Having recently taken on a new client who had never heard of Pinterest before, I realised it would make sense for me to write a basic introduction, looking at the basics of what it is and how businesses can benefit from using it.
An introduction to Pinterest
If you are familiar with mood boards, then Pinterest won't be too difficult to get your head around. It's essentially a digital pin board, a place where you can collate and categorise anything visually appealing that you come across online.
You can take a look at my own Pinterest here as an example - you'll see a wide range of different board topics. Whilst most of them are related to web design and my profession, I also have a number of other boards that are more personal. As with all social networks, one of the benefits of using Pinterest is that it gives you the ability to define not only a brand, but to expose the person or people behind that brand. This makes it much easier for people to relate to your brand and showcasing your passion, interests and areas of expertise is a great way of connecting with potential customers.
There is more to Pinterest than cupcakes, craft and cats
Whilst Pinterest is very well suited to visual imagery, it is increasingly being used as a way of collecting primarily text based content, such as recipes and blog articles. A decent blog article will have at least one picture, so posting this picture along with the blog article title and pinning it on a relevant board, can be great way of utilising Pinterest to promote non graphical content; in particular for service based businesses who don't have products to promote or attractive lifestyle shots to pin.
Some Pinteresting stats
- Pinterest is now either the 2nd or 3rd biggest social network, depending on which statistics you read, and is currently showing the fastest rate of growth
- There is no vertical size limit on pins, providing a great deal of scope for creativity
- Approximately 58% of Pinterest users are females
- Product pictures pinned with a price are more effective (that is to say they will generate a better CTR) than product pins with no price shown
- Click through and sales conversion rates are better on Pinterest than on either Twitter or Facebook
- Pinterest users tend to have a higher than average disposable income
- Some of the most popular Pinterest topics are interiors, DIY, cookery, fashion, hobbies and crafts
- Shoppers referred to a website via Pinterest spend 10% more than those referred by other sources
What's the point of Pinterest?
Pinterest provides the opportunity for businesses to demonstrate expertise and credibility in any given area. For example, when an interior design brand puts together a board featuring a large number of inspirational room themes, potential customers will often be inspired by such a board and will not only trust that brand, but will also look to it for ideas - you can effectively use Pinterest to add value, which is a great way of attracting new customers and increasing your appeal to existing customers.
Pinterest will not only provide you with more backlinks to your website, a crucial SEO ranking signal, but it will also increase your visibility. Instead of people finding your website, being visible on Pinterest gives you additional potential touch points.
Pinterest lets you source and post appealing content that others will find interesting and will want to like and share
Pinterest is an excellent way of showcasing your products and of demonstrating your passion and expertise in a particular area, and when your content engages people, they will like and share (repin) it, helping your content spread virally. This ensures that your brand reaches additional would-be customers, who might not otherwise have been exposed to your existing or usual marketing channels.
- Make sure you write an interesting profile, make it informative and try to give it a bit of personality
- Research your competition before you set up your own boards, see what topics your competitors cover so you can create boards that will be popular and interesting
- Add your main website address and be sure to follow the Pinterest verification process
- Give each board an informative name and make sure you include a compelling, keyword focused board description
- Optimise all the images that you upload - make sure the file names contain descriptive keywords. Once uploaded, edit your pin to include a link back to the original source or related content on your website.
- Keep the width of Pinterest images to around 540px and make the most of the fact there is no vertical size constraint. Narrow, long pins are much more eye catching than short images
- Write a number of 'how to' guides that deal with common problems your customers encounter, providing them with real value
- Create a board to showcase your latest, best selling or favourite products
- Don't forget to include calls to action on your boards and in pin descriptions
- Make sure you add the Pinterest share button to all of your product and content pages on your website and blog
- Comment on, like, share and follow other relevant boards