By now, most businesses will have heard of Pinterest. It has famously overtaken Twitter to be the fast growing social media site.
Just in case you don’t know what it is, Pinterest is a virtual pin board. It allows anyone to create and organise virtual pinboards on almost any topic, then share these pins, which are mostly images but there are some in video form too.
Other Pinterest users can view the images and they can be shared via websites, blogs and other social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Pinterest’s visitors use the site to post the things that they love, and things that inspire them. Don’t be fooled though; Pinterest is more than just a place for wedding planning and cupcake recipes.
This is where the huge potential for businesses just like yours comes into play. In fact thousands of businesses already use Pinterest as a place to showcase their brand to an audience of well over 70 million Pinterest users and the number is growing every day.
As you will discover, Pinterest can be a very powerful tool for business owners and can be used in a variety of ways such as:
Use Pinterest as a traffic Generation Tool
As a website owner, you need to have traffic coming to your site. Some businesses are prepared to pay thousands in online advertising and search engine optimisation tools to bring traffic to their sites.
One of the biggest reasons why Pinterest is getting so much attention from businesses both large and small is because of the powerful way it generates traffic for websites.
One social sharing commentary site claims that users of Pinterest are driving more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.
How does that work? Well, each image pinned to a Pinterest board can have a link attached to it so that users can easily click through to visit associated sites. So it somebody pins an image from your site on their board and they have thousands of followers, their fans can click on the image when then takes them to your site. Perhaps now you can see the potential.
To make this work well for you and attract visitors to your business here are 3 essential tips for you to put into action:
- If you have a blog make sure that you include a relevant image in every post.
- Ensure that your image file names or alt tags are optimised to include information about your product or your blog post (if you don’t understand what this means please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to explain it for you). The reason why this is so important is because there are many ways to Pin your content and some of the tools that are used require the image name as the description.
- Have a Pin It button that allows visitors to share your content on Pinterest directly from YOUR site.
Learn About Your Customers
Pinterest really can be a fantastic tool to help you to get to know your customers better.
By taking a sneak peak at your followers Pinterest boards. They will reveal a lot about their interests and give you insights that you might not have been aware of.
You can respond to their taste and trends by providing the products and services that will appeal to them.
Build a referral Network
The best way to get new customers and clients is through referrals.. You can easily build a referral network on Pinterest by collaborating with other local related businesses. For example a florist could pin photographs from a local wedding photographer. When helping the bride plan her bouquets the florist could refer the future bride to Pinterest to see examples of the photographers work and the photographer could do the same for the florist. You can probably think of lots of related businesses that you could work with, especially if you are not restricted to specific areas.
Use Pinterest as a Portfolio
Pinterest is the perfect place to create an online portfolio for the world to see, particularly if your business can be represented in visuals.
An interior designer could show images of work that they have done for their clients.
Hair salons could have boards dedicated to images of their stylists work,
Web designers can have boards showing examples of completed websites for clients within different industries.
Bakers could showcase their cake designs
The list is endless. Pinterest boards are an excellent way to attract new clients or even to show when working with existing clients by showing them examples of your work. This will not only show them what you are capable of doing but will help them to get an idea of what they want you to do for them,
Stay Bang Up to Date with Current Trends Within Your Industry
Tastes and markets constantly evolve and it is your job to keep up to date and provide the right products and services that your customers want. Do you want to know what people are pinning in your industry? It is easy to do with Pinterest search. This will help you to keep up to date with the latest trends and help you to be able to cater for what your clients will want.
Use Pinterest to Create a Useful Resource Library (really useful tip)
There is one feature that you will find particularly useful as a business owner – the ability to create secret boards that nobody else but you can see.
This is ideal because if you come across useful articles or blog posts that will help you to improve your business (such as changes in tax laws relating to your business or details of a new supplier) you can pin these to your secret board, add a little note about what the content is about and refer to them later when you need the information.
Having a secret board keeps all of the useful information safely in one place but it is information that you wouldn’t necessarily want to share with your followers.
Use Your Secret Board to Work with Clients and Employees
Although your secret boards are not visible to the general public you can invite specific people who you choose to be able to pin to them.
For example, if you were working on an interior design project with a colleague or client you could create a secret board with them that would allow them to pin images of design elements that you had in mind for them or they could pin images of designs that they had in mind. Don’t forget to use the pin description area and comments to keep notes along the way. It helps keep everybody on track and able to visualise the final design that the designer and client had in mind.
For Brand and Logo Design Inspiration
If you think your brand is looking a little tired and or your website is dated and no longer working for you simply do a search for logo or website design and you will discover thousands of pins that will provide you with inspiration.
If you create a secret board you can pin all of the ideas that you like and very soon a style wil begin to emerge of the look you want to go for.
This makes it much easier if you are working with website designers like ourselves who can see at a glance what you are trying to achieve and deliver the site and look you want.
Establish You and Your Business as the Experts
Some people are still hesitant about buying online or they just require a little bit more convincing that they are making the right decision.
This is where Pinterest can really help by providing the perfect opportunity for potential clients to see your business in action and prove that your business is legitimate.
You can inspire customer confidence by pinning images of you at work, the tools you use or your work in progress.
For example, if you make cupcakes you can upload behind the scene images of your professional, clean kitchen area and showing the cake mixture being mixed, baked and iced. Include a good description of each image and link it back to your website.
All of the images will show the customer that you are not only a real business but a one that can be trusted.
Learn all You Can about Your Competitors
All businesses face competition. No matter what business you’re in, you will benefit greatly from studying your competition. It’s not about copying their ideas, it’s about figuring out their strategy and why they do the things they do.
Taking a look at their Pinterest account is a great way to see how well they are doing as well as their strengths and weaknesses compared to your business.
- How many re-pins is content from their site getting? This can help you to see what is working or not working for them on Pinterest.
Who is following their account? Selective pinning by you from their followers boards could help bring attention to your account and business. The aim is not to be underhanded but let the users know that your business is there too and you think they will be interested in what you have to offer as well.
- Who are your competitors following? They will be following specific boards for a reason. Perhaps they influence the niche that you are in and it would be good for you to follow them too.
The point of this is to help give your business a competitive edge and even inspire new products or services.
Be Active On Pinterest and share, share, share!
To increase credibility and consumer confidence it is very important that you are seen to be active and keen to participate with other members of the Pinterest community in order to improve your business' online presence and popularity.
This would involve following the activities of other boards, particularly in your niche or industry and regularly re-pin interesting or relevant pins to them.
Also, increase visibility and customer awareness by including comments on the boards to initiate contact with a wider range of Pinterest users. If you continue to engage with them by posting interesting and relevant content, users will recognise your business and develop a loyalty with it.
Because it is a social media site, if you re-pin and comment on other boards, these users will be more likely to reward you by reciprocating. This will help you to spread the popularity of your brand and establish the status and online reputation of your business.
They key is to share, share, share. The more you share and pin to your boards the more you will get your name and brand out there.
It is not too difficult to crack the Pinterest code and you will soon be able to use it as a very effective marketing tool. The rewards for you and your business are well worth it.
Adapt and implement the tips mentioned above. Engage, inspire, be of help, and don’t forget to share good content.
Too Busy For Pinterest?
Is Pinterest something that you would like to get involved with for your business? As you can see it really is an effective marketing tool. However, a lot of businesses we deal with simply don’t have the time to get involved with online marketing campaigns because they are too busy running their own businesses offline.
This is where we can help you and your business.
Why not talk to us and find out how we can help your business and increase your profile on Pinterest and other social media networking sites.