March 17, 2014

10 tips on using Pinterest for your small business

Pinterest-images
Image by Nito courtesy of BigStockPhoto

Target audience: Small businesses, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, analytics managers, brand managers, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers.

Guest post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotkaPinterest is for more than recipes, home decorating, and DIY crafts. This unique social media network now has more than 70 million registered users, with 70 percent of them in the United States. Bottom line: Pinterest is a great platform for promoting your small business.

If you’re not familiar with it, Pinterest is an image-based site where posts are called “pins” and consist of images with short captions. At its heart, the site is a huge, interconnected online corkboard where users can share the things they enjoy.

Here are 10 tips for marketing your small business on Pinterest.

Plan out your brand

1Before you create your Pinterest business page, you should have a strategy in place for how you’ll use it to build your brand. Will you post photos of your products or your people? Create images or infographics based on quotes and statistics?

Take a look around Pinterest and see what similar companies are doing. You may find a set of themes or formats that will work for your business. With a pre-planned strategy, you’ll be less likely to run out of enthusiasm and drop your Pinterest marketing efforts.

Maximize your findability

2There are a few simple things you can do while setting up your Pinterest account to make your page more visible. First, use your “About” description to entice search engines with relevant keywords, including your business location.

Second, be sure to connect your Pinterest account to your other social media accounts, so your customers can choose the most convenient ways to follow you.

Jump in and pin

3As with any social network, the more active you are, the greater your success. Go ahead and start pinning images and quotes that represent your brand — make your content appealing, inspiring, useful, or entertaining to encourage sharing.

Add pin-friendly tools to your website

4Just as Facebook has buttons for following and liking content, Pinterest provides follow buttons and “Pin it” buttons. You can use these tools on your small business website to encourage visitors to post your content to their own Pinterest boards, and start increasing your presence on the network.

Create an all-business board

5Pinterest allows you to create an unlimited number of sections called boards that feature different categories of pins. Your interesting, entertaining, less-businesslike pins should stay on your main board, but you should also create a board that features your products or services. This way, visitors who are interested can learn more about your company without leaving Pinterest.

You can also link your pins to your website or blog, so interested customers will be taken directly there from your business board.

Boost your brand authority

6Can you offer helpful hints, tips and tricks, or useful links related to your industry? Creating a themed Pinterest board with valuable information is a great way to elevate your authority and keep your followers returning for the latest tips. Be sure to vet your sources carefully, and re-pin useful content from other Pinterest users as well as pinning your own.

Brand your pins

7If you’re getting a lot of re-pins, it makes sense to insert a small amount of branding into your content. Inserting your logo or business website URL into a corner of your pins (in a small, unobtrusive way) can help you raise visibility without discouraging repinning.

Make your customers stars

8Creating a customer board for your Pinterest page is a highly effective way to encourage sharing and commenting. Ask your customers to send you images of themselves with your products (or a representation of your service), and don’t forget to receive permission to share the photos. Add a brief caption to each image and pin them to your customer board.

Hold a contest

9Social media contests can help you increase your visibility follower numbers. On Pinterest, contests are called “Pin It to Win It,” and the idea is just what it sounds like: users repin your content on their boards for a chance to win a prize. Companies like Campbell’s Soup, Volkswagen, and Macy’s have run highly successful contests on Pinterest.

Don’t forget the ‘social’ part

10Keep in mind that Pinterest is a social network — so if you’re not socializing, you won’t see much success. Spend some time each day browsing boards, finding regular pinners to follow, and commenting on other people’s boards. Interacting with the community will help you steadily grow your Pinterest network and successfully market your small business.

Have you ever used Pinterest for your small business, or for personal use? Do you plan on incorporating Pinterest into your social marketing strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Megan Totka is the chief editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the Web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.
Related

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Have you embraced Pinterest for your brand? (Socialmedia.biz)

Why Pinterest is changing how we communicate online (Socialmedia.biz)

  • http://www.pinprofitpro.com/blog Ann Leslie, PinProfitPro

    Really comprehensive list Megan :-)

  • http://bigtechideas.com/ Allen Robert

    For me, consistency is the key to a strong brand. Many brands are built on internal culture so the person responsible for marketing in a company will also have to do some work internally as well to make sure the brand message is getting out properly.

    Branding for Small Business