If you’re looking for new opportunities to grow your business and expand your reach, one of the ways you can achieve this goal is through marketing on social media. While Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have this status of social networks businesses are most likely to turn to, there are other social networks that are often overlooked yet so much worth exploring. One of those is Pinterest.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a social network that allows saving content to virtual collections called Pinboards, or shortly, Boards. It’s great for discovering new content through images and videos posted on the platform. According to the official website, it’s estimated that Pinterest has over 170 million users. What is unique about its demographics is the fact that most studies show that over 70% of those users are women, which is why the network is also known as mom network.
How does Pinterest work?
Like with any other network, you start by creating an account. There are two types of accounts:
Although both types of accounts have similar features at this point, business accounts have access to Pinterest Analytics and will get updates about future products for businesses. In general, Pinterest encourages users who plan to use the network for business purposes to make a business account and agree to the terms of service which are different from those provided for the personal accounts. You’ll also need a business account if you are planning to create and publish ads on Pinterest. If you already have a personal account, no worries – you can easily convert it to a business account.
A page you’ll see by default is the home feed showing the latest content published by Pinterest users you follow. A large search bar is on the top, while additional options are in the top right corner. This is where you’ll find an option to access your profile and adjust all the settings. You can upload your picture, provide information such as location, website, and connect other social network profiles. One of the options also allows discovering new content through customized suggestions or by browsing available categories. You’ll also see notifications which include personalized suggestions and messages. All of this helps you personalize your account, provide more information about your business and discover new content through the network.
People use Pinterest to share, discover and save ideas. The content is organized in Boards through which you save Pins. Every piece of content is represented by a Pin, and it includes an image, a description and a link back to the online source. Essentially, boards cluster the content based on the related ideas and they basically represent a topic. Boards can be public or secret.
In terms of businesses, you can create Boards for each product category, seasonal topics, etc. By adding Pins to each Board, you’ll share the image of the product and link back to your website, where Pinterest users can find more information and eventually buy from you.
The interaction on Pinterest works like this. People who find new content can:
- Share content on other social networks or send in an email
- Like a Pin by clicking on the heart symbol
- Mark they tried it and leave a note
- Embed Pin
- Report Pin
- Save pin to existing board or create a new Board for that Pin
- Click on the link to find out more
- Leave a comment
- Tag a person using @ symbol
Types of Pins
Rich Pins is the term used to describe Pins that offer additional information about the link thus providing a richer experience. There are several types of Rich Pins.
- Article – Article Pins share the page that contains the original story. They include the headline, the author, and the story description.
- Product – Product Pins include pricing, availability, and location where the users can purchase the item. These Pins provide information about the products. They’re linked to the product landing page.
- Recipe – Recipe Pins allow posting all the information about the recipe without the need for users to click on the link and leave Pinterest to see the recipe. These Pins include ingredients, cooking times and serving information.
- Place – These Pins include a map with other helpful information, such as a phone number, an address or store hours.
- App – These Pins enable quick app download.
Picked for you Pins are suggestions for you. Pinterest sometimes recommends Pins for you based on the Boards you have created or based on the Pins you have saved earlier.
Buyable Pins contain product information just like product Pins. However, the main difference is that with Buyable Pins, Pinterest users can directly buy without leaving the app.
Promoted Pins are paid Pins shown where users would be most likely to notice them.
How to use Pinterest?
Now that we’ve highlighted the basics, it’s time to focus on how you can actually use Pinterest to promote your business.
Personalize your account
The first and the most important task is personalization of your account. Provide as many details as possible to the Pinterest users. Have in mind that the users can connect with you by following your account, so make sure your presentation encourages them to do so. Next, you should connect other networks that you’re using. This enables Pinterest users to follow you on other networks as well. Personalization of the account also increases the level of credibility and trust in you as a Pinterest user, resulting in better performance.
Add “Pin it” button to your website
You’ve probably seen this option so many times on the internet. You hover over an image and you see a little red Pinterest button asking you to Pin that content.
Well, this is done by enabling a Pin button on your website. What you need is a widget builder, which will create a code for you. You’ll then copy the code to your website page where you want the button to appear. Besides a Pin button, other website widgets available include:
- Save button
The purpose of using these buttons is to invite website visitors to share your content on social media thus increasing its viral potential. One click and they’re instantly sharing with their friends and followers on social media. These widgets can also help you increase the level of engagement and interaction on social media, as you’ll be encouraging the website visitors to join you on a particular social media, in this case, Pinterest.
