags and describe what the boards and images contain in detail.

In this way, the person will find the content more easily.

If, in addition, you add the location with the map option, you will add great value to your videos and images, which will be attractive to your followers.

Keep in mind that this location gives more information to what they are seeing.

4. Being active in it will have its reward

You are facing a network in continuous movement, so you need to update your content and interact with other users, whether followers or not.

In this sense, my advice is that you actively use this platform. Do not limit yourself to enter and see if you have a new follower, but nourish your space content.

Remember that Pinterest is like a room whose cork boards receive many visits.

If you are a company, it is a good tool for eCommerce, since you can advertise and sell at a glance what you offer.

5. Surround yourself with people of your theme

The interests and tastes are essential in this particular social network. Therefore, follow people according to them, whose theme is in line with yours.

You have to surround yourself with like-minded people and there is no better way than to become their follower. In this way, you will achieve Networking and further enhance your Personal Brand.

6. Comments increase your success on Pinterest

Comment the most popular pins or that you like. Be brave and generous.

This fact will make the author satisfied and grateful and that many followers or fans of the subject want to inquire about the information you share.

7. Collaborate with other users

At this point in the road, it’s time to start participating in the boards of other users. There are group boards, where you can share your opinion and your infographics.

8. Distribute your pins well

It is necessary that you categorize your pins with the head so that each interested person follows your boards.

9. Designed to share with your community

The images in this social network have a certain format. What does this fact imply? It is designed so that the user decides to interact and share the information with other users.

In this way, this content hosts much more value and diffusion, so that Pinterest has marked a firm footprint that is followed by many people.

From a certain profile, the user can “pin” images distributed by planks that he himself specifies.

In addition, the person can quickly follow images that interest or thematic and “pin them”. That is, share them with your contacts.

It is these characteristics that make this social network ideal to let the universe know what your business or brand, its products and services do.

And in an original, attractive and visual way.

What advantages can Pinterest bring to my business?

All companies can take advantage of Pinterest, although if the products and services they offer are visual, they have part of the journey.

This is the case of sectors where the visual predominates: gastronomy, fashion, decoration, beauty, etc. But, considering this premise, you may be wondering: what if it is not my case?

You can always give your planks and pins that attractive and visual aspect that the tool offers, adding explanatory infographics to your more theoretical content and with a slightly more entertaining touch.

If it’s a service: why do not you take pictures that illustrate that service? Or, what prevents you from developing an infographic that describes it?

To these advantages, I add the following, so that your presence on Pinterest earns points:

1. Visibility

If you have just created an eCommerce store where you sell your own products, you can create albums on your Pinterest page, where you store the catalogs of your products explaining, if necessary, part of their operation graphically.

This will give your products extra visibility.

2. SEO

Pinterest is emerging as one of the best social networks to increase the SEO positioning of your website. If the image is well optimized and points to your page, you will gain more traffic than you imagine.

»You may also be interested in: SEO On Page: Basic positioning guide for your blog

3. Viralization

Your content will be viral per se, since it is a social network used by more than 250 million active people already in mid-2018.

In addition, it has a growth even greater than the one harvested so far by Twitter, which is undoubtedly another of the most important social networks and known by the general public.

4. Target audience

If you properly make use of quality images, you will achieve an objective audience that will help you to know the tastes of your clients.

This will undoubtedly help you to make an optimal sales strategy.


Maybe for you or your business is the great unknown of social networks, but as its creators point out, it has become the “pretty girl” of the Internet, especially for some professional sectors.

Now that you know what Pinterest is and what it is for, what are you waiting for to take advantage of all its benefits?