There are a lot of social sites you can use as part of marketing your business. It can be confusing to figure out which one, or ones, you should focus on.
That’s sometimes part of the problem— people try to focus on too many social sites at once. Or, they try to focus on the wrong ones. Just because Twitter works well for some businesses doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for yours.
Many business owners wonder if Pinterest might be a good fit for them. It just might be— it’s truly an exciting social site. The web is very visual. Written content is important and certainly something you shouldn’t overlook. But it would also be a mistake to overlook visual content.
It used to be that even Facebook and Twitter were mostly comprised of short, written content. But they smartened up and made it possible to easily share visual content as well. Now you can’t go to those sites without seeing pictures, graphics, and memes.
Depending on your business, you maybe have shared visual content on these platforms yourself in the past. Or maybe you’ve wanted to because you know how effective it can be but you just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Think about what some of the most popular and successful marketers in your niche and line of business do. Do they tend to share a lot of visual images on social media? Which social sites do they use the most?
It might be the case that they use Pinterest regularly. Pinterest is a great, innovative social site that’s different from just about any other site out there. It combines some of the best parts of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and puts it all in one spot.
I want to reiterate that Pinterest isn’t right for everyone. It’s not right for every business. But if it’s right for your business, then it will do you a lot of good to use it.
What is Pinterest?
I mentioned that Pinterest combines some of the best parts of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Go to Pinterest.com right now and take a look around if you haven’t already. Maybe you already have a personal account and know a little bit about what it’s all about.
You’ll see that people share all kinds of images, pictures, memes, and more. People share inspirational images, fashion, travel photos, and everything else visual.
People “pin” images that appeal to them and organize them into different boards. You can follow others’ boards and repin others’ images.
As a business owner, you hope that people “like” and repin 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— seriously. 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 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. No worries, because you can easily convert that over to a business account instead.
You’ll see that signing up is as simple as can be— all of the social sites 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 repin 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. By the way— it will be different 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. That’s right— now you’re going to dive right 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 ot start pinning things to these boards to really start interacting on Pinterest.
People often feel a great pull to just start pinning all their own stuff. You have great images on your website, right? Well, hold that thought. While it’s certainly okay to pin your own things, doing so exclusively isn’t very social, is it?
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 Pinterset 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.
Google 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— 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— 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 repin 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 earn $100 in a day.” 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.
I should also mention 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.
With a Little Pinning…
Do a little on Pinterest every day. Repin 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 repinned 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, repins, and sales as a result.