Pinterest is an image sharing site, also referred to as a virtual pinboard. With Pinterest, you’re able to share and organize images of your favorite things ranging from home décor to wedding flowers and recipes. Small businesses can benefit from Pinterest too since every image on the site is linked to a blog or website. By adding images to the site, you”lll be able to link them to your company website. And you get a lot of publicity on the site since as of February 2012, there were nearly 11 million registered users, according to TechCrunch.
1) Drive traffic – One way to leverage photo sharing sites like Pinterest for your small business is by driving traffic to your website. There are two ways to do this: the first is to pin images directly from your website. They can be any image on your site, from your website icon to images of products you provide. When someone on Pinterest clicks on the image you pin to the site, they be automatically directed to your webpage. You can also choose your own landing page by adding an external image and having it link to a website or blog belonging to your business.
2) Encourage users to pin images of your product in use – The more users that pin your products, the more people you’ll have visiting your website. For this reason, you should do your best to encourage users to pin more of your images. You can do this by selecting relevant images that are more likely to be re-pinned. For example, if you sell mugs with different designs on them, posting images of your mugs for the current holiday or season will be relevant and get more re-pins.
3) Build relationships – As with most social media outlets, you can get the most out of Pinterest by interacting with others. This will build relationships with other users and encourage them to re-pin your images and follow your pinboards, when you do the same for them. Start by following companies with similar products or users that seem to have tastes according to what you sell or the services you provide. Re-pin their images and comment on their pins.
4) Link to website and social media accounts – If you belong to other social media sites like Facebook, you can automatically link those accounts together. Pinterest lets you connect to your Facebook so that when you add pins to your page, add new pinboards, or re-pin other images, it will be posted to your Facebook account. This allows for people following you on Facebook to be alerted to your activity on Pinterest.
5) Create authority and relevance – Any images you pin or re-pin on Pinterest are added to your own pinboards. These can be separated into categories and should be relevant to the type of pins, such as home décor, products, beauty and fashion, and other categories. To create authority and relevance, choose your categories and boards wisely, making each of them appealing and causing users to want to follow them. Get to know your audience and choose pins and boards that are relevant to those groups of people. Keep in mind, that roughly 80 percent of Pinterest’s audience is female, reports Mashable.
Pinterest is a free service that is fun — albeit addictive — to use and has the added benefit of marketing your business. By following these tips and methods, you can begin leveraging the site for your small business.