So at this point you’ve heard the hype about Pinterest and decided to jump on the bandwagon and create an account for your business. (In case you haven’t, you definitely want to check this out and also their newly revamped mobile website and reconsider.) Perhaps you’ve started pinning content from your website, followed a few other Pinterest accounts and created a couple boards. But now what?
We’ve compiled a few essential pro tips to help you properly leverage your Pinterest in order to increase sales, generate brand awareness, and drive more traffic to your website:
1) Use the Right Tools:
There are so many helpful apps, buttons, and widgets that can be used in order to make pinning easier and more effective. We recommend starting with the basics, Pinterest Goodies. Install the “Pin it” button to your browser toolbar and individual “pin it” buttons to your website images. If you have space on your website for a Pinterest widget, it’s a great way to drive web traffic to your Pinterest account.
If your fans are posting photos of your business on Instagram, it would be beneficial to create a Pinterest Board specifically to showcase both fan IG photos and (if your company has one) your business IG photos. You can do this through Webstigram. All you need to do is type in your business name in the website’s hashtag search bar. Then click on the link that appears in order to see all the public Instagram photos that have used your company hashtag. There is a “pin it” button attached to each photo which makes the cross promotion very simple.
Another great tool is Pinstamatic, which gives you several fun editing options to make pinning more interesting. Play around with creating “quote” pins, or even pinning songs from spotify. Anything and everything that can make your board more unique and valuable to your fans.
Last but not least, if you want to be serious about your Pinterest marketing you need to check out HelloInsights. This comprehensive analytics platform provides you with the powerful toolset you need to optimize your Pinterest presence. It includes up-to-date statistics, a live feed of what your fans are sharing, top brand influencers, detailed traffic analysis, customizable comparison charts and more.
2) Quality over Quantity
There are two huge rookie mistakes you want to avoid when it comes to how often you’re pinning. #1: Pin Dumping: the art of spending 15 minutes once a week pinning and repinning as many images as you can and then never logging back in until the next week (or even worse, several weeks later). #2: Pin Spamming: the art of spending an hour each day pinning and repinning as many images as you can.
Believe it or not there is a happy medium between the two, and like mostly everything in Social Media, it really does depend on your business and your audience. Generally though, we recommend pinning/re-pinning 10-15 quality images every other day. Note the italics. Your Pinterest fans will most likely be interacting with your pins through their Pinterest Feed (essentially the same concept as Facebook’s Newsfeed). This is an assortment of pins from all pinners that your fan may follow. So your pins not only need to bring some kind of value to your fan, but they also need to walk the fine line of showing up regularly, but not too often. Hence the reason why Pin Dumping and Pin Spamming don’t work.
The most successful Pinterest accounts take care to choose Quality over Quantity when it comes to the amount of pins AND the amount of boards on their Pinterest. If a potential customer looks at your Pinterest account, it shouldn’t be extremely overwhelming. Boards are meant to make the viewer’s life easier since it’s an efficient way to organize pins (ex: wedding photos go in one board, recipes go in another). If you have too many boards that are too similar (ex: Science Crafts, Science Fun, Science Games, Science Fair Projects), this does nothing but make pinning more complicated for you and more frustrating for your fan. Keep it simple.
3) Be Social
This is probably the simplest concept that is the most commonly neglected. Pinterest is first and foremost, a social media site. Therefore being social is a key factor in optimizing your account and generating fan interaction. Being social is easy! Follow other companies and individuals, “like” their pins, comment on pins, answer questions, and repin, repin, repin. In fact, 80% of your activity should consist of re-pinning valuable content, while 10% should be pinning from your own website and the remaining 10% should be interacting with other pinners.
4) Follow the 4 C’s:
Content: The quality of your content is extremely important. That’s true on every single form of social media and it’s important enough to repeat. Multiple times. Picture Bart Simpson writing it on a chalkboard if that helps. In this case, that means images should be interesting, high resolution, and linked to an appropriate website (not spam).
Cross-promotion: Pinterest makes cross-promotion on Twitter easy, since you can send out a tweet of every image you pin. We recommend tweeting 2 of your most interesting pins per session. We also mentioned cross-promotion via Webstagram if your company has an Instagram account. Be sure to place a link to your company Pinterest page on your Instagram account as well so you are creating successful synergy between the two. You can also cross-promote via Facebook by making a collage of some of your best pins and posting them with a link to your Pinterest account. No matter how you choose to cross-promote, the more ways your customers can find out about your Pinterest the better, so keep that in mind when assessing all your media outlets.
Community Boards: Also known as Group Boards, these are open boards that allow you to “invite” specific pinners to pin with you. The best way to go about this is to create a broad category that still relates to your business but also is general enough for most people to get involved. For example, a board for favorite ocean animals would be great for an Aquarium or Zoo. Once you have established what the board will be about, make your first pin in the board your company logo. In the board description, tell fans if they want to be invited to pin all they need to do is “like” your pinned company logo. You can have as many pinners as you want on a Group Board, but keep in mind that quality assurance will become more rigorous when more pinners are involved. If anyone pins inappropriate images it’s best to just remove their rights to pin from your board and delete what they pinned.
Contests: The days of “Repin to Win” contests are sadly over, however there are still a few ways you can run a quality Pinterest Contest. The easiest way is to ask fans to “follow” you on Pinterest, create their own board with a specific hashtag as the title, and fill it with at least one repin from your account along with other related pins. You can do this by creating a contest board on your own account first, provide a description on the board informing fans on what the contest is and how they can participate, the terms and conditions as well as a few pins to get started. We recommend announcing the winner on your own board (changing the description to reflect the winners name when the contest has ended), as well as commenting on the winning board to inform them they won.
5) Use the Correct Categories
Pinterest currently has 33 categories, a new “Interests” section and a search bar. For each board created, it is vital to select the appropriate category in order to ensure that your pins end up where they need to be. (ex: a board titled “recipes” should be under the “food and drink” category, whereas a board titled “cute critters” should be under the “animals” category.) For every individual pin AND repin, it’s also important to add keywords or even hashtags to the description that will make your pin more “search friendly”. (ex. A pin of a wedding dress that has #wedding AND is pinned to a board that is placed in the “wedding” category, will have a higher chance of being seen by your potential customer than the SAME pin that has a description with no relevant keywords and pinned to a board that is placed in the “travel” category). This being said, don’t go crazy with keywords either. You want your pin descriptions to make sense and possibly include 1-2 hashtags. The last thing you want is for it to look like spam.
There are of course many other small tips and tricks to making the most out of your Business Pinterest Account, and we’d love to hear if you have any other “pro tips” to add! Just leave a comment below.