For many, Pinterest is that social network where only women hang out and spend their time sharing beautiful pictures from all walks of life. But turns out, Pinterest is much more than that. If you know how Pinterest works, then, as a business, you can use it to your advantage.
Many users (both male and female) tend to depend on it for different things. Right from finding unknown recipes to planning their baby shower to creating their own designer collections. The social network is huge, and there is an endless supply of ideas for everyone.
If you look beneath the skin of this fast-growing social media site and try to understand how Pinterest works, you’ll see what all it can do for your business — regardless of the niche you are operating in.
Imagine, what if you could…
- Give your customers a real feel of your products/services online
- Paint a picture of the solution you’re providing and generate visual cues
- Consistently deliver new yet relevant ideas to your audience
- Build a massive following with the help of professional visual content
Sounds exciting, right?
When you actually realize how Pinterest works to help your business grow, a whole new world opens before you. You start to think outside the box and apply marketing ideas that you never thought were possible. You begin to see opportunities that were previously invisible to you.
Pinterest may not be a search engine, but it is definitely a place where your target audience could be searching for new inspiration or the right solution. They could actually be looking for a product or service like yours.Now, before you jump on the Pinterest bandwagon and go crazy with your pinning activity, you need to stop and think. In other words, you need to strategize. Because without a strategy, you’ll only be headed in the wrong direction. Try to take a slow and steady approach as time/money are limited resources that you do not want to waste.
What Exactly is Pinterest?
Ever created an online photo album made up of your favorite pictures? Pinterest is that, with an added twist, a big one at that. How Pinterest works is it lets its users post or “pin” original visuals, and as well as bookmark or “pin” them from across the Internet. These pins make up a theme-based virtual photo album or gallery known as a “board”.
In order to help you understand better on how Pinterest works for business owners, it’s important that you first familiarize with some Pinterest basics. And understand how some of the important elements work:
When a user saves a visual (image or video) to their Pinterest account, it becomes a Pin. While the visual is an attraction for the user, the link that follows it is what you as a business should be interested in. Since each pin links back to its originating source, it can become a great way for getting targeted referral traffic to your business site. Which you can then convert into leads or sales.
Some Pinterest users are compulsive pinners, which is why Pinterest Pins have ballooned to billions in number over the years. When a user Pins too many visuals, it can get difficult to find the right Pin. So Pinterest allows users to organize all their Pins into relevant collections, which are aptly called Boards. Users can either follow an account or an individual Board of interest.
If you’re familiar with the Facebook newsfeed, then you already know how Pinterest works. All the pinning activity from the people you follow on Pinterest gets displayed in your feed.
The reason why marketers love Pinterest is because they can research pins and profiles to learn about the tastes of their target audience. Secondly, they also get a clear picture of products/services their audience might be interested in. The social media platform specially works great for marketers who are focused promoting physical products.
You are given two clear options when you create a Pinterest account:
- Individual Account
- Business Account
Although both of these Pinterest accounts don’t cost a dime, their purpose is different. When you sign up for the business account, you get access to in-depth analytics data that you wouldn’t have in the personal account.
How Pinterest Works for Businesses Who Seek Growth
The social media world has become huge over the years, with sites like Facebook dominating it. All this while Pinterest has quietly made a name for itself and garnered a huge audience. As of today, people across the world are regularly using Pinterest for various reasons. It is seen as a place where anybody can find inspiration for new ideas, find products to buy or simply learn about brands.
According to a study done by eMarketer, Pinterest is the second largest social network in the US. (after Facebook) that helps people discover new products and indirectly influences their buying decision.
Let’s look into how Pinterest works to help you market your business, build a brand, and generate more sales.
- Pinterest Lets You Drive Targeted Traffic
Are you looking for high quality traffic without spending gobs of money on advertising? If your answer is yes, then you should understand how Pinterest works for businesses who want to build targeted backlinks to their sites. These links are valuable because they help you generate referral traffic at a consistent basis.
Compared to other social media sites, Pinterest is more likely to send you relevant traffic when you use it right. If you can create and post high quality visual content on Pinterest, you will have more of the users share your content and following your links.
- Pinterest Lets You Convert Better
Even though the Internet has grown huge, there are still people hesitant about making online purchases. How Pinterest works to remove this hesitation is simple: it destroys common sales barriers by lowering the number of steps it takes for someone to convert.
It acts like a sort of a visual search engine and takes users directly to the relevant source. Which means people browsing Pinterest Pins have a higher chance of converting into a lead or sale.
