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How to Promote Your Site Using Pinterest
Are you looking for easy and free ways to promote your site by branching out into social media?
Pinterest has exploded into the social media scene pulling in millions of daily users. And you can take advantage of its popularity and use it to promote your site. Pinterest is easy to use and offers a way to create links that potential visitors are actually likely to click rather than just skip over.
Using Pinterest to promote your site is a great idea because pinboards actually rank pretty high in Google searches and they are "do follow" links. A lot of businesses have seen great success with Pinterest both with increased traffic to sites and increased sales of products and services.
Keep reading to find an overview of Pinterest, some do's and don't of using the site, and some ways to use the site to gain readership for your own content. Get ready to step into the inspiring, addictive, and useful world of Pinterest.
Pinterest Guides and How-to's
Pinterest is basically a site that users social media link sharing site. Users pin links, photos, and videos to virtual bulletin boards.
Think of Pinterest as bookmarks but with pictures instead of words. The links that are shared are called "pins" and are in the form of a picture or video with a brief text description. Users can create "pinboards" for various themes like event inspiration, food, clothes, places, and so on.
Currently the site only accepts new members by invitation only, but you can request an invite directly from the site or have a friend who is a current Pinterest user send you an invitation. Typically invitations are received within a few hours or at most a day.
The majority of current users are female. The pins that gain the most popularity are food, craft, and clothing type of links that appeal to that demographic. But the diversity of pins and users is changing and developing daily.
If you think your site or business has something to interest Pinterest users, then get started promoting with Pinterest using the tips and ideas below.
Pinterest Tips and Tricks
Using Pinterest for Promotion: Do's and Don'ts
- Don't pin just your own stuff. Tons of links to your own site will make you stick out like a sore thumb. Other users will label you a spammer and won't follow you.
- Do make about 5-10% of the stuff you pin your own. Uploading unique pictures just to Pinterest is also encouraged. Browse the site and find other people's stuff that you really like and pin it, too.
- Do write something interesting about yourself in your user profile. There is a spot to add a link to your site. That way curious followers can find out more about you and become potential followers of your site.
- Do connect to Twitter and Facebook and allow Pinterest to post to your timeline. It can make your friends and followers curious. It is the number one way to find people to follow on Pinterest and for people to find and follow you.
- Don't tweet or post about everything you pin. Your friends will start skipping it in the feed altogether. Timeline will post the highlights on the news feed. Only create special posts for the really amazing things that you think your friends will especially like.
Are you a pinner?
- Do be cautious about what pins you add to the site because of copyright issues. If you own the content, feel free. If the website has Pinterest sharing buttons, then pinning is fine.
- Don't add a pin if you aren't sure or don't have permission of the content owner. Some artists and photographers would rather not have their photos or art shared on Pinterst. Here's more about copyright and using Pinterest legally.
- Don't pin a misleading picture to get clicks. This could get you banned from Pinterest for being a spammer.
- Do choose a good, clear, and appealing picture to use for each thing you pin. Scroll through the images in the pin adding tool and pick out the best picture for the link. The picture is what draws people to click on a pin and to repin it themselves.
Use Pinterest Correctly
- Pinterest and Copyright: How to Use Pinterest Legally
There is no need to fear that you will get in legal trouble for using Pinterest. List of safe things to pin and some things to avoid pinning as well as a discussion about Pinterest and copyright.
- Don't link to the homepage of a site when you are adding pins. Sites like blogs will add new things and the picture that you pinned will be lost below later posts. Link to specific articles or posts so that other pinners can easily find what you pinned.
- Do add a relevant link to each pin. This ensure that you have properly credited the site the picture came from. If you are adding your own pictures, you can link to a site that inspired the photo.
- Don't use more than a few sentences in the description of the pin. Other users who are interested can click on the link to find out more information for themselves.
- Do write a sentence or two of description or explanation with each pin. Other pinners are more likely to check out your pin if they know what it is about and its relevance to them. Add a description that will be enticing to other users.
- Do use keywords and hashtags. Similar to Twitter, you can use "#keyword" to make pins and boards easier to find in searches. Add one keyword to the stuff you add.
- Do tag another user in a pin with "@username." If you find a pin you know a certain user would love, tag them so they will pay special attention to it.
- Don't overuse the tagging feature, though. People receive notifications when they are tagged. No one will appreciate getting a notification every time you pin something. Tag people sparingly and when it is relevant only.
- Do add price tags with products. Simply use the "$" and put the price like "$24.99" and Pinterest will automatically add a price tag across the top of the pin. It will show up in the "Gifts" section as well.
