5 Steps to Getting Started on Pinterest
You may be wondering how pinning pretty pictures on a virtual board can help you grow your business?
With 11 million users and counting, Pinterest is the third most popular social media site in the U.S, according to Mashable. It’s also right behind Twitter and more popular than Google + in driving website referral traffic.
And website visitors means more opportunities to convert prospects into paying customers. Plus, with the addition of Pinterest business-specific accounts, this ought to tell you there’s a heck of a lot more on the site than felting techniques and bridal eye candy.
Bottom line, it’s time to give Pinterest (for your business) a serious whirl.
1. Create your Pinterest business account
To create a free Pinterest business account, go to business.pinterest.com. (You can also convert your Pinterest personal account to a business account).
Choose a business category, enter your business name and website URL.
Filling out the ”About” section of your profile is key. Make it inspiring and thoughtful. Use keywords your ideal customer would use in a search. For example: Marin County native plant landscaping or native plant landscaper in Marin; or Mac repair in Grand Haven, PC repair in Grand Haven, etc.
Now, upload your logo or a pic of yourself. For ideal results, use a square image that’s at least 165×165 pixels.
Next, verify your website so that people see the full URL on your profile and in search results.
When you log into your account for the first time, you’ll be asked to choose five boards to follow. Choose categories and boards that relate to your business and interests. These are fellow pinners and potential followers.
It’s all about building your Pinterest tribe—and your business.
2. Pin to turn followers into customers
The cool thing about Pinterest is that your boards are what you make them. Create a board for any topic, categorize it and give it a cool name.
Install the Pin It bookmarklet (get it at https://pinterest.com/about/goodies/) onto your browser. This button lets you quickly pin content from your site and other sites directly into your boards. You can also pin images from your computer, by clicking “Add” on the top-right toolbar on Pinterest, and follow the instructions.
What to pin, what to pin…
If there’s a rule of thumb for what to pin it’s this: Make your pins fun, inspiring and informative. (Jpg, png, and gif files only, though).
- Pin product images. If you offer a service, pin pictures of people using your service. Include a call to action, i.e., “Learn how to do this.” Pins with a call to action have an 80% higher engagement rate!
- Pin or repin. This is when you share pins from boards you follow which includes relevant third-party content, not just your own.
- Be trendy. Pins relating to trending topics on Pinterest have a 92% click-through rate. Search Pinterest’s “Popular” category and tailor your pins according to the hottest trends. Also pin random stuff you just think is cool!
- Price your pins. Don’t hold back; pins that include prices (for products or services) get 36% more likes. And, if you mention the price in your pin description, Pinterest automatically generates a price banner.
- Have a contest. Create a “Pin it to Win it” contest that challenges entrants to create boards around themes that relate to your business (have them pin products from your own site as well). Are you a top bridal consultant? Conducting a “Dream Wedding Pin It To Win It” contest might do the trick to promote your top package. Check out pinterest.com/pinchat/contests-on-pinterest/ for tons of Pinterest contest ideas.
- Be a resource. Do it yourself (DIY) and tutorial pins have a 42% higher click-through. If you have how-tos, instructional tutorials, or DIY content on your site, blog, or YouTube channel, pin it!
Repins are where rubber meets the road.
When Pinterest users re-pin your images to their own boards, or “like” your pins, your business and brand start to make a real mark.
Pinterest is made up of 80% re-pins compared to Twitter’s 1.4% in re-tweets. So, before you decide what to pin, consider what’s most re-pinnable.
3. Follow the rules of the pinning game
- Be real and be inspiring. Pinterest is an expression of you and your business. Don’t be afraid to show your personal side. Pin your passions and interests along with the business stuff.
- Link pins back to their original source. The “Pin It” button automatically grabs an image’s source link, crediting the original publisher. If you repin something from another board, click the pin to make sure it links back to a legitimate website. If not, report it or leave a comment.
- Pin in a timely fashion. Conventional wisdom says to pin between 2-4 pm or between 8 pm-1am (perfect if you tend to burn the midnight oil). Bit.ly, the URL shortening company, swears by the success of Saturday morning pins. Experiment with your own pinning timeframes. Use the Pingraphy bookmarklet (pingraphy.com/welcome) to grab images and schedule your pins during different times.
- Build your brand with your words. Write concise and conversational pin descriptions. And, use humor—researchers say it boosts learning and info-recall.
- Pin on popular boards (if they’re open to everyone). These boards tend to have high subscriber numbers, and will expand the reach of your brand.
4. Show us the SEO love
Search engines love unique content. Pinterest, with its massive following and original content, is the place to practice good search engine optimization (SEO).
- Use the Pin It button (get it at pinterest.com/about/goodies). The Pin It button is a must-have for your website or blog. It lets people share your content on their Pinterest boards, linking their followers back to your site.
- Build backlinks into your pins to boost your SEO rankings. Backlinks occur from links included in captions and other info on your Pinterest posts.
- Use keywords in your “About” profile, content and pins to help increase your Pinterest page rank when your prospects search.
- Build community. If someone follows you, follow them back. Comment on, like, and repin their images. This will encourage them to like you back. The bigger and more active your Pinterest community, the more exposure for your biz.
- Integrate. Add Pinterest social sharing buttons to your blog, email campaigns and/or website. Ask Facebook, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn fans to follow you on Pinterest. Tweet your pins and share them on Facebook.
5. Do the numbers
Like any social media platform, Pinterest has metrics: Number of repins, likes, etc. Want to see what people are pinning from your own site? Just go to your Pinterest source page (pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com).
All of this juicy info can help you plan strategic pinning campaigns!
One last final tip to keep you and your followers engaged:
Download the Pinterest app onto your iPhone or Android. When you’re running around town and see something cool, snap a pic and pin it!
Wishing you and your business mega-pinsuccess!