Of all the social media networks out there, many small-business owners find Pinterest to be the most fun and the most overwhelming. Using Pinterest to grow your business takes more than just uploading some cool pictures and making pin boards of your products. Here are fives way you can capitalize on Pinterest.
Create Pin boards that people care about. One of the most common mistakes made on Pinterest is creating boards and pins simply for self-promotion. Jesse Quist, social media strategist with MyTorontoDesign, recommends creating content that gives subtle hints about the product or service you ultimately want to sell.
For example, Quist says, a chocolate company could start a pin board called Uses of Chocolate featuring creative photos and short videos with titles such as: Forgotten Anniversaries, Winning Hearts on First Dates or For Heart Breaks. “Such boards promote the uses of the product in everyday life settings without being pushy and are more effective than a Buy Our Chocolate board with different flavors of chocolate featured,” Quist says.
Turn Pins into sales and website visitors. Pins need to do more than simply generate interest, they should increase revenue and customers. For maximum results, make sure every pin links back to your webpage.
Treat the page that you are linking to from Pinterest as a mini-landing page and provide information about promotions and products on the page. Your first goal is to have the Pinterest user click on your website. Your second goal is to have her stay on the website and hopefully buy something.
Track the effectiveness of Pins. Track your pins to determine if what you are doing on Pinterest is working, or you need to make modifications. PinAlerts is a free program that will track pins of your content and send you an e-mail with updates. Another tool that many small businesses find useful is Pinpuff, which uses metrics to assign a monetary value to your pins to help you focus your efforts and generate revenue.
Incorporate Pinterest into your overall brand. Your Pinterest boards and pins will be more effective if they are incorporated into your overall brand design, and reflect your brand. For example, if your brand is hip and stylish, then your pins should incorporate that feel in the fonts, text, colors and products featured.
Also cross-promote your Pinterest campaigns on other social media networks your brand is on, and vice-versa. Pinerly is a free tool that can help you coordinate your content among all social networks, including Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Be a part of the Pinterest community. While creating content for Pinterest can be fun, you must also become an active member of the community by pinning other people’s content.
“One of our best practices on Pinterest is to comment, repin, like and engage with users who share and like our content and with those who it would be advantageous for us to develop relationships with (prospects),” says Natasha Ashton, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Petplan Pet Insurance. Additionally, you should have a consistent presence on Pinterest and not just sporadic activity. Many companies use the free tool Pingraphy to schedule pin posting to maximize their social media time.
Petplan Pet Insurance also uses contests to increase exposure. For example, in a recent contest, fans took fun photos of their dogs wearing sunglasses, playing in snow or dressed in costumes, and tagged the photos for the contest. “Since they are tagging Petplan, they are linking back to our Pinterest page for all their followers to see,” Ashton says.
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Jennifer Goforth Gregory is a journalist with over 17 years professional writing experience. Jennifer blogs via Contently.com.