By Jilly Badanes

You might be using Pinterest to find recipes or plan your next vacation, but have you thought about using it to market your business? If you run or work for a service business or something that sells a product to other businesses (rather than consumers), you might not have considered Pinterest as a marketing channel. But I’m here to say you should.

Pinterest’s demographics have changed since it launched and the opportunity for businesses and marketers has grown. Pinterest now has over 100 million users, more than 30 percent are men.

Unlike social networks like Facebook, people come to Pinterest with a goal of finding something to buy, make, or learn. If you are trying to sell, teach, or inspire anyone, you can’t afford to ignore Pinterest.

Here are five ways you can start using Pinterest for B2B marketing of your products or services.

1. Start with Research

Like any marketing channel, you should begin by better understanding who your target customer is and what they are seeking. Pinterest helps you do this with their Guided Search function. Spend some time searching different topics and phrases that interest you and find the most popular related topics, Pinners, and Boards.

Even if you are trying to reach other businesses on Pinterest, you’re still trying to reach a person. What can you learn from your research about those individuals. What do they enjoy in their free time? What else do they follow on Pinterest?

2. Use Keywords

Take notes on the topics and style that are most popular when doing your research. Note the keywords as well. Add these keywords to your Board titles, your Pin captions, and your Board and Profile descriptions. Not only will this help you be found on Pinterest, it could also help you come up in Google searches. Pinterest boards are now categorized in Google.

3. What Can You Teach?

People come to Pinterest to share information and learn from each other. What do you have to teach your potential audience? What lessons do they need to learn to better understand your industry? Create graphics, share blog posts, and Slideshares to better explain these issues.

Pinterest favors information. Give away a few teasers of what a link will teach in the Pin caption. Captions with more information tend to get shared more widely on the platform.

4. Share Customer Testimonials

Nothing is more powerful in marketing than word of mouth from a peer. Pinterest is a perfect space to share these messages and reach the people who need them.

Can you share links to your service in action? Putting a visual to your case study will help people visualize the possibility even more.

5. Humanize Your Business

Tell stories about your company on Pinterest. Can you curate interests from your employees? Share your own business practices that might inspire your customers? Find posts about people doing similar things and re-Pin them to your boards.

These are great ways to connect your business to the industry and improve the likelihood that if people are searching for something related they will find you.

Then pay attention to the analytics. Once you verify your Pinterest account as a business, you will have access to their full analytics. Navigate to the “Audience” tab to see the interests your audience shares. Are these the things you would expect? If not, you might want to adjust your strategy to try to reach the people you intended.

Let us know how these work out for you and if you have any questions.