Using Pinterest to Promote Your Business
by Brian Elrod | on 04/22/2012
What Is Pinterest?
Pinterest is becoming the latest craze in social media – the new visually stimulating social media site that is quickly joining Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon as the most visited sites on the internet.
According to Alexa.com, Pinterest is the 46th most visited site worldwide and no 16 in the United States. Not bad considering that it is just over 2 years old. Pinterest is the fastest social media site to reach 10 million users, with almost all of them joining since the summer of 2011.
Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard that lets you organize and share all the things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. You can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
How Can Pinterest Help Your Business?
- One important way to let your clients and prospects know about your presence on Pinterest is to add a Pinterest button. Pinterest has several choices available on their goodies page. Find the one that works for you. When you add a “Pin It” button, you can encourage your customers and readers to pin your products onto Pinterest.
- While Pinterest hasn’t yet created a distinction between a personal profile and brand page (like Facebook), early adopting brands are making good use of their Pinterest presences and the pins and boards they’re sharing. Because Pinterest’s integration with Facebook is still only for personal profiles and not fan pages, you should choose the email associated with your brand’s Twitter account to set up your Pinterest profile.
- One way to build confidence in your brand quickly is to ask fans of your brand to pin pictures of themselves with their favorite product of yours and tag you, then you can repin those photos onto a VIP board. It’ll give a shout-out to these fans and show potential customers that your current users really like using your product.
- Be mindful of pin etiquette as outlined by Pinterest: be nice, credit your sources, avoid self-promotion, report objectionable content and tell them how they’re doing. By sharing images and videos from other industry-related user’s boards, you will keep your profile community-based and not just a promotion center for your assets and products. Repin and like other content that suits your community, which will help strengthen your reach in the long-term.
- Pinterest users’ likes and interests are easily viewable for all to see. With millions of people using Pinterest to keep track of objects they love, places they enjoy, foods they devour and things that inspire them, marketers can use Pinterest as a focus group.Look at the pinners who follow your brand and see what they’re pinning and who else they’re following. They’re volunteering a lot of information about their interests, passions, dreams and sense of humor in a more natural way on Pinterest than they would on a survey or even on Facebook, where they have to manually enter ‘sarcasm’ or ‘travel’ as an interest. Use this information to your advantage to glean insights about your target consumers.
- Pin and maintain your boards regularly to keep your Pinterest presence alive and well. If you have a regular update schedule for other platforms you’re on, make a point of going to Pinterest on a pre-determined schedule to see what’s being pinned by people/brands you already follow and popular pins (ones with a high number of likes, comments and repins). By looking at popular pins, you’ll also get an idea of the type of content that the Pinterest community tends to favor.
- Install the “Pin It” bookmarklet to your browser. The “Pin It” bookmarklet lets you grab an image from any website and add it to one of your pinboards. When you pin from a website, Pinterest automatically grabs the source link to credit the original creator. You can find the bookmarklet on Pinterest’s goodies page.
- When creating a description for a new pin, you can optimize the pin by adding keywords that users may be more likely to use if they’re searching for specific content on Pinterest. You can also add multiple hashtags (keywords) at the end of your description. For example, you might add #fashion, #style, #dress, #bright to the end of a pin about a dress. Add as many as you want, but beware that too many hashtags can look like spam.
- Want to make sure that people can find you online? Be sure to add links to your company website and Twitter page on your Pinterest profile. You can also bring users to specific web pages by adding the URL in the pin description.
- Popular pins on Pinterest have three things going for them: likes, comments and repins. Rather than leaving it to users to decide on their own whether to take the time to comment on a pin, you can help create interest by asking a question (e.g., “Guess where was this photo taken?”, “Tell us what you think of our new product offerings.”). Use your new pins and boards as opportunities to converse with users on Pinterest.
Still having a hard time wrapping your head around the appeal of Pinterest? Think of Pinterest as a much-loved e-zine and a user-friendly way for people to move through content, whether on their desktop or on a smartphone. It’s a visually appealing way for users to interact with products and ideas.
Using Pinterest to promote your business is a great way to grow your business.
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