3 Simple Ways for Small Businesses to Win on Pinterest

3 Simple Ways for Small Businesses to Win on Pinterest

When navigating online, you’ve probably seen that many of your competitors are using Pinterest to promote their business. So, you decided to also give it a try. After opening your Pinterest profile; optimizing it with a great photo, concise bio and your website link; you then upgraded it to a business account. But, where do you go from there?

Before you start pinning, you need to think of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to get there. The first thing you should know is that Pinterest users behave differently from your Facebook friends or Twitter followers. For example, pins have a very long shelf life: 50% of visits / orders occur two and a half months after the first pin date!

It means that some of the things you would share on other social networks will not be as well received on Pinterest. A good example would be news items. Content that survives the test of time is a much better fit.

In today’s article, you will find three easy ways to start using Pinterest and increase your visibility.

Organize Your Boards Carefully

The beauty of Pinterest is that it allows you to showcase your content in a unique fashion, through boards.

The best profiles are well organized. They feature laser-focused boards that tell visitors exactly what the businesses are about.

Design Eat Repeat

Case in point. Look at the Pinterest account of Design Eat Repeat, a blog owned by Graphic Designer and baking addict, Melissa Rose. All the boards are in line with her work and passions. You will find design and photography tips, recipes, party and craft ideas, printables, etc.

Many of the boards are also optimized. For example, the Blogging Resources board has a clear description and relevant keywords: “This is a collaborative board where bloggers can unite and share our resources with one another! Pins should be blogging tools, tips/tricks, or tutorials. Please no recipes or DIY’s.”

Why is optimization important? First, search engines like Google index boards and pins like any other piece of content. Second, many Pinterest users now rely on the Guided Search feature to find content of interest on the platform.

When creating a board, make sure you select the right category. This will help increase its visibility in search results.

Additional tips:

  • People may not scroll your entire profile. So, put your most important boards at the top.
  • Travel agencies / organizations, real estate agents, photographers, city councils, and wedding planners – Place boards are a great way to help your customers make better informed decisions. You want to give them a sense of the areas you recommend.

Pin Content Related to Your Offerings

Have you heard of the Pareto Principle? Also known as the 80-20 rule, the principle states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In business, it means the following: 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.

This rule is extremely relevant for Pinterest, where customers in many niches are not just looking for products to buy. They also want tips and ideas that will make their lives better.

You will turn Pinterest visitors into customers if you dazzle them with high quality visuals that cater to their needs.

  • Restaurant owners – Highlight recipes and your favorite dishes.
  • Travel agents – We would love to know your clients’ most recommended destinations.
  • B&B owners – Showcase beautiful locations and buildings in your area.
  • Website designers – Tell us what inspires your work.
  • Authors – Share cover book ideas and books that influence you.
  • Fitness specialists – Motivate us with quotes, workouts, and videos.

Cassey Ho

(Source: Cassey Ho’s “Printables & Tips board”)

In your descriptions, include enough information and context to entice people to click and engage with you. If you are a real estate agent, for example, why not add a bit of little-known information to relevant pins?

Looking for ideas for your own niche? Check out Pinterest’s Popular page to find out what people are pinning. You can also use the search box at the top of any page. Finally, research reveals that most activity happens in the food / drink, DIY / craft, home decor, and holidays / events categories. Infographics, in particular, are all the rage!

Last but not least, take a look at your analytics to understand your audience and engagement around your pins. This feature is available to business accounts.

Pinterest analytics

Let Your Customers and Advocates Contribute

“My favorite company mentioned me on Twitter! Such and such shared my post on Facebook!”

Being acknowledged by a business or prominent person we like is something very special. It has happened to me several times, and I do a little tap dance every single time. And of course, I share the news on social networks.

You see, even if they will never fully admit it, people want you to care. They want you to pay attention. It is basic psychology.

On Pinterest, there are many ways to make others the center of attention. Here are three examples:

  • Create a “Best Customers” board and pin their websites. If they don’t have any, contact them and ask for permission to use their pictures. Then, in your descriptions, tell the world why these people are so special.
  • Allow others to pin content to your boards by leveraging the Group boards feature. This will take the customer experience to the next level, especially because people must be invited to contribute.
  • With Secret boards, build a private community where only invited people can see your pins. This is perfect to get feedback on your products and projects before and after launch.

People around the world board

(Source: Perfect-Breeze Travel Agency’s “People around the world” board)

Travel agencies

(Source: Perfect-Breeze Travel Agency’s “Travel Community” board)

I love these two boards from the Perfect-Breeze Travel Agency, and not just because of their clear rules. The company is willing to share the space with competition. That is a great example to follow, if you ask me!

Good luck with your Pinterest endeavors. See you next Friday for more tips to take your business to the next level!

In the meantime, share your Pinterest account in the comment section. I’d love to follow you there…

Cendrine Marrouat
Paper.li Blog Staff Writer, Cendrine Marrouat is a French-born social media coach, curator, and author. She is the founder of Social Media Slant and the #smslantchat Twitter chat. Her latest e-book release, "The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It and Win", is a comprehensive guide focusing on the four pillars of audience building. Follow her on Google+.

2 thoughts on “3 Simple Ways for Small Businesses to Win on Pinterest”

  1. Another great thing about boards is that you can make a set of thumbnail images for each one of them so that they all have the same style or something in common. It looks really nice and neat, plus it gives off that professional look too.

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