Updated: Jun 12, 2020
Almost every business should use Pinterest. It is a visual medium (especially good for those selling products), with over 320 million users every month (good for brand reach), and is used by many users to help decide what to buy (good for you!).
Pinterest is especially popular among women, with somewhere between 66% and 74% of the users being made up of them. In the US, that number sits at the high end of that range at 74%. Even though women are the primary users of Pinterest, men are slowly gaining ground. This allows for some great brand exposure. Utilize that exposure with the tips below to help inspire Pinners (the term given to users of the platform) and create your following on the 4th most popular social media platform in the USA.
This is probably obvious to any user of social media, but you have to create content that captures your audience and makes them want to engage with you. Pinterest, like Instagram, is a visual medium so create some visually appealing images! Here are a couple of tips for creating eye-catching imagery:
Shoot for a 2:3 aspect ratio so your image doesn’t get truncated
Use high quality images
Describe what people are seeing and use your SEO tactics within the copy
Use the headline to your advantage, reinforce your message
Include your logo within the image
Showcase products being used in real life settings
What type of content should you create? Educational content is strong with Pinterest. Every small business owner has some advice to impart to potential customers and utilizing Pinterest is a great way to get your message out. Infographics and factoids will help people learn new facts relevant to your business, products, or industry. Using eye-catching images will encourage people to click on your pin, but make sure you have a link to your website or blog. Video pins are a great way to engage users on Pinterest, just keep it short.
If you feel like you’ve run out of ideas to post, try using Inspirational content that is relevant to your business. If you have a pet store, using an inspirational quote for real estate would be off-bran and confusing for customers. Of course, this does not apply to holidays and an MLK quote is always appropriate.
Whatever you are posting, try to offer added value. You can accomplish this by pinning to other products or services that are complementary to your business. As an example, if you run a nail salon, you could add pins for hairdressers, eyebrow waxing or threading, and spas. Added bonus if you can get other companies to offer discounts via your pins! Offering coupons is a great way to pull in potential customers for yourself, just make sure they aren’t coupons with an expiration date as pins don’t expire.
When you are creating boards for your pins (think of a bulletin board and pinning ideas to it), make sure to use your keywords in the title…another SEO tactic. Remember you are trying to get Google to recognize you as an authority figure and SEO is the key. This should go without saying, but keywords should also be in the description of your pin. Another board trick is to add a board for testimonials. In our social media-minded society we rely heavily on the reviews and testimonials of others to help with our decision making. Use this opportunity to have some fun with the imagery, add the product being reviewed, and fill up that board!
Truly this applies to every single social media platform, but it bears repeating. BE CONSISTENT! If you need help there are plenty of scheduling tools, many of them free, to help plan ahead and keep your content being posted consistently. Posting once a day is adequate for most social media platforms, Pinterest included, but if you can’t keep that schedule up, stick to the one you can. Planning ahead will actually help enhance your productivity, it will allow you to schedule your content and free you up for other important tasks (like running your business). My recommendation, outside of hiring me to do it for you, is to set aside time each week to focus on your content creation and delivery. If your business has a seasonal component to it, make sure you are rolling out those ideas well in advance of the season or holiday. At least 30 days in advance of a holiday/season you should start rolling out your ideas, 45 days would be even better, and make sure you continue to promote with new pins each week. Be consistent and your strategy will pay off!
Just as you would with your business, social media requires a strategy (along with consistency) to engage followers and convert them to customers. Are you selling a product or a service? Do you have a niche in your industry that sets you apart from your competitors? Are you selling an idea (like homeownership)? The answers to these questions will drive your strategy.
As discussed in the content section, creating captivating content is the key to engaging Pinners, but how you deploy that content is equally important. Look through your analytics to see which day has the best engagement (make sure to continue posting that day) and check your audience demographics. If it’s the audience you want, then great, you are reaching your target group and your strategy is working. If the audience is not meeting your demographics, then it’s time to change your strategy and, likely, content. Your strategy should also consider holidays and special occasions, Pinners are planners, and part of your strategy should include getting content out about 30 - 45 days in advance of an event/special occasion/holiday.
Keywords aren’t just useful in blog posts; you should be using them in all social media posts. You still have to write a good description and not just throw a bunch of keywords together; Google and the people reviewing SEO are much smarter these days and it could actually hurt your ranking. Make sure to include keywords in your board names as well, again another SEO boost.
Pinterest recently rolled out “Trends”, which you can find under your Analytics tab of your business profile. This allows users to see what searches are trending on Pinterest; you can see the top trends for the day and the top trends for the most popular categories. Within the popular categories, it shows top related terms and the most popular pins, review this information to get ideas for what you should be promoting on Pinterest. Yes, it’s time consuming, that’s why social media managers exist, but it will show you how to reach your audience and optimize your posts for SEO.
Follow these tips for Pinterest videos and it should gain you followers and hopefully customers for your small business. Many of the other points discussed still apply to video pins, you still need to capture attention quickly with informative or educational content. Video pins can be a maximum of 30 minutes long, but videos should really be under 3 minutes. You have the first 15-20 seconds to capture and hook your audience, the analytics will show you how long people view your video so you can make adjustments as needed. Your video and description should be keyword rich and entice the viewer to click through to your website or landing page, that is the ultimate goal with any social media platform.
As with all social media platforms, videos are pushed the hardest right now and you need to be in front of your audience. Even if you do not want to be on camera, you should create a video that showcases your product or service. Add a voiceover, either your own voice or get someone else to do it, and have some high quality graphics to hook your audience. You do not have to be a professional videographer to produce good content, just get familiar with editing tools in free apps and make it look good, not perfect. Or hire someone, ahem!, like me to do the work for you.
Pinterest is a social network, so be social and engage with your community to build your brand. If you gain a follower, someone re-pins your image or saves it, then comment and thank them. A quick “Thanks…” can go a long way these days. The more you reach out, the more you will grow.
Engaging with targeted ads is another great tactic for small business owners using Pinterest. The ad cost tends to be much lower than that of Facebook or Instagram, allowing you to reach a larger audience while spending less money. Businesses can target based on keywords, interests, location, age, in addition to, people who have visited your website, engaged with your pins, and engaged with similar content. As with Facebook or Instagram, you can also use look-a-like audiences to find pinners with similar interests to you.
Being a small business owner is tough; you are expecting to wear many hats, actually all of the hats. I hope that my tips will help make your job a little easier. If you are overwhelmed or would rather someone else deal with social media, then give me a call and we can discuss how I can help you!