Pinterest is a site that’s often overlooked by marketers getting their digital strategy together. However, the site is a useful one and one that the savvy marketer should be including. Data from a Pew Research Study found that in 2012 and 2013, Pinterest showed the largest growth when it came to the most popular social network.
The study found that more US adults use Pinterest than they do Twitter or Instagram and this is rising all the time. Personally, I’ve always found Pinterest to be a good traffic driver, although for my own site it doesn’t compare to Twitter, but this is because I have the largest following by far on Twitter, more than anything else.
So how do you use Pinterest for marketing, considering that it’s completely image based? Well of course, you can produce infographics to start with. These not only do well on Pinterest but are great for gaining backlinks to your site as people love to use them. If you have any form of retail business, then you absolutely should be using the site as people basically use it for browsing through products that they like before making a buying decision.
If you don’t yet have a Pinterest Business account, then head over to the site and sign up. The analytics that can be accessed are still a little crude, but they will be of some use to you. Once you’ve done this, the next thing to do is add the Pin-It button to your browser toolbar. This allows you to get an image from any site and add to one of your boards. If you use this to pin from the source site, then Pinterest will automatically add the link in order to credit the site.
When you first get set up, the site gives you a few default boards to be getting on with.
- Favourite Places and Spaces
- My Style
- Products I Love
- For The Home
You can get rid of these, or keep them, depending on what you’re setting Pinterest up for. You can also create your own which should be centred around your products. So for example, if you have a home furnishings business, you can have a board for bedroom, living room and so on. Create your boards in such a way as you see fit but do ensure that they sound attractive.
Pinterest allows you to follow people just like all of the other social networks. Get started following and you will see that the people and businesses that you’re a fan of will begin to appear on your home screen, or rather their pins will. You can follow individual boards for each user, or to follow everything that they do, go to their profile page and choose to follow all boards.
Liking and Re-pinning
When you like something on Pinterest, you will be able to view it on your likes tab and you should do this in order to begin to build relationships with other users. The like function means that you can interact with others without having to repin their content. However, you should repin when you discover something worth pinning too and of course, commenting is also a good idea to build interaction.
The people you’re following will show up to the left of the homepage and unlike some sites, you don’t have to know them in order to follow them. Following someone is as simple as clicking on the follow button on their name. In fact, the site is really very simple when it comes to finding your way around, pinning, repining and following others.
If you want to create a board but want time to organise it before making it ‘live’ you can also use the secret board feature which allows you to essentially hide the board from everyone apart from those who you invite. This is ideal for collaboration and means you can really get creative before showing the world. A nice feature of the site is that you can add collaborators or admins and all work on the boards together.
When following, do try to keep it to your industry as you will be shown pins then that are relevant to you. This isn’t 100% necessary, but bear in mind if you follow a lot of different things then what you want to see might be diluted somewhat.
When you pin to a board, you must give it a description and you can also include pricing information if you like. You should connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts to the site too so that all of the pins that you share are automatically posted to the various networks and your customers don’t miss anything.
Make sure your images are good, especially if they’re product related. If you aren’t in retail, you can still use Pinterest too, perhaps to showcase your work if you’re a designer for example. It’s a little more difficult if you’re looking to share written content on the site, but this can be done by providing a great image, with a good description and perhaps even an infographic.
Make sure that you link the images to product or service pages and use hashtags to aid discoverability. You’ll also find that once your pins are propagating around the site, you will be invited to pin to shared boards. This is a great feature as it extends your reach, sometimes substantially, depending on who has invited you. Look for power users and influencers and follow them, interacting with them often, and it’s likely that if you content’s good enough, you will get an invite to one of their boards.
Pinterest is a simple site to use. It has real potential to drive good traffic to your site and the best thing? These visitors have already often gone through the buying process on Pinterest, they’ve browsed to find things that they like and clicked through to your site to complete that process.
With that in mind, you can’t afford to ignore Pinterest, especially if you’re an eTailer with beautiful products. Make it a part of your marketing plan and think of it as an extension of your online shop and you will be seeing traffic and sales increase in no time at all.