Pinterest is quite different from other social networks but it has the power to promote your brand and deliver sales if you make the most of its features, says Gemma Went
There are many misconceptions about Pinterest. Some see it as a place to find home decor inspiration, recipes and craft tutorials; others use it as just another social platform.
In reality, it's neither. Pinterest actually has more in common with a search engine than a social network. It is also a phenomenally powerful way to drive traffic back to your website in the long term. The shelf life of a Facebook post is about a day, tops. A Pin keeps driving traffic indefinitely.
It's not as difficult as you would expect to start seeing results, you just need a little bit of know-how. These hacks will help you get going:
Design great pins
The first step is, of course, to create striking, on-brand pins. I'd recommend designing a template using your favourite image editing software, and then tweaking that for each new piece of content. Canva has a nice batch of free templates to inspire your designs.
Keep these general rules in mind:
- vertical-oriented imagery works best;
- minimise visual clutter;
- limit your colours - make your Pins recognisable;
- keep text overlays evergreen;
- never forget to add your URL.
Experiment with Rich Pins
Rich Pins allows you to add more information to your Pins. There are five types of Rich Pin:
- Article Pins - these include the headline, author, story description and link.
- Product Pins - these include real-time pricing, availability and where to buy.
- Recipe Pins - these include ingredients, cooking times and serving info.
- Movie Pins - these include ratings, cast members and reviews.
- Place Pins - these include an address, phone number and map.
To start using them yourself, you'll need to validate your site. To do this, click on Edit profile, then on Confirm website. Copy the meta tag provided.
Now install the Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress site. Click on the SEO tab in your sidebar. Hit "social", and then select the Pinterest tab. Paste in the meta tag and hit "save".
Then, to apply for Rich Pins, enter your URL into the Pinterest Validator and follow the steps provided.
Each time you publish a piece of content, an offer, or a freebie, pin a graphic to Pinterest. Then, make sure you repin that Pin to all relevant boards. For example, this post could get pinned to boards about marketing, social media, Pinterest hacks, digital marketing and online business.
You also want to pin content from other thought leaders. As with every other social platform, a good chunk of your content should be curated.
Because Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social platform, you need to optimise everything for search. That means:
- adding your niche and keywords to your bio;
- naming your boards using popular search terms;
- adding descriptions to each board and each Pin, weaving in your keywords organically.
Contributing to group boards can be an effective way to promote your business to a wider audience, especially if you're sharing top quality content.
Use PinGroupie to identify popular group boards by niche. If you pick a board that has thousands and thousands of contributors, just remember you'll have to be consistently active to stand out from the masses.
Implement these tips and watch your traffic grow.
Gemma has more than 16 years' experience in the digital world and worked for a variety of clients and agencies before setting up her own award-winning business.