Pinterest is about more than just sharing fun pictures with the rest of the world. It can also work as a powerful marketing tool for small businesses. If you think creatively, you can make Pinterest work for you.

1. Use Great Images to Drive Traffic to Your Website

great images drive pinterest trafficImage via Flickr by Muffet

Before Pinterest, SEO gurus could choose good keywords to boost website traffic. Good keywords are still important, but Pinterest has made high-quality images equally important.

By putting awesome images in your content and pinning those pictures to Pinterest, you encourage people to visit your website. It’s a simple strategy that can work wonderfully for small businesses.

2. Grab Attention with Keywords

Keywords also play an important role in helping people find images on Pinterest. If you choose poor keywords, people will have a hard time finding relevant images that link back to your site.

Make sure you take advantage of every keyword opportunity. When you create a Pinterest profile, use your small business name. That will help people find the images that you post.

You should also tag your images with alluring, evocative keywords. If your business sells natural beauty products, you might want to use phrases such as “luxurious bathing” or “relaxing fragrance.” Make it pop!

3. Encourage Re-pinning

If you post random pictures on Pinterest, you might get a few people who see those images. But the views won’t grow quickly.

That’s because you’re not encouraging people to re-pin your pictures. Pinterest is another form for social media, just like Facebook and Twitter.

Like those other platforms, you get the most exposure when people want to share content with their friends. If someone takes your image and pins it to her wall, you’ve just reached a whole new audience. If that person’s friends do the same, then your influence has started to grow exponentially.

That’s why it’s so important to post images that people will love. The more they love them, the more they will want to share them.

4. Get Followers and Keep Them

pinterest pinsImage via Flickr by AJC1

Pinterest can do a lot of marketing work for you, but that doesn’t mean you get to sit back and take it easy while technology boosts your website’s sales. No, you have to commit to your Pinterest profile by getting followers and keeping them.

Let’s say you pinned a few interesting photos last month. They got some attention and now you have followers who want to see what else you have for them. You have basically made a promise to those followers that you will have more pictures for them. If you can’t follow through (or you just get too lazy to follow through), then you will lose those followers.

If you’re not ready to commit to using Pinterest, you should seriously consider whether you want to start a profile. A dead profile might as well not exist. You have to keep adding material to make Pinterest work for you.

What are some other strategies that small businesses can use to make Pinterest work for them? What are some strategies that backfire?