By Anna Crowe

We knew this day would come, and it finally has, Pinterest now allows you to extend your reach with Promoted Pins.

Now before you begin groaning about how you’ll have to promote all your pins for anyone to see them, let’s start off by saying this is not like Facebook’s sponsored posts. Based on what we’ve seen so far, we really think Pinterest has got it right.

Considering that a new study found that Pinterest users spend an average of 50 percent more after using Pinterest rather than other social channels, and they spend 20 percent more than people who were referred from non-social channels, including search, we know you’re going to like your ROI with this one.

How to Get Up and Running

The first step is you have to apply for Promoted Pins. It’s kind of like how the first people to have Pinterest accounts had to be invited, so you’ll need to be patient here. Once you’re approved you’ll get an email from Pinterest, but before you get too click happy, know that you can’t go promoting pins willy nilly.

Pinterest has made their promotion guidelines strict, which just goes to show how much they’re taking the user experience in to account with this new program. They know if Pinterest gets spammy they’re going to lose users, and they definitely don’t want that to happen, and neither do you.

You can read up on their guidelines of what you can’t do here to get a leg-up when you’re approved. Heads up, there are a lot of “can’t do’s.”

How to Make the Most of Your Promoted Pins

1. Make Pinnable Images

This should be a no brainer, but use good images. Images that exhibit solid photography principles and feature something exciting are what pinners will want to save, or pin, for inspiration.

Also, size your pins correctly. Pins must be a minimum of 800×1200 pixels, but pins that get the best engagement are a little longer on the height side. Use that vertical real estate!

2. Promote Rich Pins

Rich pins are pins that show details like pricing and availability for your various products. Not only do these Rich Pins include real time details on the product, but it also gives your stuff credibility since these details will cause your pins to show up more frequently in user’s Smart Feeds and your pins will be filtered in to the Pinterest gift category, which gets tons of traffic.

Another bonus? Pinners also get notifications when product Pins they’ve added to their boards drop in price. Basically, Pinterest is doing email marketing for you for free!

3. Use Pinterest Analytics

Once your website if verified by Pinterest, you will have a backend dashboard showing you all the analytics of your pins. You can then see your “top pin impressions,” which can help you choose the best pins on your page that would be beneficial to promote.

How to Set Up Your First Promoted Pin

1) Go to and hover over the image you want to promote.

2) Next you’ll want to choose your keywords, so think of the terms people would be using to search when trying to find a pin like the one you’re promoting. Then you need to choose your location. As of right now you can only choose U.S. cities since Promoted Pins is only available for U.S. based accounts. For example, if your business is one that relies heavily on your location, like a hotel, make sure to location optimize your boards as well.

3.) Then choose English as the language and leave the Device selection as “all.” Last, you’ll choose gender, since most winners are female, that’s a good choice to go with unless the main demographic you’re trying to target is male.

4.) Now it’s time to fork up the cash. Set your daily budget (you can keep it as low as $1 per day), but know that Promoted Pins runs a second-price auction model. That means you’ll only be charged what you would have needed to pay to beat the next bidder in the auction, however you’ll never be charged more than your daily budget.

Next you’ll need to name your campaign and set the dates you want it to run. Also, make sure the URL you want connected to your pin is correct and doesn’t land on a dead page!

5.) After completing the billing process you’ll be taken to a dashboard where your Promoted Pin data will appear once it’s approved. Check back every so often because Pinterest won’t email you once they’ve approved your pin.

6.) Track your stats! Now that you’re getting in the swing of things, see what’s working best for you with this new service.

And here’s a bonus tip: Since you have a higher chance of reaching more people who will click your pin and go to your website, install a “pin it” plug-in that encourages people to pin more images from your site to their boards.

Well, that’s the whole run down. You’ll be a pro at Promoted Pins before you know it. And don’t forget to check back in with us to tell us how you’re knocking it out of the park with your Pinterest game!