Part of the explosive success of Pinterest is its focus on personalization. The site allows people to display a collection of their most valued things, from material objects to intangible inspirations. While the social network has become a rapid success among individuals, recreating that same popularity for businesses is a little more complicated.

How can you translate the focus of an individual’s tastes and passions into the broader scope of a company? You’ll want to blend smart marketing ideas with the same level of care and detail that you’d apply to your own personal page. Here are five ideas to help you brand and customize your Pinterest presence to better represent your business.

1. Highlight Your Profile Images

Not all pins are created equal. Pinterest allows you to select which image is featured as the cover of each pinboard on your profile page. If you do nothing, the cover will be the last image you pinned. That helps keep your profile page dynamic, but you can also exert a little extra control and use those cover pages as an additional source of continuity.

It might seem obvious, but don’t overlook the importance of your profile photo. Make sure your main visual icon displays your company’s name or logo without extraneous details or words. The image is only so big, so make sure it’s simple but strong.

2. Hone Your Focus

Pinterest’s popularity means a huge volume of new content appears daily, so having some organization within your own pins will be helpful for you and your followers. Thus far, the most successful approach seems to be creating a large number of pinboards, each with a specific focus. That means other Pinterest members can be very particular about what boards they follow, creating a more personal connection with your brand.

Think about breaking down your boards by subtopics. Furniture and design company West Elm is a good example, with pins classified by room, color, pattern, and style. Be specific in your board topics, but be generous in the number of boards you create.

3. Don’t Neglect the Text

Pinterest might focus primarily on the visual, but your text choices communicate volumes in this setting, too. Put some thought into both the titles of your pinboards and the accompanying captions. They should complement the images and contribute to the general character you’re developing on the site. Think about the details that make your boards and your company unique. Snappy, clever copy is always an asset.

And remember, words have their own visual impact. Are all the words in a pinboard name capitalized? Are your captions full sentences or just unpunctuated phrases? Adhering to all proper grammar rules will make for a more formal impression, while a looser approach to usage would fit a business crafting a more casual air.

4. Curate the Pinboards You Follow

Pinterest is not just another media site, it’s a social media site! When a Pinterest member sees a company that isn’t following any other people on the site, it’s a red flag for blatant marketing. You should spend some time exploring the network and looking for quality content to follow and re-pin.

Even in social media, you’ll be judged by the company you keep. Look for a mix of both individuals and companies, and don’t limit yourself strictly to your own industry. Although you’ll certainly want to stay connected to the leaders in your sector, also keep an eye out for boards with content that might be related on a more ideological level.

5. Include Idea-Driven Content

Think about what bigger ideas drive your business. What ideals are most important to your customers? What goals inspire your workers? What’s your overarching mission? Create pinboards that showcase those qualities. For example, grocery company Whole Foods has boards dedicated to the Whole Foods Foundation and to physical fitness. Pinterest is about connections, and many people will feel a stronger association with lifestyle-related concepts, such as nutrition or home decor, than with lists of products.

Whether the subject is a lofty ideal or merchandise, your pins should also deliver real, useful content. Followers are more likely to click through pins that offer meaty information, such as how-to tutorials or insightful articles. There’s nothing wrong with including your products and encouraging purchases, but if that’s all Pinterest members wanted, they would search your website catalog instead.

What have you done to get more personal on Pinterest? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image credits: AngryJulieMonday, genericface, Images Money, boehjah, Satoru Kikuchi]