- Do select categories and fill in descriptions on your boards. This is another way to increase your content's chances of being discovered in searches.
- Do follow people you like. It is a great way to network with other Pinterest users and interact with more pins.
- Don't expect everyone you follow to reciprocate. Not everyone who you follow will follow your boards back.
- Do comment, like, and repin the things that the people you follow have shared. Interacting with others is the best way to encourage other people to do the same with the things you have pinned.
- Do your part to use the site correctly and legally and Pinterest can remain a fun way to share cool stuff.
More Pinterest Promotion Ideas
Promoting Your Site
- Add Pinterest buttons to your site. Readers can pin something they like similar to Facebook "like" buttons. You can also add a "Follow me" button so viewers can follow you on Pinterest.
- Have a contest via Pinterest. You can also post freebies from your site or host a Pinterest event. These will encourage other users to follow you and to interact with your pins. Check out the link to the right to brainstorm some ideas.
- Create an interesting video and pin it. A how-to-guide about something your site does or a spotlight on one of your products is a great way to start.
- Allow other users, customers, or employees to pin to your boards. Make a fan favorites board or a best customers board or anything that will engage other users. They will feel more connected to your site and involved if they are allowed to contribute.
- Create your Pinterest RSS feed and share it on your website, on Facebook, and other sites you use frequently. This is good advertising for both your site and to gain more Pinterest followers. See my Pinterest feed to the right. Curious viewers may be enticed to click on it and check out what I have pinned. RSS feed can be made by going to your profile page. Add "feed.rss" to the end of the web address. You can also create a board-specific RSS feed by going to the board page. Then adding "rss" to the end of the url.
- Targeted pinboards are the best way to promote your site. See below to find out how to create one for your content.
Make Targeted Pinboards to Promote Your Site
Creating Targeted Pin Boards
One of the best ways to effectively promote yourself on Pinterest is creating targeted pinboards. These will draw in users who are interested in the topic and are therefore more likely to follow you and to interact with your pins.
- Begin by thinking about your website's or brand's niche. What kind of articles or posts do you have on your site? Do you specialize in certain products? If you have several different topics, pick one to start off with. You can make several different boards that relate to all the niches and themes your site covers.
- Keep in mind what interests the majority of users on Pinterest. If you need to, scroll through the popular stuff on the site to get a feel for it. A post about SEO marketing won't be popular on Pinterest, but a recipe for ice cream cake might. Get a feel who the audience of Pinterest is and what they like and share.
- Research common searches with the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. See what keywords about your topic people are looking for.
- Start a pin board about that topic using some of the highly searched words from the research. Try to make the board as specific as possible.
#1 Rule of Pinterest Promotion
Keep the links you add to your own content relevant and to a minimum.
- Name the board something that people will search for and something that will catch other users' attention. The name of the board becomes its url. Changing the name of the board will change the web address as well, so pick a name and stick with it. That way it can get indexed and found by search engines. Some of my targeted boards are "Glow in the Dark Party Ideas," "Mexican Meals," and "Camping Ideas." These boards won't get lost in the broader topics of recipes or party ideas.
- Select a category for the board so that it will show up in category related searches.
- Be sure to fill in the description and even add hashtags to increase your board's chances of being found in searches.
- Now start filing the board with relevant pins. Search for your keywords in the Pinterest search bar. Repin things you find interesting or something that could be helpful to your followers.
- Add a pin or a few pins from your own site, but don't fill the board with your own content. Stuffing it with self-promoting links is the best way to get snubbed by other users. But a few discreet links to your own stuff that compliments the board is great. Like a link to a ring you have for sale on Etsy would be something to include in a jewelry-related board.
- Keep adding relevant pins to the board on a regular basis.
- Be patient. It takes awhile for boards and pins to get indexed and to start showing up in searches. Eventually you will get more followers as other users discover your pins on the site.
What kind of things on Pinterest interest you the most?
- Go to settings under your user picture. Be sure that the button marked "Hide" is in the off position. This will allow your board to show up in search engines.
- See statistics about your influence on Pinterest with Pinreach.com. The site shows counts on how many repins and likes you have and the popularity of your boards.
- There are several Pinterest related apps available on both the Android and Apple markets. Download them to improve your use of the site.
- Check what's been pinned from your site using "http://pinterest.com/source/yoursitehere." If you write on a site that doesn't have unique domain names like Squidoo, you won't be able to see the pins that are just your content.
- You can also check to see other things pinned from a certain source by clicking on a pin and then scrolling to the bottom. It will show you the website it was pinned from. If you click on it, it will show you all the other pins from that site (if there are any).