At first glance, one could see Pinterest as just another photo-sharing site, but it is far more than that. You could be forgiven for that gross error in judgment. I mean, all you see at first glance is just a bunch of pictures in grid format, right?
Clarity is found when you dig deeper to unearth what Pinterest is really all about. Not to say that individuals cannot use it but Pinterest is currently the most effective social media platform for businesses to market themselves. Yes you can market your business using pinterest.
It is the ideal way to ‘show’ your business to the world as opposed to just reading about it. When it comes to ‘visual’ marketing, Pinterest is King.
Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest, summarized the company as a “catalog of ideas”. I could not agree more. Pinterest lets you upload, save, sort and manage all kinds of media content, known as pins through collections known as pinboards.
It is arguably the highest referrer of traffic to websites (maybe second only to Facebook). So if you own a business and are committed to increasing your visibility, driving traffic to your website, want to market your business using pinterest, and then increasing your sales conversion, then read on to see just how you can do that.
1. Create a business profile, not a personal one
First of all, if you are on Pinterest for business purposes, do not open an account through ‘pinterest.com’. This method will get you a personal account, not a business one. For a business account, visit pinterest for business and choose join as a business. Fill in your business and manager of the account information as required, read and accept the Pinterest Business Terms of Service and create the account.
If you already have a personal profile, you can run it separately or convert it to a business account by logging into your account, going to Pinterest for business and clicking “Convert now”. Provide the required information and then click “Convert”.
This process will not overwrite your account; it just reconfigures it for business, as you will now have access to essential business features that are not available to people operating a personal profile. Other than that, everything will look exactly the same. All your previous pins, boards and followers will still be available.
2. Complete Your Profile
Like every other social network, the importance of a complete profile cannot be overemphasized. This is the next step after creating your account. Fill in all the necessary information – your logo or headshot, your username, your bio (include relevant keywords and phrases to enhance search-ability), your location, your website.
Also, include details that will drive people to you. Let them know what you love (your interests & passions) and what you will be pinning about. This will drive relevant traffic to you.
3. Pin Ethically
Do not fill up your boards with only pins that are original to you; make sure that there is a balance between the number of your pins and re-pins. Also, before you re-pin any pin, click it to be sure that it is sourced properly to a legitimate website.
If the link has been changed and now links to a false website, do not repin it! Instead, leave a comment so that the original pinner can update the source. Pins are the most effective when they link back to the original source so do not resource. Repin as it is.
4. Pin Strategically
There are a few things to keep in mind when trying to develop the best pinning campaign:
- Do not over pin: If you do not know how pins are displayed you will easily make the mistake of over pinning and making your boards look like a dump yard. Unlike other social media platforms, pins have a much longer life span and have a rotational display schedule. This means that a pin you put up today can be displayed again in a few days, weeks or even months before it expires. Set up a pinning schedule – a few minutes, a few times a day should be enough. Tools like Viral Tag can help you manage your pinning schedule.
- Pin across boards and follow other pinners: Do not confine your pins to one board alone. Start gradually and create new boards with time. Seek to be creative with your pins, captions, description and board names. Also use relevant keywords within your Pin description, board titles to make them searchable.
- Also, follow users and other individual or Group boards that are relevant to your business and repin their content. This will help you build your own following.
- Pin at the right time, use names and tags: There is no sense in pinning at a time when your fans are inactive. Find out their period of highest activity and pin then. If you can accurately pinpoint the best time to pin then take Pinterest’s advice, 2.00pm to 4.00pm, at night and during the weekends. These periods all have something in common: people are usually at work at these times and so have more spare time on their hands to engage on Pinterest.
When engaging with any user, use “@tags” to make sure that they are notified of your engagement with them. Hashtags also serve to highlight keywords and are searchable like on other social media platforms.
5. Verify your website/blog and optimize it for pinning
Having a business account gives you access to analytical tools, Rich Pins and Promoted Posts. However, if you have listed a website on your Pinterest account profile, you will not have access to Pinterest Analytics until your website is verified.
To go about this, choose “edit profile” on the main page of your account, add your website URL in the space provided at the bottom – if you haven’t already – and click “verify”.
A pop-up will appear containing instructions for verification. Choose “download the html verification file” and after it’s done, upload the downloaded file into the root directory of your site using FTP or CPanel. Return to your Pinterest profile and click “click here to complete the process.
Now that your website has been properly linked to your account, the next step is to optimize your website for pinning purposes. The tools that you need to achieve this can be gotten from the Business Resource Center. Here you will find “Follow me” buttons, “Pin It” buttons and “Pin It” bookmarklets.
These tools make it possible for people to follow you on Pinterest, share content from your site/blog as well as simplify the process of pinning from the web for you.
6. Produce quality visual content
Most people prefer to pin images only. However, there are other types of media content that are being underutilized. To get the maximum benefit from your Pinterest marketing campaign, you need a mix of all possible media content. Just make sure that whatever you pin is visually engaging and will make people want to re-pin it.
Use relevant, engaging and quality images – they could be photos, infographics or even screenshots of videos. Put some text in the mix where possible. A good catch phrase in presentable font will go a long way to promote your pin. Other media contents include SlideShare Presentations and Videos. Both are underutilized, but are more engaging than images.
Also, experiment with size. The ideal pin width is 735 pixels but there is no restriction on the length of pins. Longer pins are more noticeable in news-feeds. So seek to make your pins as long they can be without looking clumsy and empty. Infographics or vertically arranged photos are usually the ideal visual format to employ when you want a pin with more length.
Read more about other aspects that make a pin “pinnable” here
7. Use Rich Pins
Rich Pins allow the pinner to provide valuable extra information on the pin itself. Examples of the kind of Information you can provide with a Rich Pin are: the location of your business, extra information on a blog post, recipe ingredients, the ratings and crew members of an upcoming movie, the install button for your apps etc. The five types of Rich Pins include: Article, Place, Product, Recipe and Movie.
Rich Pins are not available by default to every business account. You will need to request access to it and you might also need the expertise of a web developer as you will be required to add specific markup code to your website or blog. There are two options to choose from when adding the necessary code: oEmbed and Semantic Markup.
After this, you need to choose which type of Rich Pin you want approved. Then go to the Rich Pin Validation Page, copy the URL of your content and paste it into the Rich Pin Validator then click “Validate”. Click “Apply Now” after you get the message that your pin has been validated.
You need to exercise some patience now, because it often takes about 2-3 weeks for Pinterest to notify you of approval so you will need to check back from time to time.
There is so much more that can be done with Pinterest that will absolutely blow your mind. So if you own a business and are not on Pinterest, do yourself and your business a favour now by getting a business account immediately. Kindly comment below if you have more additional “Pinterest Wisdom” for us. We would love to hear from you!
And don’t forget to share this post if you agree with me that it is awesome.