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Blog / Marketing tips / Pinning Your Way to Success: Pinterest Strategies for T-Shirt Entrepreneurs

Marketing tips

Pinning Your Way to Success: Pinterest Strategies for T-Shirt Entrepreneurs

Pinning Your Way to Success: Pinterest Strategies for T-Shirt Entrepreneurs
Jeremy Noronha

By Jeremy Noronha

9 min read

Pinterest is a visual search engine that’s a largely untapped resource for custom t-shirt entrepreneurs. The platform has numerous marketing features, like pins, boards, ads, and SEO functionality to help build a successful print-on-demand store.

Social media has revolutionized the landscape of digital marketing. It has allowed businesses to efficiently scale their efforts to acquire, retain, and ultimately upsell to customers. Because of this, ecommerce businesses (like online t-shirt stores) have begun to include social media in their marketing plans. A well-planned social media campaign will help  ecommerce businesses achieve their desired goals and get top sales.

There are many social media channels where you can advertise and sell t-shirts. But what about unexplored territory? Pinterest is a fantastic platform that’s underutilized by t-shirt entrepreneurs. It offers a place where entrepreneurs can grow rapidly in a less competitive space. The content on the platform has a longer shelf life and is still discoverable months after posting. a screenshot of a social media post

If you’re a budding t-shirt entrepreneur, we’ve compiled a list of actionable and relevant Pinterest strategies to get you going on the platform. Keep reading to learn more.

The Pinterest advantage: more than just pretty pictures 

Pinterest is known for its visual nature, but this site doesn’t just offer visually-appealing content—it also has distinct benefits for t-shirt entrepreneurs.

A picture is worth a thousand sales

Pictures and videos generally appeal to audiences more than descriptions of what you represent as a brand. What’s great about Pinterest? It allows users to tell a visual story about their t-shirt business. This will help drum up more user attention, leading to better conversion rates.a collage of images of people and a skeleton

Source: Printful on Pinterest

Pinterest’s interface lets t-shirt designers showcase their designs perfectly with great detail and style. Since the visuals on your Pinterest profile will enforce your branding, make sure the images you add of your t-shirts are high-quality and match your brand. This will help visitors better understand your business and offering. 

From a scroll to a shopping spree

You might be surprised to know that 465 million people use Pinterest every month. In fact, Pinterest has a better user engagement rate when compared to other social media platforms. The unique visual format is appealing to users who are primarily looking for fashion, lifestyle, and home decor ideas. 

Users on Pinterest typically visit the site with a clear intent of finding a design or making a purchase. This intent-driven behavior will lead to more focused and engaged browsing. Nearly 83% of users have made a purchase on the content they have viewed. This makes it one of the most valuable social media channels out there for t-shirt and apparel businesses.

Setting the stage with your business account 

When you’re making use of Pinterest for business, you will want to have a Pinterest business account and not a personal account. The business account comes with several benefits for t-shirt entrepreneurs to promote and sell their products. a screenshot of a website

Source: Pinterest

With a Pinterest business account, brands are able to:

  • Review analytics to better assess your marketing strategy

  • Run a wide range of Pinterest ads

  • Set up a Shop tab on your profile

  • Access richer content-sharing capabilities

How can you set up a business account on Pinterest to scale your t-shirt business?

  1. Create a new account on Pinterest

  2. After getting started, you’ll have to fill in some personal information

  3. Add your business details to build your profile

  4. Add a short description of your business

Now you’re ready to start uploading and running ads for your t-shirt business.

If you already have a personal profile, you can easily switch to a business account by logging in to your existing profile and converting it.

Once you’ve set up your Pinterest business profile, you’ll need to optimize it to ensure a consistent tone that fits your brand identity. To start off, you need to use a profile and user name that reflects your t-shirt business. Upload a high-quality profile photo—preferably your business logo—and write a concise profile description that encapsulates what your t-shirt business is all about.

Crafting pins that sell 

A pin on Pinterest is an individual piece of content that users will save and share on the platform. A pin will consist of an image/video, a short description, or a link to your t-shirts. Below is a breakdown of the key features.

Picture perfect: the aesthetics of a great pin

Similar to other social media channels, there will be plenty of images and videos of t-shirts on Pinterest. You need to create unique, high-quality images of your t-shirts to help promote and market them better.

Since 82% of users browse Pinterest on mobile phones, it’s best to upload vertical images with an aspect ratio of 2:3 to avoid cropped images. 

The words behind the image: crafting killer descriptions

A good narrative can break boundaries and engage customers on a personal level. Craft powerful descriptions about your t-shirts and tell visitors what you’re offering. If you use relevant keywords with your pins, you’ll likely get more organic reach and engagement.

 a group of items on a white background

Source: Printful on Pinterest

The nudge: why every pin needs a CTA

Instead of simply reading or checking your t-shirt pins, CTAs will give visitors a nudge to take action. Without a CTA, a visitor may not know what sellers want them to do once they view a pin. A well-crafted CTA will make them click, save, make a purchase, or explore further.

Boards and categories

Boards on Pinterest allow you to save, collect, and organize your pins in a single place. You can distribute the content for your followers to explore. Pinterest allows you to have as many boards as you want. You can categorize them around t-shirt designs, themes, sizes, or other specifications.

Categorizing the boards properly will help improve the user experience for visitors as they can easily navigate through your profile. It will help you reach more people, and it lets you attract a more targeted and engaged audience. Boards on Pinterest make it easy for your audience to find the t-shirt they’re looking for without any hassle.

