Six Pinterest Tips for Business

With Pinterest’s roll out of promoted pins last month, I figure it’s time to revisit Pinterest as a tool for business. Pinterest will test sponsored pins for a while, and I’m sure they will roll out more options and features to advertisers in the future. In the meantime, here are six tips for improving your Pinterest presence, which can lead to increased traffic, sales and leads!

While Pinterest easily makes sense for food, clothing and events, Pinterest-ers share all images, so get creative with your brand! Teachers are sharing classroom worksheets, marketers are sharing infographics and news outlets are sharing memorable quotes from their published content.

1.    Connect your Social Media Accounts

By connecting your Pinterest account with your Facebook and Twitter account, you can tweet pins to followers and show what you are pinning in your Facebook friends’ feeds. This allows followers on Facebook and Twitter to easily see what you are sharing and by clicking can repin or follow you on Pinterest, gaining followers from your other networks. For brands that aren’t run by a specific person, do note that it is not yet possible to connect a Facebook business page to the account.

I recommend including a link to your Pinterest (and all other social media accounts) in your Facebook about section, as well.

2. Write a Keyword-Friendly About Section

Once a user decides to check out your page, the About section is the first thing they see – and the main section you have to describe yourself in words rather than images. You can write up to 200 characters (just over that Twitter bio you so carefully crafted). Bonus: This section is indexed by Google and the other search engines, so include your focus keywords here. You can also include your geographic location, which is helpful if you do have a storefront that people can visit.

3. Follow Other People/Brands To Grow your Reach

When users are followed or their images are repinned, they may be alerted. They will also see that you follow them in their follower list and may be likely to follow you back, growing your reach. Start by following influencers in your industry, brands you have worked with, and people you already know.

If you connected your social media accounts (as mentioned in my first point), Pinterest has made it easier to find your friends and connect with them. Click on your name in the top right corner of Pinterest and then select Find Friends to find friends and followers from other networks to follow on Pinterest.

If you are looking to find new people with similar interests or influencers in a certain industry, search for one of your focus keywords. Pinterest will show you pinners, boards and pins that contain this keyword. Then, begin following people and boards who share similar pins to what you share and plan to share. Some of these people will follow you back, which is an excellent way to grow brand awareness and follower count!

4. Create Relevant Boards and Post Useful Pins (and place the best ones near the top!)

Since Pinterest is a great way to drive traffic to the site, share relevant images and pins on your focused boards. (Tip: If you only have one or two images to share on a board, maybe you aren’t ready to create that board yet.) Boards that are positioned at the top of your page will receive the most views, so take time to craft the order of your boards. I love how Pottery Barn – in the image above – has repositioned their boards to highlight the upcoming holidays. They know that their audience is looking for ways to celebrate and decorate for Thanksgiving, so their first two boards are Thanksgiving themed (and include those keywords for improved searching!) Also, note that their boards stay focused on their theme – you won’t see a winter craft pop up on their Thanksgiving board!

By creating focused boards, you are more easily able to keep with your brand image. Don’t think though, that you can’t create a few boards that are outside the box! Show some personality with your boards and pins and like with all social media, share other content and products. (If you are scared of copyright issues, maybe having a group board could take some of the ownership issues away) By sharing useful content from other authoritative sources, you increase your authority and make it more likely a follower will return to you for more information.

To keep content fresh and to stay visible for users who visit the site at different times of the day, try your best to post at regular intervals. If you use Pinterest frequently (and are like me), you may get annoyed when one person has repinned a bunch and is hogging your home page!

5.Update Your Website with Pinterest buttons

Now that your Pinterest page is a rockstar, it’s important to let your website visitors know you are pinning! Pinterest has created several different options for your website and I recommend considering how they can be integrated onto your site. The Pin It Button reminds people to pin images from your website onto their Pinterest pages; the Follow Button lets visitors follow you from the comfort of your website; the Pin Widget allows you to embed one of your pins on your site; the Profile Widget allows you to show up to 30 of your latest pins on your website; and the Board Widget allows you to show up to 30 of your favorite board’s latest pins. These options let you show your users you are located on Pinterest and pinning great stuff, which will generate traffic to your Pinterest page and back to your website.

6. Always measure!

It’s always fun to jump right in to a new social tool without a game plan, right? Sometimes. While you take time to craft how you are going to use the tool, remember to take time to figure out how you are going to measure your efforts. Why spend 4 hours a day on Pinterest if you aren’t gaining any traction for your brand? With the following tools, you have more options to build and measure your campaign.

Pinterest Analytics:

As a verified business Pinterest page, Pinterest allows you to use the free analytics tool. This tool is fairly basic, but you can track how many people are pinning from your website, viewing your pins and clicking your pins. Through this information you can see what pins are getting the most pins and who those influences are, which can inform your Pinterest strategy so you don’t waste a lot of time on images or information people aren’t thinking about.

Curalate:

If you have some money to spare, this paid tool allows you to respond to interactions through the platform, as well as schedule pins, which allows you to be more efficient and plan out your week. Other options with this platform are monitoring keywords for sentiment and purchase intent and create visual promotions. The Curalate dashboard allows you to measure entrants, impressions, organic growth, your top images and your ROI.

Does your business use Pinterest as part of the marketing strategy?

Pinterest is an awesome visual marketing channel and a great way to organically convert followers and brand ambassadors. It’s responsible for the majority of traffic for many brand websites through  unique storytelling. I’d love to hear your success stories and challenges with Pinterest! Have contests worked for your brand? Have you tested group boards? Do you comment on pins or mention people in posts? Which of your pins get the most shares? Share your stories and questions below.