If you don’t know already, I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I use it a bit as a hobby but mostly I’m interested in browsing to see what others pin and how they organize their pins. There is so much valuable marketing inspiration contained on Pinterest, you just have to go out and find it.
Tomorrow I have a post going live on Search Engine Watch that discusses using Pinterest as a way to conduct market research. One of the things I share in the post that I discovered, is what a wealth of information you can glean to help you improve your website using Pinterest. In the end I think I’ve narrowed it down to 4 key areas in Pinterest that can help inspire a website owner.
The sheer nature of Pinterest is enough to inspire a bit of a website upgrade. The site is so clean, sleek and modern that it’s easy and simple to browse. Additionally, the site’s magazine type layout and heavy photo focus is what appeals to many.
Using the categories as well as search function on Pinterest, you can conduct a bit of research to see the images and items in your niche or industry that are popular. Whether it’s instructographics and how tos to infographics and photos of products, each of these image asset types can be developed and used on your site. Pinterest may inspire you to start a gallery on your website and add additional image assets throughout your site.
I love looking at how users pin images and organize their boards. The board names themselves are hilarious, creative and often interesting. As a website owner, you can use the boards of users pinning posts on your site to help you organize content better. Maybe several users have pinned products on your site and added them to a board called “Graduation party ideas”. If you don’t already have items categorized into a list that is easy to find on your site during graduation season then you should – and users have already done it for you. Check out that board and see what other products and items are there.
Boards can also help you to understand how a user might categorize pages on your site and products as well. Seeing this data may inspire you to set up split testing with different navigation pathways for visitors or organize content differently in the future.
Many products are submitted to Pinterest and marketed by their owners. Often these are small business owners and they know a thing or two about marketing their products. Monitoring the Gifts section in Pinterest can give you ideas to improve the product offerings on your site and show you better ways to present your items.
If you carry an item that many others carry in order to be successful you need to make yourself stand out. Pinterest can help you to see what makes others stand out and eventually you may start to see a pattern in the information, a display style and color combination that really seems to work all because you saw it on Pinterest.
While the platform isn’t heavily comment based, there are still a lot of comments to read through and glean information for your online marketing purposes. Many users simply repin or like but don’t comment, sowhen they do you should listen. Start monitoring what users pin on your site, by going to pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com, and see what they comment on their pins.
A pin that might say “this would go well with” something else, or “I like this but in a different color”, can be used to pair a product with something else or improve a product offering on your site. Additionally the comments may shed some light on other competitors. Users are often asking each other where to buy the item in the photo. Those with the inside track will give little known places to purchase the item. These sites might be your competitors and are worthy of investigation.
Pinterest can be used for so many things, inspiration for your website is just one of them. How are you finding inspiration on Pinterest? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Pinterest now boasts more than 11 million unique monthly visitors. According to comScore, the average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month on the site. The visual bookmarking website also has a higher rate of engagement than Twitter. What do all these staggering stats indicate? That Pinterest is all set to become a major player in the social media arena in the coming years. If your business is not leveraging this online platform yet, you might be missing on potential opportunities to engage your target audience.
Before we delve deep into how you can get your business up and pinning on Pinterest, let’s have a look at the top ten categories on this site.
1. Home (17.2%)
2. Arts and Crafts (12.4%)
3. Style/Fashion (11.7%)
4. Food (10.5%)
5. Inspiration/Education (9.0%)
6. Holidays/Seasonal (3.9%)
7. Humor (2.1%)
8. Products (2.1%)
9. Travel (1.9%)
10. Kids (1.8%)
If you want to create your business presence on Pinterest before it’s too late, given below are seven tips that you can use.
#1. Set Up Your Profile
To get started, you need to create a profile on Pinterest. Since the social media site is still in beta-invite only mode, you can ask a co-worker, colleague or friend of yours to send you an invite. Once you receive the invite, you can register on the site and complete your profile information. While filling out the profile, you should include links to your business website and social media pages. You can also include the link to the RSS feed.
Since you’re using Pinterest for business purpose, you should select the profile picture carefully. Choose a picture that represents your brand or company so that consumers can easily identify who you are.
#2. Create Boards
After you’ve completed the profile section, it’s time to start creating boards. While creating boards on Pinterest, you need to think what’s significant to your business. Depending on your specific requirements, you can create multiple boards and name them appropriately.
If you’re in an interior design business, you can create boards like ‘home décor ideas’, ‘ideas for home’, ‘dream bathroom’ and ‘kitchen makeover ideas’ among others.