- Pinterest Lets You Generate Real Engagement
The biggest upside of using Pinterest for business is the fact that its users are used to sharing good content with a targeted group of audience that trusts their recommendation. So if you can give people what they are looking for, you can make your pins get seen be the right audience and maybe even go viral on the social network. You get real engagement, from real people.
- Pinterest Lets You Get In Your Audience’s Mind
Who doesn’t want to discover precisely what their target audience wants? When you’re using Pinterest for business, you get the keys to audience interests. You not only get to see what is currently trending, but also get into the shoes of your audience to understand their likes/dislikes. Knowing what is popular today is critical data that you can use to customize your products and services. And create demand like never before.
Regardless of whether you have used Pinterest for business or not, you are not late to make the most of this powerful social media platform.
Given below are some of the most practical tips for using Pinterest for business and get the highest return on your monetary and time investment, both.
Tip #1: Prep Up Your Business Profile
Setting up a business profile on Pinterest is a walk in the park, but you have to make sure you’re hitting the right notes. In other words, you need to prep your profile and ensure you don’t leave your profile looking empty and barren. People on Pinterest will find your profile more enticing when they see your serious approach.
When using Pinterest for business, you have to keep in mind the importance of being professional. And giving your profile that professional edge doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are three things that need to be on point:
- High-Res Logo: One of the first things that users will notice when they visit your Pinterest profile is your company logo. Whether you are a small or a medium-sized business, having a clear logo makes your profile look more authentic and professional. See to it that you’re following the sizing guidelines laid out by Pinterest for the logo.
- Attractive Bio: Even though Pinterest is a visual platform, the importance of having a clean text bio doesn’t get diminished. Having a relevant description about your brand gives first-time visitors enough information about your company. And what new followers can expect from your account. It also shows that you took out the time to put in the right details. You may want to link in your bio points to a relevant landing page for best results.
- Featured Boards: Anybody new visiting your profile should get a fair idea of what kind of content you publish. By having a couple of featured boards showcasing your best pins, you portray yourself as a brand that cares about its followers.
Building your presence on Pinterest and gaining targeted followers starts with a professional-looking profile. People should know what your brand stands for, its values and also the kind of content followers can see from you.
Tip #2: Keep Track of Relevant Trends
Creating great content for your Pinterest account starts with knowing what your audience likes. In other words, you have to focus on what type of content is popular on the site so that you can produce something on the same lines.
One of the best ways to understand what to create is to spot a relevant trend and take advantage of it. Don’t be a company that limits its reach by not going beyond its own categories. Instead, be a brand that knows how to jump on a trend before it is too late. Yes, it takes a little effort to consistently keep track of trending topics, but in the end it’s totally worth it.
The idea is to analyze what kind of content Pinterest users are regularly consuming and the type of topics that they are interested in. Next, you can use this knowledge to create original yet relevant Pins that your target audience can connect with. These Pins are not to be salesy in nature but informative. Which helps drive traffic back to the website.
Here’s a real world example for you…
UNIQLO is a company that has found real success by leveraging major trends for their Pinterest marketing. For instance, they worked with their marketing agency to spot a trending topic on Pinterest that dealt with DIY hairstyles. Using this information, they managed to launch a new line of clothing with the help of a connected campaign.
In this particular campaign, clothes by UNIQLO were paired with 16 different hairstyles. They also offered detailed tutorials to make it easier. This not only made UNIQLO look like a unique brand but it also attracted relevant users who were originally interested in the trending hair-related topic.
Tip #3: Focus on Content Types Proven to Work
Without the right kind of content, your Pinterest marketing strategy will suffer. However, since the content on Pinterest is different than other social networks, you need to make sure you’re providing real variety to your followers.
By now you should know that Pinterest is a visual social network, with photographs being used in many unique ways. In order to make Pinterest work for your brand, you need to know what images to post and how to create a perfect content strategy.
Just the way it is important to link to relevant sources, it’s also important to post the right type of image so that you get highest amount of traction from it.
If you look around Pinterest, you’ll find that there are a few types of content that are proven to work. So when you’re offering a variety of different content to your followers and non-followers, you should try to use content that is proven to work.
Share Do-It-Yourself Tutorials
Social media marketing has always crossed path with content marketing. And one of the main components of a successful content marketing strategy is to educate your prospects/customers with informative content. Since Pinterest is all about posting the best images, it becomes easy to educate people via pictures. Which is exactly why educational content is so popular on Pinterest.
Many people these days don’t like to wade through a long, detailed blog post; they’d rather bookmark it for reference. However, this doesn’t change the fact that people want to be educated. Using Pinterest’s unique “image-based” angle, your brand can craft DIY and how-to tutorials to teach people what they want to learn.
