20 Pinterest Marketing Tips
Businesses tend to treat social media like a fisherman does fishing. It seems odd, but there's a very interesting similarity here. A fisherman needs to be where all the fish are, it's the best chance he has to bring home his share of the sea and cash in on his efforts. In this ecosystem there are two types of fishermen, the leader and the follower.
The fisherman who sets out first to find the lonely, undisturbed waters reaps the benefits of the vast quantity of unsuspecting fish; this is the leader. The follower is the fishermen who waits for the leader to set sail and stays a day or two behind to see where he goes to find the fish. Since there are always more followers than there are leaders, eventually the lonely, undistributed waters become populated with over-saturated ships all after the same fish.
In social media, this is no different. Being a leader will get you to the users first, but what do you do when all the followers show up? How do you defend your position and reinvent yourself to remain unique and creative?
These are all questions businesses have and spend countless hours trying to solve. In fact, many businesses hire entire teams or outsource to agencies to accomplish this. But in the end, maintaining and defending your social media share usually comes down to the same few principals which all leaders rely on; presence, confidence, communication and inspiration. Because of this, we've put together a list of 20 Pinterest marketing best practices to help you become and remain a leader in the social media space.
1 - Create Boards Which Delight:
After you've set up your Pinterest business account and have your profile all squared away, you'll need to create Boards. Boards are what you use to file or categorize your Pins. Pins are the images you post to your Pinterest account.
It's important to understand your audience, knowing what they're interested in and what they're seeking out on Pinterest is extremely important. Once you have a strong understanding of this, create and name Boards to meet their expectations.
Make sure you name your Boards something more than just one or two words. Don't be afraid to get detailed in your categorization. The more niche you are, the more likely your Boards and Pins will delight potential customers who find you on Pinterest.
2 - Make Your Pins Scream and Shout:
Once you have your Boards created and categorized, it's time to start Pinning. This means you'll start uploading and re-Pinning other people's Pins to your own Boards. Having unique imagery is always a plus, but you don't always have to post images no one's ever seen before.
Depending on the scale of your brand, this can be a fluctuating balance. For larger brands, you'll want more unique images to shared images. For smaller brands, having more shared to unique images is acceptable.
In either case, it's important that your images speak to your audience. How will you know this? Well, you'll start to see what resonates best with your audience by the amount of people who re-Pin your images. If you're not getting any bites, you're likely not using the right bait. Change up your imagery and see if you can find a pattern of what works and what doesn't.
3 - Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover:
Yeah, wouldn't that be nice. However, it's not always the case. You're going to be judged based on the images your profile displays and the images you assign to your Board's covers. Think of these as a book's cover art. While most people would hate to admit it, they buy books based on the images they see on the cover.
You can assign a specific image to be the cover image for each of your Boards. This is very important to leverage. When users are scrolling through and quickly browsing through your various Boards, your cover image will significantly help increase the chances of someone clicking through and viewing your Pins.
Make sure to use Pinterest's business account's analytics and see which Pins are the most engaging. See which have the most re-Pins, the most clicks and use those as your cover images. While a great title is important, a cover image is critical.
4 - Play Sherlock Holmes for an Hour or Two:
It's important to perform competitive analysis in all your doings and social media is no different. You should spend an hour or two each week and see what your competitors are doing on Pinterest.
Keep track of new things they're testing, new promotions, who their re-Pinning, who is Pinning them, etc. It's also important to see how your competitors are driving their Pinterest marketing. Are they doing it off-Pinterest and on their own sites, in other social media networks, in newsletters, etc?
This can help you derive ideas to reformulate your own Pinterest strategy. See what new and creative ideas come to mind after doing some research; you never know what you might find.
5 - Champion Yourself Every Chance You Get:
Don't be afraid to toot your own horn. Make sure your existing customers know you're on Pinterest. Tell them how cool you are and what they're missing out on if they're not following you.
Take advantage of displaying Pinterest icons in your header, side navs and footer. How many times have you clicked through on someone's site to check out their Facebook page? People do this all the time. Why not make it as easy as possible for your site's visitors to find you on social media?
6 - Use Pinterest's Pin It Images:
Pinterest makes it super easy for you to have a sophisticated looking experience when users are on your site and hover over your images with their mouse. By placing a few lines of code in your <head> section of your HTML, all of your images can be easily shared on Pinterest.
To get this script, click here.
Don't be intimidated, anyone can add this to their site without any development skills.
7 - Be a Social Media Butterfly:
Make sure to put your social nature to good use. Reach out to other users on Pinterest, follow them and comment on their Pins. It's important to create, build and grow these relationships.
The more people you connect with through Pinterest, the more likely these same people will mention you to their friends and spread your brand on your behalf. This is a critical part of Pinterest marketing best practices.
It's important to always represent your brand in the best means possible. Before you start making jokes with people or leaving quirky comments on people's Pins; make sure they share your same sense of humor. The last thing you want to do is offend someone and have to do damage control.
8 - Don't be Afraid to Humanize Yourself:
I think lots of businesses fail at this point and the bigger your brand gets, the more difficult it becomes. People interact with businesses every day; commercials, advertisements, logos, sponsorships, etc. With social media, this is all different. It's the newest revolution of engaging with a brand one-to-one.
People expect to be able to communicate in social media with a brand and have a real person reply. This is no different on Pinterest as it is on any of the other social networks.
