Finding Success with Pinterest

Check out PinterestPinterest is often described as a online scrapbook. This description seem to do a great disservice to such a powerful tool that can be used just as easily for business as it is for personal. For personal use, Pinterest is a visual organizer. It stores your ideas to try, buy, use, share or inspire. For business, Pinterest is a way to connect with new prospects, demonstrate your creativity, show off your products or services and share with others.

Pinterest has won over the female audience. In fact at last count 87% of Pinterest users are women. Today there are over 11 million unique users spending an average of 1 hour and 17 minutes on the site. Businesses that target or include women in their target market have an obligation to take notice! However, this is not to say all businesses will be a good fit with Pinterest, merely that marketers cannot overlook a destination where millions are freely flocking to find fabulous stuff and connect.

 

Should Your Business Be on Pinterest?

There are the obvious “perfect for Pinterest” businesses — anything in the craft industry, consumer goods aimed at women such as clothing, shoes, and kid stuff, just to name a few. But what about business to business (B2B) or service businesses? Is there a place on Pinterest for the less common Pinteresty business and is it worth their time?

First, the answer is yes, there is a place for B2B and some service-based businesses. Web designers, event planners, photographers, visual artists, builders, remodelers, decorators and landscapers all can benefit from the so-called social sharing scrapbook site. The key is to know how to use Pinterest and what to avoid.

 

How to be successful on Pinterest.

Own your content: One of the biggest mistakes I see businesses do is to pin lots of great stuff, but all the traffic goes to someone else’s site. If you’re serious about taking on Pinterest as a social marketing strategy, be sure you have a blog or website set up that will be the destination for the pins you create.

 

Be thoughtful: Just like Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin, Pinterest is a social sharing site that doesn’t take kindly to extreme egos. Think of the Pinterest audience before your own company. What will inspire, excited or motivate them? Share pins of others. Mingle your company pins in instead of mass marketing them.

 

Be organized: Set up your boards based on what your audience wants to see and keep them organized. Finding ways to weave in the tried and true themes of food, family and fun, while staying true to your business is a good strategy to gain more followers and repins. Organized also means checking the links on your pins to be sure they actually go where they are expected to go. You don’t want to get known as a company that publishes bad pins.

 

Be creative: Pinterest is visual, there’s no doubt about it. To be successful you need to be able to create images and come up with short meaningful descriptions that will get noticed. Here are just a few ideas for business pins:

  • Web designers: show off that great website cover page. Add a description to attract people to your latest blog post or more work samples. Find followers who love design.
  • Event planners: capture something beautiful, creative or outrageous at your next event. Use the image as a springboard to a blog post or short “how to” sponsored by your company.
  • Photographers: There is no shortage of ideas for the talented photographer. Show off your work and link to more samples. Offer services to help others with fabulous Pinterest-ready photography! Share the work of others.
  • Remodelers & Landscapers: Home and garden are popular pins. Show-off your work. Offer up some “how tos”. Share designs that inspire you!

 

Label it right: Yes, just like everything else online, keywords matter on Pinterest. Be sure you add a good description to your pins and your boards. Also, be sure all your boards are associated with a category.

 

Use tools: Sometimes tools are the best way to manage social media. Pinterest tools are beginning to pop up everywhere. Some are still in Beta, but there a few that you can checkout to see if they work for you.

  • Pingraphy: Schedule your pins.
  • Pin4Ever: Never loose your pins.
  • Snapito: Pin a whole web page. Great for web designers showing off their work or the work of others.
  • More tools

 

Do your research: Just pinning may not be enough. If your business is small, you may want to reach out in other ways. Find out more about the people who follow or repin. Look them up on Linkedin or Facebook. If you’re a local business, find out if they are local and if you share any connections. Consider reaching out to them using other marketing/networking methods.

 

Growth strategies: There are many different strategies for Pinterest growth, one of them is to invite others to pin on your boards. Consider inviting colleagues, brand advocates or even complementary businesses.

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I hope these tips and tools help you to become successful on Pinterest, but there is one more tip which is possibly the most important when using Pinterest for business:

Manage Your Time!

If you can’t go into Pinterest without being sucked into the vortex of awe-inspiring, must have, must do, must think about images for an hour and a half before getting to work, there is a problem. In such a case, a scheduling tool like Pingraphy may be the perfect solution for you.

Good luck and happy pinning!

 

 

 

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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.