This Guest Blog Post Comes from Terry League of League Computers.
Pinterest is a popular and rapidly growing social platform, and one that most business owners can’t ignore.
According to a study by Shareaholic, Pinterest was second only to Facebook in December 2013 for driving website traffic.
If you’re new to Pinterest, or if you set up an account before business accounts rolled out, you may be wondering which is best for you, a business or personal Pinterest account?
Pinterest’s terms of service state:
“If you’re using Pinterest as part of how you make a living, whether by driving traffic to a blog that makes you some money or to build your personal brand to find customers for your products or services, you should sign up for a business account and agree to our Business Terms of Service.”
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the two types of Pinterest accounts.
1. What’s the Difference Between a Personal & Business Account?
There are five main areas where a business account differs from a personal account:
(1) Pinterest Analytics for Business Accounts
This internal analytics tool is available for business accounts. By reviewing your account’s analytics, you’ll be able to see the pinning activity on your website, plus your account’s most popular Pins.
To get access to Pinterest Analytics you must verify your website.
When you verify a website, it establishes an official link between your site and Pinterest. (You’ll see a checkmark next to a verified website in a user’s Profile.)
Pinterest recommends that you verify your website, “The verification badge helps people identify high-quality sources of content and more easily find the business they want in search results.”
You can only verify one website to one Pinterest account.
There are 2 ways to verify a website and both may require assistance from your website developer. You can read more about verifying a website on Pinterest’s help center here: http://business.pinterest.com/verify/
You do not have to verify your website (note that you will not have access to Pinterest Analytics). Or you can do it at a later date. An un-verified website link will still be displayed in your Profile box and lead users to your site.
Note that if you verify a website at a later date, once you get access to Pinterest Analytics, they will only show data from the date you verified the site and forward.
(2) Rich Pins for Business Accounts
“Rich” Pins are a step above the standard Pin: extra details are automatically added to Rich Pins, including pricing information and a direct link to your website. This is intended to make your Pins more “useful” to users and result in more traffic to your site.
There are 5 types of Rich Pins: movie, recipe, article, product, and place.
If you sell products, note that Product Pins include real-time pricing; plus anyone who’s pinned them will get a notification if your Product Pin drops in price.
Setting up Rich Pins involves specific steps that may require the help of your web developer. For more information on setting up Rich Pins, go to http://business.pinterest.com/rich-pins/
You aren’t required to create Rich Pins on a business account, but if you have an online store, it’s definitely worth the extra effort. If you don’t create Rich Pins, you can still include a product’s price in a standard Pin’s description.
(3) Different Terms of Service for Personal vs Business accounts
As with any social media platform, you should look over the terms of service on Pinterest. There are different terms based on the type of account you have.
Read the terms of service for a business account here: http://business.pinterest.com/tos/
(4) Future Tools for Business Accounts
Pinterest states that future tools and features could be made available for business accounts only.
Once you’ve created a business account, Pinterest will send periodic notifications about new features and/or updates. You can also refer to their business help page here: http://business.pinterest.com/
(5) Settings are Different for Business Accounts
Your username is a business name rather than a first and last name.
You will choose a business type from available categories (which helps in search on Pinterest).
There is no automatic link to a personal Facebook profile; so you’ll want to add a Pinterest tab to your Facebook Page. You can use free Apps like Woobox or Pinvolve to easily set this up.
2. How Do You Convert a Personal Account to a Business Account?
To convert an existing account to a business account, you can click on “Businesses” at the bottom of Pinterest’s log-in page. That will take you to the Business home page on Pinterest, where you’ll click on “Already have an account? Covert it here”.
Or if you are currently logged into your personal account, go to the discover tab in the upper left corner of your Home screen, click on it, and then click on “Businesses” at the bottom of the window. This leads you to the Business home page mentioned above.
When you set up (or convert to) a business account, Pinterest suggests that you:
- Verify your website – which you can do right away or later
- Add a Pin It button to your website – so users can pin content from your website
- Add a Follow button/widget to your website – so users can follow you directly from your website
Note that you will lose the link to your Facebook Personal Profile when you convert to a business account, but you will keep all existing Followers/Follows, boards and Pins.
3. What Does a Business Account Look Like?
Both types of accounts look the same to the general public.
It’s the way you customize the profile bio, the types of boards you create and whether or not you put a company logo in the profile picture that makes an account stand out as a “business”.
4. Can You Keep a Personal Account and Set Up a New Business Account?
Yes, as long as you keep in mind that you’ll need separate email accounts for each Pinterest account. Also note that a Twitter account, Facebook profile and website can only be connected (or verified) to one Pinterest account.
Consider the time constraints carefully, though. Managing two separate Pinterest accounts is going to require twice the time (in theory), so unless you have available resources and/or staff, think about what is best for your situation.
I personally manage two separate Pinterest accounts and it requires a commitment to continuously add new content to each one. I had a personal account initially and then when business accounts were announced I created one for our company too. I’ll gradually be migrating most of my business-related Pins from my personal account to my business account, but it’s a long-term process!
5. So Which is Best for You: A Personal or Business Account?
Take a look at your goals for using Pinterest, your time available, and how your target audience uses the site.
Then you can make an informed decision on whether or not a business account is right for you and your brand!
And if you have additional questions or want more information on Pinterest marketing, I’d be happy to help!
Terry League helps small business owners with social media strategy, training and account management. She and her husband have been small business owners for over 12 years at League Computer Solutions, Inc.
Terry’s background is in marketing and training, and she enjoys combining those two areas to help small business owners get the most out of their social media marketing.
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