In case you’ve been hanging out in a cave for the last year, Pinterest is becoming the hot social networking site for those that are building a business. It’s fun, easy and it’s becoming the best way to share your content in a visual way. Part of the appeal of Pinterest is that it is beautiful to look at. It’s very easy to spend hours on the site and it’s not uncommon for people to forget what they were supposed to be doing after just a few minutes of browsing pins.
Because it is visually based, Pinterest is much more positive than Facebook. No whining, no haters, and no need to monitor your page for comments. But don’t let all of those beautiful images fool you, though. Pinterest is becoming a heavy-handed marketing tool for building brands and businesses just like yours.
Why Should I Care About Pinterest?
Once you have set up your account, you can create online collages of images. The images you collect are pins which you add to a specific board. Pinterest allows you to make a visual interest of your liking to share with the masses. With over 1.5 Million unique users per day on Pinterest, it’s a hot spot for showing off your style, passion, and love. In January 2012, Pinterest drove more traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google+, Reddit and YouTube combined. Yes, you read that right.
So how can you grab the power of Pinterest for your brand? Here are a few tips to help you be successful.
1. Have a good profile picture and update it often. Don’t use a picture of a flower, your kids or your dog. This is about you!
2. Connect your account with other social media accounts. This can include Facebook and Twitter. It will help you gain followers and add social media icons to your profiles so that you are seen as connected. It will also allow you to post your pins on Twitter, which will help you gain followers easily.
3. Add your website URL to your profile. If you don’t have a website then add your most popular channel as your link (example: YouTube).
4. Don’t have boring board names. Board names get shared each time someone pins something, so have fun with them. You also need to keep them short. Save the long explanation for the description.
5. Tag friends, followers and favorites using the “@“ sign, just like on Facebook and Twitter. It will help with networking.
6. Comment on other people’s pins. People rarely do this but it will help you to stand out. While your doing that make sure you “like” other people’s pins, too.
7. Make sure you mix pinning your own finds with “repins”. Just like on other social media sites, when you repin the original pinner is notified. They also get a credit on your repin so it’s a great way to make friends fast.
8. Pin your own stuff, but don’t over do it. You don’t want to be that person at the party that is always talking about themselves. Pin videos, blog posts and your own images-just don’t be self-centered about it.
9. Always add a keyword-rich description. If you are pinning from your own material, make sure you add your business name in there and make it personal.
10. Optimize your website for Pinterest content. With this comes watermarking your images and/or adding text, too. Make your images longer rather than wider when you can, because those proportions share better.
11. Become an information curator for your area of expertise. If you blog or vlog on beauty then make sure you make the most of your niche and become a trusted resource. When you become the go-to in your niche on Pinterest, you can sit back and watch the number of followers grow.
12. Create moderated “group” boards that let your fans express their support for you. They can add videos, blog posts and more.
13. Allow select fans and business contacts to join special boards that emulate your brand or message. This is also a great way to work with sponsors. Let’s say you are endorsed by Maybelline: Create a board that only you and Maybeline pin to.
14. Pin often. You need to make sure you pin 5-10 things in each session and like 4-8 posts, too. It is also a good practice to take this time to like the board of anything you repin; it will help you gain followers.
15. If you’re selling something, don’t forget to include prices. When you add a price to the description of any pin, you are automatically grouped into not only searches for the word “gift” but also on the Holiday Gifting section of Pinterest each holiday season.
As a side note, we’ve recently discovered the power of creating pins just for Pinterest. We will create one image for our blog and then post another image, using programs like Tailwind or Robvoy that let you schedule pins. Yes, you can schedule pins! When you create these pins make sure the images are 735 by at least 1128.
By creating images that are different, you have the chance to:
- Feature one product at a time, creating a pin for each product and using Magic Links link as the source
- Feature one product in multiple colors using a Magic Links link as the source
- Feature steps or build a product list, numbers are good for these
- Showcase a “Top 5” or “4 Must Haves” posts with stronger images
- Add text, teaser phrases or your logo/brand image
Here is an example:
Although it sounds like a lot, this is actually quite easy to implement once you get the hang of it. You can promote your site in about an hour a week. Make sure you use key pinning times too get the most out of your pins, too. Saturdays are great times to pin and also evening hours seem to get more repins. Put up a couple of pins at about 9pm for maximum repinning.
Pinterest is one of those resources you don’t want to miss the boat on. Set up a few boards now and make sure you curate them regularly. Before you know it, you’ll have some awesome new followers!