Thousands of businesses, including the biggest companies in the world, already use Pinterest as a place to showcase their brand to a vast and growing audience.
It’s popularity has sky rocketed and is an excellent place to build your brand.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest combines some of the best parts of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
It is a virtual online pinboard. More specifically it allows anybody to create and organize virtual pinboards on almost any topic, then share these pins (which are most images, but can also be in video form) to other Pinterest users via websites, blogs and other social media platforms.
Pins can either be uploaded directly from a user’s computer, tablet or mobile device, or lifted from another persons website, hopefully yours.
When you visit the site you will see that people share all kinds of images, pictures, memes, and more. People share inspirational images, fashion, travel photos, and everything else visual.
Users “pin” images that appeal to them and organize them into different boards. You can follow others’ boards and re-pin others’ images.
As a business owner, you hope that people “like” and re-pin your images. That means sharing great things that people will want to put on their own boards.
Pinterest is a great, visual social pin board. It’s also highly addictive. If you spend any length of time there at all, you just might find yourself getting sucked in. That’s why it’s so important that you enter with a real game plan for using it successfully in your business.
Using Pinterest for Your Business
Go ahead and sign up for a Pinterest business account. Now, it might be the case that you already have a regular Pinterest account. If so, don’t worry, because you can easily convert that over to a business account instead.
You’ll see that signing up is as simple as can be— as are all of the social sites, which were designed to be extremely easy to use. The trick is to use Pinterest effectively for business purposes.
It’s very easy to spend all day on Pinterest with nothing to show for it. So, you should get some goals in mind from the get-go.
You want to use Pinterest to drive more traffic to your business. You also want to make more sales as a result of the pins you share. Ideally, you want your relationships with those in your audience to grow as a result of your activities on Pinterest.
Take a look at what similar businesses are doing on Pinterest. What are they using the site for? How have they organized their boards? Do they have many followers? Do people tend to like their pins? Do they tend to re-pin their pins?
Consider whether these other businesses seem to spend any time at all creating their own images to share. Do they create their own graphics? Do they share graphics from their blog posts? Do they share images from their product pages?
Think of yourself as an investigator. You want to get to the bottom of how people in your niche are most effectively using Pinterest. Remember that it will vary from niche to niche. The way someone in a fashion niche uses Pinterest will differ from how someone in a business niche uses Pinterest.
Take notes on what you figure out. Follow best practices as you set up your own Pinterest profile and boards.
Ready to Dive In?
Fill out the profile area Pinterest gives you. It’s not a lot, but you will get to link to your website and brand yourself a bit.
Then, you may want to start with 6–10 boards that are related to things in your niche. These are essentially different topics. You’ll assign these boards to different categories, which Pinterest allows you to select. This will help people find your boards in searches.
You don’t want to have tons of blank boards, of course! You need to start pinning things to these boards to really start interacting on Pinterest.
Some businesses often feel a great pull to just start pinning all their own stuff. While it’s certainly okay to pin your own things, doing so exclusively isn’t very social.
You might want to pin 4 or so other images for every 1 of yours. That’s not a hard and fast rule, rather a guideline to follow. If you’re going to grow your following on Pinterest and really add value to the site, then it can’t be all about you and pushing your site and products.
Go ahead and do some searches right on the Pinterest site. They have a great search function. Start pinning things to your boards. Fill your boards with 5 or so pins each. Then, add 1 or 2 pins of your own things to your boards.
You might want to find unique things to pin off-site as well. It’s great to pin things that are already popular on Pinterest but people also want to see things that are fresh— if you can be the originator of a pin that goes viral (whether it leads to your site or not) that can be a very good thing.
Search for things related to your boards, niche, and business. Browse through Google images to find images and infographics and things that are particularly striking.
There are certain images that are much more sharable and striking than others. Try to pay attention to what people in your niche love to pin, like, and click on.
When you’re the originator of a pin, whether it’s from your site or someone else’s, you’ll enter in a description and a link. If it’s not your image, don’t change the link to your own, as that’s not playing by the rules. People will follow you regardless of whether the link goes to your site or not so you get a benefit either way.
In the description, you can use hashtags to have a greater chance of being found in Pinterest’s search engine. Don’t overdo it, but be smart about it.
You really want people to follow your whole account and to follow your boards in general. If you’re consistently finding great pins, they’ll do just that.
And if you’re in the position where you’re the one writing the description and linking to your own website, make it super compelling for people to re-pin your pin AND to click through to your website.
There are many different things you can do. One “trick” is to create a really visually appealing graphic that says something like “10 ways to drop a dress size in a week.” So obviously if someone wants to learn those 10 ways, they’ll have to click through. Think about how that might work in your niche and how others are using that effectively in your niche.
You may have noticed in the searches you’ve done in your niche in Google that Pinterest boards sometimes appear in the search results. That can be a great thing for you if that happens. Try to think of board names that are keyword based and are interesting to real people that you can rank for in the search engines.
It is also worth mentioning that Pinterest has built-in analytics for business accounts so you can see how your activities and efforts are paying off. Definitely pay attention to these analytics so you can tweak your strategies. If a particular pin is doing really well, figure out why and try to replicate that.
A Pin a Day……
Do a little on Pinterest every day. Re-pin others’ pins. Follow other people, businesses, and boards. Comment on others’ pins. Interact on Pinterest just as you do with any other social site.
Share original pins and pins that will get re-pinned and will get you traffic. Think of great board names others will want to follow and that have the potential to show up in the Google rankings.
If you get lots of followers and lots of pins and give people compelling reasons to click through to your site, you can get great traffic and conversions.
Depending on your business, Pinterest can be a huge benefit to you. Be smart about it, study it, and be consistent with it. Over time, you’ll become a master of Pinterest, getting traffic, re-pins, and sales as a result.