By Leeyen Rogers, VP of Marketing, JotForm
Pinterest is an incredible visual discovery tool that enables you to save anything, organize it, and easily refer to it later. Imagine a room full of virtual bulletin boards that allows you to save anything you want onto them. The boards are each labeled with a different category: travel, blogging, recipes, DIY, website design, and more. Now if we take that online, like Pinterest does, when you click on each pinned item it takes you to a website where you can read more. Pinterest’s visual search capabilities rival, and oftentimes overtake, Google’s.
Additionally, users can follow boards of their choice from influencers, to brands, to their own friends and family. This allows Pinterest users to get a custom newsfeed that updates in real time, with curated content. Add in a social and shopping component, and it’s easy to see why Pinterest is the fastest growing social network, and has over 100 million active users (as of September 2015).
With Pinterest’s advertising option Promoted Pins, businesses can weave their way right into targeted users’ newsfeeds in a way that in non intrusive and even welcomed. Pinterest’s standards for promoted pins are high, and this benefits both users and advertisers as advertisements are perceived as quality content along with other non-sponsored pins. However, paying for promoted pins are not the only way to reach users. Many companies successfully reach their target market organically, by employing Pinterest best practices and building a trusting following. Let’s explore best practices for using Pinterest for business.
1) Set the stage for your Pinterest strategy
First, you should create a business account for your company and think about who you are trying to reach on Pinterest and what those people are interested in. If your users are interested in website design, then you could create boards called “web design,” “user experience,” “blogging,” or anything else that you feel would be popular. Pinterest’s search bar gives you options for searches, pinners, and boards.
You can look at suggested pinners and boards to see what they’re doing to get a feel for what content has worked well for them. Outside of Pinterest, it isn’t known how pinners and boards get suggested because the algorithm isn’t public knowledge and changes frequently just like most search engines. However, if your company or one of your company’s boards get suggested, then you would probably notice a spike in followers and hopefully you can gain some insights or at least theories from that. Suggested pinners and suggested boards tend to have larger followings and popular content.
Decide if you have the time and budget to create content, which is preferable to strictly content curation. This may already be ingrained in your business strategy, if you are already creating original content for your blog and other materials, or if the main items that you’re pinning are your products. In this case, you can get pin the already created content. However, creating content for companies that have less of a visual component can require more creativity. It can still be done, you’ll just have to package your product in a more visually appealing way. This can take the form of how-to tutorials or articles that you can add appealing images to.
2) Set up your website for Pinterest success
For maximum Pinterest impact, make sure that your company website complements your Pinterest strategy. Make your social media sharing buttons (including Pinterest) clear and easy to find. Install a “Pin It” button on your website. This gives your website visitors an option to promote your brand with a quick click. Pinterest-friendly websites get more pins leading back to their products, specific pages, and homepage.
If you’re an ecommerce company, enable Rich Pins, which display relevant product information like price and whether the item is in stock. This is important since it gives users added convenience of quickly scannable information, and it minimizes the aggravation that can occur when a user clicks to the item only to find out that it is unavailable. Rich Pins offer a feature that alerts anyone who pins the item from a Rich Pin enabled e-commerce website when the price changes or an item comes back in stock. This increases conversions and brand awareness.
3) Pin High Quality Pins
Your company Pinterest page must include quality pins to succeed. Pinterest assigns each pin a score based on 3 factors: image quality, description quality, and the user’s followed interests. Pinterest has their own SEO, and you want to optimize this so that users can continue to find your pin over time. Quality images have high-resolution, eye-catching images. They don’t feature too much text, and they certainly aren’t blurry.
A pin with a high quality description essentially has a winning caption for the image. It has content rich descriptions that are helpful and relate to your pin and the link behind it. Feel free to use keywords but don’t go overboard and come across as spammy. Not only should pins have great descriptions, but board should also have solid, descriptive, and short titles.
Do not use hashtags! Make sure that your pins link to quality sources. This can be done with a simple click-through on a pin before you share it, just to make sure that it doesn’t point to spammy, inappropriate, or a no longer existing webpage.