Do you want to learn how to use Pinterest for your business?
Well if so, then this is the post for you. If you’re not interested in this subject, then my advice to you is to get the hell off this page and stop wasting your time. It will save you a lot of it.
Now, for the ones looking to find how you can use Pinterest for your business, read this post (or download the free eBook) and you will learn all the information you need to know! You’ll now be able to drive traffic and leads to your site by using Pinterest, and if you’re in eCommerce, lucky day…
What Pinterest Is and Why its Important!
It has been proven that Pinterest is growing in popularity as one of the hottest social networks of all time. Pinterest receives some very unique visitors!
What Pinterest is – in short – is a social network that will allow your users to to visually share, curate, and also discover new interests in different things by posting, which is also known as “pinning” images or videos to their own or other people’s pinboards.
Users are able to upload images from their computers or they can even ping things that they find on the web using the Pinterest bookmarklet known as the pin it button.
A user can browse through items that other users have pinned, and then they are able to “like”, “repin” or “comment” on them! Like many other social media sites, the user is encouraged to interact with the content by reposting it, sharing pins on Facebook and twitter, or via email! They can even embedd a pin on their website or blog.
Pinterest uses a visual emphasis which means the social network is very focused on the person’s lifestyle, allowing you to share your interests and preferences with others and discover those of a like-minded people. Pinterest stated and said “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.”
Why Does Pinterest Mattter?
If your business relies on driving traffic to increase sales, then you should really consider joining Pinterest. Researchers have even proven that Pintereest is more effective at driving traffic compared to any other social media site.
- In October 2013, the website of Time Inc.’s Real Simple magazine got more traffic from Pinterest than Facebook.
- Eye glass retailer Warbly Parker reports that 11% of their social traffic is coming from Pinterest compared to 18% from Twitter.
- After blogger Kate Bryan started pinning her work, she has had more than 10 million page views and has attracted 16,000 blog subscribers. “My top 10 traffic referring URLs are all Pinterest,” says Kate.
- Early in 2012, studies showed that Pinterest has drove more referrals to Hubspot’s Blog than Google+. That proves that Pinterest presents a serious threat to other social media channels and offers a competitive advantage to businesses that have started leveraging its potential.
If you are using the “Pin” it button, then that means every single one of your pins that you have include a link back to your source! That is why Pinterest established more then 640 links just from Pinterest within 2 weeks.
Stating that though, you need to know there are no-follow links and cannot directly impact your SEO strategy. They will still provide marketing value because it will allow pinners to encounter your content and visit your pages in just one click!
Pinterest will soon start to contribute to lead generation. Our partners at Hubspot have been able to establish a few from the new social network. Over time we will keep an eye on how that number changes and keep you updated to be able to show you how they are progressing.
4) Social Sharing
Pinterest will also allow your users to login by using their Twitter or Facebook profiles. This connectivity is very critical for social media success. Pinterest has recognized that these sites can’t get away by being a silo. They now allow users to automatically post new pins to their Facebook Feed for others to see. This allows more people from other channels to get access to your pictures.
When members are browsing through pins, it allows the user to share posts through Facebook, Twitter, or email. This feature is a great way to promote social sharing and get your users to spread the word about your brand.
How Does Pinterest Make Money?
What’s particularly fascinating about Pinterest is that while in beta, it is already making money. That’s especially surprising for a social networking site. What’s even more interesting is that the way it’s monetizing is not based on advertising or subscriptions. If your website is using an affiliate program, you should take note, because that is how Pinterest is making its dough: by taking a cut of your sales from pinned traffic.
How to create a Pinterest account and Gain Followers?
Surprisingly enough, user access to Pinterest still operates under an invitation-only basis. That being said, you can request an invitation, and Pinterest doesn’t exactly seem to be very stingy about granting requests. Visit www.Pinterest.com, click “Request an Invite,” and enter your email address to be notified when you have access to create your account. Or you can ask a friend who already has a Pinterest account to invite you, a much quicker way to gain access than waiting for Pinterest to grant your request.
Be sure to register your account with the same email address you use for your business’ Twitter account so you can easily share your new pins through your Twitter account, too. Once you receive an invitation to sign up for Pinterest, you’ll want to sign up through the Twitter option, not the Facebook option. This will enable you to tie your Pinterest account to your business’ Twitter account, not your personal Facebook profile. Currently, Pinterest doesn’t offer a connection to Facebook business pages.
