Why is Pinterest such a hot topic for businesses lately? It might have something to do with the mass amount of traffic it can send to your website, the ability to communicate and engage with fans, and the opportunity to extend your brand online.
Dependent upon the nature of your small business, you can potentially generate leads and ultimately sales with a solid Pinterest and social media strategy. Without any social media efforts, your business will have difficulty reaching new customers and getting the word out about your products or services.
As a small business, you can only reach so many people in your local area. Even if you live in a highly populated city, how feasible is it for you to reach everyone? With social media, it’s possible to reach a mass amount of people. Pinterest currently boasts over 70 million users. While this number may not stack up to Facebook, Twitter or even Google Plus, Pinterest users tend to have a higher rate of engagement.
Many well-known brands are taking advantage of Pinterest with the intent of extending their reach and interacting with both loyal and new customers. But you can’t let them have all the fun – your small business deserves just as much attention and interaction on Pinterest.
Our raw desire to share content with others dates back to when the first story was told. As humans, we constantly share stories, pictures, videos, music, jokes; the list can go on forever. Pinterest simply turns our stories into digestible (no, not physically) bits of visual content. These pins are quick snapshots of a blog post, video, article, website, and other types of content. The respective pin is then ‘pinned’ to a board with related pins.
When your small business is ready to start a Pinterest account and strategy, use these 5 steps to get started.
Step 1: Set Up Your Account
Nowadays, setting up a social media account is incredibly easy. Enter your name, email address, choose a password, and you are all set. Unfortunately, it is not that simple when setting up a business account. Instead, businesses must make sure that their brand is well represented through various aspects of their account.
When setting up your Pinterest business account, your brand image needs to be consistent throughout your account and in accordance with your other marketing materials. This includes having your logo prominently displayed as your profile picture, having an account void of spelling errors, and ensuring that all information is up to date.
The most important step when setting up your business Pinterest account is verifying your website. Accounts with verified websites are favored by users, as this tells them that you are indeed the owner of that website. This verification step ensures that you are the owner of your website and plan to use it as part of your Pinterest business account.
Step 2: Make Your Website Pinterest-Friendly
Once your account is set up, it’s time to make sure that your website is Pinterest-friendly. Since Pinterest is a visual online community, it is in your best interest to make sure that all of the images and content on your website (especially your blog!) are easily ‘pin-able’.
The Pinterest Business Center has a variety of resources available to small businesses like yours, including how to add the “pin” buttons to your website images. Many small businesses simply elect to have a Pinterest icon on their website, whether in the header or the footer. However, this only allows your website visitors to check out your Pinterest page and maybe follow your boards. When you add the pin button to your high quality blog images, it will allow blog readers to quickly pin your post and image to their personal boards, thus resulting in a link back to your business website. High five to that!
It’s best to have professional level, engaging images that entice visitors to pin your images. While you may favor grainy, iPhone images on your blog, I promise you that those images will not do well on Pinterest.
Step 3: Time to Strategize
While you may pin at your leisure with a personal Pinterest account, you cannot do so with a business account. Instead of pinning whatever sparks your fancy or catches your eye, your pins must have a purpose and be directly related to your business. Simply put, your Pinterest business page needs a strategy. Start planning your strategy by determining the following:
- The content of your introductory boards
- What influencers you plan to follow
- Do you need new images/content?
- When will you set aside time to pin and monitor the account?
- How much time will you devote to this social media account?
- Who will manage this account? You? Your social media professional? An intern?
While you should ideally spend only a few minutes each day actually pinning to your Pinterest account, it’s the content creation and engagement aspect of social media that takes a great deal of time. It’s best if you plan out what you want to pin, what day, and if you need to create said content.
In addition, you should create a list of influential Pinterest accounts you will follow. Examples of influential accounts include industry leaders, popular personal accounts, personal accounts with related pins, and other small businesses in your local area.
While you’re at it, decide who will be in charge of your account. Be sure to choose trustworthy individuals with excellent planning, time management and a knack for creativity.
Step 4: Create!
If you notice that you currently lack content to post (aside from re-pinning other accounts), you need to create your Pinterest content. Your content isn’t going to magically create itself! With Pinterest, you are not limited to writing a few blog posts, finding a great image and then pinning it.
Instead, think of creative and original ways to use Pinterest for your business. You can pin a video series demonstrating your various products or services. How about pinning a SlideShare informing pinners about the proper way to use your service or how they can complete a project with your product? You can even pin an infographic describing the many benefits associated with your brand, product or service. The possibilities are endless. Remember that whatever you happen to pin, or re-pin, it needs to be of great quality! No one likes a terrible looking pin.
Step 5: Engage Your Pinterest Audience
Now that you’ve got a strategy, content to pin and have built up an online audience, you need to engage with said audience. Be sure to:
- Comment on related pins and to users who comment on your pins
- Like other pins or boards
- Share (Re-pin) related pins and boards
- Tag users
- Use appropriate and relevant hashtags
- Respect the copyright of a pin and provide the proper credit
The last bullet point is the most important tip of all. You will be sharing original content, and so will others! Be sure to either respect their copyright or provide the proper credit when you re-pin. Do NOT steal pins, images, or other forms of content and claim them as your own. Not only is that illegal, it’s downright rude!
Continuous Social Media Effort
If you follow this 5 step plan for getting started on Pinterest, you’ll be on the road to social media success. However, you cannot complete the five steps and be done with Pinterest. Much like any other social media channel, you need to regularly monitor your account, contribute to your boards, interact with other users and entertain your audience.
You may be thinking, “I don’t have time for this. I have a business to run!”
And you are correct. Pinterest does require a significant time commitment. Instead of trying to juggle social media and running a business, trust the social media professionals at Titan Web Marketing Solutions with your Pinterest strategy!