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Guide: How to set up a Pinterest business page

Pinterest's new business accounts - which still look the same as personal pages - are free

Following in the footsteps of Facebook, Twitter and Google+, social bookmarking site Pinterest has unveiled pages exclusively for businesses.

If your company is new to Pinterest, you can sign up for a business account. If your business has an existing account, you can convert it. Pinterest's new business accounts - which still look the same as personal pages - are free and display a verification badge, let you add buttons and widgets to your website, and include an updated set of terms of service.

Here's a look at how the new business pages work and how to convert your company's account so you can better tap the power of the popular visual bookmarking site.

How to Switch to or Sign Up for a Business Page

Changing your Pinterest page from a personal account to a business account is simple: Visit pinterest.com/business/convert to start. You'll need to be logged into your account.

Complete the fields in the form above, including selecting a custom URL for your page. Pinterest will denote whether the URL you've chosen is already in use.

If your company doesn't yet have a business presence on Pinterest, click the "Sign up" link in the top-right of the page. This will bring you to a similar form that also includes a space to upload a profile image.

[ Turn Facebook Into Pinterest With This New App]

How to Verify Your Account

Pinterest's verification feature lets you validate that you own the website listed on your Pinterest profile.

To verify your website, visit your Settings page and click on the Verify Website button. Pinterest supports only top-level domains, but you can send suggestions on alternative verification options using this Google Docs Spreadsheet.

Pinterest will ask you to download a HTML verification file and upload it to your Web server. Once Pinterest verifies your website, other Pinterest users will see a checkmark next to your domain in search results and the full website URL and checkmark on your profile.

Embedding Pinterest's Buttons and Widgets

To encourage engagement from pinners and to generate traffic back to your site, Pinterest offers a number buttons and widgets you can embed on your website.

The first two buttons, "Pin It" and "Follow," place buttons directly on your site to allow users to either pin a photo or piece of content to one of their boards, or follow your account directly.

The Profile widget places a collage of your pins and directs users to your Pinterest page to see more. The Board widget, similar to Profile widget, also displays a collage, but highlights one board.

You can find the code to each of these widgets on Pinterest's Buttons and Widgets page.

Kristin Burnham covers consumer technology, social networking and enterprise collaboration for CIO.com. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kmburnham. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Kristin at kburnham@cio.com

Read more about consumer in CIO's Consumer Drilldown.

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

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