In a land not too far away
Once upon a time in the land of social media lived a wonderful and creative small business owner. The first time she saw Pinterest with its beautiful images, she knew she had to find a way to get into that social program and meet her Pinterest Charming.
She asked the woodland creatures, “How do I use this new social network if I don’t have a pretty product or a cool gadget to sell?” They showed her some of the top Pinterest users to follow and pointed her towards several blogs that focused on how to use Pinterest for her business.
She trusted the furry wildlife as they were everywhere on Pinterest. She found them posing in cute-face pictures and some even became viral memes.
Below is the story of a service-based solopreneur who grew a Pinterest board that brings more traffic to her site than Facebook, Twitter and organic Google searches combined.
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Social Media with a Strategy
My top Pinterest board is called Social Media with a Strategy. At the time of this post, I have over 4,500 followers who have clicked the Follow Board button. I say ‘at the time of this post’ because every week I get anywhere from 10 – 30 new followers just to this particular board. This board’s followers grow on a daily basis.
So, how did I do this?
Strategy, my friends. I developed a Pinterest marketing strategy.
When it came time to create my pinboards, I wanted to do something that would show my followers who I am, what I do and how I could help them. With the exception of my new product the Strategy Builder workbook, the rest of my services is basically online marketing stuff.
I teach small business owners how to manage their social media and find ways to include social marketing into their already busy schedule.
Follow along with me, my fans in the Pinterest kingdom, and see the steps I use to keep this pinboard growing:
1. Finding my message
I love the idea that Pinterest allows us to follow boards that interest us. It makes the content in our home feeds focused on what we love and what we want to learn, read and see.
When I viewed my Social Media with a Strategy pinboard as its own destination, I needed to understand what the message would be behind the board. I decided to use the ideas incorporated in Social Media with a Strategy, my Free 12-Week Online Class.
I took the ideas from each week’s sessions and used those lessons as my guideline to finding and pinning my content. My message for this pinboard became this: A collection of ideas, how-to’s and articles to show you how to use social media programs to promote your small business online.
2. Using SEO for my pinboard
I didn’t want this to be another pinboard with social media marketing tips. But I also didn’t want to be too creative and name the board something that people can’t find.
I named the board Social Media with a Strategy like my online class because #1 – it gave my board some consistency with one of my top online social media programs and #2 – it had the words social media in it.
When you type in social media strategy into the Pinterest search function and click on boards, my pinboard pops up in the second place. Combine the number of followers and the number of pins I have on the board with the name of the board and that number one spot won’t be too hard to reach.
2. Content of my pins
With my message in my head, I started pinning. I wanted the pinboard to be a social media resource for solopreneurs. To get to that place, I became very selective about the information that I pinned.
I didn’t want this to turn into another board that only pinned infographics. While I dig a good infographic, how many people can say that they open an infographic when they want to learn how to develop their social media strategy? Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too.
Most people will find an article or pull up a blog post they saved when they’re ready to walk through some steps. They’ll read it again and again and grab whatever nugget of information that they need from it.
I wanted my pinboard to be that place where people can go when they’re looking for information to help them with their social media marketing.
I run searches for specific social media content on Pinterest to pin on this board. And when I’m doing my research for a project, I’ll pin new content if I find an article to be pin-worthy.
3. Pinning my pins
My pins fall into one of these categories:
- Social media content that shares information to help small business owners.
- Inspirational quotes about running a business by yourself – some days you need some words to remind you why you get up every morning and turn that laptop on.
- Social media humor – who couldn’t use a laugh to brighten their day?
If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ll notice that I never do a pindump to this board. I have certain criteria for each pin and I truly think that’s one of the reasons this board has grown faster than any of my other boards.
I look for the following things before I pin:
1. Believe or not, I read almost every article that gets pinned to that board. I check to make sure the links work and I’m not sending you to a spam page.
Plus, I want to make sure that the information is relevant and valuable to the reader. It makes no sense to pin something from 2007 that doesn’t even mention social media as a marketing tool. How will that help you?
2. I like engaging images and can tell which ones will be shared. Even if it’s not my content (and yes, I do pin my own blog posts) and something gets shared from my board, it leads back to my pinboard.
Pinterest is just like any other social network that allows you to see where the content came from, giving you an opportunity to connect with more followers.
3. Does the pin answer the question, “Is this helpful information and gives the reader specific steps to solve a problem?” Asking this question helps me to remember the message of this pinboard. It wouldn’t make sense for someone to follow this board and suddenly they see pins for how to design a website.
I hope these tips help you grow your Pinterest boards. I know for a fact that they work and not just because I’ve watched the number of my followers grow. From the time I started typing this post to the time I finished, five more people just followed my Social Media with a Strategy board.
Photo credit: Castle Door