Are you on Pinterest?  Surprisingly, most businesses say “no” to this question.  Yet, Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms out there.  It’s amazing just how many businesses are not leveraging this platform to its full extent, especially when research has shown that Pinterest can drive more referrals to a website than Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram! In fact, Pinterest is a HUGE potential for your business, if you know how to use it.  Here are 11 essential Pinterest tips that will increase traffic to your site, and ultimately put more money in your pocket. 

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What is Pinterest and How Does it Work for Businesses?

On the off chance, you haven’t jumped on the Pinterest wagon, here is a quick rundown on how Pinterest works.  Pinterest is a virtual pinnable board, like the old cork boards at home, that enable you to save an article on the internet. Think of it like your refrigerator at home.  You may have pictures, schedules, artwork, etc.  Now, imagine if all of those were actually links to articles, items to buy, tips, how-to instructions, inspiration, craft ideas, etc. 

The problem with the actual fridge or corkboard is that you run out of space, and it’s not virtual (you can’t see it when you are not home), nor does it connect to the internet — which our lives pretty much depend on nowadays. 

As a business, you should think of Pinterest as millions of “fridges” out in the homes of people around the world.  The goal is to get your items on their fridge, basically putting your business and products on their radar.  Even better, items stay pinned unless they are removed and the links go directly back to your products or articles on your website.   

Pretty cool, huh?

Another great aspect of Pinterest is that it gives companies a way to share all their content, including articles and great photos, and videos and keep the focus on it — rather than just trying to get a bunch of likes or shares.  We all know that it’s hard to quantify the value of simple likes and shares, and we know that these things often don’t convert into website visitors or sales.  But, research shows that Pins DO!

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So let’s get down to our 11 Essential Pinterest Tips for Businesses

1.  Optimize Your Profile with Multiple Boards and Content Related to Your Niche

As with any social media site, you can’t just create an account and expect it to take off.  You need to build it and make connections to start growing it.  To do this, you need to optimize your Pinterest profile by building multiple Pinterest boards related to a variety of subjects related to your niche.  Then, you need to add relevant content to these boards.

We suggest that you start off with a minimum of 10 boards with at least 10-15 pins in each board to show new followers that you are active.  If you have a board with 1 to 5 pins in it then you are not showcasing that you are active.  It is easy to pin to your boards, so fill them up with lots of good stuff!

*Do not leave your Pinterest boards empty!  One reason we recommend starting off with 10 is to give people a reason to scroll and check out your profile.

Also, be creative when naming your boards, but make sure it conveys your brand and your niche.  First impressions are everything in business and on Pinterest.

Creativity and thinking about your target audience in very broad are key.  We have heard so many businesses say things like “I grill, what would I pin besides pictures of grills?”  But, that’s not true.  Of course, you may have product photos of grills, but what about accessories?  How about backyard decor ideas?  What about grilling recipes?  How about backyard games?  Or maybe great party theme ideas and decorations? 

When you think about it in a broader context, the possibilities really are endless!  The key is to think about EVERYTHING your target customers may be interested in, beyond just the core product.  Those are things that will get their attention and get them to pin your items on their boards.

2.  Pin Other People’s Pins

Piggybacking off of #1 – you need to pin a lot of items to fill your boards, but you shouldn’t just pin your own products!  Pinterest does not like Me… Me…Me.  So, if you pin your own stuff only, then you are less likely to show up in feeds for other people to discover.  We like to use the 80/20 rule.  This means that you need to pin on 20% of your stuff and 80% of other people’s pins.

Plus, when you have SO many different boards and interests on your profile, there’s just no way you will have enough content on your own website to fill them up.  So if you come across pins that you like and fit within your niche then pin it to your boards. 

3.  Imagery is EVERYTHING on Pinterest

Keep in mind that Pinterest is focused on imagery because pins are just that, photos!  So, make sure that you are presenting your products, services, and content in a visually appealing way because that is what will attract people’s eyes on Pinterest.  Research shows that red/orange hues in Pinterest images tend to get the most attention, as well as photos WITHOUT people in them.  Also, the standard is for portrait-style images – so be sure you have good pins that are portrait-style to share.  Landscape images end up looking much smaller on Pinterest and they tend to get re-pinned much less.

4.  Branding Your Business on Pinterest

Make sure that you feature your business name on your Pinterest profile and depending on your line of business, we recommend using your logo.  Using your logo is great for your Pinterest Profile picture although depending on your business, sometimes lifestyle pictures are better.

In the “About” section, include a brief description of who you are and your interests.  This is like a bio of your Twitter or Facebook and should be short, but provide a good description of your business and how you solve your potential client’s issues.

*PoP Digital Tip:  make sure to use keywords in your profile description and even more importantly the description of your boards.

Also, don’t forget to make your profile stand out even more by linking your other social media together with your Pinterest profile.  Of course, don’t forget to include a link to your website as this is displayed as a live link under your Pinterest bio.

5.  Use Keywords for Search Results

One of the biggest reasons we believe so much in Pinterest for businesses is that it is one of the only social media sites that is used as a search engine.  Hashtags are not used on Pinterest like they are on other social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram.  When you are writing your Pin descriptions, make sure you are using keywords most people would use to find your content.  For example, if you want to be found under the keyword “travel”, you would obviously use the word “travel” in your description.

This is easier to be found and will create more followers as well.  More followers = more exposure… but not all the time…

6.  Mention Others in Comments on Pinterest

A great way to draw attention to certain targeted accounts on Pinterest is by mentioning them in a comment.  A mention is done similar to Twitter or Facebook.  Type the @ symbol before starting to type the name of the person.  A drop-down box will appear and your choice should be displayed there for you to select.  The only downside to this tip is that if you want to mention someone, they must be following you as well.

7.  Use Pinterest’s Browser Extensions for Easier Pinning

Pinterest offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, & Internet Explorer.  Downloading the extension gives you a Pin It Button right in your browser’s toolbar.  This is a great and easy way to quickly pin pictures and articles while surfing the web.

Once you have installed the extension, you will be able to simply click the Pin It button and then select which image you want to pin and then choose which board you want it to go to.  If you see a great product or article, you will be able to pin that image to a board on your Pinterest account.  Not only will it pin the graphic, but it will link back to the original source.

8.  Pin Videos

Videos are taking over social media stream and Pinterest is no different.  Pinterest has made it easier to Pin videos now by just uploading the URL link.

9.  Smart Pinning is Key

Pinterest has the longest shelf life of a “post” than any other social media platform.  Some pins can last from 3 months to even 6 months or longer.  In other words, don’t rush posting.  Make sure you have the description filled out with keywords.

10.  Optimize Your Graphics

Make sure you are using graphics (pictures) in your blog posts that are associated with the content in the post.  You might consider adding text descriptions to your graphics (pictures) at the top of the blog post.

When creating graphics (pictures) for your blog posts, be sure to include the name of the post and make sure to brand the graphic with either your web address and or logo.  Don’t let it overtake the graphic, but the place into was that when people are sharing on Pinterest your logo and brand are also going around their Ads.

11.  Us Pinterest’s Mobile App

If you don’t have it, downloaded it to your phone.  We would highly recommend downloading it now.  You can download it from iTunes & Google Play.  It is so important to stay active on Pinterest and since most the world is glued to their phones, the Pinterest App makes it easy to stay active by liking, re-pinning, and adding to your board while you are mobile.

These are the best 11 Pinterest tips for business users.  These are great tips to get you familiar with Pinterest and good practices.

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