The numbers are in and Pinterest is rocking the charts. In March 2012 Pinterest had 2.3 billion page views and 4 million unique page views with an average of 14.2 minutes spent per visit. Referral traffic for Pinterest grew from 2.5% in December 2011 to 3.6% in January 2012, effectively outstripping the referral traffic of Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.
So, how can your business utilize the power of Pinterest? Here are a few basic suggestions to get you started:
#1 – Lay Down A Game Plan
With the ability to pin just about anything and everything, starting and maintaining a Pinterest account can be very overwhelming.
First, and foremost, create your account profile. It should include your logo, key words related to your business, and links to your website and affiliated social media channels.
Make it easy for people to pin things from your site! Pinterest offers multiple free tools to make your website or blog Pin-easy. Install them (Pin It button, Board widget, the Follow Me Button to include on your pages, e-mail footers, etc) to encourage people to follow and share your content.
Even if you are present on only one or two other social media sites integrate Pinterest with them. Add Pin it buttons to your YouTube, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts and sound the Call-to-Action alarm to follow you on Pinterest.
As tempting as it is to start pinning and re-pinning everything in sight, you must take the time to consider how your boards will be organized to keep it from becoming a hodgepodge of (awesome) things. Reflect on what you are trying to promote and plan your boards accordingly. Boards should be consistent with their topic and category. You want maneuvering through your boards to be seamless and engaging. With so many boards to follow you need to ensure that you are providing quality content that will keep visitors on your boards.
#2 – Promote More Than Just Your Product
Pinterest is about more than individual products and interests; it is about the lifestyles they encompass. Do not solely self promote your products – pin content that portrays your businesses’ products, services, values, beliefs, and interests. The idea is to create a presence that others relate to.
Make boards and pin things that relate to the lifestyle surrounding your products and services. For example, a publishing house would pin things like quotes from their favorite authors, literary landmarks around the world, pictures of employees’ favorite places to read, etc; not just plugs for the titles they carry.
Give consumers an insight into the values and lifestyles that your business, and your employees, lives by. A board including behind-the-scenes office hi-jinks or causes espoused by your business, such as fundraisers and charity events you have participated in, expand the conversation you have with consumers. Usually limited to face-to-face interaction with a consumer, Pinterest opens the door for broadening the relationship with your consumer on a larger, yet intimate, scale. Another good way to create a greater sense of community is to include pictures and quotes of people using your product or enjoying the service you provide.
Remember, Pinterest is a SOCIAL media platform, so be an active member of the community. Follow other people, businesses, or individual boards. Doing so will help you actively create a community of followers.
Balance content involving your products and services by showcasing those of others. Promote people and businesses that you admire and respect by re-pinning and commenting on their pins. In addition, track those that re-pin your content and make an effort to get to their boards and thank them! It goes a long way and will increase traffic back to your own content.
#3 – Presence Is the Essence
Maintaining a presence on any social media site is like maintaining a garden. As much as one would like to believe you can simply plant a few photos, sprinkle some quotes here and there, and let it all take root and manage itself, it doesn’t work that way. Constant attention and maintenance is crucial to developing a bright, fresh presence in the community. You must post original content that you truly believe in regularly, and comment often.
That is not to say that you should Pin-dump every opportunity you have. Don’t spam your content – post a few photos every couple of days to stay fresh in the latest images category without overtly dominating any single category. This will help you from coming off as a dead-beat spammer. Remember, your pin will be regularly cycled back to the top of the page as people re-pin your content, keeping it in view for many days.
With that goal in mind, it cannot be stressed enough to create and use as much original content as possible. Do not use the same photo multiple times, even if it links to a different page. Stock photos and popular images will cycle extremely quickly and few people will re-post the same image twice. STAY FRESH! Multiple tools exist to help you create original and eye-catching visuals and infographics, as well as measure the success rate of your pins.
As mentioned above, have a regular and consistent presence on your boards – people expect comments and inquiries to be responded to. It is a great way to show your consumer that you care about, and value, them and their time.
These suggestions outline the very basics of what it takes to create and organize an efficient and useful Pinterest account. Many, and more resources, abound to help you create original and eye-catching content for your website, insure the credibility of your pins, and track and measure the success of your own Pinterest account. A concise and incredibly useful article with additional information relating to using Pinterest for your business can be found here.
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester NY web design firm specializing in SEO, social media, web and graphic design and much more.