Using Pinterest for Small Business Success
If you are a small business owner wondering whether you should get onto the Pinterest bandwagon, then the first question you should ask yourself is whether your business lends itself to visual representation. Pinterest is a hugely visual medium – you have photos and videos that can be used to create boards which can then be commented on, liked or repined by other users. You can also follow users or boards and in turn be followed as well. However, unlike a Facebook page which lends itself to be used as a powerful marketing tool by most small businesses, Pinterest is best used by small businesses focused on design, fashion, food or travel which are all great businesses which can be promoted visually. On the other hand, if you are a content writer, then Pinterest may not be the right platform for you. Of course, you can pin your blog images but that’s pretty boring, but you are better off spending your time and effort elsewhere.
Now, assuming that you run a small business that lends itself to visual promotion, here is a list of things to keep in mind to generate the maximum benefit from your Pinterest account.
Create Great Content
Original content created for quality & not SEO fodder is the first step towards garnering interest towards your offering. If you are a tour operator, create some great videos of the places which you offer tours to. If you are a boutique fashion shop, have pictures taken by a professional photographer and use them. If you are a graphic or website designer, throw up some of your best work and offer it for free. Don’t just throw up some junk for the sake of pinning it while screaming “Yes! I’m pinning”. You are pinning, but it’s not getting you anywhere. It’s all about quality!
Make use of the description space to link back to your website. If you are promoting a product, include the pricing details in the description. This will ensure that when your image is re-pinned, the link as well as the pricing details are also shared. It’s amazing how many people forget about this step. As an aside, this same step should be followed when posting your YouTube videos. There’s space in there to write so use it to market!
Describe the Experience, Not the Features
It is always more compelling to describe the experience than the features of your offering. Use the description space to generate a sense of aspiration for your product among the viewers. Viewers are more likely to visit your website after seeing a pin, if you manage to make them desire the experience rather than explain the product features. If you can afford it, get a professional ad copy writer, to create some good tag lines for your photos. For example, I may be posting a recipe for my mom’s famous Sloppy Joes but no one is going to re-pin it unless I really sell it.
Get Involved Actively
Like any social media platform, Pinterest also thrives on interaction. Make sure to comment on other pins which interest you and also respond to comments on your pins. Keep the conversation going and you will soon have a loyal fan following. You can even have deals created exclusively for your Pinterest viewers. Don’t be a selfish-pinner. You need to interact to get people over to your area. Who knows, you may even make a few business connections as well, that is as long as you adhered to steps 1, 2, & 3 otherwise no one will want to be your friend.
Don’t Be Too Self-Centered
Pinterest is all about sharing something of interest and if all you do is talk about your products then you will soon notice that you do not get much traction here. You must choose your other interests carefully. While some people may speak about pinning your competitor’s products as well, it is a better idea to promote complimentary products and not competition. For example, if you run a fashion boutique and deal only on clothes, then you can Pin some interesting accessories that can go well with your clothes. This will help you to give a more wholesome offering to your prospective customers without eating away your profits!
I hope you find the above tips useful. Since the idea of pinning is quite new, people aren’t yet knowledgeable enough about how to use it to get the most organic & SEO benefit. The site is not going to get you too much SEO juice at first but once you start sharing great content, you’ll get noticed. Have some other tips not covered above? Then drop some comments below!