You might not think a site like Pinterest, where the majority of the users are pinning and sharing recipes, inspirational quotes and other lame things, is the kind of place that you could be marketing your company and that there are ways to optimize how it contributes to your traffic and conversion rates – but you’re wrong.
In case you don’t know what Pinterest is (#ShameOnYou) – there’s a bunch of good Pinterest content on Mashable here. But we’re not going to talk about what it is – just how you should be using it to get better traction from a new inbound channel.
With over 5 million users spending an average of 15 minutes on the site per day, Pinterest has the potential to be a conversion-boosting marketing tool. The fact is, Pinterest now commands a presence that drives more web traffic than Google Plus, YouTube, Reddit, and LinkedIn combined.
But how can you leverage the power of pins to your advantage? Keep reading to find out how corporations, small businesses and everyday users are doing just that – and how you can do it too.
Although I’ve just started on Pinterest myself, I will tell you that it’s worth pinning (and repinning, liking and following other users) steadily rather in quick bursts of activity. It doesn’t bode well for your brand when your Pinterest board looks like a blank slate – just like your dormant Facebook a/c makes you look bad. So if you’re gonna start, make sure you stay Pinterested.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which provide equal opportunity outreach for a multitude of brands, increasing conversions with Pinterest will help certain types of businesses more than others. Restaurants, retailers, schools, fashionistas and mommy bloggers have all found something to love about this addictive site – but they’re not the only ones.
It’s really important to understand each social network you utilize for marketing. Facebook can be for purely social engagement or fun, Twitter for sharing of great content and fast reacting customer service. Pinterest (being predominantly visual) should be used in different ways. People may know you solely for your products or services – but what really goes on behind the scenes? GE created “From the Factory Floor“, a series of animated graphics that showcase aviation jet engines at their facility in Wales.
In the GE example, since Pinterest doesn’t currently support animated images, users have to click through the pins to the actual site to see them (annoying? yes, but Pinterest may figure it out soon – or maybe not – who cares about animated GIFs?). The example shows how they take you from static images to more interesting content. And, although very few Pinterest users are in the market for jet engines, it’s still a great way to start a conversation with fellow Pinners and show them the quality that goes into what you make.
Even if you don’t want to gratuitously promote yourself directly on Pinterest (you shouldn’t), you can still become a “person of Pinterest” (pun intended) by pinning items that are in line with your company goals and mission. Whole Foods does a brilliant job with their pins by having separate boards for a wide range of messages they want to have resonate with their followers and fans.
Rather than pinning up pictures of tasty organic strawberries, they’ve got boards filled with specific recipes such as Eat Your Veggies. By showcasing food as art, Whole Foods has created a way to entertain and inspire its followers in a way that’s authentic to its brand.
RealSimple magazine, which has over 50,000 followers as of this writing, doesn’t just create and post to boards, but invites feedback from its followers as well. This can stir up lively debates, but more often, it creates connections between the pinner and their followers in a more visual, supportive way. For example RealSimple created a board for Problem-Solving Products which has over 81,000 followers:
This not only gives RealSimple direct reviews and feedback about the products they showcase, but lets readers spread the word via likes and repins: carrying the best products into the coveted “inner circle” of friends and associates that every marketer dreams of reaching.
A word of warning though — Pinterest users are quick to report a board or user that’s solely focused on self-promotion. Instead, take the time to share, repin and like contributions from others – particularly from other companies who aren’t direct competitors, but may offer a product or service that’s complementary to your own. Industry news, quick tips or hints, and even certain “themed” boards can help boost your viewership considerably.
Ready to delve into the addictive world of pinning? Here are some tips to not only help you reach more potential customers, but increase click-throughs and conversions to your website using Pinterest.
How are you using Pinterest to market your business?