I would like to state that Pinterest is not going to be an effective marketing tool for every business. However, I do encourage businesses to use Pinterest to help with their brand awareness, and depending on the specific industry, it can drive web traffic to your business site to help generate leads.
Did you know that Pinterest drives more referral traffic than other social networking sites, with the exception of Twitter?
How to Use Pinterest for Marketing Your Business
Show off Your Best Work
If you’re in an industry that requires the use of visuals such as graphic design, web design, interior decorating, photography, event planning, or fashion (the possibilities are endless), then Pinterest will definitely be a great social media tool for you. Here’s an example of my Pinterest “Contact Us” board.
Show off your best work, because this will encourage others to repin and capture the attention of potential leads (similar to reposting or retweeing). Pinterest is your visual portfolio that you can to show the world.
Also imagine Pinterest as an online shopping catalog where you rely mostly on photos.What kind of products do you want to show off? How are they being laid out for maximum efficiency to be able to turn browsers into shoppers to your website?
Have Your Pictures Link Back to Your Website
In order to make the most of your pictures, you want to ensure that pictures are attached to a specific url where the picture is being shown for that page.
To drive more leads to your website, you may have a landing page linked to the picture of an e-book that you’re offering for free, and this way it can help populate your e-mail list.
Or if you’re finding that your Linkedin has been great for marketing and lead generation, then start a board that is a “contact us”, and Pin Your Picture and label it underneath clearly that it goes back to your Linkedin profile.
There are two ways to get photos onto Pinterest.
The first method requires you to add pins through a specific url. Let’s say I use my fear based marketing article url.
Once this url gets pasted into the entry, Pinterest will recognize all the pictures in that urfl (with the main exception being Flash based pictures) and will allow you to choose which of those photos you wish to pin.
For that blog post, since I have 3 pictures that I thought would make excellent visual content, I pinned all three pictures.
And now when people click on the pictures, they will be redirected to the original blog post.
Uploading photos can be done the same way. You can edit them so that they are linked back to the specific url that they are on. I find this way a little more time consuming since you have to upload an actual picture file, and then go back to the edit section to have them linked to the specific url.
Uploaded photos don’t have to be linked back to the site, but I would assume businesses would want to in order to get more web traffic.
Label your Pins and Boards with Keywords
I highly suggest you caption all your pins and label your boards with keywords that your potential customers may be searching for. This is search engine optimization for Pinterest. The bonus is that your boards can also be SEO’ed for Google as well.
The url created for your board will say www.pinterest.com/username/name-of-board. The end part, name-of-board, will have some influence in the search engine results (SERP).
If people are looking for the newest fashion trends and want to optimize for New York fashion, then you should name one of your boards “Newest Fashion trends in New York” or to have a caption for a pin that says “Latest Jimmy Choo shoes released at New York Fashion show.”
Or if you’re looking to aim for local keywords, then you may have one of the board’s name be “Wedding dresses available in Vancouver”, and have those words in some of the captioning in pictures as well. Just like the way people started searching for information using Twitter, they will do that with Pinterest.
Also, Pinterest doesn’t recognize hashtags within their search, so if you want to label certain pins with those hashtags, don’t, put keywords in with the captioning instead to make it more easier to read. Pinterest is not Twitter or Google Plus. Don’t # it to death.
Engage with Others
Pinterest is a visual cocktail party. There’s so much that’s going on that it can be hard to decide where you want to start. Like Twitter you can search for terms like your city to potentially see who other pinners are and to actively engage with them or to search for them by keywords.
Repininning and Liking are two ways of engaging these members, but the best way is to leave comments about their pins as this is much more noticeable to the pinner as well as to those that may come across the picture. It’s the equivalent of the Like vs Comment on Facebook.
It may take some time, but follow and engage people you really like, and forget about the number of followers you have for now. The number of followers will increase as the type of content that is produced is relevant to the type of audience you want to build.
Find out what’s Working
This is a really cool tip that I learned from Beth Hayden about Pinterest, if you want to find out who’s been pinning your stuff from your website then type in the following into your web broswer search.
www.pinterest.com/source/yourwebsite (for your website, don’t add the www , example mine would be www.pinterest.com/source/mcngmarketing.com , to find out what’s being repinned
You can also use this to find out what’s popular among your competitor’s website to find out how you may differentiate some aspects of your Pinterest from them.
Start Your Business Account
Pinterest recently announced the launch of business accounts, the look and feel won’t be much different from personal users. The plus side of registering for your business account is that you’ll have resources, such as case studies, badges and widgets that will make it much easier to promote your Pinterest account.
To register for account visit http://business.pinterest.com/
There’s no doubt that there are going to be some exciting changes happening with Pinterest in the future and it will no doubt be a growing network that will help drive new leads to your business. This is one social network you don’t want to be left behind.