Once your account is activated, optimize your Pinterest profile under the settings tab. Choose your company name as your username and complete your profile information, including a company description, logo, and a link to your website. Be sure you keep “Hide your Pinterest profile from search engines” checked to OFF, so your profile can get indexed in search.
As with any site that is built around content curation, ‘pinners’ (Pinterest users) must be especially cognizant of citing the sources of their individual pins. And while Pinterest makes no direct statement that marketers cannot use the social network for promotional purposes, the site does discourage blatant self-promotion.
Avoid Self Promotion
“Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.”
Coupled with Pinterest’s lifestyle vision, this should encourage marketers to find creative ways to promote their brand on the network and truly jive with its vision and user base. In other words, businesses should use the social network to showcase the lifestyle their brand promotes. If you’re a shoe vendor, a pinboard of the shoes you sell won’t cut it.
A pinboard of a few of your shoes interspersed with images of places those shoes could take you, however, is the direction you should be thinking. AARP’s Pinterest account features a pinboard called “Quotes to Live By,” which is a great example of a business using Pinterest to promote the lifestyle of its brand.
How To Build Your Pinterest Following
You want to try and build a few pinboards before building your Pinterest following. This gives your followers a reason to follow your pins. Its the same exact reason why you would populate a brand new blog with a few posts before you promote it.
Pinterests functions differently then other social sites and how you follow users. On Pinterest, there is two follower options, a user can either follow the Pinterest account or a specific board by a Pinterest user.
Whats the difference?
When following a board you only will be notified (via your stream) when a user pins a new piece of content to that board. When following a user, you will be notified every time a user pins content to any of his or her boards. Due to these differences a Pinterest user’s board might have more followers than the user herself! So how can you create a strategy to increase followers at both the account and board level?
You want to always promote through other channels, make the best boards on specific topics, and engage with other’s pins.
How To Use Pinterest For Marketing?
You should defiantly get your creative juices flowing with this list of ideas for using Pinterest for Marketing.
As with any other social network, Pinterest offers a range of activities you can initiate to market your company to a new audience. The goal here is to gain brand recognition, drive traffic to your
website and be successful at converting the new visits into leads. Let’s get your creative juices flowing with this list of ideas for using Pinterest as part of your social media marketing mix.
Feature Visual Content
Pinterest is a visual social network, so you will need to create a pinboard that highlights some of your best visual content.
A lot of big brands are taking notice of the power of online visual content for marketing and the emotions images elicit in readers. Instagram is one platform that has contributed to this movement
and enabled real businesses to leverage photos as a an inbound marketing mechanism.
The biggest challenge for B2B companies wanting to use Pinterest as a marketing channel is a lack of visual content. By nature, many B2Bcompanies are selling a product or service in an industry that most likely isn’t visual. Here are some ideas of visual content you can post:
- Visual content you already have
Someone at your last company mixer must have grabbed a few photos, right? If so, make a board to showcase your company’s culture and pin them. Have executive headshots? Create an “executive management” board and include a bio for each person.
- Strong visuals from blog articles
Start using clear, beautiful images in your blog articles with the point of pinning them to your pinboards moving forward. You should be using images in your blog articles anyway! Pin visuals that best highlights your written content.
- Infographics & Data Charts
Infographics are all the rage right now, and they are doing very well on Pinterest. If you have any industry data that you can visualize, do so before someone beats you to it. You can also pin simple data charts that you can build in excel. Make sure to have a clear headline in the image so people know what they are looking at!
- Ebook and Book covers
Has your company released an ebook or a white paper recently? Take a screenshot of it and add it to a board that’s a collection of papers. Do the same if someone from your team has authored an industry book. This will help you establish your thought leadership on Pinterest.
- Photos of your customers
Promoting your happy customers is a great way to create a positive sentiment around your brand. Encourage your customers to send you photos (or take photos of them at your next event.) Create a board of their smiling faces – perhaps using your product or service!
Create A User-Generated Pinboard
By enabling other users to contribute their own pins to your pinboards, you open up a great opportunity to involve fans and customers in your marketing. Pick out a few of your top evangelists or customers, and create a board dedicated to their pins. Ask the customer to pin images that showcase the lifestyle they enjoy because of your brand. This is a great way to leverage customer testimonials in a unique and visual way. Clothing retailer ModCloth uses this tactic in its “Guest Pinner Gallery.”
