Five Tips on How to Use Pinterest for Social Media Marketing (Plus an Infographic to Optimize your Account for SEO)
Why use Pinterest for social media marketing?
As a business owner if you are not harnessing the power of social media marketing for brand recognition, you are effectively losing out on potential customers.
Just like any other popular social network out there, Pinterest offers a wide range of activities you can initiate to market your business/brand to a whole new audience!
The goal here is to build brand recognition, drive more traffic to your business’s website and visually engage each new customer with your product or service so that they become repeat customers and eventually become a source of referral to their family and friends.
Pinterest has been around for quite some time now (the beta launch happened in circa 2010) and has created enough buzz for businesses (the business pages was launched in 2012) to start using it rather seriously as a strong visual marketing tool. (Yep, it boasts of a strong 70 million user base and is still counting).
Trust me, you can get really creative with Pinterest once you realize its visual prowess to promote your brand!
So, where do you start?
First things first. You’ll need to set up a Pinterest business account.
There are two ways to achieve this. If you are already a Pinterest user, you can convert your existing account into a business account or if you would rather start afresh, just sign up for a new business account.
Okay, now that you are all set up with your new business account, let’s get creative about how you can use Pinterest for social media marketing.
Remember, anyone can just pin rows of product images onto categorized boards – but that’s not what we are looking to do! We are looking for unique and creative ways to engage people with what you have to offer and use the tool optimally for social media marketing.
Here are 5 cool ways to help your ‘pins’ and ‘boards’ get the ‘much needed’ attention they deserve!
1. Create employee boards
Your employees are your assets. You hire them for their expertise and they form a big part of your brand. Create boards for your trusted employees where they can show off their personal styles and interests.
For example, if you own a salon, allow your stylists to have individual boards where they can showcase their work. When people visit your salon’s Pinterest page, they will be able to get a sense of what each stylist has to offer and make decisions accordingly.
Or simply share photos of your employees along with their short bios. To make it more fun, take their pictures at work. For example, if you are a restaurant owner, have your chef pose for a picture with his/her best dish.
Take a look at this Team LKR board from LKR Social Media. LKR Social Media is an online classroom and community for businesses to learn about social media marketing. This is a classic example of how you can show your followers the faces of the people associated with your brand.
2. Make your boards and pins interactive – share ideas and how-to’s
Once again, rather than just pinning your products, make your boards interactive by sharing content which allow users to start a conversation.
For example, if you sell food products, dedicate some of your boards to sharing new and innovative recipes using your products. And no, you don’t ONLY have to be a food store to share recipes on your boards!
A whole bunch of businesses with some connection to ‘gastronomy’ can get creative and share online recipes to encourage conversation and interaction. You don’t really step away from what your business actually sells but broaden your horizon to stay connected with like-minded folks who could become your future customers.
Plus, here’s some data compiled by the folks at ShareThis to show that food is one of the most shared categories on Pinterest among iPad users. Here is another compilation by KISSmetrics which clearly mentions that “Recipes dominate Pinterest.”
So, you could be the owner of a yoga studio and share healthy recipes that you whip up in your kitchen from time to time on your boards – a great way to reach out to your existing and potential customers who are interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
But yes, you have every right to ask the question, “what if my business has no remote connection to the food and drink industry?”
Well, here is my answer. Even though food content happens to be the #1 most pinned category, here are the rankings of what type of content is most pinned on Pinterest. So, go ahead, get creative and experiment to see what can work for your business!
- Baby + Kids
- Fashion + Style
- Home Decor
- Inspirational Content
So Delicious Dairy Free makes non-dairy food products (milks, yogurts, ice creams etc.). Take a look at their board “Delicious Dairy-Free Desserts” which shares dessert recipes from their blog and around the web made using their products.
An example board from RELAX® Wines shares cool ideas on how to reuse and repurpose empty wine bottles rather than just sticking to the usual and another focuses on what folks are saying about their wines (aptly titled “Love from our fans“). (Pretty creative huh, what do you think?).
Here are some other ways to make your boards and pins even more interactive.
