Tips for Using Pinterest to Promote Your Etsy Shop

Reading time: 5 minutes

If you have an Etsy shop, don’t sleep on Pinterest! It is the top social media platform that drives the most traffic to my Etsy shop! Hi there, I’m Lauren Kilgore of Handmade Sellers University. Today, I’m here with tips on how to use Pinterest for Etsy.

Pinterest is technically classified as a social media platform but in reality it’s more like Google. That is, a search engine. There tends to be less engagement and commenting on Pinterest pins than on Facebook or Instagram posts. But it is a platform where users can post content that others can share with others.

Pinterest was created initially as a place for users to save or “pin” their favorite sites around the web as sort of a digital scrapbook. Basically, Pinterest is just a collection of links that lead off its platform. This is where it differs from Facebook and Instagram. Neither Facebook nor Instagram likes users to post links that take anyone away from their app. In fact, those platforms will decrease reach for any posts that have external links. This means few people actually even see the post. But external links is the entire point of Pinterest.

Which means if you have pretty pictures and you want users to follow you over to your Etsy shop, then Pinterest is where it’s at. And the good news is you don’t have to worry as much about followers on Pinterest. For example, I have about 7,000 followers on Pinterest and about 85,000 on Facebook. But Pinterest sends 5-10 times the traffic to my Etsy shop! So definitely don’t obsess about vanity metrics like followers or monthly views.

How to use Pinterest for Etsy

There are a few ways to use Pinterest for your Etsy shop if you haven’t started with it already. You can:

  • Convert a personal account to a business account so you don’t lose pins or followers. But you’ll want to delete or hide boards and pins that are not “on brand.”
  • Open a brand-new business account (separate logins from your personal account).
  • Add a business account to your personal account (this links them together under the same login).

When you open or start your business Pinterest account you’ll want to keep the same name as all your other social media accounts (and hopefully your Etsy shop too). That way, customers will be able to find you if they want to search for your account. You can change your name down the road if you need to but don’t confuse your followers!

Make sure you are creating a theme with your entire Pinterest account so that all boards and pins are on brand. This will help encourage users to follow your account. Create a “one-stop shop” experience for your niche. For example, as a wreath maker I have boards for DIY crafts, home décor, wreath boards for each season, craft room organization tips, holiday recipes, kids crafts, gift ideas, etc.

One of the best parts about Pinterest is that pins are “evergreen.” Contrast that with Facebook and Instagram. There, once something is posted it disappears in the busy news feed very quickly, and it’s almost impossible to find it again. Whereas on Pinterest, pins can resurface for years as users pin them to their boards and other users find them and re-pin them to their own boards. I find many of my original pins from 5-6 years ago still being saved and re-pinned today! For this reason, when you’re creating new pins consider using the URL to your entire shop or a shop section, rather than an individual listing. That way if the item were to sell out, customers will still be able to see other products you have available.

How to pin Etsy on Pinterest

You can pin straight from your Etsy shop, or you can create new pins using Canva or Tailwind Create. (I’ll link those below in the Resources section.) Or you can make them right in Pinterest. However, note that Pinterest is now focusing highly on fresh content. Users on Pinterest got tired of seeing the same content over and over and so Pinterest took action to provide a better experience for their users. One is by blocking spam.

That’s why you can’t just re-pin items from your Etsy shop all over all your boards. You’d risk being considered spammy by Pinterest. Instead, you’ll have to create new images (with new graphics, text, etc.) to keep Pinterest happy. While the URL can be the same on the backend, to Pinterest users the content they see cannot be identical to another of your pins.

P.S.: Don’t forget to include a URL if you’re creating your own pins! To a Pinterest user there’s nothing worse than clicking on a pin for more info only to find it goes nowhere! And eRank actually has a neat tool for that; I’ll add a link to it below.

Final tips on how to get Etsy sales from Pinterest

For maximum visibility, you should pin items to your Pinterest account 60-90 days ahead of each holiday. Think of how stores put out holiday content months in advance of the holiday. Consumers may balk at it but in reality that’s when they’re thinking, preparing, and shopping. According to Tailwind (Pinterest’s partner), “Pinterest users start planning their seasonal activities on the app three to six months in advance. This means businesses and brands need to stay far ahead of the Pinterest trends if they want to capitalize on peak search seasons.”

When setting up your Pinterest boards and pins make sure you’re using keywords everywhere. The keywords you use in your board titles and description tell Pinterest (and users) what the board is all about. When creating pins, the keywords that you use are how your pins will get found in search.

It can take some time to set up your account, and a few months to get traction but you’ll be thanking me that you made the effort! The sooner you get on the platform the sooner your pins will be seen by thousands of potential buyers! Believe it or not, more customers buy from seeing a product on Pinterest and clicking through to the site than they do from Facebook or Twitter!

photograph of author Etsy Coach Lauren Kilgore

Lauren Kilgore, Handmade Sellers University



Here are links to the two apps I mentioned above for creating new pins: Canva and Tailwind Create.

If you want to learn more about Pinterest, I offer Pinterest training in Handmade Sellers 201 and through my standalone course The Power of Pins.)

And finally, when it comes to how to add Etsy listings to Pinterest, eRank has a handy tool for that! The eRank Links report; it’s on the Main Menu under Listings. It automatically preformats links to include your shop name, which ensures that each link will lead back to your item and your shop rather than to some other Etsy page.