Just when you thought you’d mastered Facebook for your business, another social media site, Pinterest, comes along vying for your time and attention. You may have been waiting it out, letting others test the waters first, but now you’ve heard other businesses are gaining traffic from it and realize,“There might be some value in Pinterest after all.” Ah, and right you are! Pinterest has become one of the fastest growing social networks and the “Pin This” button has even surpassed Facebook’s “Like” button for use on websites.
So you create a Pinterest account, but similarly to Facebook and Twitter, how do you gain followers and exposure? Here are 3 easy ways to establish your Pinterest presence and drive some of the millions of Pinterest users back to your website:
1. Add a “Follow” Button
The Pinterest “Follow” button is similar to the Facebook, Twitter, or other social media icons you may already have on your website. The idea is to grow the size of your network on Pinterest so that followers will visit your site and lead their networks there as well.
Adding/embedding a “Follow” button to your website is easy and you can get one, and the HTML code, directly from Pinterest.
2. Add Photos and “Pin it” Buttons
It may seem obvious, but people need (dynamic) pictures in order to easily share your content on Pinterest. You may have a lot of great photos on your website or in your blog and if so, adding “Pin it” buttons to them won’t take long. But, if your website is less visual, adding more images to your site will make it much more Pin-friendly. Here’s a berry-fresh example:
Driscoll’s is known for their berries. So, to keep things interesting and to add value, they share recipes that use berries (with mouth-watering photos) that can be easily shared on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.
3. Pin Often
Suggestions #1 and #2 are more passive ways to encourage Pinterest traffic. Now let’s talk about an active one! If you want more traffic from Pinterest, you have to give a little. Share your boards, pictures and interests with the community. The great thing about Pinterest is that people don’t have to be following you to see your pins and boards. They can see them by searching their interests or by what their network has liked or repinned.
Let’s take a look at what Century 21 Northland (a franchise of Century 21) has done on Pinterest, using a distinct personal touch.
There are many Century 21 franchises around the globe, but Century 21 Northland in Traverse City, MI, is one of the most active on Pinterest, with 590 Pins, 20 Boards, 111 followers and 578 likes.
What’s their secret? For starters, their boards include things that aren’t just related to real estate. They pin pictures and content and that appeal to the Pinterest audience – architecture, landscaping, fly fishing, retirement fun, and even wine tasting, to name a few. They share great photos with links to websites on these subjects, as well as repins from the people they follow. (Repinning is great for increasing engagement.)
People buy from those they trust and relate to. In the same way that salespeople connect and gain trust face-to-face, it’s now also happening online. Century 21 Northland is building that trust and community by sharing the things they love on Pinterest.
Find Balance with Your Pins
There are a few things that could enhance the Century 21 Northland Pinterest page even further, and you can do similar things for your business, too. One would be to add a board about the sales team, to give it a personal touch. I’ve seen other real estate pages do this by posting the agents’ photos linking to their webpages – it’s very eye-catching as people connect with to photos of other people. Another suggestion would be to add expert advice for buying a home or sharing some helpful resources, like school information.
While it’s great to relate to customers on personal levels using Pinterest, striking the right balance between entertainment and promoting your business is important, too. So whatever your core business is, write about it, attach a photo to it, and pin it! If you have white papers, guides, or webinars, this is a great place to share them. That’s how folks on Pinterest learn about what a cool and savvy company you are.
For any small business it can be a challenge to grow your followers and drive traffic to your site. So, when it comes to social media, you get out of it, what you put in, or in this case, what you pin.
Amanda Day is a Marketing Coach at VerticalResponse.