How to use Pinterest to grow your businessBy Andreea Ayers | Sep 20, 12 09:04 AM
It's very addictive; so here's how to spend hours on Pinterest that will prove valuable
It may seem like there’s a new social site every month, but one that’s definitely here to stay is Pinterest.
Consider this: TechCrunch recently published exclusive numbers from comScore that show Pinterest topped 11 million unique monthly U.S. visitors, making it the fastest site to ever cross the 10 million mark. To grab a piece of the action, you need to set up your Pinterest account today!
Your first step is to set up your account. Register using your business name to help customers and fans find you easily, and use the same email address you use for Twitter. This will let you link your accounts so you can Tweet your pins with one click. Use your company logo or a photo of one of your products as your avatar, and don’t forget to write a short attention grabbing description.
The next step is to start pinning. A pin is an image you share with your followers. Each pin should include a descriptive title, an imaginative description and a link to a website with more information. Pins are collected on pinboards, which are thematic collections of pins, or shared images.
Craft engaging pinboards that educate and entertain to win followers
When it comes to social media marketing, the less marketing you do, the better. Research shows that tutorials, DIY projects and recipes have a 42% higher click through rate than other pin types, so concentrate your efforts on sharing information, not selling.
Choose themes that can incorporate your products, without being entirely about them. For example, if you sell surf wear, choose themes like the world’s most beautiful beaches and surf board art, or boards that teach beginner skills like how to stand up on a surf board the first time.
Browse Twitter and Facebook to see what your followers on those networks are sharing and build boards that will appeal to your target market.
Pinterest users can follow other users, or just their pinboards, so maximize your pinability by choosing catchy names for your boards. Instead of naming a board “summer t-shirts,” try “Fun in the sun with summer Ts.”
As you expand your pinboards and post new material, share your pins on your Facebook and Twitter accounts to help those who already follow your business find you easily.
Now it’s time to build a following. First turn to your existing social networks, your newsletter subscribers and your real-time social network of family and friends. Invite your fans to follow you on Pinterest, and give them a taste of what they’ll see by sharing your pinboards. For extra exposure, add your Pinterest URL to your email signature and any profiles you have on message boards or other websites.
The last step is to engage. Find likeminded businesses and users to follow on Pinterest. Introduce yourself by commenting on their pins and show them you appreciate what they have to share by repining (or sharing their pins on your own pinboards).
Look for opportunities to share your knowledge by answering questions and helping to solve problems other users post about. For example, if a user has posted an image of a product they’re seeking and you know where to find it, pin a link to help them out.
Make your business one people can’t resist pin by optimizing your website and blog for Pinterest
Choose large, well lit images for your website and blog to make your web presence instantly shareable. For blog posts, experiment with images featuring call to action text to offer users something worth sharing.
You can also use your blog to build activity on your Pinboards by inviting readers to share their own photos of your product on your boards. Offer a Pinterest-fans only discount or host a contest to excite your readers and get them involved.
Pinterest provides both a follow button you can post on your website and a pin-it button you can post on each product you sell online. Using the pin-it button makes it easier for people browsing your website to share your products with their networks.
I’d love to hear how you use Pinterest for business, or answer you Pinterest questions. Share yours in the comment section, and don’t forget to include your Pinterest URL.
Andreea is a serial entrepreneur who currently blogs at www.LaunchGrowJoy.com. She helps entrepreneurs with a product line get their products in stores and in magazines. She is also an expert on using Pinterest to grow your business. Sign up for her free Pinterest webinar at www.pinterestadvantage.com/webinar