Plan activities for Pinterest
Other than sharing product information, Pinterest can be used for all sorts of interesting activities that can engage your followers and indirectly promote your brand. Here are a couple of ideas:
The network is perfect for creating all sorts of lists, such as a reading list, a top ten list, etc. Simply create a new Board and share the most useful ideas related to that specific list. Some of the viral topics could be “top 10 Christmas presents”, “best books to read this summer”, “15 chicken recipes you need to try out”, etc. The topics should be related to your niche. This is the opportunity to share quality content with your followers, but make sure you include your own content as well. Have in mind that lists, in general, are one of the content formats people are most likely to share (Source).
If you sell products through Pinterest, this is an excellent chance to show them off in a less intrusive way. Social media users love gift guides, especially if those are theme oriented. For example, “top 10 gifts for men”, “best baby shower gift ideas”, “vintage birthday presents”, etc. would all be cool ideas to try out. Of course, you’ll include your own products, and, if possible, use Buyable Pins option to enable a quick and easy purchase.
Collaborate with your team
For this activity, it’s advisable to create secret Boards which will only be visible to the team members. The idea is to create a topic of common interest and then share relevant ideas. This way you can plan team gatherings, holiday parties, get ideas for the new projects or redesign your office. Depending on your business, this doesn’t have to be for team members, but for your customers as well. For example, if you have a children’s daycare, you can create a secret board for parents whose kids attend the daycare to discuss class ideas or other related topics.
Secret Boards can also be helpful for organizing events, such as baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You’ll need to create a Board devoted to this event and then you’ll invite the participants to share their ideas through Pins. This way you can share gift ideas, venue decor ideas, invitation mock-ups, etc. Furthermore, you can organize giveaways and competitions in a similar way.
Define a strategy
When you start using Pinterest with the goal of promoting your business, you’ll need a strategy that will help you define your approach and the way you’re going to use the network. This includes:
- Choosing the content you’re going to publish
- Featuring compelling images (pay attention to Pinterest image sizes)
- Making your content discoverable by using Pinterest categories
- Pinning about your customers to get them interested
All along, your goal is to get your content discovered and to encourage the Pinterest users to interact, by Pinning your content, clicking on the link, buying, etc. You’ll accomplish this by:
- Sharing high-quality content
- Being active on the network
- Focusing on your customers and their needs
- Exploring advertising as an additional option to promote your business
Keep an eye on the statistics
It’s very important to keep an eye on the statistics and check if there is any need to alter your social media strategy. As a content sharing platform, Pinterest can help you a lot with learning more about your content strategy and how you can refine your content shared on Pinterest to increase its performance. Pinterest Analytics are available for business accounts and show details about links, comments, repins, etc.
Find out more about Pinterest Analytics from this tutorial: Pinterest Analytics.
Advertising on Pinterest
The main reason for using advertising on Pinterest is to increase reach. By increasing traffic, you ideally promote your products, increase click-through rate and thus increase the percentage of conversions. Additionally, Pinterest is great for creating brand awareness and building influence online because it enables users to follow you, as well as to like or share your content. All of this is used to show appreciation and support for your business. Besides organic reach from sharing content, there’s always a possibility to boost the content performance by paid advertising.
There are two options for advertising on Pinterest. You’ll need a business account for both.
Promoted Pins is the first option, in which case the ad is seen as a regular Pin. However, when you promote a Pin this helps with reaching more online users. When someone saves a Pin you promoted, other people can see this Pin in their feeds. Pinterest reports that advertisers receive an average of 20% more free clicks which result from users casually sharing the Promoted Pin.
Goals when promoting a Pin can include:
- Traffic campaign
- Engagement campaign
- Awareness campaign
Promoted Pins are available in certain countries only. For more information, check out official Pinterest guide about Promoted Pins. To create a Promoted Pin campaign, you’ll use Pinterest Ads Manager.
Buyable Pins is the second option through which you can promote your products. You need to apply through your shopping platform partner after which your application has to go through a review process to make sure your products follow Buyable Pin standards. To find out more on how to apply and what happens after you get accepted, check out the article about selling on Pinterest.
If you want to find out more about Pinterest advertising and how to get the most out of it, here’s a useful read: 10 tips for successful Pinterest advertising.
Like most popular social networks, Pinterest’s main potential is in its large community, which represents a portion of online users you can reach through establishing your presence on this social network. The network in one part of your efforts to promote your business online. To make sure it’s really yielding results, always follow the statistics and monitor the performance of the content shared on Pinterest. Apart from analyzing the performance of your Pinterest strategy, this will also help with evaluating your content or products shared through the network. Ultimately, all the feedback and data you gather will help you spark new ideas and open up opportunities for your business to evolve.