LET’S GET SOCIAL: HOW TO USE PINTEREST TO GROW YOUR BIZ
These days it’s about so much more than sharing photos with family, tracking down old school mates and long lost cousins or keeping tabs on your favourite celebrities.
It’s now one of the most powerful ways to market your biz by sharing your brand identity, connecting with your consumers and showcasing your products and services.
It harnesses the power of virtual word-of-mouth.
This month, we’re running an article series called ‘Let’s Get Social’, where we’ve picked the brains of some of the most experienced and knowledgeable Social Media gurus to offer you, our tribe, some brilliant insights, tips and step-by-step guides to help you leverage and get the most from different social media channels. We’ll also be offering some food for thought around building your list and creating email opt-ins that pack a real punch.
Today we’re talking about the key business benefits and opportunities offered by Pinterest! Don’t forget to download our Pinterest checklist at the end!
PINTEREST: WHAT IS IT?
Pinterest is a platform that allows users to share and save content to virtual collections called pin boards, or ‘boards’, which can be categorised under everything from Art, DIY and Crafts to Technology, Travel and Weddings.
According to the platform itself, each pin you see on Pinterest links back to the original site it came from, so you can learn more — like how to make it or where to buy it.
It’s a “visual bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save creative ideas.”
A virtual inspiration board.
But beyond it being a place for you to simply curate and admire all of the pretty things, Pinterest is practically made for business.
It allows you to create a business account and showcase what really matters to your biz, such as the lifestyle, values and interests behind your brand as well as your products, services, blog posts, events and portfolio.
It’s one of the most effective ways keep all of your marketing messages in one very visual place and drive traffic to your website.
Here are some of the ways you can be strategic with Pinterest and make it work for your biz or brand:
THE BEST BITS
Pinterest is the perfect for platform for this.
According to Bec Jerdan, the brilliant Social Media Strategist and Coach behind The Art of Social, Pinterest is like a candy land for adults.
“Pinterest makes dreams seem attainable. It makes me want to be a better person — full of things I could definitely do, achieve, recreate, make, have. Once I’ve pinned it, it’s pretty much mine (or on my to-do list…and that totally counts).”
What does this mean for businesses?
“Pinterest has created a space, where your ideal customer is seeking inspiration and searching for solutions. If you can add value for that potential customer — to help them be a better version of themselves — you can capture their attention, gain a follower and better yet, have them click straight through to your website,” she says.
Seasoned blogger, graphic design maven and social media aficionado, Amanda Fuller, is a brilliant example of someone who has learned how to turn heads on Pinterest — to the point where she now has more than 24,000 people following her carefully curated boards.
In addition to using the platform to gather resources, inspiration and information — and readers —for her popular blog, Amanda has also harnessed the power of Pinterest to turn her collection of perfectly-designed and purposeful pins into an arsenal of potent marketing weapons to attract her ideal client to her graphic design biz, Amanda Fuller Designs.
“My target audience — bloggers and creative business owners — are very active on Pinterest. They are looking for resources and inspiration too. So offering them what they are looking for means we eventually connect and they either become a blog reader or a design client and it’s a win-win for everyone,” Amanda explains.
“It is a great way to advertise, for free.
“I pin my branding design work and it has brought many new clients to me from all over the world who have either seen and loved my own work, or are inspired by the branding board I have set up and want me to use a pin there as a starting point for their new logo or website.
“These clients have turned out to be dream clients as we are already on the same wavelength style wise due to our similar taste in pinned content.”
Like most Social Media platforms, Pinterest offers a number of key tools and opportunities for businesses to learn more about their audience’s behaviour, increase visibility, direct traffic to their site and ultimately sell more products and services.
Bec Jerdan believes one of the best things you can do for your Pinterest and business love affair is utilise one nifty little button:
The Pin It Button
“Having a Pin It button on your website means visitors can share images directly from your site to Pinterest. Your content will then be on one of the biggest sites in the world (currently 72.8 million users) – and the opportunities for reach are exponential,” Bec says.
“The best part? These pins link back to your website, which will be an amazing source of traffic.”
Here are a couple more ways you capitalise on the opportunities of Pinterest for business:
Once you’ve set up your Pin It button and as long as you’re using a Pinterest business account, you’ll also have access to its analytical features. Similar to Facebook, this allows you see what people are pinning from you website and determine which content from your site is most popular on Pinterest. You can also be privy to data about your Pinterest audience demographic and what they want, devices they’re using, most popular pins, pin views and repins.
You can learn more about navigating and understanding your analytics data here.
Amanda is particularly excited about Pinterest’s plans to introduce Buyable Pins in the near future.
“This will make it even easier for businesses to sell products through Pinterest as customers will be able to buy products right from their Pinterest feed,” she says.
“Imagine what that could mean for your sales!”
You can learn more about the business tools offered by Pinterest here.
BEFORE YOU START
As with all marketing and social media campaigns and strategies, it’s incredibly important to get clear on your objectives for using Pinterest — before you get started — and once you’re in pinning mode, consider the purpose of each pin.
Of course, your first step should be to know your audience and keep them front of mind, always. They’re the reason you’re pinning, after all.
