Did you know that Pinterest has over 48 million users which makes it one of the top leading online social networks? There seems to be a misconception about this social platform and its ability to be used for business. The general ‘acceptable’ social sites that businesses see as safe options are the popular Facebook and Twitter and always make the mistake of believing that these are essential for any business/ brands success. What really matters is the type of business you are running and more importantly who you are targeting and what your budget is. Pinterest is practically made for businesses. It is easy, current and free! It does not require a specialized management team like Facebook and Twitter and it is as simple as clicking or uploading a picture. When it works really well is when the business is product based or targeting a specific industry; particularly fashion, food and furniture to name a few. Nothing sells quite as well as an image. What is it that they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words”? So stop being afraid and get your brand out there in all the relevant ways.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you maximise your Pinterest account and how it can be made become relevant for your business:

1. Set up a Pinterest Business account

Think about setting up a Pinterest page for your brand. It is a great way to show that you are active online and help to spread that WOM for your brand. It will help you to understand what your audience likes and doesn’t from what they are pinning and what they are checking out.

It especially works if you are wanting to sell products online and via Pinterest. Just like other popular social sites, having a Pinterest page for your business will make you appear far more professional and give your brand credibility. Engagement on social media is key and just like other platforms, this will either set you back or bring your forward depending on how interactive you are with your followers.

Take this first step and get started: http://pinterest.com/

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Alternatively if you are thinking of opening up your own Pinterest store to sell your products, take a look at Shopinterest– you’ll be able to set up shop in a matter of minutes.

shopinterest

2. Use tools to help

Like all digital platforms, the techno wizzes of the world are already hard at work creating tools and devices to aid us in maximising our Pinterest experience.

Here are some of the main ones:

  • Piqora: This can be used for a more complete Pinterest dashboard (including analytics and pin scheduling). Like all online sites, analytics play a vital role in determining what is and isn’t working for your brand. You can track things like how many people have been pinning from your website and how many people have viewed your pins. This can also help you to redirect your pins if they are not getting the correct engagement. You can then redirect your thinking to suit your target market. Pinterest does offer its own analytics, but they aren’t always as credible.
  • Pinstamatic: This is great if you want your boards to be more fun and exciting,
  • Pinpuff: This is ideal if you want to calculate your Pinterest influence.
  • Repinly: This can be used to keep up to date with the most popular pins and boards.

3. Make your website “pinnable”

This is important if your website has a lot of traffic and you want people to start pinning directly off your site. This is a really effective way of spreading the word about your brand and if anything will help to increase overall brand recognition. In order to do this you need to ensure that your website/ blog are as visual as possible. This means regularly sourcing the right images for your business. This can be challenging in itself, but luckily some of those techno wizzes have helped us out.

Here are a few relevant free sites that you can source images from (don’t forget to give your images credit):

  • Flickr (be sure to check the copyright of images)
  • Photo Pin (this site has a terrific selection of Creative Commons licensed images)

For paid royalty-free stock images, check out:

See also these sites for ideas:

  • Reddit
  • ICanHasCheezburger – you’ll find an amazing selection of images and you’ll even have a good laugh while searching for the perfect ones for you.

4. Get the ‘goodies’

Like all social media, the addiction will set in and you will be trying to find ways to improve your site. You can visit  Pinterest Goodies to help you out. Pin It Bookmarklet is a very handy tool that will enable you to pin any image or video to the web. Pin It Button can be used for your own website – this will allow readers to easily pin anything they like from your website. Also make sure you get Board Widgets so that people will be able to start following your boards directly from your website.

5. Pin to win!

We all know that there is nothing to engage with a consumer better than a competition. Contests are great promotional tools for your brand/ business and Pinterest offers the perfect platform for running a contest. This is a great way to get engagement quickly if you are just starting out and want to get followers.

There are many apps that you can use to help you run a contest on Pinterest and here are a few of them:

  • Woobox
  • Votigo

Here’s an example of a Pinterest contest: Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s

 martha

Happy pinning 🙂