Pinterest is the fastest growing new social network in the market today. In December of 2011, Pinterest had more than 7 million unique visitors, up from 1.6 million in September. Pinterest actually drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.
So, if your business doesn’t have a presence on Pinterest yet, you may be missing out.
The key to Pinterest isn’t necessarily about showing off your products or services directly, although you can, but to find creative ways to market your products or services to your targeted audience. In essence, the goal is to increase sales through brand recognition so that you attract new customers.
So, let’s look at five strategies on how you can creatively market your business on Pinterest.
Strategy 1: Create A Company Pinboard
Since Pinterest is a visual social network, you should create a pinboard that highlights some of your best visual content. For example, take high-quality photos of your products and post them on your company pinboard. You can also create a video highlighting your products or services for users to pin.
Just make sure that your photos are tagged correctly with keywords. This helps users find your information when they are searching for specific content on Pinterest. Proper tagging also helps Pinterest index your photos and videos correctly.
You can also add an annotation to your videos to draw attention to it. Basically, add a call to action where you tell a user to pin this video or even link to your profile. The annotation serves as another reminder to users to engage with you and your company.
Even if you have a blog for your business, start using clear, beautiful images in your blog articles with the intent to pin the images on your company pinboard. Pin visuals that best highlight your written content.
You can also post images that showcase your company’s culture such as: a picture of yourself, a photo of your customer holding or using your product, your employees at work, or images that tell a story about your company. This will build a rapport with users, and help them want to know more about who you are and what your company can do for them.
To engage users further, create a user-generated pinboard, which is the next strategy.
Strategy 2: Create A Dedicated Customer-Generated Pinboard
Encourage customers to contribute their own pins to a pinboard dedicated just for them. This is a great opportunity to not only engage with them, but to also give them the power to market for you. Your customers will feel empowered to pin images showcasing your products or services. This is a great way to leverage customer testimonials.
When users come to your pinboard and see why your customers are happy to be your customers, they will want to follow pin your pinboard as well. They will also then want to share your images with other fellow Pinterest users and post your images in other social networks, like Facebook and Twitter.
Creating a dedicated customer-generated pinboard shows your customers you value them and appreciate their loyalty to your business. If your customers aren’t aware that you have created a dedicated pinboard just for them, be sure to let them know.
An easy way to do this is to add a “”Follow” button to your web site so when your customers visit your web site, they quickly find your dedicated customer pinboard. I discuss how to do this in the next step.
Strategy 3: Add “Follow” Button To Your Web Site
One important way to let your customers know about your presence on Pinterest is to add the “Follow” button to your web site. Pinterest has several image choices you can select from under the “Goodies” page.
You embed the HTML code for the specific button you like onto your web site. This encourages your customers and visitors to your web site to pin your products or services on Pinterest. Just like other social media sharing buttons, this will help to expose your business to a new audience.
You can even create a contest to drive your customers and visitors from your web site to your Pinterest pinboard or vice versa to win a gift, as I discuss in the next step.
Strategy 4: Create A Contest To Drive Sales
Pinterest is great for running contests. You immediately draw attention to your pinboard, while at the same time encouraging your audience to browse your products or services to pin them.
For example, one contest you can create is for users who repin the most photos of your products and include in the pin description a reason why someone should buy your product wins a prize. Your products will not only go viral but you will also learn which of your products is the most popular. What a great way to subtly gather market intelligence.
You can also hold a contest to ask users to pin their own photos of your products. The one that gets the most engagement from other users wins a prize or some other kind of promotion, like exclusive discounts that only users within the Pinterest community receive.
You can use Pinterest to tell users exactly how much your products costs. You do this by creating a price banner for your image.
Strategy 5: Create A Price Banner For Your Product
Another feature that Pinterest offers is to allow you to add a price banner to an image when you pin a product. You simply add a price in the pin description and the pinned image will include a diagonal banner with the price in it. Users will not only see your product, but the user can also purchase your product by following a link to your web site that you also include in your pin description.
If you list multiple prices in the pin description, the last price in the list is the price that will appear in the banner. For example, if your pin description reads: “We only charge $50 compared to our competitor’s price of $75,” the price shown in the banner will be $75.
In general, price banners are a great way to drive traffic back to your web site.
So, there you have it. You are now armed with five strategies on how you can leverage the power of Pinterest to market your business and increase sales. Or, if you are a consultant who helps other businesses with social media, then you should make sure you develop a Pinterest strategy for your clients.
In fact, social media consulting is one of the hottest consulting businesses you can start today. It’s fun, exciting, and you get paid to basically play around on social media sites for other businesses.
If you want to learn step-by-step how to create your own social media consulting business, then check out this special Social Media Manager report that Denise and I created.
If you want advanced training videos and coaching on the subject of social media consulting, you should also check out this training program that Kate Buck put together.
Kate went from being a working mom to making over $10,000 per month as a social media manager. Click here for the rest of Kate’s story.
*Originally published as Issue # 80- March 23, 2012