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Pinterest – The Most Underrated Social Media Platform

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Are you using Pinterest yet to promote your business? If not, you should be. More than 400 million people use Pinterest every month to find ideas and inspire their next purchase. And 31% of millennials in the UK with a household income of over £100K are on Pinterest.

Pinterest offers businesses a powerful way to market themselves, through a visual search engine. “Pinners” use the platform to seek inspiration, find new products or gather information.

Why Use Pinterest for Business?

 Pinterest Business can help you to:

  • Reach a new audience and boost your online presence;
  • Send more traffic to your website or online store;
  • Increase conversions such as newsletter sign-ups, ticket sales or purchases.

Pinterest is particularly beneficial if your target audience uses it. The platform traditionally attracts mostly women aged 25 – 54, although it is increasingly being used by younger gen Zers and men.  

People use it to find inspiration before making a purchase, so it is a great place to show photos of your products with links to your website. The ability to add links to your images, or pins, is what sets Pinterest apart from Instagram, making it a much more useful marketing tool.

Pinterest drives 3.8 times more sales than other platforms and 87% of Pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest. Exhibition contractor Quadrant2Design have found that using it to show off pictures of their exhibition stands has led to new business, MD Alan Jenkins said “It’s early days for us but it’s definitely driving more traffic to the website and leading to new enquiries”.

How to Use Pinterest for Business

Pinterest can be highly addictive – from choosing your next shopping purchase to planning a holiday, you can spend a long time browsing images on the site.  

Think of it as a search engine for images rather than a social media platform. Its powerful search facility works by flagging up keywords in image descriptions, a bit like Google. It also suggests other related keywords to narrow down your search.

Pins are the images you save on the website. You can include links back to the relevant pages on your website, and use the description to include keywords so that they show up in searches. Having informative pins, eye-catching images and interesting descriptions is the way to generate a good amount of follows on Pinterest.

There are 3 feed options – home, explore and following. The home feed is personalised to your likes and behaviours, it includes images uploaded by people you follow and things you are interested in. The explore feed is a bit like explore in Instagram and includes inspiration on trending topics or for things you might like. The following feed is images from topics you are following.

You can save your pins on Pinterest boards. Having a selection of boards to show off your products as a business is a good idea so that followers can search for what they like.

9 Strategies for Pinterest for Business

  1. Optimise your Pinterest Profile

Your profile should give people a good idea of who you are and what you do. You need to optimise your profile to reflect your brand and image. Ensure you include your logo and an eye-catching image that conveys what you do. The description should accurately reflect your business and make sure you include a link to your website. Highlight your best boards as ‘Featured Boards’ to give people a taste of your products.

  1. Make your Website ‘Pinnable’

If you add the Pinterest ‘save’ button to your website, users can add products from your website to their Pinterest boards. This will make you easier to find on Pinterest by others with similar likes. For information on how to set up a save button on your website, Pinterest has a guide here.

  1. Develop a Strategy

You should approach Pinterest with a clear strategy in mind, as you would approach any other marketing activity. Have clear goals in mind, what do you want to achieve? Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Make more sales? Making these goals quantifiable will enable you to measure your success.

  1. Think about your Content

What type of content will you post? You can’t just pop a few images up and hope for the best. Think about the type of content your audience wants to see and choose images that accurately reflect your brand.

Images should be:

  • Eye-catching and engaging – Pinterest is all about visual appeal, to stand out your images have to be good.
  • Vertical – most users view Pinterest on their mobile phones so shoot in a 2:3 aspect ratio to avoid cropped images.
  • High quality – you don’t want to end up with pixelated images.
  • Branded – you don’t need to shy away from your brand on Pinterest, users are used to shopping for brands.
  • Keyword rich – good descriptions will help SEO, add context and encourage users to click on them and save them.
  • Drip-fed – frequent posting is better than filling a board in one go.
  • Inspirational – don’t just post images of your products, try to inspire your followers and give them content that creates ideas. That could be inspirational quotes or maybe décor ideas.
  • Instructional – Pins featuring instructions on how to perform certain tasks work well on Pinterest too.
  1. Include Video Content

Pinterest isn’t just about images, you can upload videos too. Try featuring videos about how to use your products if appropriate or videos promoting your products. Video content is proven to increase engagement amongst viewers.

  1. Write SEO-friendly captions

The best way to make sure your Pins show up in users’ feeds is to craft good captions that include all relevant keywords. View Pinterest as a search engine in which you want your products to feature.  

  1. Plan Ahead

Content for summer is often posted in early spring and for winter at the end of summer so you need to plan ahead. Allocate a few days a month to plan your content for the month and when you are going to post it. You can duplicate your content to Instagram too to save time.

  1. Use Pinterest Ads

An effective way to reach new audiences on Pinterest is by advertising. Pinterest allows businesses to target ads for keywords, interests, location, age and other metrics. There are a range of ad types including video ads and promoted pins. Detailed audience segmenting allows you to target:

  • Users who have visited your website.
  • Users who have reacted to your Pins.
  • Users who have liked similar content on the platform.
  • A specific list, such as newsletter subscribers.
  1. Track your Performance

A successful Pinterest marketing strategy is data-driven. Tracking and analysing how your Pins are performing is crucial. Having a business account will give you access to Pinterest analytics. This is important to keep an eye on to track your progress and learn what doesn’t work and what does. Guess work won’t generate results you need to learn what your audience is looking for. Find out which Pins are generating the most clicks and saves, and which are driving sales.  

Conclusion

Pinterest is probably the most underrated social media platform out there. It has enormous potential for businesses wanting to promote their products. Users frequently look for shopping inspiration on the site, making it the perfect place to feature products you want to sell. Paying attention to the quality and type of images you post and having a strategy in mind will help you make the most from this platform.

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Christopher Stern
Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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