Pinterest is a force to be reckoned with. With 100 million active monthly users, this visual curation platform can be a powerhouse of marketing for many businesses. It’s especially popular with younger female audiences, and tends to have a strong focus on lifestyle brands that involve food, fashion, home decor, and crafts. Millennial moms are also a hot demographic on Pinterest.
A recent Shopify survey found that purchases originating on Pinterest are higher than any other social media, and Pinterest is the second most popular source of all social media traffic to Shopify stores. To harness this power, it helps to understand exactly what Pinterest is and how to get started.
Getting started on Pinterest
Pinterest is a free site that allows users to upload, share, and sort images—also known as “pins.” Sharing a pin is called “pinning.” Pins are sorted by themed boards, and these boards can be browsed by other members who can then share pins on their own boards. The key to a great Pinterest profile is in the curation of pins that reflect the member—whether it’s a person, business, or brand.
- The first step is to create a business profile on Pinterest. You can either create a new business account or convert an existing individual account into a business account by simply making a request.
- Next, create your boards. Think about keywords that apply to your business, marketing efforts, and topics of interest to your target audience. Boards don’t necessarily have to be directly related to your product or service, but they should at least be tangentially relevant to your audience. For example, if you own a women’s clothing boutique, boards might include: “Smart work outfits,” “Interview wardrobe on a budget,” “Dressing for the holidays,” and “Fall 2015 accessories.”
- Enable “rich pins. ” Then you can share pins that link directly to your website and enable pinners to buy products; install an app; access a map to show them where your business is located; or save a story or recipe. You also can take advantage of Pinterest Analytics to understand how users are interacting with your pins.
If you sell a consumer product with high visual appeal, pinning beautiful shots of those products is an obvious route. Pretty pictures are great, but other successful pins can include how-to pins—whether it links to recipes, home decor, personal finance tips, fashion, or pet care. Pins that promise educational value like this can be very popular.
Pins that showcase your company culture, style, employees, and customers can do a lot to build your brand. Boards that also do well for businesses include “About” pages—which can pin things like business case studies, employee profiles, and company events.
Infographics and illustrations pinned from popular blogs can also be successful, so be sure to share relevant pins from the boards of influencers and followers. Don’t forget to make it easy for people to share images and posts from your own blog and websites by including Pinterest share buttons.
In addition to great visuals, successful pins also have smart keywords. All boards and pin descriptions should feature keywords relevant to your product, service, and core audience. Longevity is also one of the most powerful elements of Pinterest, since each pin can be shared countless times. Balancing fresh and relevant content with evergreen content can drive traffic and brand awareness for months—and even years.
Gathering and engaging Pinterest followers
Now that you have a Pinterest presence, build your following! Start by following influencers and other businesses in your industry, and actively engage with them by liking and sharing their pins. Comment on popular pins, and always reply when someone comments on yours. You can also create a group board on Pinterest, and invite other pinners to participate.
Ask your contacts on social media to follow you on Pinterest, and be sure to mention it in your email newsletters and in professional groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Connect your Facebook and Google accounts to Pinterest, which will then prompt you to connect with your following on those platforms. Add the Pinterest follow button to your website so you audience can easily connect with you there, and install a Pinterest widget so they can pin things from your site onto their own board.
Pinterest Business Accounts
Business accounts on Pinterest have their own special features, like being able to run contests and being invited to participate in Pinterest’s promoted pins—which are seen by more people when you pay for a boost. If you invest in promoted pins, start slowly by selecting one of your most popular pins, and take time to understand the metrics that made it so popular. Load the promoted pin with relevant keywords, then measure results closely before investing more in subsequent investments.
Business account holders can also use a tracking widget to better use Pinterest Analytics. This allows you to understand which pins are performing best, what content from your website pinners are sharing, and what your traffic demographics are.
Just like with other social networks, the key to being successful on Pinterest is to post regularly, engage frequently, and measure results.