1. Explore other types of media.
Your boards can now be media rich!
Pinterest allows you to share different types of content on your boards. You can pin videos from YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo and TED, audio from SoundCloud and slides from SlideShare.
2. Add a map to your travel and place pins.
Place Pins enable you to pin images along with a map.
So, if your board is dedicated to sharing places (travel guides, restaurants, shopping districts etc.), the map feature enables you to pinpoint exact locations making your pinned images more user-friendly.
Check out Travel Channel’s Pinterest page as an example.
3. Incorporate the Rich Pins feature.
As of now, Pinterest provides the following Rich Pins.
Rich pins enable you to add extra details to your pins to make them more useful. How to get started with “Rich Pins”? You can find all the information right here.
And lastly, always make sure to respond to your customers’ queries and comments on your pinned images. This makes the customer feel that he/she is talking to a real person behind the business facade and that your business cares about the customer’s interests.
3. Hold contests
Everyone loves freebies – there is no doubt about that! Just like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, you can use Pinterest to hold contests and give away freebies to drive traffic to your business website.
Hold contests (commonly known as Pin to Win contests) which allow customers to pin their images on to your boards as a means of winning a prize or simply ask them to create a board and share ideas on how they use your products. You can also ask users to specify hashtags so that your contest shows up in related searches, for example, the #PintoWin hashtag.
Contests have become big on Pinterest because of the visual impact they carry. It is a great way for potential customers to get to know about your product and generate buzz and engagement.
This blog post from HubSpot – 8 Real-Life Examples of Engaging Pinterest Contests highlights examples of Pinterest contests held by brands and why they work (or worked).
4. Create infographic boards with easy, digestible information
Infographics are the latest fad on Pinterest. People respond much better to images than they do to free flowing text and that is where you tap into this strategy to create magnetic content and encourage re-pinning.
If you spend a few minutes on Pinterest, you will clearly notice that infographics are one of the most liked and re-pinned images.
“Infographics are a fun and quick way to learn about a topic without a ton of heavy reading. There are many different styles of infographics and data visualizations, but the ultimate goal for all infographics is to be shared – CustomerMagnetism.”
If your business is service oriented (B2B), for example, you provide consulting services to other businesses or help them market their website, you do not have the advantage of sharing images of specific products like an online store selling apparel. In such cases, infographics could be an excellent way to share your strategies via Pinterest.
Piktochart is an online tool that can help you create infographics easily for free! There is also a paid version if you wish to upgrade.
You can view an example infographic – how to optimize your Pinterest business page for SEO – which I created using Piktochart at the bottom of this post.
Infographics are also a good way to display your company’s values and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives via an image as opposed to just displaying them on the company website/intranet.
5. Make your boards and pins search engine friendly
The images you pin will mostly be from your blog/website so make sure your boards and pinned images are search engine friendly. Instead of uploading an image with a default camera name such as DSC_100.jpg, name your images with keywords and hyphens so that search engines can recognize the image name.
Put some effort into defining a search friendly pin description. Most companies make the mistake of ignoring the pin description altogether!
The description is very important because here is where you can use specific terms to relate to your users, include hashtags and link back to the original post on your website.
When creating a board include keywords in the board’s name and description. This will ensure that your boards get higher placements within Pinterest’s search results as well as web search results.
In short, do not miss out on the slightest chance to optimize your boards and pins. But, do not over-indulge while using keywords. Repetitive keywords can be more harmful for SEO than using no keywords! Be clear, concise and focus on building your brand value.
Take a look at this example pin from Style Me Pretty, a wedding website. Notice the pin description including all relevant credits, hashtags and a link back to the original post on their website.
So, go ahead and sign up for your Pinterest business account (if you don’t have one already) and start using these tips to create marketable content and build your brand online.
Would love to know if YOU used any of the above social media marketing strategies to promote your business on Pinterest! Let me know in the comments below.
Wanna pin this post? Use the image below for the best results.
[Infographic] How to Optimize your Pinterest Business Page for SEO
Click here to download the pdf version.