#3. Upload Items (and Grow Them)
Next, you need to add images to each of the boards that you’ve created. Add at least 6-12 items (images or pins) to every board. Be careful to choose only those images that can quickly grab the attention of the user. You can also add videos.
#4. Learn the Pinterest Etiquette
Now that you’ve a business presence on Pinterest, it’s time to have a closer look at the Pinterest etiquette. Pinterest is a thriving social community and you should always remember to abide by the community guidelines. Pinterest doesn’t support blatant self-promotion. Be authentic and treat other community members with respect.
Read the Pin Etiquette now.
#5. Follow Other Pinterest Users
In order to grow your business presence on Pinterest, you also need to follow other users. Following other Pinterest users, re-pinning and liking their pins is vital to spread the word about your own brand. You can also choose to comment on other people’s pins as well as respond to those that are left by users on your own pins. Re-pinning and commenting on your followers’ pins is indicative of the fact that you don’t excessively self-promote.
#6. Add the Pin-It Button to Your Website
You may have added different social media buttons to your website already. Add one more – the ‘Pin it’ button (grab the code here). Placing this button on your site makes it easier for visitors to pin your visual content.
#7. Run a Contest on Pinterest
Launching a contest on Pinterest is an excellent way of creating awareness about your brand and drive social momentum among the audience. Several small businesses have already launched different types of contest on Pinterest in the past few months. If you’re sure it’s something you need, you too can announce a contest on Pinterest to fulfill your business goals.
Make sure you launch the right kind of contest (Best Pinboard, Most Repins, Sweeptakes Entries etc).
Is your business on Pinterest yet? Please feel free to share your views and opinions.
Over the past few days I’ve done a bit of research for an upcoming post on SearchEngineWatch.com, brainstorming ideas on how brands can use Pinterest. In the end I found there are 5 or so industries that hands down should be using Pinterest for some of their social media marketing efforts. Whether it’s to help sell products or services, this new social networking site can be put to good use. Let’s examine these 5 industries.
When I first started exploring the site a few months ago my immediate thought was – wow this would be a great site for someone planning a wedding and that’s exactly what I’m using it for. My baby sister is getting married soon and as the maid-of-honor it’s my duty to keep her up on all the hip wedding trends, but when you live 1,000+ miles away that can be difficult. That’s where Pinterest comes in. She and I share our ideas on a board and look to other boards for ideas. Simple and painless – well sort of. This whole wedding planning thing is stressful!
Creating inspiration boards to establish your wedding style is all the rage. Imagine as a wedding dress designer, photographer, jewelry designer, event planner, caterer, baker, etc… using the site for something similar but to cater to your customer or prospects needs. Brides can repin your pins, click through to your website and purchase your products or services. Anyone in the wedding industry really should consider using Pinterest.
Arts & Crafts
If you’re in the business of selling handmade items or art then Pinterest is perfect for you! Similar to Etsy, Pinterest allows users to browse products in their gift category section. Upload your wares and start selling – but not through the Pinterest site. You’ll need your own storefront or Etsy shop in order to accept payments and deal with those details. Pinterest is just a way to showcase your talents and let others see the products you want to sell. Simply add “$” to the Pin description and Pinterest will place your content in the gift category, along with a nice banner illustrating the price of your item. It’s that easy!
The fashion industry is ripe with competition which makes it all the more important to have your style stand out. If you’re a clothing designer, stylist, clothing buyer, personal shopper, style editor or fashion blogger then Pinterest is perfect for you! The site allows you to show off your style in a clean and elegant way, which in turn can help you sell your own services or products. Connect with others that have similar styles and position yourself for opportunities to collaborate with others.
Travel & Hospitality
The travel and hospitality industry relies heavily on appearance. With Pinterest travel agents can set the mood for your next excursion by creating vacation inspiration boards full of fabulous pictures from the area or highlighting activities you can do when you get there. Additionally, a hotel could create similar inspiration boards, enticing web visitors to plan their next vacation. A spa might have photos of the area, activities around town, lodging and of course photos of spa services. It’s all about telling a story and Pinterest can help you do that if you’re in the travel & hospitality industry.
Last but certainly not least is the real estate industry. Selling a property takes a lot of effort, so why not make it easier on yourself by pinning photos of a featured real estate property? Take it a few steps further and pin photos of the area, the local school, areas of interest around town, community areas, or even pictures of possible upgrades the prospective homeowner can make to the home. Help to create a sense of what the home will look like after they’ve purchased it and prospective buyers can start to see themselves actually living there.
Well that makes 5 industries that should be using Pinterest. Have more to suggest to our readers? Add to the comments below!