What do they find entertaining, educational or inspiring?
What are they looking for?
Once you’ve figured this out, you’ll also be more successful at curating your pin boards around a relevant idea, category or theme that drives people to your boards, your website and ultimately, your business offerings.
Establish your pinning goals and your intention for each pin.
“None of us have time to waste, and pinning aimlessly or haphazardly will do nothing but waste your time,” Amanda says.
“Take the time to clearly outline for yourself the purpose of your pinning. Is it to gain more blog readers? Is it to find new coaching clients? Or perhaps it’s to bring more customers to your Etsy store. Making this clear in your mind will not only determine the kind of content you pin, but it should also be a guiding factor in how you name and organise your pin boards.”
HOW TO CREATE CONTENT THAT OFFERS VALUE AND CREATES HIGH ENGAGEMENT
Bec has endless insight and guidance to offer around creating content that offers value and creates high engagement with your audience and potential customers, but she has narrowed this process down to what she believes are four simple, but crucial pillars for Pinterest success.
Offer a solution to a need
Aside from straight visual inspiration, users are searching for an idea they can implement.
What value can you add to their search? What can you provide information on that can help them create that dream life?
When creating branded content, ensure your key message is being conveyed within your image.
Overlay text on your pic that tells people exactly what you’re offering, for example:
10 ways to reach new customers.
How to be successful on Instagram.
3 things you can do today to grow your business.
Pinterest users are very anti brand-push and don’t like companies spamming their happy pinning time. Avoid straight product shots. Instead, use the opportunity to show your brand personality. Users want to see the application of your offering in their every day lives.
Where personal pics might work on other platforms to build a rapport with your followers, pinners don’t want to see your kids playing in the yard. In fact, your pic is 23% more likely to get re-pinned if it doesn’t have a face. Only pin quality images that represent your business.
CREATING PINWORTHY CONTENT
In order to get your content noticed amidst an overwhelming and often dizzying sea of millions of pins, Amanda has suggested a few more things to consider when creating ‘pinnable’ content:
- Vertical (tall) images stand out more in the Pinterest feed.
- Pin the best image you have. Take the time to beautifully style your photos, get the lighting right, edit them well, or invest in some beautiful stock photography.
- Add your web address or logo to the image, tastefully. No big watermarks, clashing colours or busy fonts. Remember, simple is best.
- If you are pinning from your blog in order to attract new readers, include the title of the blog post as a graphic on the image. You need to make sure the images makes sense and attracts those new readers when it is out of the context of your blog, on its own.
- Target your image choice, fonts and colours to your dream reader/buyer. If you’re trying to sell minimalist style jewellery, having cluttered, images with lots of text won’t appeal to your target audience.
- Take the time to write a descriptive description. Think of keywords that people might use to search for your item. Use these words in the description, but write in full sentences — don’t just list off your keywords.
- If you are selling a product, include the price in your description. Pinterest will give your product more priority in searches.
One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to using Pinterest to showcase all the good stuff on your website, is pinning from your home page.
“Always pin your content from the actual page your image is on. Don’t pin images of products from your home page — pin it from the product page of your store,” she says.
“Likewise, don’t pin content from your blog feed. Pin it from the post page. This way, links won’t become broken if you update your home page or when blog posts move from your blog feed as you add new posts.”
Although Pinterest appears to be more about saving and sharing content, remember it is a social network after all. This means there are ways for you to interact with other users — and you should totally make the most of these.
You can connect and network by:
- Using group boards
- Commenting on pins
Done with authenticity, these activities will put yourself and your business in front of more people and give you the opportunity to make some great connections. Remember to always be genuine, and never self-promote on someone else’s pin or board.
We’ve created a simple but helpful checklist to help you make sure you’re making the most of Pinterest for your biz. Download it below!
ABOUT BEC JERDAN
Bec Jerdan is the social media strategist and coach behind The Art of Social. A former marketing manager, Bec now draws on her extensive industry experience to empower people with the knowledge, tools and motivation to expand their brand and business online. Passionate about helping start-ups and small businesses, her blog provides simple tips and how-to steps and she offers 1-on-1 coaching and group workshops.
You can join one of Bec’s upcoming workshops to learn the art of social media and grow your passion, product or profile online. If you’re ready to reach and connect with your tribe, you’ll be able to discover your content, create beautiful images and identify ways to grow your online community. Find Bec on Instagram for more details.
ABOUT AMANDA FULLER
Amanda Fuller is a seasoned blogger, graphic design maven and social media aficionado who has been blogging since 2009 and designing since 2004.
She is the creator of Kaleidoscope Blog: a savvy resource for the modern day woman. A one-stop-shop overflowing with real life, been-there-done that wisdom and curated inspiration on blogging, womanhood and life.
Amanda also has more than 10 years’ graphic design experience and at Amanda Fuller Designs, she brings together these beautifully-honed design skills and her many years’ experience in the blogosphere to specialise in web design and branding for blogs and creative businesses.
She has written a comprehensive guide to Pinterest, which will help you make the most of Pinterest for your blog or business.