Unless you’ve been living under a rock without Internet access for the past six months, you know that Pinterest is hot. In fact, the Social Engine Journal (SEJ) found Pinterest to be the fastest growing social media site in history. As of June, Pinterest boasted 10 million users with a 400% monthly growth in usage. But people are quickly finding out that Pinterest isn’t just for homemakers or would be June Cleavers to share what’s for dinner. They are finding ways to use this social platform seen by millions each day as an invaluable marketing tool that can harness the power in those numbers and turn it into real time traffic for their website, business and/or brand. You can do it, too – by following the simple, yet highly effective steps in this informative guide.
Set up your Pinterest profile so that it works for you, not against you.
Chose a name that’s easy to find and reflective of your business. Add keywords to your biography that relate to who you are and what you’re about. Don’t forget the importance of reciprocating traffic from one platform to another by linking your Pinterest page to your social media accounts and vice versa. Just as you added “Like” and “Follow” buttons for Twitter and Facebook on your blog, you can add “Pin This” and “Follow Me On Pinterest” buttons to it as well. When you pin something to your boards, tweet about it and send a Facebook update. This creates a nicely flowing circle of traffic from one platform to the other.
Find a happy medium with the three “Ps” when creating your boards and interacting with people.
Personality, professionalism and personalism are the three keys to any effective social media marketing campaign. Drab, dry content that’s repetitive of one subject and ‘preachy’ or ‘selling’ in tone isn’t what people want to read. They want to see the personality of the people they are interacting with to gauge common interests. People appreciate personalism because it makes them feel like they can relate to you on a one to one basis, rather than solely on a stiff client/owner level. Professionalism is important because it helps establish you as an authority in your field. So when creating your Pinterest boards, don’t be afraid to let a little bit of the ‘real you’ shine through in things that you like, admire or are interested in. Keep the titles of your boards short, interesting and relative to your business.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but great pictures (or videos) may be worth thousands of followers.
People love vivid imagery. An interesting graphic is going to draw the eye to it and command attention – that’s why you want to be choosey in your Pinterest photography. Charts, graphs, pictographs and even real life photographs used in your pins make them exponentially more likely to be re-pinned, liked and commented on than pins using mundane or poorly done images. When your pins are re-pinned by others, your audience grows – sometimes, by the hundreds or thousands with just one pin. You want to be sure you are creating material that is worthy of being passed on. You don’t have to limit yourself to pictures. You can pin videos as well. If you have a great instructional video that helps people solve a problem or one that just introduces who you are and what you do to the world, pin that, too. You just may be the solution people are looking for.
Promote yourself and others, too.
Of course, you want to pin your own things to get your brand name out there and doing so is one of the main reasons for engaging in social media in the first place. If you just wrote an amazing blog entry, pin it. If you just unveiled an awesome product, pin it. But since your goal is to have other people promote and pass on your things via this medium, you must reciprocate by promoting and passing on theirs. Search for people with like interests or common businesses and connect with them. Network with Pinterest users that you can learn from as well as those who can learn from you. Concentrate on finding a niche first and you are likely to create a much larger audience just by the exposure you get from that targeted niche. Be sure that you write a great description for all your pins and include any relevant keywords so that they are easily found in search.
Offer something tangible.
The goal of a social media marketing campaign is to get the word out there about what your business can do for people. However, sometimes you have to give in order to receive. By giving your audience something tangible and of value, it makes them feel appreciated, important and that their feedback matters – which are all keys to gaining the loyalty that comes with a dedicated fan base. You might hold a contest where everyone who re-pins a certain pin is entered into a drawing for a prize or a promotion where new followers will receive a discount of some sort.
As I said before, Pinterest can be an invaluable marketing tool for your business, but like any other tool – you’re only going to get out of it what you put into it. Be interesting, be informative and be engaging. Comment on other people’s things and re-pin their pins, too. Don’t feel like you have to ‘sell’ yourself to your Pinterest following all the time. Finding a happy medium between marketing and mingling is imperative to any successful social media marketing campaign.