If you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, side-hustler or blogger and you’re not using Pinterest you should. It is one of the fastest growing sites and it is an amazing tool to drive traffic to your website.
I joined Pinterest when it launched in 2010 and became addicted to pinning inspiration, graphic design ideas, project ideas for clients and much more. This is my account: pinterest.ca/visualheart I quickly saw the value in it as a tool for my creative projects, but also saw it as a way to share ideas with other people. After pinning frequently, I discovered my following building, but most importantly I saw that Pinterest had become a top traffic referrer on my website!
In the past couple of years myself and my friend Alicia have been teaching local workshops on how to use Pinterest to grow your business, we love helping local entrepreneurs find a new tool to benefit their business. We hope to create a Pinterest resource document that you can download in the near future, but for now I thought I’d share a few key tips from our workshop.
YOUR PINTEREST BRAND Most likely your Pinterest account is a little bit of a mess, very personal, not business orientated at all and very unorganized. If you want to take it seriously you need to think about your Pinterest brand. You’ll want to edit your page by doing the following: rename boards, delete pins, reorganize your boards (you can move them around), update your board cover images to reflect your brand and start pinning content that reflects your business. This means creating a brand style/story and pinning within it. You might want to create a private board and pin images that you think reflect your brand, so you can visually see what kind of content you want to represent your business. If you visit popular Pinterest pages and then head over to their websites, you’ll immediately see that there is a visual connection between them. Here’s a few examples: Oh Joy Emily Henderson Diane Keaton Local Milk Gaile Guevara. Your Pinterest page is an extension of your website.
PINS ARE FOREVER Unlike traditional social media, Pinterest images have a longer lifespan, people are constantly pinning and repinning which can make content from months ago still relevant, for example, if you pin a Christmas blog post for 2018, it will become relevant again in 2019, 2020 and so on because of the search tool and the organic reach of the website. So I recommend putting effort into creating beautiful images for Pinterest that will last forever rather than spending hours on instagram stories that will only be around for a day.
WOMEN RULE Majority of users on Pinterest are female, they are searching for creative ideas, meal planning, fashion, home decor and business tips. So the good thing is you’ll likely find a good niche to fit into, especially if you’re a female entrepreneur. This is even better news if you sell products, because 93% of Pinterest users use the platform to plan future purchases (source) so pin your products but make sure the images are beautiful.
PINTEREST SPECIFIC IMAGES Always have a few images on your blog post, website, product page that are Pinterest friendly. This means the image should be vertical, beautiful and bright. Avoid horizontal images, they don’t attract attention. Add text to your main image, even just a few words that will help the viewer decide if they want to click through or pin it for later. If you don’t have photoshop, programs like Canva can really help you out.
PINTEREST ANALYTICS Once you convert to a business account, you can view your analytics. Pinterest analytics can help you identify which pins are most popular and which pins are driving the most traffic to your website, then you can pin more content like that. You can also learn about the people that are following you and pinning your content.
KEYWORDS Pinterest is a search engine, so you want to think like Google and use keywords when writing the description on your pins, on your board descriptions and naming your boards. Don’t get too creative with your words, be specific, describe the image in words you’d use to search for it, keep it simple.
YOUR PROFILE Just like your personal website or social media accounts, you want to have a solid profile page, include your website link, a description about what you do (I’ve actually been hired because someone saw I was a graphic designer). Have an updated profile photo, I always recommend a photo of your face rather than a logo, because people want to relate to you as if you were their friend. If you are a shop that sells products, it might make more sense to use your logo.
FOLLOWERS AREN’T EVERYTHING Unlike traditional social media, you don’t need thousands of followers to gain website traffic and make pins go viral. You can have 10 followers, but because of the structure of Pinterest, you can pin a blog post and it can go viral because you’re sharing to all of Pinterest and not just your followers. Don’t get caught up on follower numbers as if it was instagram, it doesn’t work the same way. Create beautiful content, pin it and gain traffic.
VIRAL PINS Yes pins can go viral and your traffic can explode, but what I’ve found is that it does not happen overnight. It takes months and sometimes a year or so for it to gain traction. I’ve also found that it’s always the pins you didn’t think would go viral that end up taking off. So my advice for you is to create a lot of content and share it often and something will eventually take off. My top viral pins are in the following categories: DIY, Home Decor and Recipes.
PIN YOUR INSTAGRAM Yes that’s right, I said it, pin your instagram posts. More specifically when you’re planning your instagram posts, think about posting a vertical image so it can work over on Pinterest too. Just open your instagram page in a web browser, click on the post and pin that specific link. Make sure to edit the description on Pinterest so you don’t have 100 hashtags. Pinning instagram posts will drive traffic directly to your instagram and it will also give you more original content to Pinterest.
LIVE PIN Make sure you pin 2-3 times per day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. It’s important to stay active so your content shows up in the main feed. This is pretty easy to do since the site is so addictive. Pin in the morning, mid-day and late evening. I recommend adding the app to your phone for easy pinning on the go.
I hope these tips help you pin with purpose.
Stay up to date on our Vancouver based Pinterest workshops and more on our facebook page facebook.com/PinItWorkshopVan