Pinteresting your business - increase traffic and gain customers
Go with what's hot
It is always a good idea to follow the latest trends and success stories online when promoting your business, because it can generate a lot of traffic and interest for your site or products. There is no doubt that the current hot property on the internet is Pinterest it's growth has been almost exponential, and in May 2012 was the 38th most visited site on the internet - not bad for a website still in beta phase and which only started two years before. As well as being one of the most visited sites, it also has a lot of user engagement, with the average user spending 89 minutes per month on the site (compared to 3 minutes for Google Plus). It's also one of the biggest referrers, referring more business than Google Plus, LinkedIn or You Tube. This is because it is centred around great products - more on this later.
Promoting your Homepage
Promoting your website homepage on Pinterest (as opposed to individual pages) is actually not that easy. This is because the profile page is very limited, and text isn't used much on the site. You can add your website to your profile, but all that does is allow people to visit your site by clicking on the tiny homepage image on your Pinterest profile. You do get a couple of lines to describe yourself in your profile and you can include your website address, but it won't be a clickable link. So if you've got a short, snappy and memorable web address than great, otherwise not so good. You can however try to sell your website in those couple of lines, and if it is strongly linked to lots of great pins, you may get people clicking through.
The best thing to do, if you have
Promoting Individual Products & Pages
This is what Pinterest is really good at. If you've got a great looking, interesting product and a gorgeous picture to go with it, then 'pin' the picture from the product page of your website. If there is a price on the page for the product, it will automatically add the page to the gifts section on the website in the relevant price category.
Even if you don't have a product to promote but just want to promote an article or web page, you can do that easily too. Just make sure there's a great image on the page, then pin it just the same.
When you pin something, a link to that page is automatically included, so people can click through to your website if they want to. You can also add whatever description you want to go with the picture when you pin it, just type in the box provided.
The number one greatest thing with Pinterest is that even if you don't have any followers, a good pin will often make its own way and get lots of people re-pinning it (sharing with their followers). On my first day on Pinterest I pinned a great looking piece of jewellery from Etsy, and within a few hours 49 people had re-pinned it. Hundreds, probably thousands of people saw it, all because a new user had pinned something that looked good. I don't really know any other social network where you can do that.
Boards & Categories
One of the really good things about Pinterest is that you can have multiple boards if you want people (most people do), so if you've got different types of products you want to promote then you can have different boards. Pinterest users can 'globally follow' all of your boards, but most people will just follow one or more of your boards. Being able to have different boards with different followers allows you to build up several niches at once from the same account.
When you create a board, you get asked what category to put it in - by having different boards in different categories you potentially get more exposure on the site. This is probably particularly relevant if you have a website to promote rather than products, as you can set up boards in many different categories and add pictures to your website accordingly and then pin them.
'Pin it' Button
A lot of regular Pinterest users will have a 'Pin it' button on their bookmarks bar on their browser, however it is a good idea to add a Pin It button to each page of your site that you want people to pin images from. This means everyone can pin from your page, and it reminds people to pin things.
To an a Pin It button you just need to add a couple of lines of code, which you can get here:
The strategy is similar to for other social networking sites: Pin often, and spend time on the site. I'd have boards for each separate niche/category. Make sure there's plenty of pins on each board, and add new pins regularly. Also, re-pin other people's pins, and comment on people's pins. You can also respond to any comments on your pins, which is good for interacting with potential customers.
Take Good Pictures. This should be number one really, because without great pictures, you won't get much out of the site. When writing articles and web pages, think about taking or sourcing gorgeous, unusual or interesting pictures. People seeing your pin (or someone else's re-pin of your pin) may well click through to your website if they like the picture. If you have the time, create clever visual infographics to go with any articles. People like great infographics and are more likely to click through to your website than they would for just a nice picture.
Agree? Disagree? Any More Ideas?
Let me know what you think in the comments below. If you've got any more ideas, things that you have tried that worked or didn't, let us know in the comments.
A Little Poll
What do you think of Pinterest?
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