When you give away quality content in the form of bite-sized, easily digestible information, you are feeding Pinterest users with the knowledge they’re looking for. Another plus point of creating such content is that it helps you gain backlinks from relevant sources and also encourages social shares.
Spread Inspirational Ideas
Pinterest has a lot of visual content that deals with inspiration ideas. Users regularly follower “Inspirational Boards” to keep seeking inspiration. Regardless of the market your business is in, you can create relevant, inspiration content to motivate your target audience and have them share your content with their own network.
Whenever you share anything inspiring with your Pinterest followers, you can be sure of getting some traction. For instance, if you are interior design firm, you could post eye-catching images that share decor ideas of different types. Or if you are a business consultancy, you can post images with motivational quotes for entrepreneurs. As long as you think out of the box, the sky’s the limit.
When it comes to attracting social shares, there is little doubt that infographics work great. No wonder they are highly popular in B2B circles. By pinning infographics to your Pinterest Boards, you can also get more people to embed your content on their own site.
If your aim is to build a large, targeted following on Pinterest and have them regularly interact with your content, then infographic-based posts are perfect. Initially, you may be linking out to other relevant blogs and sites from your boards. That’s fine, as long as your followers get used to clicking through on your shared infographics.
Tip #4: Curate Pins the Right Way
Pinterest became huge not just because people created and shared visual content on it. It became what it is today because the majority of the users preferred to re-share content on their account. These Repins are known as Saves, and by curating them, you add more weight to your own account and increase its potential.
The question is, how do you go about curating Pins the right way? How do you ensure you get the best results from your efforts?
How Pinterest works to deliver the “right content” to its users is no different than other popular social networks like Facebook and Instagram. Right content here means content that people want to see.
Which is why you need to get familiar with the kind of content your target audience likes on Pinterest. You need to do a bit of homework to see what all according to you would work perfect for sharing. As you explore, keep saving anything interesting and relevant.
While curating is an important part of your Pinterest marketing strategy, you need to limit it so that you’re also sharing original content. The best way to go about this is to use 80/20 rule so that you’re re-pinning 80% content from other accounts, and the rest of the 20% is your own.
As you start, keep the following priorities in your mind:
- Network with other Pinterest users by following them and interacting with their content.
- Before you start creating and sharing original content, build a strong foundation with the help of curated content. This will not only help you discover your target audience but will also help you grow your own followers.
- Get into the shoes of your target audience so that you’re only sharing content they prefer to consume and share with others.
Remember, Pinterest is not only about creating great content. It’s also about helping your audience discover relevant content. So even if you’re not creating the majority of your Pinterest content, there are chances that your target audience will like your curation efforts and start following you.
Tip #5: Don’t Be Afraid to Sell
Now, if you’ve ever tried social selling before, you should know that it can be intimidating at first. What if your audience doesn’t like it? Or worse, what if they see you as a spammer or a company that’s only interested in generating profit?
Having such fears is understandable. However, if you do it right, social selling can work in your favor rather than against you. After all, who doesn’t want more business ethically?
Look around and see how Pinterest works for businesses (big and small) who are indulging in both soft selling and hard selling. Which of course depends on the product or service they are promoting.
The thing with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter is that promoting products directly is frowned upon by these companies because they see their networks as a way to socialize. But the good aspect of Pinterest is that it outshines even other visual social media networks such as Instagram.
According to a study done by Shopify, people actually spend big money on Pinterest. They found that the highest “average order value” when it comes to social sales is generated from Pinterest. Digging deeper, the company also discovered that a whopping 90% of users are actually using Pinterest to learn more about products before they make a buying decision.
The point is, if you have a worthy product or service to sell (in B2C and even B2B), you can go about on your selling-adventure on Pinterest. Don’t be afraid to take high quality product photos and share them on your account.
What’s more, with Pinterest offering seller-friendly features such as a “buyable pins”, your potential customers can buy your products directly through Pinterest without even leaving the site. This can not only help you sell better, but also lets you increase your conversion rate. Now, how Pinterest works for your particular business depends on a number of factors.
Put Knowing How Pinterest Works to Good Use
Where other social media networks fail, Pinterest succeeds. That’s how Pinterest works. Because using Pinterest for business lets you effortlessly do more business. No surprises there.
If you think you’re ready to start promoting, sharing, and/or selling on Pinterest but need a little help getting started, then check out our Pinterest Management or Pinterest Advertising services. Then give us a call or schedule a time to chat about how our social media marketing company can help you grow on Pinterest.