Pinterest – Are you on board yet?

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networks on the planet. It’s also a huge driver of traffic to websites – higher than most of the other social platforms. If you haven’t already found a use for it in your business, perhaps it’s time you did.

 

Images can convey more than words (on Pinterest you get to use both – see below). They can evoke an emotional response from viewers, including passion, desire, laughter. Pinned images are also highly shareable.

 

How Pinterest works:

 

Pinterest is a social platform for sharing images on ‘pinboards’ – that’s putting it in its simplest terms.

 

You can upload photos from your computer or smartphone, or you can “Pin” images that you find online – via a bookmarklet installed on your browser or via an inbuilt PinIt button that is on many websites.  (Go here to get the downloads – http://about.pinterest.com/goodies/)

 

Pins are public and searchable. People can choose to Follow certain Pinners or certain Boards so they’re more likely to see new items from their favourites.

 

You can think of Pins as being “social bookmarks” because Pins always link back to their source. If you pin an image from your blog, the Pin will always link back there. Even when someone repins it to their own board.

 

Pins thereby have greater longevity than images on Facebook and other platforms. If you put an infographic on Facebook, people may Like it – if they see it in their newsfeed – and it enjoys perhaps a day of ‘doing the rounds’ but then isn’t likely to be seen again. That same infographic on Pinterest is searchable and when someone Pins it to their own board, they are more likely to review it in future. Or someone new will stumble across it as they explore a board and repin it, bringing it back to life again for another round of sharing.

 

Pinterest allows the addition of a Description for each Pin (up to 500 characters). You should make maximum use of this. For Pins from your own website, write a description that will entice people to click through to your website.

 

There are also Group boards that allow multiple pinners – so you can join a group yourself, or open up a new group of your own happy customers. Encourage them to Pin images of themselves using your products.

 

Infographic sourced from http://blog.wishpond.com/
This infographic from Wishpond provides stats from 2012 on business use of Pinterest

 

Which businesses use Pinterest:

 

Being a visual platform with a mostly female following (close to 80%), any product or service that fits with lifestyle themes will do well:

 

  • Art and Design – colours, interiors, floristry
  • Fashion
  • Food and beverages
  • Cosmetics
  • Health care
  • Travel
  • Pets
  • Gardening
  • Children’s toys and clothing
  • Crafts and household DIY
  • Weddings
  • Photography

 

“But”, you protest, “my business doesn’t fit into those categories.”

 

Ok, let’s overcome some objections:

 

Objection #1: I’m a bloke – and even the stats show that Pinterest is mainly for women (in fact, 80% of users are).

 

My response:  I’m talking about business – are any of your customers female? (Besides, I know a few men who enjoy using Pinterest too… Anyone who loves attractive photos – whether of nature, travel, animals, food, or beautiful bodies, to name a few!)

 

Objection #2: My business doesn’t sell visual products.

 

My response: Pinterest isn’t just for product images. You can pin pictures of anything related to your business and the things your clients might like.

 

Take the example of a Personal Trainer, running his own business. He’s a bloke. He sells a service, not products.

 

Yet he probably has a mix of male and female clients, and they likely have things in common. They’re interested in getting fit, looking after themselves, eating well, and maybe competing. So the business could create a range of Pinterest boards on each of these topics:

 

  • Recipes for healthy eating
  • Sports and athletes
  • Fitness
  • Body sculpting
  • Outdoor locations (perhaps with a rockclimbing bent, etc)
  • Inspirational and motivational quotes

 

Look to some of the big American companies to get some ideas.

  • The Starbucks Pinterest boards show the way – they appeal to the coffee lover’s emotions, without selling, and have achieved a big following.
  • Here’s another great business you probably didn’t expect to find using Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/generalelectric/  They’re well worth a visit to see the range of interests they cover.

 

What to Pin:

 

Start by pinning content that represents your business and that will attract visitors to want to know more about you and encourage them to visit your website.

 

Videos can be pinned as easily as images. You might already have a YouTube channel, but can Pin from there to Pinterest, opening up to another audience.

 

If you have something to convey in words, you can turn the text into an image. Tip: Use the clever little plugin from https://shareasimage.com/ to achieve this really easily, or Quozio.com which I used to produce the image below.

 

Pinterest - Get on Board. Turn quotes into images.
A quick ‘quote’ I turned into an image for free using Quozio.com

 

Infographics are really popular and their length displays better on Pinterest than on standard webpages. They’re a good way to ensure the text always accompanies the picture (as Descriptions can be rewritten on repins).

 

Group your Pins onto “Interest boards” to cater for different aspects of you, your business and your clients’ interests.

 

You can find related Pins or Boards or Pinners using the Search box. This will give you a whole heap of ideas.

 

Choose bright, beautiful images that catch the eye. They are more likely to attract interest and be repinned.

 

There’s no need to limit your Pins to your own images – collate other people’s images where they are relevant to your business.  Pinboard ideas include:

 

  • Your products from the catalogue (perhaps with a separate board for “New arrivals” or “This season”)
  • Your products being worn, modelled, or otherwise put to use.
  • Your blog images
  • Your inspiration (behind your own designs or products)
  • Industry-related news and items
  • “Gift Ideas” can be a good idea for a board with your products

 

You can also run contests via Pinterest. Just be careful to adhere to the local laws of your state or country around special offers and competitions.

 

Get the Pin It button:

 

Pinterest provides a Pin It button to install on your website so that, whenever someone mouses over an image, a little Pin It button will appear. This makes it super easy for someone to pin your linked image to their board, and acts as a nice little reminder to do so.

 

You’ll notice the Pin It button if you hover your pointer over any image on this blog.

 

Get the code from http://business.pinterest.com/widget-builder/#do_pin_it_button and DIY or ask your friendly web designer to add it for you.

 

More Pinterest Tips:

 

  • If you want to attract people in your local area, include your city’s name in descriptions.
  • Check what your competitors are up to by searching on their brand name
  • Use Rich Pins if you’re offering products for sale, so that pricing info and availability will be displayed. It means less clicking around and increases chances of conversion.  Other Rich Pins are available for recipes and movies (so far).
  • For more information, get it straight from the horse: http://business.pinterest.com/
  • Check this infographic for 17 more tips to attract Pinterest website traffic.

 

And finally, note this warning: Pinterest can be very addictive! Especially at first, be prepared to lose track of time (hours…) each time you sign in.  But in doing so, you’ll begin to understand the power of Pinterest.

 

Author: RobynRHD

I'm a small business web design specialist with interests in social media and other online marketing methods. As my blog intro states: "Steering small businesses in the right direction with what I hope is practical, realistic advice and useful tips, amidst the constantly changing noise and hype. I'd like to help you sort out what you really need and how to go about it." I'm a proud Aussie, living in Sydney, and an avid fan of Column 8 in the Sydney Morning Herald.

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