The magic of Rich Pins 

Pinterest has a Rich Pins feature that will offer additional information about your t-shirts to your audience. It will pull up the price and product description directly on Pinterest. Mobile users have a blue shop button to directly head to the shop and check the items out.

To set the Rich Pin feature, you need a business account and to follow these steps:

  • Ensure your website has the necessary data in the HTML of your pages

  • Verify your website with Pinterest

  • Apply for Rich Pins and the pin type

  • Test and debug it using the Rich Pin validator

  • Start pinning after it gets approved

Rich Pins provide more context about your t-shirts to your visitors and increase visibility on Pinterest feeds. The information provided by the pins can establish credibility and trust among your users. They are optimized for mobile devices so they will reach a larger demographic of Pinterest users.

Mastering Pinterest SEO 

SEO is super important in the digital age and lucky for you Pinterest has its own SEO rules and algorithms to help boost your t-shirt business. We get into it more below.

The keyword treasure hunt

A fundamental part of SEO is based on a specific niche being visited or searched by certain users. Within that, keywords allow you to reach more people with your business. You can use the Pinterest keyword research tool to find the best keywords based on your t-shirt business.

Some of the locations where you can insert keywords on Pinterest are:

  • Profile and Bio

  • Images/videos

  • Pin descriptions and overlays

  • Board tiles and descriptions

Hashtag harmony: the right way to use hashtags

Hashtags are a powerful feature on Pinterest that help visitors reach their desired page easily. For a t-shirt entrepreneur on Pinterest, this is a gold mine. You can place hashtags in new pins or in your bio to get on top of the search results.

The headline act: crafting titles that get clicks

There are multiple places where you have to include SEO keywords, but one of the most important is in the Pin title. An effective Pin title has to be simple and compelling, with up to 100 characters. This will help you increase your reach and grow your community.

Making sense of Pinterest analytics

If you’re putting effort into Pinterest marketing, you’ll want to know that the work you’re doing improves your conversion and brand awareness. You can check your analytics by heading to your profile picture and selecting the analytics section. Here, you get an overview of how your t-shirt business is performing. a chair in front of a door

Source: Pinterest

Pinterest lets you check 4 major types of data. These are:

  • Profile metrics as a whole

  • Insights on the number of users that have saved or re-pinned your content

  • Metrics to understand how visitors interact with your content

  • Insights into your most popular pins

Data analytics from Pinterest can help you refine your t-shirt business and make strategic decisions related to your product offering and designs, or how you market your tees. This will help improve your business, offer better customer satisfaction, and ultimately get you more sales.

Pinterest advertising

Pinterest has paid pins, which are similar to other pins, except these are sponsored to get more reach within relevant search results. a screenshot of a social media ad

Source: Pinterest

Ad types

Pinterest has several ad formats to fit different campaign goals. Each of the formats helps meet key campaign objectives. The 5 types of ad formats you can choose for your t-shirt business are:

  1. Idea pins – short video segments with a series of up to 20 graphics

  2. Collection ads – ads displayed to mobile users only

  3. Carousel ads – like organic pins, but with images that users can swipe through

  4. Promoted pins – the simplest ads because you’re boosting an existing pin

  5. Shopping ads – ads pulled directly from your product catalog (Shopify and other platforms connect with Pinterest for this feature)

Ad budgeting and bidding

The budget of your ads on Pinterest depends on your business size and requirements. You should set a budget depending on your campaign goals and current company earnings. 

For instance, let’s say you’ve determined that for every 10 clicks on your Pinterest ad, you’d make one sale (a 10% conversion rate). So if you aim to make 5 sales a day, you’d need 50 clicks. What does that mean for your budget? If an ad costs $50, each click costs you $1. From this, you can figure out how much you should be spending on ads based on how many clicks/sales you’re going for.

Measuring your Pinterest ROI

Once your ad goes live on Pinterest, you can track its progress in your Pinterest Ads Manager dashboard. You will get access to all the desired metrics and information there.

 a man in a red suit

Source: Pinterest

Real Pins, real profits

There are thousands of success stories on Pinterest, but below we discuss two major ones.

  • Joy Cho is a big star on Pinterest with over 15.2 million followers and making a staggering $7,000 per post. She is the founder and creative director of Oh Joy and has over 70 boards with different topics. Her board titled Oh Joy for Target is a good example of how brands can use influencer marketing on Pinterest.

  • Maryann Rizzo is another success story with over 9 million followers, making $4,100 per post. As per her bio, she’s an interior designer with over 168 boards and an especially captivating page.

Remember to focus on aesthetics and fill your page with visually-appealing images related to your t-shirt designs. Also try to create a number of different boards so you reach the right audience. 

Next steps in your Pinterest journey 

Pinterest is a powerful marketing tool that’s more than just pretty pictures. Consistency, engagement, and a well-organized profile can help build a strong presence on this visual discovery platform for your t-shirt brand. If you’re looking to enhance your business, then Pinterest should be at the top of your ecommerce marketing list. 

What are you waiting for? It’s time to start Pinning!


By Jeremy Noronha on Oct 6, 2023

Jeremy Noronha

Guest author

Jeremy has also been featured in Hubspot, Foundr, Fiverr, and BigCommerce. In his free time, he’s out rucking mountains.

Jeremy has also been featured in Hubspot, Foundr, Fiverr, and BigCommerce. In his free time, he’s out rucking mountains.