Pinterest can be an excellent tool for businesses to connect with potential customers, provide interesting content, and gain visitors to company websites… if you do things right. If you’re wondering how to use Pinterest for business, check out these tips:
Using Pinterest for Business
1. Pin content that looks good.
This tip may seem pretty basic since Pinterest is a visual platform, but think of each board as a collage. Pin pins that are interesting on their own, with a picture that captivates and makes pinners want to click through, but also consider the overall look of your Pinterest boards. Make each pin visually strong, and then take the time to evaluate your boards each month. Look through each board, and delete pins that aren’t working for it. These pins may not have the best image composition or may not fit well into the visual flow or impact of the board. Keeping each of your boards clean through regular updates will help strengthen your boards and ensure they’re providing the most useful content.
2. Write longer descriptions with keywords and hashtags.
According to a post on the Pinterest business blog, longer descriptions tend to outperform shorter descriptions. Should you max out the 500-character-limit for every description? No. But give more than a title or quick quip; write a description that causes excitement, makes a call to action, and has searchable keywords.
For example, “Honey-Lime Chicken” will show up in searches for “chicken,” but “Honey-Lime Chicken Dinner Recipe” will show up in searches for “chicken,” “dinner,” “recipe,” or “dinner recipe.” Just adding those two searchable words increases the likelihood of being found through a search. Integrate your keywords into an irresistible description of why that pin is awesome or what you like about it, and your pin will instantly be more clickable.
Using hashtags on Pinterest will also help the user experience and may help gain exposure for other pins with the same hashtag or keywords. A hashtag in a pin description is clickable on Pinterest, and clicking the hashtag will show search results for that term. Therefore, if you consistently use the same hashtags in your descriptions or if you’ve created a unique hashtag to promote your brand, a special event, or a contest, you will give your users an outlet to not only find your similar pins, but also similar pins from other users. Don’t let the idea of pinners seeing similar pins from other users scare you. Overall, you want to strive to be useful to users. The only way to gain followers who will stick around is to provide them with valuable content that fulfills a need.
3. Pin awesome original content, but pin other stuff too.
You can’t hope to be successful in monetizing Pinterest unless you have great pins with original images that link to content on your website or blog. However, networks like Pinterest are designed to be social, and focusing only on your own content isn’t very social. Blend your content with other related pins on your boards to give users a complete experience. Spread out original pins across relevant Pinterest boards so that your followers aren’t clicking through to your website ten times in a row as they check out pins. Too many pins that link to your website can bore followers or give them the idea that you only care about self-promotion. Tastefully integrating your content with repins, though, won’t be a turn-off to Pinterest users because your boards will remain balanced.
4. Engage other pinners.
Don’t be shy! Pinterest is all about sharing great ideas. Like, comment, and repin content from other users generously. Don’t be afraid to leave questions, friendly remarks, or playful statements on other pins, just don’t hound the same user by remarking too frequently. When you connect with other users, you make them more likely to follow you and continue following you, as well as more likely to like, comment, and repin from your boards. All of this interaction will increase your business presence on Pinterest and will increase the chances of your content being pinned and circulated.
5. Be creative!
Pinterest can be used in more ways than to showcase products. Use Pinterest creatively, and it can boost assets of your business that you may not have considered before on Pinterest. Here are some ideas for using Pinterest for business creatively:
- –Research the competition. Businesses can use Pinterest to scope out their competition. See what other businesses in the industry are pinning, who they’re following, and who’s following them to get insight into what’s working for the competition and who is in their target audiences. Plus, Pinterest has Secret Boards [HYPERLINK: https://help.pinterest.com/entries/22277603-Secret-boards-basics] that you can use to pin this content to analyze later, if you choose.
- –Hold contests. If you’re looking to promote contests to all your target audiences, try tailoring contests to fit into your social channels. You can ask your audiences to follow your business account, create a board, use a specific hashtag, and/or pin their favorite products, recipes, etc. for a one-time contest entry. Contests can help your brand engage with audiences and get exposure to their followers. If you want to hold a contest through Pinterest, though, be sure you don’t encourage spammy behavior. Click here [HYPERLINK: http://business.pinterest.com/brand-guidelines/] to read Pinterest’s Brand Guidelines (including contest do’s and don’t) to make sure your contest follows the rules.
- –Build your mailing list. If your newsletter or mailing list options are easily spotted on your website, pinning original content from your site can encourage your Pinterest followers to become email subscribers. Calls to action or attractive widgets on your site help encourage this when a Pinterest user clicks through. You can also encourage current email subscribers to check out your Pinterest boards by featuring cool pins or boards in your email campaigns. Remember that different platforms will have different audiences, and a little cross-promotion may help followers or subscribers engage with your company in a new way.
Start with quality pins, boards, and engagement, and practice using Pinterest regularly. With a little time and exploration, you’ll discover how to use Pinterest for business in the ways that will benefit your company the most.