Pinterest seems to have become the new ‘must have’ marketing tool. In a very short space of time it’s taken the social media world by storm, with thousands of us ‘pinning’ our favourite images every day into this virtual online scrapbook. If you’ve never used it, it works like this – by ‘pinning’ images to your own relevant pinboards (a collection of themed ‘pins’) users can share, categorise and seek out images they love, visually interesting products, quotes, landscapes and creative ideas. You can repin or comment on other peoples’ pins, connecting with people through ‘things’ you find interesting. I used Pinterest to find an idea for a Father’s Day gift for my daughter to make for my husband – I was out of ideas, my friend Claudia said ‘look at my Pinterest boards, there are some great ideas in there’ and there were!
So how can you use Pinterest for Business?
- You can use it to help drive traffic to your website and increase your online visibility to help you appear in search results. Give your Pinterest profile, description, pinboards and pins keyword-rich descriptions, that is you need to include words that people would use in Google when searching for what you sell.
- Ideally create boards based on core keywords that you already use as part of your SEO strategy, and make them resourceful, useful and creative. Do this by repinning or commenting on other peoples’ pins as well as pinning to your own boards.
- Include web links within the descriptions of your pins wherever possible to drive traffic to your site.
- Make your boards somewhere that people want to visit. Share a wide range and variety of relevant things, not just your own products. For example if you’re a massage therapist you might include photos of your products and therapy rooms but you might also have boards called ‘Quotes I love’, ‘Relaxing images’ or ‘Inspirational thoughts’.
- The images on Pinterest aren’t just photos, they are graphics too so you can even create your own by taking a saying or quote you love and dropping it onto a beautiful background. Microsoft Clip Art has some amazing free images and photography these days that you can use on your website and Pinterest boards without infringing copyright.
- Make sure your profile and pins can get indexed by the search engines by ensuring that ’Hide your Pinterest profile from search engines’ is clicked to ‘OFF’
- Your Pinterest profile has its very own RSS which can be found by clicking on the RSS symbol under your profile photo. Post it on your other social network sites and ask users/fans to add you to their RSS feedreaders.
- It’s a bit like Twitter in that you build your follower base by following users you’d like to follow you back then like and commenting on their pins.
- Use hashtags to improve the search-engine-friendliness of your content and help with cross-promotion on Twitter and Facebook, et al.
- You can get more followers too by adding the Pinterest follow button to your social network profiles, email signature and website and adding the Pin-It button to your website. These are all easy to do but if you’re strugging then let me know via the Facebook page.
- Have fun and convey the essence of your business in pictures. Pin a blend of images from product photos, logos, images which symbolise your business or mission, book or ebook covers, photos of your customers (with their permission) using your product/service, photos of your shop, office or salon or from events you’ve hosted, infographics that tell a story/make a point/reveal industry data.
- Make your website visitors aware of your Pinterest activity and recent pins by using a Pinterest widget, especially if you have a WordPress site (it will appear in your WordPress sidebar).
My Pinterest boards are here http://pinterest.com/clairelmitchell/ – it’s still a work in progress and I’m not really using mine for business yet but I’m pinning away, little and often.Why not follow mine and I’ll follow you back and that way we both increase our exposure.
More in-depth tutorials will be included in my member content for The Girls Mean Business Club. Happy pinning!