Host A Contest
evaluate entrants, and the coolest board wins a prize! Even better — you can also re-pin the top boards to your own Pinterest page and ask followers to vote on the boards to select the winner. This is exactly what High Point Market did in its October Pinterest campaign to promote High Point Market Week, during which it recruited fashion home trendsetters to showcase their favorite products and trends.
Add The Pin-It Button To Your Website
Make it super easy for website visitors to share your visual content or images on Pinterest by adding a “Pin It” button to your site. Just like other social media sharing buttons, this will help to
expose your brand to a new audience.
Gather Insight Into Your Buyer Personas
Use Pinterest as a tool for understanding the interests and needs of your ideal customers. View pinboards of your customers to aid in your understanding of who your customers are and what they’re interested in.If you have an integrated marketing software that tracks which people got to your website through Pinterest and follows them through the buying cycle, you can spot trends in their behavior and find ways to nurture such leads more successfully. For instance, HubSpot connects referrals to lead data and can tell you what offer pinners converted on. From here, you can email your brand new leads and push them down the sales funnel with a custom message.
Stand Out As An Industry Thought Leader
Become the go-to Pinterest account for pins about a certain subject or topic relating to your industry. For example, because HubSpot is a marketing software company, we could create a pinboard that features awesome visual examples of great online marketing. Or if you’re a paper company, you could create a pinboard that features really awesome origami paper creations from around the web. Minted is a great, real-life example of a paper company that leverages this tactic by creating themed pinboards that show unique ways to use paper, mixed in with other related lifestyle photos.
Add Links in the Description of Your Pins
Whenever possible, include links back to your website and landing pages in your pins to drive traffic back to your website. Keep track of referral traffic and leads generated from Pinterest. Such insights will inform you about how useful this platform is in comparison to your other efforts. The screenshot below is an example of the leads HubSpot has generated through Pinterest in
two weeks. We get these insights thanks to our powerful marketing analytics.
To increase the likelihood of driving more traffic to your website, add a link back to the page on your website where that image lives for every pin. If you are uploading a photo instead of pinning something live on your website, select a link that makes sense and include that in the pin description. The combined impact from each pin’s clicks and re-pins will give you a big advantage. For example, when reviewing two weeks of HubSpot’s traffic data, we found a single pin only sent a handful of visitors to HubSpot.com. However, all pins combined sent a substantial number of visitors to HubSpot.com in that same time period. This phenomenon gives you good reason to have boards with many pins. Also consider adding more and more pins to your boards over time as you promote new visual content by your company.
Create a Video Gallery
Pinners aren’t only limited to pinning images; they can pin videos, too! Create a pinboard of some of the interesting videos your business produces interspersed with relevant images. Do executives in your business do a lot of speaking at industry conferences and events? Create a pinboard that features videos of your speakers. Pinterest’s homepage has a separate tab for videos, so you will get even more exposure by being featured in that category Just don’t forget to include a call-to-action within the video itself. Tell your viewers what you want them to do next to further engage with your company.
Just like Twitter and Google+, Pinterest supports the usage of hashtags. Users can use hashtags to tag their pins and make their content more search-friendly. Promoting a new campaign of some
sort? Create a pinboard around it, and tag it with a hashtag you’re also using on Twitter and Google+ to leverage an integrated, cross-channel campaign. Club Monaco leverages its Pinterest
account for this very purpose, using the #cultureclub hashtag and pinboard to promote a section of its website called Culture Club.
Feature Offline Events
Create a pinboard that features the best photos and video footage of the annual event you host to help you generate buzz and promote the next one. For instance, at HubSpot we have created a “Behind The Scenes” board that features a lot of pictures from events that we have hosted.
Showcase Your Business Personality
As we’ve mentioned, Pinterest has a heavy lifestyle focus, so what better opportunity is there to give people a peek into the personality of your brand?
Create a pinboard that showcases your employees and life around the office — show them working together, show them making your products/services, and show some of the fun activities your business participates in, like company outings, parties, award ceremonies, volunteer days, etc. Letting people in behind the scenes will make your brand relatable, interesting, and humanized.
The Today Show, for example, uses one of its pinboards called “Anchor Antics” to reveal the personalities of its stars.
By following these steps and inquiring Pinterest into your business, you will see your business grow over time and more people will learn about it. It provides a more simple way for your business to be shared across the world, follow these guidelines and you will be astonished at the amount of more attention is attracted to your company.