This post was previously published on the Fortune Marketing Company blog.
At first glance, Pinterest can befuddle. To the new user it appears to be nothing but a screen of random photos. The experienced, however, see it as an elegantly designed photo-sharing site optimized for planning and inspiration.
Pinterest is a powerful social media tool for small businesses, increasing brand recognition, website traffic, and sales.
The statistics are phenomenal:
- By 2011, Pinterest drove more traffic to retailers than LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+
- 81% of U.S. women who spend time online trust Pinterest for information and advice
- 70% of those on Pinterest use it for purchasing inspiration
- The average Pinterest user has a household income of over $100,000
Pinterest is undeniably a muscular business tool. But, how do you apply it?
Four Steps to Leveraging Pinterest for Your Business
1. Make Your Business Visual
Document your products, services, and staff with your smart-phone camera, or hire a professional photographer or videographer. Then use those images to promote your business on Pinterest.
Create boards to showcase your company’s before and after photos, how-to information, case studies, and reviews.
Develop a special offer just for your Pinterest followers, like a coupon or free report.
2. Know Your Target Market
Pinning photos and videos about your services and products is just the beginning of leveraging Pinterest for your business. The next step is to create boards highlighting your target market’s other interests.
If you’re representing a flooring company, as an example, begin with boards that feature hardwood, tile, and carpet. Next, create boards on dream homes, remodeling, design ideas, house cleaning tips, organization, recipes, or whatever will draw your target market to your site.
Researching your target market will help you create a successful Pinterest strategy specifically, and an overall marketing strategy in general.
3. Drive Traffic to Your Website
Write content for your website on the topics you have chosen. This can be blogs, articles, reports, FAQ’s, or videos. After you post that content on your site, upload the featured image to Pinterest. Even better, include the name of your content on the image, like this example:
Make sure you include keywords, descriptions, and hashtags in your board titles. Verify your website with your Pinterest account by going to your Pinterest Settings page and clicking on the Verify Website button. This will increase your Pinterest’s profile credibility and trust with your followers.
4. Remember, Pinterest is Social
Pin consistently and pin during peak times. Just as with all marketing platforms, to be effective, you must use Pinterest consistently. Scheduling software such as Sendible.com is a convenient way to schedule your pins in advance. Because most people suggest pinning 3 to 10 images a day, pre-scheduling pins allows you to consolidate your marketing time.
Pinterest users are most active in the evenings and on weekends. Schedule the majority of your pins for those times.
Putting the power of Pinterest to work for you is an amazing way to build your business. Remember, though, that advertising yourself 24/7 gets tiresome for your followers. Therefore, when you pin, blend content from both your own site and other business sites.
Social media is social – engage with your followers. Share pins from their boards, comment on their pins, and thank them for sharing yours.
Posting your business on Pinterest is a great way to increase your brand recognition, website traffic, and sales. In four steps, you can be successful on Pinterest: be visual, know your target market, create content on your website, and be social.