Pinterest has this crazy effect on people….it turns them into a consumer on crack! I don’t know why, but I’ve fallen victim to it many a time. You can’t help yourself but envision you living in that crazy treehouse or rocking that Polyvore outfit. People spend hours searching the site for ideas AND products for a birthday party, charitable function, closet organizer, backyard oasis, etc. You name it, they are searching it. So, how can you make Pinterest work to your advantage as a business?
Here’s a quick list of Pinterest business tips to help guide you in the right direction….enjoy!
1. Fill out your profile in its entirety.
Despite this sounding a bit like, oh I donno, common sense…it’s rarely followed. Make sure to jazz up your profile picture but keep it consistent with your company logo so people can easily identify you. Always include your website and social profile links as well. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to follow you on other networks and most importantly, to your website. Also, make sure you verify your site.
2. Get the “Pin It” button.
Make sure you have the “Pin It” button on your website AND blog. You can easily download this button on the Pinterest Goodies page. Even if you don’t sell retail items – which symbolize the golden child of Pinterest traffic – still install the “Pin It” button. People pin all kinds of things – infographics, white papers, blog posts and links to articles, just to name a few.
3. Get fans.
Leverage your existing social media platforms to gather followers on Pinterest. In other words, link your profiles. Amylynn Andrews gives some good ideas on how to gather more followers. For instance, just asking works quite well! In addition, post coupons for Pinterest fans only, create exclusive boards to stir interest in following your brand and pin seasonal content that tends to generate high traffic.
4. Label pins with a description.
When pinning your own products, be as descriptive as possible, but don’t go overboard. Remember that Pinterest is for the visual consumer and you need to cater to that. An awesome picture with no description will blow a bleh picture with a great description out of the water….every time. That being said, a great picture with a descriptive explanation and a price is like hitting the jackpot for the consumer — which leads me to the next tip…pricing.
5. Price it!
This tip is compliments of Shopify. Be sure to add a price to your products. Pinterest has a great “gift” feed that people can click on and that feed is categorized by price. Pinterest randomly selects the items that appear in this feed, but without a price, you won’t even be considered (this reeks of not being picked for the grade school kickball team because you can’t tie your shoelaces). This feature is an absolute MUST for retail related industries, especially Etsy shops. And if you’re promoting movies, recipes, products, places or articles, check out Rich Pins.
6. Know who your customers are.
You need a full understanding of who these people are…what they like, where they shop, and what influences them. Once you’ve found them, interact with them — daily. Lilach Bullock discussed these hot topics in her post on Mari Smith’s site. She has them listed separate for greater detail but I’ve lumped them together because, well, that’s what I feel like doing! Just like with any other business initiative, you need to know who you are marketing to in order to appeal to them. You can’t force your brand on people who don’t want it, nor should you want to try to. So take the time to find the right people and get to know them, comment on their pins and re-pin their pins. Her other tip of knowing who your competition is and what they are up to is always a good idea. Consider it saavy snooping – “market research” sounds plain ole boring!
7. Create Re-Pin Boards.
Re-pin boards are re-pins of things you think your followers will find useful, relevant or interesting. To be clear, these are NOT your own pins or products. Cynthia Sanchez wrote a fabulously informative blog about the re-pin process. While it seems easy enough, there is a method she recommends which involves a mix of verifying the validity of the pin, the follower base of the person you are pinning from and the relevance to your own brand. We all know you are on Pinerest for business but you can’t be “all business” 100% of the time. Show your brand’s humor, humanity and personality by creating a well-rounded persona on Pinterest — one that coincides with your customer’s persona. The idea behind this is to be a central hub for all things of interest to your customers…it’s a form of inbound marketing on a much more passive scale. Oh and be sure to tag people when re-pinning their pins. It’s the equivalent of calling someone out by name at a party and telling them they have excellent taste. Who doesn’t love that? Check out the article.
8. Pinterst Analytics – use it!
This is a great tool to understand what is being pinned from your site, the most pinned items, which pins get the most clicks, etc. It does fall short when proving ROI though. But Google Analytics can tackle this for you and show you what sales are being generated from those Pinterest clicks. Brian Honigman from Social Media Examiner goes into great detail on these analytics for you.
Don’t forget your SEO training when you hop on Pinterest. Just because it’s a visual marketplace, don’t discount the use of keywords and links in your descriptions. An interesting note about descriptions comes from Hubspot:
“Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella researched 11,000 pins and found that the most re-pinned and commented on items were accompanied by descriptions ranging from 200-310 words.”
So, get to describing. Using alt tags when uploading your images is a MUST as well. It’s important to note that backlinks from Pinterest are nothing more than plain ole links since the Google machine doesn’t consider them “legit”…yet. But, according to Chipper Nicodemus, some other search engines, like Bing, are using Pinterest images in their image search results. I’d be willing to bet Google will be following suit soon.
10. Size matters!
The last tip is purely visual and that is to size your pins properly. It’s very frustrating to click on what you think is a cool picture, product, etc. only to find out that the image doesn’t enlarge or size itself just right and you’re left with the feeling you missed out. Don’t be that company! Here’s a great article by Socially Sorted – complete with sizing cheat sheet!
Happy Pinning Peeps!
By Nikki Blews