What is Pinterest?
Pinterest may be a relatively small social media site in relationship to the likes of Facebook, but do not underestimate it, it is a powerful site if used correctly. Every Social Media site is different and to get the most out of each Social Media site it makes sense to find out how to use that particular site and join in the community. Although Pinterest is grouped within Social Media, it is quite different to Facebook and Twitter, and you might find it helpful to think of it as a mini search engine, as people that love Pinterest and use it regularly will go there and search for things they love and want to pin. I use Pinterest to organise blog posts that I may need to refer back to and that I think my followers will find useful. I also pin for fun, fashion, gift and home ideas I like, Dr Who, recipes that I will most probably never get round to making, Green living and motivational quotes.
So who is using Pinterest?
Is your ideal customer a women between 25-44 years old, who is educated and is a middle to high earner? Then you should think seriously about starting to use Pinterest. If your business is in any one of these categories you definitely need to be on Pinterest, Food & Drink, Crafts, Women’s Fashion, Weddings, Travel.
So here are my top 10 tips for getting more out of Pinterest
1) Always make sure you link your pins
Because one of the great things about Pinterest is the quality free referal traffic this is one thing you do not want to get wrong. An unlinked pin will say image, next to like on the pin rather than visit site, an unlinked pin will just take you to a jpeg image rather than the specific page that the image was pinned from. To make pinning easier add the pin it button to your tool bar, go to help in Pinterest to get the right pin it button for your browser. Always link a pin to the page where you found it, as the idea is you are making your content easy to find, if you send me to your home page rather than the blog post or product page I won’t bother trying to search your site I’ll just leave. Great pin but it doesn’t take you to the blog post.
2) Start thinking of Pinterest as a search engine rather than Social Media site
When Pinterest started out it was seen as a Social Media site for sharing and collating images, however it is so much more. People who love Pinterest will use the search facility in Pinterest before they go to Google to find information and products. Do you sell products? Ever thought of using Pinterest as an online catalogue? Keep an eye out for people that are pinning your products directly from your site and repin those pins. There are 3 ways you can search on Pinterest – pins, boards and pinners so this is where you want to be adding keywords in different areas of Pinterest so that you get found for your keywords.
3) Always complete your profile
As with all other social media sites always complete your profile with a profile pic and complete the bio using keywords that you want your business to be found for, so that if someone is using your keywords and searching in Pinners you will appear. If you are using Pinterest for business you should have set up a business account. Linking your Pinterest account to your Twitter account is a good idea as then you can share some of your pins on Twitter so that existing followers can see you are on Pinterest as well. Don’t Tweet all your pins though.
4) Titles of boards
Although Pinterest is based on pictures you need to use words in the right places to get your pins found via search as mentioned in 2. The first place to use keywords is in the titles of your boards so if you are a wedding planner rather than naming boards, cakes, dresses, jewellery, shoes, hairstyles, etc you need to use the words that your clients will be typing into search such as chocolate wedding cakes, vintage wedding dresses, Gothic themed weddings so that your boards and pins will be found in search. Your boards and pins will also come up in Google searches too if they described well. If you have an about me board call it your name or business name for example Jackie Elton/Social Media Lincs rather than about me. The difference between using cakes as a title and wedding cakes as a title for your board. Also if you have been on Pinterest for a while and you may have boards called Products I Love, Books worth reading, Animals, My style, For the Home. (These were generic boards that were present when you opened your Pinterest account.) If they have a lot of pins on change their names to Social Media Books worth reading or something that sets you apart from all the other boards with those titles. Don’t believe me, do a search using those board titles and see how many boards appear. However, if you don’t have many pins on these boards, repin the pins and delete the boards. You want your Pinterest account to stand out and look professional. Examples of “products I love” boards
5) Describe all boards & Categorise your boards
As I have mentioned you want to be putting your keywords in places that help your profile, boards and pins to be found. Therefore describe what you board is about, such as Vintage wedding ideas including wedding cakes, dresses and ideas for venues. Add your boards to categories, some businesses fit into the available categories easier than others, like weddings, travel or food and drink, opposed to Green Living. This means if someone is browsing via categories your pins might be found.
6) Describe pins
When I started out on Pinterest several years ago, when it was relatively new, I didn’t know what I was doing and I wasn’t using it for business. I would pin something and the description would be something like gorgeous, love it, wow, pretty. Apologies if you ever find any of my early pins. Obviously from a keyword and Search Engine perspective these are useless. Don’t use too many words but do describe your pins using keywords.
7) Create your own unique images
80% of pins are repins, this is an important statistic, if you want to stand out on Pinterest. It basically means that there are a lot of the same pins on Pinterest, so if you create your own pinnable images for your blog posts then these will stand out and if they get repinned they stand a higher chance of being repinned. There are so many great, easy to use design programmes and apps that there is no excuse for not producing your own visual content. Canva.com is easy to use as is PicMonkey if you like taking pictures with your phone PicsArt is a great app. I use it for creating quote pictures. If you are really short on time and aren’t good at design then make some quote images using Quozio.com.
Read my post about creating your own images to share on Social Media for some ideas on what you could create. You can also pin YouTube videos, so if you create your own YouTube videos you can pin them too.
8) Re-arrange your boards
The first 8 or 10 boards are the first thing someone sees when they click on your profile so it is the first impression they get of your business. However, if in the middle of summer the first board they see is a Christmas ideas board followed by a Valentine themed party board, they may not bother looking further down your boards and see your Summer Party ideas board or your great about me board.
9) Cover Images
Cover images are really important firstly these are bigger and are what people will notice when they first come to your profile, so they need to be beautiful and a good representation of your individual boards and your business in general. They are what make people want to see what else is on your boards. The Cover Image is usually the first pin that you pin on a board so if that isn’t the best cover image change it by hovering over the cover image and then click change cover.
10) Secret Boards
Use Secret boards to pin things that you don’t want your followers to see, this could be ideas for a new product or project, pins from competitors, blog post that you find interesting but that don’t fit with your business brand.
There is more to Pinterest than I can put in one post but these are the basics and some of the common things that people could do better.
This article first appear in issue 10 of Business Rocks online magazine. If you would like to work with me to get Pinterest working for you, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the contact form.