Chances are you’ve heard of Pinterest. Since launching in 2012, it’s been growing its social media presence slowly these few years, surpassing 10 million users faster than any other stand-alone site in history.
In order to understand how Pinterest can help your business; you must first understand its role in social media. It is a visual social network, built around sharing and engaging visual content such as images and videos. Alernative visual social networks that you may be familiar with is Instagram, however Pinterest works in an entirely different way to Instagram. Pinterest works as an online pinboard, where users ‘Pin’ images onto however many boards they like, which they create on their profile page. Instagram, however, relies on the the user generating the content; Pinterest has an emphasis of building boards made from other makes it other users (‘RePin’) as well as from websites external to Pinterest itself.
From personal experience, I would argue Pinterest is one of the most effective ways to form a brand for your business. Arguably, any business can succeed and benefit from creating a Pinterest for Business account, regardless of what type of business they are. Visual content is one of the main ways that businesses can catch a user’s attention, and sharing images and videos is well known to create more of an interest in your brand, rather than solely relying on written content. As Pinterest is based on visual content sharing, this makes Pinterest a highly valuable medium for your business to expand.
But how do you use Pinterest effectively? Here are 4 easy tips on how to succeed with Pinterest, and how it can help increase your business’ brand and customer awareness.
1 Create Unique Boards (Relating to Your Brand)
First off, you must create boards that relate straight back to your website and business. Particularly, create boards designed to simply Pin fresh content from your own website, such as blog articles and updates, as well as other boards that inform users of your services and current offers.
Having sorted out these mandatory boards, it is time for you to get creative with your boards. Currently, the Pinterest limit for the number of boards you can have is 500 with the maximum number of Pins being 200,000, meaning it is highly unlikely that you’ll go overboard (pun intended). In effect, you can create as many boards as you fancy!
However, it is paramount to stick to your brand image. Think about what sort of content and features your ideal client and customer base would be interested in, and make sure to include and share such content. Also, always work towards having a funny or quirky board to reflect back on your brand. For example, with Bright Yellow Creative’s own Pinterest account, we have created a board entitled “The Brightest of Yellow”, which simply RePins fun objects and images coloured in our favourite bright yellow hue. So, think about something that is unique to your brand and business, and go with it.
Also, always remember that your board titles and descriptions are searchable on Pinterest. Get creative with your board title, but make sure it utilises searchable keywords. Make sure you also write a description for each of your boards, including searchable hashtags, and be as specific as possible about what each particular board contains, making easier for users to find your content in their searches.
2 Pin Strategically, and Create Fresh Content
As I’ve mentioned, it is not paramount to create your own fresh content for Pinterest. However, it is always useful to try and create original content to Pin. You can also brand each image or video with a watermark of your business name, which works to develop your brand. With RePinning other users’ content, you must be careful of their links and copyrighted images, as it is considered unethical to unlink the source when you RePin.
This does not mean that RePinning isn’t useful, as it is always beneficial to share other users’ content. This creates interest and alerts other users, relating to your business, about your brand. However, with RePins it is not possible to link back to your website and utilise branding, so make sure to generate as much fresh content as possible, in order to create greater chance for a referral from Pinterest to your website. The more information about the source that you put onto your original Pin, the more longevity it will have for brand awareness.
With regards to Pinning strategically, it is also important to space out your Pins appropriately. It is so tempting to simply Pin as much as you can when you can, but this is just dumping all of your Pins at once, leaving giant spaces between when you Pin. In order to avoid this, we suggest that you simply take a few minutes per day to Pin, which creates regularity and continuity within your Pinterest account. It is also possible to utilise a tool to schedule and time your Pins, however finding a free and effective one may be difficult at this present time.
3 Drive Traffic to Your Site and Other Social Media
As with every social media channel, it is paramount to link them altogether and cross-promote throughout. Make sure this is no different with your Pinterest account: linking to your Facebook, Twitter, etc through your Pinterest, and vice versa. This assures that all of your followers are following you through every medium possible, and ensures that more traffic is being driven to your business website.
It is important to ensure you have your correct website linked and listed along with all of your company’s information on your Pinterest profile. Pinterest makes it possible to verify your website, which leads to the creation of a tiny verification tick next to the web link on your account. This improves brand authority, and gives an authenticity to your Pinterest accout. It is possible to do this through a plugin via your website’s coding, which can be added by your website designer if you are unsure of how to do this yourself. Also ask your website designer to add a plugin button for Pinterest on your website, which is usually bundled with your other social media accounts.
Additionally, with Pinterest, it is possible to include a hover “Pin It” button, which appears when users move their cursors over the images on your website. This creates a function where they can Pin your image content to their Pinterest, straight from your website. You may have noticed this feature before, as many websites now do this, and it acts as a great visual prompt for people to use Pinterest. The button is easy to utilise, however your website designer can also help you with its installation.
4 Be Social, Use It, and Follow!
Finally, the last step is to always remember to just be social and follow others! Pinterest is ultimately a social media network, and relies on you being social and connecting with other users, in order to create brand awareness. Use your Pinterest account daily if possible, and try to follow as many relevant users and similar businesses as you can. Create relationships with main Pinterest influencers in your business field, as this creates more of an authority and trust in your brand.
Bear in mind that it isn’t just your main Pinterest account that drives traffic to your website, as each individual Pin has potential to generate traffic and interest in your business and brand. Try to update as often as you can, without simply Pinning for the sake of it. Remember to utilise hashtags and keywords, and attempt to create a large following and user base for your account. Start following people, and notice the amount of followers you incur will increase.
If you use your Pinterest efficiently and effectively, you will soon see the gains reflected back in visitor numbers to your website. You can track just how many specific Pinterest referrals you gain by using Google Analytics with your website. Another fun way to tell how successful your Pins are becoming is to use the Pinterest count tool, through which you can input the URL for a specific Pin, the tool then showing you the number of times that has been Pinned and RePinned within Pinterest.
So, start trying out these tips today and see how they benefit you. Create and develop your brand, and make Pinterest work for your business!