Most modern businesses recognize that maintaining a strong social media presence is critical for ongoing success. But while Twitter and Facebook are standards for most companies, other incredibly useful social media platforms can often get overlooked. Pinterest’s approach to cataloging messages through the use of images is unique in the social media space and it can be incredibly useful to businesses when properly leveraged to its full benefit. Here’s how you can make the most out of your company’s Pinterest account.

Understand its advantages over Instagram

Many retailers make prodigious use of Instagram, but there are some strengths to Pinterest that you won’t find in that other photo-focused social media platform. The most important strength here is the ability to include a link on each pin. Links can be individualized as well, so if you’re willing to put in the effort, you can get a lot of mileage out of this functionality. Pinterest galleries can serve as a lookbook or alternative approach to a traditional catalog, linking directly to your store’s shopping cart, or they can be used as gateways to targeted blog content. Instagram can still be useful, depending on who your company‚Äôs target audience is, but there are also a lot of benefits you can gain from Pinterest.

Understand the audience

The reason it’s important to maintain a broad social media presence is that each platform has its own strengths and audiences. Pinterest only has a fraction of the users that Twitter and Facebook do, but it drives sales at a rate of up to four times that of other social media services. On Pinterest, 87% of users say the platform has led to them purchasing a product. That makes it a platform with an extraordinarily high conversion rate, but you need to keep the demographics in mind when deciding on content for your pins. Two-thirds of the audience are millennial women, and the most popular subjects are fashion, food, and travel.

Optimize your content

In terms of using this platform to drive business to your network, it’s best to think of Pinterest as a search engine rather than a social media platform. While it’s important to link your account to your overall web presence, a Pinterest account will ideally draw in customers who don’t know anything about your business. The standard rules for search engine optimized content still apply here, and Pinterest can even suggest keywords for your product. It’s in your best interest to get as much value out of these suggestions as possible.