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Making Pinterest Work for You

You’ve heard of Pinterest, but has Pinterest heard of you? Is the fastest growing social network filled with your pins? If your answer is yes, nice work. If not, you may want to read on.

Pinterest is a great way to supplement your social marketing efforts: spread news, deepen branding, broaden reach, etc. It is not, however, going to get you where you want to go if you’re looking to self promote. It’s a community of bookmarks, magazine cutouts on a virtual cork board. Pinners like that it’s straightforward, visual, easy-to-use, and social, but not laden with spam.

As one of the top five sites for referring traffic around the web last month, Pinterest is a great way to find great new content or to get your content found. It’s no Google, but it’s guiding an increasing number of people around the internet each month.

While they’re there, the ladies of Pinterest pin for a variety of reasons. And yes, the site’s user base is predominantly female. These women want to create a bookmark to return to later, to plan an event like a wedding, to make a board of inspiration, to share what they find online with their friends. If you’re a blogger or you have an ecommerce website, make it easy to pin your stuff!

  • Install “Pin It” buttons right on your site.
  • Include good, descriptive content.
  • Give pinners several options of example photos on the page. Getting these images to a pin-friendly size can also make a big difference in a pin’s success on Pinterest (the images need to be a minimum size of 110 x 100 pixels).
  • Make your site mobile phone-friendly. More than 1/5 of pinners have used the Pinterest app to pin in the last month. So make your site ready for them when a pin sends them there!

Be smart about Pinterest. Total self promotion is distasteful and is actually against Pinterest’s terms of service. There’s more to a brand than pushing its product.

Pinterest gives you an opportunity to let people get to know your style, your personality. You have value as a brand beyond your product. Show people who you are, why you blog/sell, and what benefit your content/product could be in their lives.

Pinterest for ecommerce sites

For a business, Pinterest is your lucky day. It’s a portal to your content. Pinners want to find new ideas, new products. Give it to them. They won’t hesitate to leave Pinterest and go to your site – and once they’re there, they’re likely to buy.

A recent Bizrate study found 12% of online shoppers who viewed product on a boutique’s Pinterest board made a purchase. —
However it’s important to recognize that Pinterest has sparked a heightened age of online window shopping. Seem discouraging? It’s a good thing. It means Pinterest users are more comfortable shopping around online.

Want pinners to know you’re selling something? Include a price band on your pin by adding the price in dollars ($) or euros (€) in the description.
It will help you keep Pinterest-found customers coming back for more if you give them a reason to come back. Reward your followers with pins that lead to coupons or new products.

Pinterest for bloggers

Support your Pinterest accounts on other social networks and media. The whole internet is a community and they’d love for you to be a part of it. But you’ve got to be smart about it. Be active and friendly. Put yourself out there—but don’t overdo it.

Utilize quality control. Repin responsibly. Check everything you pin for a working link. (This is great advice for pinners of all sorts.) When you send a follower—or anyone really—to a broken link, they’re going to trust you less. It’s like a friend who sets a lunch date with you and doesn’t show. Yes, an incorrect link is less frustrating, but it’s in the same vein of emotion.

Use the description field in every pin! Pinterest can’t read your mind and doesn’t know what your pin is of. When people search coral flower headbands they’re not going to find the coral flower headband you pinned that you named “cute!!!”

Pinterest is successful because it’s primarily a visual site. It’s a screen full of clickable images. Images that should be leading back to your site or blog.
How effectively do you represent yourself visually?

Jamie Bates
Online Marketing Director