If you’ve ignored Pinterest, don’t. It’s an important social media network with 70 million users and 2.5 billion page views per month. Pinterest is still relatively new; development only began in 2009, and the founders were still operating Pinterest out of a small apartment as late as 2011.

If you’ve been too busy to find out about Pinterest or to take advantage of the site, you should know that its users buy more of the products they see on Pinterest than Facebook, and they’re also more likely to arrive at your own website from Pinterest than from Facebook. Here are some basic tips for getting started on Pinterest and taking advantage of this popular, growing social media network.

Be sure to include everything about your business that customers should know, and use your business name as the “profile name.” Be sure your profile is complete, and use a business page rather than a personal profile page; otherwise, you’ll forfeit the ability to use the analytics data. Plus, a complete profile looks more professional and is key to your SEO goals.

  • Include links to your Facebook and Twitter pages and to your own site and/or blog. Used properly, Pinterest can be a potent SEO tool.
  • Follow other businesses, especially those similar to yours. This lets you see what’s working for them, and it can sometimes give you ideas and insights.
  • Generally speaking, don’t mix your personal interest boards with business boards. If you sell comic books or hand-made jewelry, your customers probably aren’t interested in your wedding plans or favorite recipes. (This advice is good for other social media sites too, not just Pinterest.)
  • Pin the right images. When you upload pictures or graphics, make sure they’re clear and attractive to the eye. Maximum image size on Pinterest is 5000 pixels high x 554 pixels wide. And don’t overwhelm your audience by posting too many images at once.
  • Don’t turn on “Search Privacy.” If you do, your customers won’t be able to find you in search engine results. Make sure Search Privacy is off in your Account Settings.

Pinterest has plenty of other bells and whistles you can use to your advantage, so it’s worth your time to take a close look at what’s there. Pinterest is just too big and important to be ignored any longer, so if you’re confused by it, or if you’re just too busy, you may choose to get some help from a good social media marketing company.