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Using Pinterest to Grow Your Business

by Terra L. Fletcher on February 28, 2012 · 6 comments

in General

According to Social Media Today, “Pinterest is generating more referral traffic to websites/blogs than YouTube, Google +, and LinkedIn combined.” That in itself sounds like good reason to learn how to use the site as a marketing tool. I’m having fun getting started. Pinterest is definitely the social media site to watch in 2012.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a visual bookmarking site. Each pin on the virtual pinboard or corkboard links to an external website. People share, discover, and comment on others Pinterests. You can create boards based on a theme or topic. For me that might be social media news, cooking, and non-fiction books. Followers can choose just to follow my marketing or social media pins without having to get updates on my workout plans, for example. When marketers pin things that their customers would be interested in, they can drive traffic. You can also allow others to pin onto your board.

But it’s more than that. Like any social media tool, like attending a party, you can’t just walk out there and start talking about how great you are. To make Pinterest work for you, for your business, you need to build a following, know your customers, find out what they’re interested in and have a strategic plan. Just like at a party, spend some time observing. Find out who you know, who you’d like to know, what’s being talked about. Put in your time listening and slowly build your following. The content should start at a slow pace, until you get the rhythm of the network.

Driving Traffic to your Website or Blog

Big brands have already been using Pinterest. You’ll find Land’s End and Etsy have tens of thousands of followers. The site is heavily skewed to the female demographic at present, but this is expected to level out. There are nearly 500 million users and the site is growing fast. Users are averaging about 15 minutes each visit.

Make it easy for Pinterest users to pin by including a graphic with every blog or article you write. You can get badges from Pinterest to add to your site. Creating a catchy graphic, encourage your visitors to pin their favorite things. Pin images of your own products on pinboards. Use infographics to showcase less visually-oriented services or ideas. Try Linky. The widget used in your blog collects links from your readers. Follow Land’s End’s lead. There “Pin It to Win It” contest generated a huge amount of interest. Fans pinned products they liked and Land’s End got exposure on boards all over the site.

Using Pinterest for Market Research

You can see where pins came from on a specific web domain. What a great way to discover what people are pinning from your website. Simply go to http://pinterest.com/source/”yourdomain.com” to see what visitors to your website find relevant and interesting.

Remember that perception is reality. Whatever your customers say your brand is, that is what your brand is. Look at the name of the boards you’re pinned to. Is it Products I Love? Home Décor? I Want? How many followers is there on any boards your site is pinned to? You’ll also want to pay attention to the influencers. When you identify influencers, you can increase sales.

Are you on Pinterest? Let us know what you’re doing in the comments.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Shruti September 18, 2013 at 4:54 pm

You are so right! I love the way photos are there forever, with their provenance (I started pinning because there were photos of my driftwood headboard all over the internet and people obviously didn’t know where they were from. Hey ladies, it’s my bed!)

It is the easiest way to collate all the things which interest you – Pin away and suddenly realise you have a theme, so create a new board. Also I now have an inside track on people who share my love of Japanese boro, so I’m collecting lovely images from them, and sharing my own. Pictures from my website are up there too, I can let people know where they came from and keep Rough Linen images under my watchful eye. I can even see what grabs people’s imagination – market research!

Best of all, it is pleasurable. We Love Pinterest!

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