Make sure to have a Board dedicated to your team and culture. Brand enthusiasts love to see what's going on at their favorite brand's headquarters, what events they're doing, what games they're playing, what events they're doing, etc. Celebrate in your culture and don't be afraid to show it off.
9 - Join Pinterest Group Boards:
Seek out and join Group Boards on Pinterest, these are great forums for brands to participate in and build their awareness in the community.
Pinterest Group Boards are pretty much what the name says, they're Boards which you and others can all Pin things to and are a great way to participate with other similar users who share your interests.
Make sure you don't abuse these. In most Group Boards, if you're Pinning self-promoting material too much, you can be removed by the Creator. Make sure to abide by the rules and you'll find it's a great way to build new relationships and get your brand out there.
10 - Use Hashtags Appropriately:
Much like other social media networks, the use of a Hashtag is to help your postings get found in the search results. This tactics is no different on Pinterest. While some people like Hashtags, others hate it and most are indifferent to it. It's one of the fundamental social media strategies.
Make sure you use Hashtags appropriately and not too often. The maximum amount of Hashtags you should use in a single post is no more than two or three. If you're doing a great job of targeting and keeping your Pins niche, then you'll likely only need to use one Hashtag, if any.
The usage of too many Hashtags can be seen as spammy. You can turn off users when you use too many and overuse them, making it look like you're gaming the system to appear in more search results than you should.
11 - Keep Things Leveled:
Yes, you're likely an amazing expert at what you do. You likely know more than most about your niche and could ramble on and on for days on end about very deep understandings of your industry.
You need to know that while most of your followers will have an interest in your niche or industry, they're not going to want to become Professors in it. Make sure your Pins are leveled with their degree of interest.
More than likely, you'll want to keep things around a 101 level and steer clear of anything you'd learn in a fourth year college course.
12 - Leverage Pinterest for SEO:
Pinterest can help your website's SEO value, more so than some of the other social media networks. Understanding these Pinterest marketing tips for SEO can help you increase your own site's ranking in the search engine results.
Pinterest provide businesses with the ability to verify their websites, making them show up in the search engine results more frequently. You can also increase the amount of links back to your site by having your images hosted on your own domain and uploaded on Pinterest.
There are several ways you can help increase your SEO by using Pinterest, but one of the most recent and exciting ways through the partnership between Pinterest and Bing. Recently, Bing announced they would be including images from Pinterest and showing them in their own image search results.
13 - Express Your Appreciation Accordingly:
Remember when your parents taught you to say thank you when someone helped you, gave you something or complimented you? Well, social interactions on social media are no different.
If someone says something nice about you on Pinterest, make sure to show your appreciation. If someone Pins your image, leave a comment and let them know you noticed and it means something to you.
This will help build a positive brand reputation and make people spread the word about you. There are two types of recommendations; ones to take advantage of and ones to stay away from. Make sure people recommend you in a positive way, rather than negatively.
14 - Use Your Big Boy Megaphone:
Make sure people can hear you, let them know what you want them to do. Ultimately, you want them to view your Pins and click through and visit your site. Make sure they know how to do this and optimize your social media to its fullest.
Take advantage of placing calls-to-action in your Pins and links back to where they can find more information about the products, services, articles, etc features in your Pins.
Again, find the right balance. Don't make it annoying or too in-your-face. Make sure people are able to engage with you more if they want to. Just don't make it impossible for them to figure this part out.
15 - Run Pinterest Contests:
A great way to build your brand and engage your existing customers, new users an potential customers is to run a contest. By having them engage with you on Pinterest, you'll be benefiting two-fold; brand awareness and social media engagement.
There are lots of applications available to integrate with your Pinterest account and run contests. Make sure that you check out Pinterest's rules for contests and stay within compliance. You don't want to get kicked off of Pinterest for accidently breaking their rules.
16 - Be Patient and Remain Confident:
Not every post will blow up. Everyone's heard of or seen that viral post that got sent around to a bazillion people overnight. This will likely not be the case for you.
Sometimes it takes a while for things to gain momentum. Other times, no one will ever see your Pin and it'll be something special just for you to enjoy :)
Nevertheless, make sure you remain patent and wait for good things to happen. If you're confident in your strategy and tactics, then your day to shine is near. Don't let other's success put you down. You'll likely read lots of articles about how someone got overnight fame from social media; don't let this get you down. No matter what, pull inspiration from these stories and keep on truckin'.
In conclusion, 20 Pinterest Marketing Best Practices:
Anyone can take advantage of Pinterest and grow their brand, customer engagement and new customer prospecting. Making sure that you're a leader, creative, communicative, inspiring and confident are among the best qualities to have when boosting your brand on Pinterest.
Remember to make the most of your account, profile, Boards and Pins. Link back to your site when possible, provide calls-to-action and optimize your cover images. Make sure to keep an eye on your competitors and see what they're doing. Don't be afraid to test things.
Broadcast yourself in the brightest of lights. Make sure your customers know you're on Pinterest, provide links from your website to your Pinterest account. Use Pinterest's Pin It Buttons and join groups so others can find you.
Make sure to humanize yourself and provide images of your company, culture, employees, company events, etc. Express your appreciation to others and be well mannered. Use Hashtags, but sparingly and keep your content at the level of your followers, no one likes a know-it-all.
Lastly, leverage Pinterest for SEO, provide lots of links - while not appearing as spammy. Run contests and engage with your audience to its fullest. Remain patent and confident; you might not be an overnight viral success, but if you keep to these Pinterest marketing best practices, you'll be bound for success.
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