6 Tips for Marketing Your Small Business on Pinterest

6 Tips for Marketing Your Small Business on Pinterest

Did you know that Pinterest was named one of the fastest growing websites at the start of 2012? Pinterest is incredibly easy, fun and very addictive. However, believe it or not, Pinterest is more than just an image based website filled with crafty and cooking ideas. Pinterest is quickly becoming the next big social media site for users and businesses. This of course means that there is absolutely a marketing benefit for your small business!

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a new social bookmarking website that allows you to pin photos and videos of your own, as well as those found within the web. In addition to pinning items, you are able to seek inspiration from other users’ photos and pinboards as you browse within Pinterest.

The Basics of Using Pinterest

Before I jump into how Pinterest can benefit small businesses, it would be wise for me to first review some of the basics to the site and its operation.

Pinterest is Currently by Invitation Only

Starting a Pinterest account is fairly easy, once you have an “invitation.” To get an invitation, small business owners can either request one via Pinterest.com, or be invited from a friend that currently has an account.

Once invited, you can start pinning items to your boards.

6 Tips for Marketing Your Small Business on Pinterest

Pinterest Boards

Boards are a user’s personal collage of images and videos that they’ve pinned to their page. Boards are used to help users categorize their ‘pins’. For example, one user might have an entire board dedicated to their desert ideas, and another for kitchen décor ideas. In fact, it might be best to think of boards in the same way as those elementary school projects where students have to flip through magazines, cut out photos relating to a particular subject, and then paste them on poster board. Except, however, this is way cooler.

How to Find Images and Videos

Pinterest offers a search box in the upper left hand corner of the screen where users can perform searches on the things that interest them. By default, searches will be of ‘Pins’ (pictures and videos), but users can also search for specific boards or for other Pinterest users. Users need only specify which type of search, and Pinterest will modify their results accordingly.

6 Tips for Marketing Your Small Business on Pinterest

At this point, users can begin pinning or liking items, or even commenting on images or videos – all of which can be done very simply upon clicking the image/video they’re interested in. In fact, there are many things a user can do from this one screen.

6 Tips for Marketing Your Small Business on Pinterest

  1. Clicking either of these will repin this photo to a board that you select. You are also able to Like the photo from here.
  2. This is the site where the photo is linked to.
  3. Clicking the first two icons will allow you to post this image to your Facebook or Twitter accounts. You can also get the code so you can embed the image on your blog or website. You may also share the post via email. Lastly, if there is a problem with the image, you can report it to Pinterest here.
  4. Add your own comment to this pin here.
  5. Clicking the “Follow” link allows you to follow this person and all of their boards.
  6. Here is the information on the actual board where this item is currently pinned. If you choose to “Follow” here, you will be following this specific board, as opposed to all of the pinners boards.

Fun and Interesting Pinterest Facts

Now that you know the basics for using Pinterest, here are a few fun facts to know about the site in general.

  • Pinterest has over 10.4 million registered users.
  • Pinterest has 1.36 million visitors each day.
  • 68% of Pinterest users are female.
  • There are nearly 2 million Facebook users using Pinterest daily.
  • There are nearly 9 million Facebook users using Pinterest monthly.
  • Pinterest has more referral traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ combined.
  • Pinterest gained more unique visitors, faster than Facebook, YouTube or Twitter.

As one can imagine, Pinterest is an excellent way for small businesses to use social media and get their products and services known. Best yet, doing so is FREE and easy!

6 Tips for Marketing Your Small Business with Pinterest

Okay. Let’s assume you’ve created a Pinterest account for your small business, and you’ve pinned a few things. You’re probably wondering how can you further leverage Pinterest to help boost your online sales, right? Allow me to help you with that.

The following are 6 tips for helping you market your small business using Pinterest.

Complete Your Profile Information

After setting up a Pinterest account for their business, users should first begin by editing their profiles to include their website, location, and about information. Select profile information is then listed on the business’ main page, and is visible to all users who visit them. In addition, when selecting an image for your profile, its best to choose one that resonates well with your brand. Choosing a logo or another branded icon is best.

Pin Photos from Your Own Website

When pinning product photos, businesses should pin directly from their own website, as opposed to pinning from the manufacture’s website or uploading a photo from their computer. This will ensure that photos are linked back to the business’ website where interested Pinterest users can learn more and purchase if they should desire. Similarly, if someone unrelated to your company visits your website and pins a product that traffic will too be directed to your website.

Communicate with Followers and Pinners

Nothing pleases a Pinterest user more than receiving recognition for something they’ve pinned. Users enjoy knowing when something they’ve pinned is useful or liked by others. With that said, I recommend that businesses interact with the people that are taking the time to pin their products and ideas. Interactions can be as simple as saying “Thanks for pinning this. We appreciate it” or as complex as addressing one’s questions about a product. In fact, too many times I have seen a product pinned and someone comment “I love this, where can I get it”. This is a perfect opportunity for small businesses to reach out to interested Pinterest users and begin building a relationship.

Install the ‘Follow’ Button on Your Website

Through the “Follow” button, Pinterest makes it very easy for businesses to advertise their involvement on Pinterest. Pinterest’s “Follow” button is quite similar to the Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ buttons that you currently see websites use, and installing is as simple as copying and pasting the provided HTML code onto your site or blog. I encourage businesses to use the follow button as it alerts customers to the fact that they have a Pinterest account and entices them to click and see what’s been pinned.

Have Fun When Pinning, and Think Outside the Box

Even though businesses are business and are only interested in profiting from Pinterest, it doesn’t mean that those involved shouldn’t be having fun. In other words, don’t just pin images and videos of your products and services. Instead, get creative and try to pin things that your target audience might also appreciate. For example, if it wasn’t for Pinterest, would we ever have known that you could use Kool-Aid, Borax, and Baking Soda as dishwasher detergent should we run out? If I was in charge of either one of these company’s Pinterest campaigns, this is something that I would certainly pin.

Run Pinterest Only Promotions

Consumers love coupons and discounts, and businesses love improving sales and cheap, effective marketing. Small businesses should consider offering Pinterest followers a special discount or a coupon gift for following. In addition, businesses should also run contests to further promote their products on Pinterest. For example, businesses could select a “product of the month” and agree to give a few of them away each month to those Pinterest users who pin the product. This is a relatively cheap marketing strategy, and will help to build a company’s exposure on Pinterest.

So, What do I Do Now?

Now that you know the basics of Pinterest; and the ways that it can benefit your business, start putting these things to use. Keep an eye out for fun things to pin, as well as checking up on things you’re your site has been pinned for! Pinterest is an excellent marketing tool for you to take advantage of, plus it’s free, and I can only imagine it growing at this point!

Doneida Larsen

As a Pay Per Click account manager, Doneida has applied her strong background in online retail comparison and analysis to develop new marketing strategies. These strategies have helped our clients expand their businesses beyond their expected goals. Additionally, she has strong organizational skills that have helped us revamp and streamline our managing style for the better. Doneida enjoys spending her spare time with family as well as baking, crafting and other fun DIY projects.

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