When thinking about social media, Pinterest isn’t the first one that comes to people’s minds, especially when it comes to small businesses.
But what if I told you there was significantly more potential for new people to discover your business through this platform than the others?
This is due to the way the home “smart feed” works. Instead of just showing pins of the people and boards you are following. It also includes pins from topics you have shown to be interested in and also related pins. Meaning if your pins match the user’s topic of interest or Pinterest thinks they are related, they could appear.
Additionally, Pinterest is a search engine. People (over 47 million users) come here in preference of Google to search for inspiration for projects or even information as they prefer the visual medium. And not only do they search but the users actually click through to websites and buy.
Now initially I was doubtful, especially considering I offer a service and information based product – not physical products that people find inspiring and beautiful to look at. But I had heard a lot from the blogging space about how effective it is at generating traffic to your site, so I gave it a shot. And now as of last month almost 30% of my blog traffic has come directly from Pinterest! So it’s something I’m sticking to for now.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Pinterest is for everyone but it is definitely worth exploring especially if your target market consists of females between the ages of 16 – 44.
If this has piqued your interest and you think it is something worth exploring for your business here’s how to get started.
I’ve also prepared a Checklist for you as part of the “Get Social Media Savvy” worksheets. Click here to access them all and to be alerted of the final couple of posts in the series.
No 1: Create your Business Account
Sign up using this link so you have a business account from the beginning (or you can convert a personal account to a business one if you wish to).
By doing so you get to have your website linked and get access to Rich Pins and Pinterest Analytics.
Once that’s done update your profile to include lots of good keywords for your business. This even extends to the “business name” itself. You can make this quite long and it is the first place Pinterest searches if you are looking for people to follow. So for example if you are a Personal Trainer you could put “Your Name | XYZ Personal Training | Fitness Coach” or if you sell homewares you could but “Business Name | Candles, Cushions and Home Decor”.
Finally update your “About You” to describe your business, what makes you special and to also include those keywords.
No. 2: Set up “Rich Pins” for your Site
Rich Pins are a way of adding extra data to a pin you share. There are 6 different types you can choose from: app, article, movie, place, product and recipe.
If you sell products you can use the “product” pin and it will include the pricing information right there on the Pin information. In addition, if your online store is hosted with Shopify, Big Commerce or some others, you can even include a “Buy Now” button on the pin and people can purchase without even leaving Pinterest. Instructions on how to do so can be found here.
Another great Rich Pin for those who provide information or content on their websites is the “article” rich pin. This makes it easy for visitors to hover over your pin and click straight through to the article.
To find out more on how to setup your rich pins (it does require an application), click here.
No. 3: Create Some Pins
As Pinterest is a visual platform, you need to have great images to stand out.
A standard Pinterest image is 735px wide x 1102px tall – but you can go taller if you wish (like those long infographic images). If you have Canva it is easy to create a template to use for all your pins and to just go through and add different images and text.
It is suggested that you do add some text over the image so that you can draw people’s attention to your key selling points such as “homemade” or “organic”: something to entice them to read the pin description.
You then have a choice to either place this pin image somewhere on your website, so people can easily pin directly from your page (like I’ve done with my main blog post header image above) or you can just upload straight to your Pinterest account and add in the website link afterwards.
Either way, you need to add in a keyword rich description underneath the pin. If you put the image on your website this should be put in the “alt txt” field. Or if you are pinning straight to Pinterest just enter the text as you would in the description.
Just make sure you not only include keywords but a call to action to get them to click through to your store or site.
As a side note: Hashtags aren’t really a big thing on Pinterest so there is no need to include these.
No. 4: Create your Boards
Once you have a few pins ready to go, it is time to create your first Pinterest board. You may choose to only have one board for your products or services or you could choose to spread them out depending on how many products you offer.
The key once again is to create a great board name and board description, making it easy for people to find you.
But don’t just stop there, go ahead and create another 10 or so boards to pin OTHER people’s stuff to.
Think about what topics interest your target market and what compliments your products well and theme boards around this.
A few examples:
- A personal trainer might have additional boards for Nutrition, At Home Workouts and Recipes
- A homewares retailer may have inspiration boards for different rooms of the house.
- A graphics designer might have different brand mood boards to help their customers come up with their branding.
As with all other platforms, Pinterest isn’t just about sharing your own stuff but it is also about collaborating and sharing other people’s pins too.
No. 5: Start to add to your Boards
A board will never be full, but you need to start somewhere so try to search for around 20 pins you can pin to each of your new boards and at least 10 to your own.
No. 6: Start Following Accounts
As with any of the social media platforms, following other pinners is important to building your own audience. You may choose to just do a search under topics that interest you and follow some of those pinners or you might participate in follow threads on Facebook or a combination of the two. Over time your follower list will grow
Side Note: For more on getting social media followers, you might be interested in checking out this post!
No. 7: Join Group Boards
Group Boards is really where the power of Pinterest comes into its own. How they work is instead of just one person contributing to a board as with the ones you created above, a group of people can contribute.
To get started, you can find some boards either through Pin Groupie or just by looking at the Group Boards other people in your Niche participate in. (They are the boards at the bottom of their profile that have the two heads in the top right corner)
Once you have found some groups, you need to request to join by following the admin and then emailing them or commenting on one of their pins. Normally the instructions are in the group board description. They will then send you an email invite if they agree you are a good fit for the group.
Then once you are accepted you can start pinning your product or article pins to the group, meaning more people will see it.
In return, you are asked to repin other people’s content from the board. In the end, everyone wins by getting their pins put in front of the followers of other people and if Pinterest sees that one of your pins is getting significant interest, it is more likely that it will be seen in the smart feed as a suggestion to someone totally new.
No. 8: Just Keep Pinning
Once you are all set up, it becomes all about momentum and you should be pinning regularly. Some people even aim for pinning around 100 times a day! Generally, that’s about one of their pins to 20 different group boards and then the remaining 80 repinning other people’s stuff.
But don’t be put off by that! You might not need to go as extreme. Start off with a few a day and see what happens. Or try it out more intensively for a month and see what results you get.
A word of caution though – Pinterest is smart enough to see if you are just pinning your own stuff, especially if you do it all at once. So if you are pinning one pin to multiple group boards a day, it is suggested you space these out to only pinning it once every hour or two. This is why Pinterest scheduling tools such as Tailwind and Boardbooster have become so popular. You can upload your pins, set your schedule and it will spread them out over the course of a day.
So there you have it! All you needed to know to get started on Pinterest! And don’t forget to get your free checklist here.
Have you tried Pinterest for your business? How did you find it? What tricks have you discovered to help build your audience? Let me know in the Comments Below!
Want to know more about Getting Social Media Savvy? Check out the other posts so far:
10 Discoveries in Social Media for Small Business (A How to Guide to Effective Social Media without losing your Sanity or your Soul)
17 Ways to Get More Social Media Followers (Totally Organically)