Pinterest is a huge driver of e-commerce.
Despite being much smaller than Facebook or Twitter at 25 million users, it accounts for more than 23% of all social media-driven sales. More than 47% of online consumers in the U.S. have made a purchase based on Pinterest recommendations, and the average order placed by users of the platform is $179 - compare that to $80 for Facebook and $69 for Twitter, and you can see why it's important to get more Pinterest followers.
Why you need Pinterest
Having a presence on Pinterest, engaging with your customers, and growing your audience can benefit your business in many ways. Receiving more likes, comments, impressions, clicks, and repins can drive traffic to your site, generate leads and sales, and build your brand - a study by Piqora found that a Pinterest pin generates 2 site visits, 6 pageviews, more than 10 repins, and an average of $0.78 in sales. Use these tips to grow your following:
1. Create a Pinterest profile that captures your business
The focus of Pinterest is content curation. Users are constantly looking for content they love and want to share - this means that you can create a lot of exposure for your brand.
- Your username should match your real name or business name. This will help people find you more easily.
- Fill out the "About" section by describing yourself or your business.
- Include a link to your website.
- Upload a profile photo - a headshot is best. People are more likely to follow a real person.
- Connect to your other social networks so users can find your social media profiles.
Pinterest is a visual platform, so pinning high-quality images is vital. The more you share and pin to your boards, the more your brand name will propagate. Your details are displayed below each pin, enabling Pinterest users to see who you are and gain access to your boards. Pinning visually appealing content can catch the attention of more people and attract more followers.
- 80% of Pinterest pins are repins, so be vigilant about only pinning things that represent your brand and interest your followers.
- Colorful images are preferred. Red, orange, and brown images are twice as likely to be repinned as blue images. Those with medium lightness are 20 times more likely to be repinned than dark/mostly black ones.
See my post 18 Tips for Optimizing our Pinterest Images to Improve SEO for more tips.
When you pin an image, Pinterest gives you the option to follow another board with the same image. Use this feature to your advantage by pinning more images. The more images you pin, the more likely you are to pin the same image as someone else - Pinterest will give them the opportunity to follow you, which will grow your audience.
3. Be active
Go to the Popular feed and comment on the most popular pins. Don't just comment on random pins - make sure that you know something about the content. Your comment should show people that you understand and care about the subject, so avoid brevity such as "Nice post" or "Great pin".
- Don't comment on posts more than 2 or 3 times a day: You risk being marked as a spammer and having your account suspended.
- Where possible, mention others in your comments or pin descriptions and say something nice - this will encourage them to follow you.
- Contribute quality pins to popular group boards that have many followers so their followers will become your followers as well.
Follow between 100 and 300 new people per day with similar interests, as they are likely to follow you back. If they choose not to follow you back after a few days, unfollow them and repeat the process.
4. Use other social media platforms
Leverage your Pinterest account on Facebook and Twitter, you can attract those who already follow you there.
- Tweet your pins
- Display your Pinterest activity on Facebook
- Add a link to your account in your Twitter and Facebook bios
5. Promote your boards
Promote your most popular boards instead of your entire account. Make sure they are on the top row so that followers and potential followers can easily see them. Enabling others to pin to your boards will keep them fresh, so invite your followers to contribute.
- Your board will be displayed on their profile
- They will share your pins and increase your boards' exposure
6. Host a contest
No matter what type of contest you host, you should always require users to follow you in order to enter. Provide 2 or 3 more steps for them to follow in order to qualify.
- Consider the prize: The better it is, the more followers you can expect to gain. It should be proportional to the amount of effort people are asked to put into entering the contest.
- Create a pinnable contest image that includes your logo, a call to action, the words "contest" and "giveaway", the contest end date, and the prize.
- Promote your contest in your newsletter, on other social media networks, and on your website.
- Use a site like Random.org to select your winner.
7. Find out which of your pins are popular
- Go to pinterest.com/source/[yourdomainhere] and take note of the type of content being pinned and use this information to plan future content. Here are the results for my blog using the URL http://www.pinterest.com/source/pamorama.net/.
- You can comment on pins in the source page, a great opportunity to thank users for pinning your content.
8. Promote your Pinterest account
Promoting online, in emails, and on your website is important, but it's also essential to promote it offline.
- In your store window: Display a sign encouraging customers to follow you.
- Advertising: Add links or info on your account to all of your advertising types (newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio).
- Events: Include your Pinterest account info on all promotional materials used for an event - flyers, posters, etc.
- Business cards: Use a simple customized user name that's easy for people to read and find online.
- Marketing materials: Include your Pinterest account info in all of your marketing materials, like brochures, media packets, and promotional items/materials.
- Conversation: When you meet new people via phone calls and meetings, mention your account and encourage them to follow you.