Does Your Small Business Use Pinterest to Increase Your Following?
Today’s post comes to us from Julie Musial, who takes an in-depth look at another social media platform: Pinterest.
Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing social networks around at the moment. Its success lies in its differences to other, more traditional networks in that it allows you to collect and collate interesting and engaging media from all over the web and post them to a virtual pin-board. The result is a very visual way to communicate your likes and interests to your followers.
Getting started on Pinterest now is smart before the masses really take over. Pinterest is the 4th largest referral traffic site worldwide, only beat by Google organic, Google direct, and Facebook. This is a critical distinction, as referral traffic is the best kind of traffic because it gives you credibility. In addition, Pinterest users have above average-incomes, and buyers spend more than the other top five social media platforms.
Install a Pin It Button
Be sure to install a Pin It button into your web browser. (Go to pinterest.com/about/goodies, and drag the button to your bookmarks bar). You can then pin from anywhere on the Internet. When you see an item that you would like to pin, simply click the Pin It bookmark to see the pinable items on the page.
Creating Your Following on Pinterest
There are many different ways to use Pinterest for marketing, all depending on your business model. Are you an ecommerce business, or do you have a physical location? It’s important to have a strategy before you start pinning. Don’t pin haphazardly; think about what boards your prospects and customers want to see. Study other business boards.
As with all social networking sites, the key to success is to create a large and loyal following to increase your brand awareness. Obviously the secret to gaining followers is to post engaging and interesting media, but it is important to post when there will be the largest potential pool of followers to see your pins. Saturdays at 2:00pm-4:00pm and 8:00pm-1:00am EST are the windows of the highest traffic.
When you click on a Pin, at the bottom, you will see that you can choose to follow the pinner or the board. This is important because you will find different people following each. If you are looking to increase your exposure to a specific subject, you should follow boards rather than people as these will be more likely to contain like-minded people. When someone follows you or your board, you should in turn follow them; this also increases your exposure to a wider range of Pinterest users.
Always comment on your Pins by opening them and adding a descriptive comment underneath. This will ensure that others will see your name underneath the Pin (your name is not seen unless you comment on it). As with all social media, always cross-post your updates. When you create or update a Pin, make sure you Like it and Tweet it. These buttons can be found the right side of any Pin.
Promote and Sell with Pins
If you sell products, you can use Pinterest to promote and indeed sell your products. Add a Pin incorporating a direct link to the product. Then, in the description field, describe the product and add a price. Pinterest will automatically tag the image with the price; you can also cross post it to Facebook, increasing your audience.Give Things Away with Pins
Another way to increase your following is to give away items. For example, as a photographer, you might give away an image as a screensaver to invite people to buy it as a print. To pin a free item, simply add the direct link to the “Add a Pin” box. Make sure you give a description of what you are giving away, as well as a call to action for your aims
Invite People Directly
Personally invite people to view your Pins. By hovering your mouse over your name on the top right of a Pinterest page, you can “Find” or “Invite Friends.” If you have linked a Facebook account, Pinterest will show you a list of all your friends to invite to Pinterest. To the right is a list of Facebook friends already on Pinterest – you should choose to follow these people as, for the most part, they will follow you back.
One great way to find trending images is to use Repinly.com to see what is trending and being repinned, then repin it yourself. Another use of Repinly is to find influential pinners in your industry. By incorporating their pins into your blogs, you can increase your own SEO and increase your readership. This does not have to be just images; incorporating video Pins into your blog can be a powerful way to drive traffic to your site.
As with all social media, try to keep your Pinterest boards on brand and interesting. Make sure that you give your followers a reason to return – for example, video tutorials or useful info-graphics.
Julie Musial is Founder of Musial Marketing. Visit her blog at www.musialmarketing.com/blog. Julie trains business owners and entrepreneurs how to use social media and digital media through online courses.