You’re undoubtedly familiar with Pinterest, the hot social networking site that allows people to “pin” things that appeal to them online, as a sort of virtual billboard. The site has already grown to more than 23 million users, and it generates 1.7 billion page views each month.
The stereotype is that Pinterest is a wasteland of Martha Stewart-like recipes and crafts.
But the reality is that it’s also a fantastic tool that can help any business gain customers, whether you rent agricultural equipment, own construction companies, or knit baby bonnets for new moms.
Here are seven ways you can grow your business through Pinterest.
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Sponsor a Contest
Pinterest is a wonderful vehicle for contests. Come up with a particular theme to the contest, such as best recipe if you’re promoting a restaurant or best-decorated tractor if you sell heavy equipment. Invite people to pin their responses to your page and choose a winner. You can also promote the contest through other social media.
Make it a Virtual Picture Board
People love to see behind-the-scenes photos of a business. Make a board filled with photos of your employees, from fun events you’ve sponsored to company parties, and of all the products you offered.
Post a Catalog
If you sell things, Pinterest can become a virtual showcase for your goods. You can include pricing and ordering information with every photo, and best of all you can lay them all out for customers to peruse in one sitting.
Offer Lots of Special Coupons
On your own web site, coupons can often get lost in the clutter of contact information, business history and other information. But if you put up a special coupon board, you can update it weekly (or even daily!) with your very best deals.
Promote this option heavily on other social media, because people love coupons.
Create a Tutorial
Say you sell jewelry online. Create a virtual tutorial showing each step that you go through as you make a piece, which helps to de-mystify the creative process and makes your product more personal to your potential customers. Link pictures to the end product as well so that people can buy what they just “watched” you make.
Promote other Businesses
Don’t promote your competitors, of course, but link to other businesses that share like-minded customers to help you connect with new people. Be sure to personalize your link with a compliment.
Get Customers Involved
Ask your customers to post pictures of themselves with your products, then make a pinboard filled with their photos. This builds a personal connection to the user and shows that your products are in high demand from real people, always a valuable recommendation.