Pinterest is one of the more popular social media platforms today. In fact, if you are not careful, you can find many hours of a lazy Saturday afternoon consumed by it…. not that I am speaking from experience.
Pinterest is popular because it gives users the ability to quickly and visually categorize things they like. The psychological cues are powerful and will help keep the social network pinned to the top of our minds for quite some time.
Who Should Be Using Pinterest
Both B2B (Business-to-Business) and B2C (Business-to-Consumer) brands have struggled with how to use Pinterest in their social media and online marketing strategies. Rather than trying to shoehorn a platform into a strategy, take a step back and look at the end goal. Specifically, look at how your ideal customers are already using the network.
Everyone from real estate agents to coffee shop managers and photographers to fashion designers can and should be using Pinterest to expand their reach and customer base.
Regardless of your industry or product, keep in mind that Pinterest is a visual platform. Take the time to produce high-quality images of your products. It is extremely important to use photos to set the tone and create a connection with your audience. For example, below are two images of nearly the same product. One shows the product in a plain and boring way, the other introduces some creativity and evokes an emotion. Guess which has more re-pins and engagement.
Additionally, by examining pins popular within your target audience, you can easily supplement your existing ideal buyer personas.
Here is how your brand can generate more business interest and sales leads using Pinterest
Blogging Your Story
As I have repeatedly said, your website/blog should be the hub – the center – of all of your online marketing. It is the only online platform that you have complete control over. For that reason, all of your marketing efforts should serve as entry points to introduce a stranger to your brand, knowledge, and products.
Take the time to craft a story and post it on your blog. I have listed some best blogging practices here.
Tell the Story: Visually
They say pictures are worth a thousand words, and in today’s busy, 140-character-attention-span environment, web visitors make a split second decision to learn more about you or keep scrolling. To grab their attention, use photos.
Once have written your story, select an image that shows off the personality of your brand. If you highlighted a particular product, choose a stylish photo of that product.
The idea is not to blatantly sell or push your product down the throat of your visitor, rather, approach your writing as if you are a teacher educating a student on a subject. The tone of your writing will help disarm the visitor.
From now until the end of the internet (and well beyond that), the businesses that see themselves as teachers and problem solvers, and then take the time to tell the world what they know, are going to earn the most trust and ultimately the most business.
Share Your Story
Next, use Pinterest’s “Pin It” button to share the image you selected along with the URL of the blog post you just published.
Be sure to complete the description with “real speak”, language that real humans can read and digest easily that is relevant to the image you are sharing. Social media, Pinterest especially, is emotional and human. Don’t try to cram a bunch of sales and marketing lingo into the description. Be authentic. If you wouldn’t like reading it, don’t post it.
Simple Pinterest Tips
- Create specific boards for a single topic
- A large number of well-organized pins/boards generates more interest
- Cater to your ideal buyer
- Be creative in naming and describing your boards
- Stay relevant and topical
- Integrate your web content
- Pin regularly
- When promoting, think visually
- Make sharing easy from you own site
- Maintain a consistent brand voice
- Feature what is most creative
- Focus on your customer’s lifestyle, not your products
- Customize your cover photos
- Connect with your audience by using shared-boards
- Link to your website in your profile
Pinterest for Power Brands
Pinterest is not just for little brands, although I have seen a number of smaller companies realize great success on the platform. Entrepreneur published great tips on how 20 large companies are using Pinterest. Examples include:
Lowe’s, who has almost 3.5 million followers. The hardware and home improvement chain has built its presence by focusing on very specific boards about a single topic including, “Grillin’ and Chillin’ and “50 Projects Under $50”. This type of specificity has helped Lowe’s become one of the most followed brands on Pinterest.
Lifestyle site Refinery 29 focuses on fashion and ties its website’s content into its Pinterest board for its nearly 300,000 followers. Besides pinning external content, the company also has created boards for related events or content on their website, including “R29 Beach House” and “Fashion Week 2013.”
On Pinterest, Etsy’s more than 421,000 followers can see what types of products are available from Etsy’s sellers, who sell everything from earrings to reclaimed retro signs. By visually promoting their own products, Etsy is able to increase sellers’ revenues while also driving traffic to their website. Because it is an e-commerce site, followers can also be alerted when there are price changes on the site, another revenue increase.
Wedding website, magazine and social community The Knot is the go-to resource for engaged brides that are planning their wedding. Its Pinterest profile, which has about 84,000 followers, was a must-have for the brand, as its entire concept was built on inspiring its users. Brands that have products and services that focus on creativity and inspiration need to have a Pinterest board as part of their marketing presence. Users are beginning to expect their favorite brands to be online.
Small Business Pinterest Case Study
One of our clients, Harts & Pearls, sells fashion accessories for woman and children. By following the simple steps above, they have nearly doubled their Pinterest following in 60 days! They are on track to accelerate this growth as their influence continues to expand.
Pinterest is now third for most referred traffic to the Harts & Pearls ecommerce site; helping to generating new sales (and prove ROI form their efforts) and fans across other social platforms.
This has been a successful approach because they have a keen understanding of their audience, pin interesting and relevant content from their own inventory and the content of others, and developed a relationship with complementary brands.
These three elements create a strong and successful plan for growth.
Sample Pinterest Marketing Schedule
Here’s a sample schedule that can be implemented in about 45 minutes per week:
- Spend 30 minutes on Repinly to collect ideas of images to pin
- Use Pingraphy to schedule pins for the next 7 days
- Visit Pinterest and find 15 people with great pins and comment on their pins
For those of you who just want an easy to follow check-list, here you go:
- Write a story about a frustration or pain point your product has cured for a customer
- Post to your blog
- Make sure the blog post includes a link to the product you are talking about
- Include attractive visuals to support your story
- Share the images on Pinterest with compelling titles and descriptions
- Make sure the new pins are linked back to your blog post
You now have a basic strategy for growing your Pinterest audience and fueling commerce sales, but do you have a strategy for your entire marketing campaign? If not, I would love to develop a content marketing blueprint for you.
Our content marketing blueprints are uniquely designed for each client; we listen for your goals and objectives, and create an actionable strategy for you and your team to implement. In it, we include ideal buyer persona information, recommended blog posts to target your ideal customer, and areas that your competition may have the advantage (so that you can beef up your efforts).
If you would like to have a personalized marketing strategy designed for you, please drop me a note today.