The last few years have seen our fascination with all things visual significantly grow. We can see this reflected in the rise of visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram who steadily continue to gain social media market share. With this in mind we take a closer look at Pinterest and how small businesses can make more of their presence.
Pinterest can be described as a visual online scrapbook. Users create and share images they find interesting (called pins); organising them into collections called boards. With over 70 million registered users and 3472 images pinned every minute, Pinterest can be an excellent social media platform for small businesses. Pins usually link back to the website they originated so it can be a great way for you to share your content and drive traffic.
5 tops tips to get Pinterest to work for your business
1. Make a good start
Before you launch headlong into Pinterest take a step back and think about your objectives, your audience and the kind of presence you’d like to have. Familiarise yourself with Pinterest by exploring what other businesses, both in and out of your industry, are doing to maximise their presence. For inspiration checkout some of the examples Pinterest showcases.
Once you’ve created your business account and verified your website you can set up your profile. Use a recognisable image such as your logo and a clear and interesting description of your brand and what it aspires to. You can then start planning your boards. Categorise your boards into subject areas – be creative and think of relevant, inspiring subjects that will be off interest to your target audience. If you’re a bit stuck for ideas then an easy board for businesses to start with is a blog board. If you have a blog then you have ready-made, shareable content that links back to your site.
Then it’s all about making the most of your Pins.
“As a rule of thumb, try to make sure all of your Pins are beautiful, actionable and interesting.“ Pinterest
- Add the Pin-it button to your website to make it easy for people to pin content from your website.
- Every time you create a pin include a useful description of what you are pinning and a link back to where it originates.
- Where appropriate think about using Rich Pins such as Product Pins. These allows you to add in more useful information such as where to purchase (for example your website), real-time pricing and availability. These details will stay on the pin even when it is repined. 2 million Pinterest users save product pins to their boards daily so it’s worth doing.
Make the most of the advice Pinterest offers businesses. It has some excellent case studies, blog articles and How to guides. All of which are great resources to get you off to a flying start.
2. Focus on the visual
Pinterest is all about the visual. So try to use colourful, interesting and inspiring images as much as possible. Avoid seen before, run-of the mill stock photos.
There are plenty of websites available for you to source interesting images without breaking the bank. For example, Shutterstock, iStockphoto, FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Dreamstime all offer excellent images at reasonable prices. Free images are also available but do check that they are in the public domain and cleared for commercial use as many free images will need an attribution. Pixabay is a great source of free images that are in the public domain and don’t require an attribution.
Try using original photography. This is a great way to showcase your products in interesting, real life situations. It will have a greater impact than bog-standard product shots.
Pinterest recommends the following tips for your images:
- Use quality images with a high-resolution.
- Images at least 600 pixels wide work best on Pinterest ( the minimum image size is 100 x 200 pixels)
- Vertical images work better on mobile screens. Remember 75% of Pinterest usage takes place on mobile devices so it’s worth bearing in mind when you are composing your pins.
- Keep to a maximum of 4 images in any one pin.
Don’t forget about video. With 8333 videos shared every minute across social media, video is a great way to encourage sharing. Pinning a video is simple. For example if you’ve uploaded your video on YouTube, go to Share and use the ‘Pin It’ button to share it on one of your Pinterest boards. Remember to include an eye-catching image and a relevant description.
3. Mix up your content
Try and make your content interesting with a number of varied subject boards. Approach your content from the point of view of the customer not your sales manager. Rather than just pushing your product and services think creatively about the different things that might be of interest to or help your customers. What might encourage them to repin your pin? If you’re a bit stuck for ideas maybe test drive something from the list below that you can adapt for your industry:
- Pin links to your blog posts
- Have a product showcase board
- Latest trends / seasonal trend boards
- Behind the scenes peek at your business
- Meet the team
- Charitable work / charitable partners boards
- How to videos
- Coming soon sneak previews
- Client / customer showcase boards
- Interesting industry news
Of course these are just a few ideas – once you start pinning regularly you’ll find all sorts of ways to create engaging content.
4. Get involved – be an active Pinner
As with all social media, active participation is important. The more of you put in the more you are going to get out of it. With Pinterest you are trying to connect with your audience through their interests and lifestyle.
- Be active by pinning regularly. Pinterest suggest trying to Pin once a day.
- Follow other Pinner’s boards.
- Repin, like and comment on interesting pins – especially those that are relevant to your industry and likely to be of interest to your audience.
- Be friendly and welcoming it is your opportunity to bring personality to your brand.
5. Measure your performance
To get the most from any social media platform you need to be an active participant, this of course takes up valuable time. Therefore it makes sense that the better idea you have of your Pinterest performance, the smarter you can be in channelling your time and effort into the right places.
Use Pinterest’s analytics tool to get a better picture of what content is working for you and what content is having little impact.
- Pin performance: Identify your tops pins. Which have the most impressions, repins and click-throughs? Which of your boards are the most popular?
- Your audience. Who is looking at your pins and who has actively liked, repined or click-through a pin. It will give you an overview of your audience’s demographics, who they follow and their interests.
- Website content. If you’ve verified your website you can see how the content of your website is performing on Pinterest – these are all the pins that link back to your site.
- For more information take a look at Pinterest Analytics guide.
These are just a few tips to help you optimise your presence on Pinterest. As we mentioned earlier in the article don’t forget to check out some of the resources Pinterest offers small businesses – there is plenty of help and advice to get you off to a great start.
Finally, don’t forget to support and promote your Pinterest activity on all your other social media platforms and in email communications. A coherent, integrated approach to all your marketing channels will produce the best results.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and experience of using Pinterest, so please do leave a comment.