Recently, I’ve been talking to some of my small business clients about Pinterest and I have discovered that many of them are still in the dark about its potential value to their businesses.
Pinterest is a social media site based on images. Completely free, users create online pinboards featuring themed collections of pictures and/or videos.
It tends to be somewhat female-biased (though not exclusively) and is perfect for lifestyle, home décor and interiors, weddings, food, fashion — it’s all about ideas and inspiration.
But Pinterest is great for any consumer ecommerce businesses and has been proven to drive better online sales conversion than the mighty Facebook.
Pinterest can actually help build greater brand awareness for your business and help you engage with your customers.
Think of it as an alternative to a Facebook business page — if you have a Facebook page you’ll be familiar with adding posts that are designed to drive traffic to your website. Likewise, with Pinterest you can pin pictures to your boards showcasing your products (possibly with other complementary products) or bringing what you do to life if you provide a service.
You can also show customers using your products and feature customer case studies or completed projects — anything that will generate interest and drive traffic to your website where they can get the full picture of your product range.
How you use your boards is up to you. You could consider creating a photo-based competition or crowdsource ideas by inviting users to add suggestions or ask for their votes for new product ranges.
If you go to events or interesting venues, why not share photos before, during and after the event. It’s all about making an impression, giving an audience insight into your business and showing them why they might want to buy from you.
Pinterest is very mobile-friendly and most people use it on their phones — as a result, pins with a vertical aspect ratio work best.
It’s also worth thinking about how you’ll describe your pin. Pinterest is a visual tool but words are powerful for search. Take time to explain how a particular product will be of benefit to customers by writing helpful descriptions. Better descriptions will also help your pins show up in on-site searches as well as Google.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes when writing your descriptions. If you’re selling wedding hair accessories, for instance, write about the ideal length of hair or hairstyle that a particular hair clip will suit.
The more you explore Pinterest, the more click throughs to your website you’ll get, as well as repins that will ensure your products are seen by more and more people.
Around 71% of businesses never use Pinterest, even though traffic to the site has doubled since mid-2012. In fact, Pinterest now has more than 20 million users and it is growing year-on-year.
Pinterest offers a creative and more interactive alternative to larger social media sites. It is a market research tool if you are setting up a business as you can see what kinds of images and interests people enjoy on their boards. This can generate new ideas for a project and even help suggest what sort of direction your company should be going in.
It is important to plan what you pin on your wall. Include images that relate to your business and industry. Keep in mind that Pinterest’s key appeal is the fact that it is visually beautiful. Try to think outside of the box if you are a technology company for example, trying to market a new phone or laptop. Think colourful, not grey, and remember that your target audience use Pinterest because it is different to other social media sites.
That isn’t to say that you should keep your Pinterest profile insular and disconnected. Linking your profile with Twitter and Facebook accounts provides maximum exposure. By ensuring that you start out with a memorable company logo, this logo can be spread over all the sites and will gain visual recognition. As well as a logo, also have a well thought-out description of your company explaining what you do, what you sell and how to contact you.
Provide a variety of pins to your board. For instance, if you are selling shoes, pin some examples of good street fashion images that you have seen or create really interesting images of the shoes yourself.
With phone cameras, there are no excuses to not snap something when you see it. With editing programs like Instagram, even a quick snap can be made into good visual photography. With the Pinterest app, pinning on the go from your mobile has been made possible.
Alongside all images that you post, write a description and try to avoid sounding clinical. Also remember to use keywords related to your business so that they can be found more easily in searches. When using other social media sites, have a picture with every story so that this can be linked to Pinterest to optimise your web content.
Becoming a sociable pinner can be beneficial. If you “like” a lot of images, comment and re-pin images, you can gain higher exposure and hopefully, increased traffic to your profile. When people visit your page, have a Pin It! button ready so that they can like and share your content with others.
Sue Williams is a freelance copywriter who also writes on behalf of Newsfix.