By Cynthia SanchezPublished March 5, 2015
Click the link below to read a great article on Pinterest!
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Since Pinterest showed up on the social media scene, people have been flocking to it like ducks to water, or maybe like addicts to a new video game. People who weren’t that visual became more visual, and those who didn’t know they were visual, are suddenly spending hours on this visual site. So what are a few things to avoid and what should you be doing to have fun for yourself or your brand on Pinterest? Here are some simple fixes to common errors.
Fix: decide on the boards you really want. Say you are a small business selling hand knitted leg warmers and other trendy items for chihuahuas. You might want to create boards such as Tiny Dogs, SPCA, Local Doggy Events, and of course a board for your own homemade doggy outfits. You might also want to create boards for different types of outfits, such as hats, vests, paw warmers, etc. Keep in mind that you can change the names of boards later if you like. To change the board name, click on the board, go to “Edit Board” –>Title (don’t forget to save your changes!).
Fix: Make Each Board Beautiful! To entice people to see the contents of a board, pin the most visually beautiful cover you can. To change a board cover, simply hover with your mouse over the board. Click on “Edit Board Cover” to choose a photo. You can position the photo if you like, at this point. Then click ”Set Cover.”
Fix: Follow people you already know or whose pins you enjoy. Although unfollowing people who don’t follow you isn’t easy, you can unfollow people later. Note: like other forms of social media, there is spam out there! So beware of people who have 40 boards with just one photo on each board, or who don’t appear to be real people, or who only sell things like wrist watches.
Like other forms of social media, Pinterest is social. So “like,” repin, and especially comment on others’ pins! People will appreciate you, and they will be more likely to reciprocate!
Fix: Along with your business name and logo, you might want to include a few things about you. A photo of you or a logo also legitimizes your account. People want to know a little about you! To make changes, click “Edit Profile.” You can use the First Name line for your business name. Don’t forget to click “Save Profile” when you’re done. Note: Pinterest has recently partnered with brands to add information to pins, which is very useful for brands.
Fix: Take Saturday off and pin on Sundays! Sundays are the busiest days on Pinterest. So even just pinning a few pins will really help you with traffic and getting more eyes on your content.
Have you changed your strategy along the way with Pinterest? What has helped you the most? Please leave a comment below! Thank you!
Carol Stephen helps startups connect online using social media. She enjoys making connections and engaging online on various platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. ... View full profile
Drawing the attention of millions, virtual pinboard-styled social photo sharing website Pinterest is all the rage these days. From the comfort of your own home you’re able to pin awesome internet finds and share them with your friends. The site receives a whopping 11-16 million unique visitors a month, who are primarily women (80%) and users are between the ages of 25 and 54 (80%) according to Google Ad Planner.
As internet marketers we seize the moment when new trends and sites emerge. We flock to where people are and in this case it’s a site that caters to the purse strings of American households. A recent Infographic by GPlus.com shows on average 83 to 87 percent of consumer purchases are decided on by women and women generate 58 percent of e-commerce dollars.
So how can you seize the moment with Pinterest? Find inspiration with the below Pinterest marketing ideas for 24 industries and professions! (Still want more ideas? Sign up for our FREE webinar “Marketing Your Brand on Pinterest” Thursday May 10th (11AM PST/2PM EST)).
What are brides looking to establish when planning a wedding? What their wedding style will be and how their special day will look. The details are extremely important when it comes to planning a wedding. If you are in the event planning business and are trying to market your wedding venue try putting together wedding board “themes”. Help that bride envision her special day at your location by showing her examples in the form of photos on Pinterest. That newly engaged bride is sure to do her research prior to the big day. Give her photos and information on Pinterest to aid in making the right decision. The 4th Floor Blues Club has the right idea with their wedding venue pin here, although the resolution and lighting leave a bit to be desired – you get the basic premise here.
Creating an inspiration board to help you in your quest to write a book is something many authors do. Now with Pinterest you can create a board around the inspirations that led you to write your book – the people, places, things that were your muses. Thanks to Crystal for this idea. She even suggests using your board in the pitching process, “see what inspired XX author to write her breakthrough novel”. As a marketer in the publishing field you can create an entirely new experience by paring the book with social media.
Figuring out your personal style and finding ways to develop your style overtime can be a full time job, and actually is for some lucky gals. Being a personal shopper or full time fashion blogger, when it pays the bills, can be incredibly rewarding. Use Pinterest to highlight your style or as a personal shopper put together inspiration boards for that boho-chic client and another board for the soccer mom next door. Showing your creativity and diversity in looks can help you land a wide array of clients. Have prospective clients check out your inspiration boards to see your eclectic abilities, or put your logo or web address on photo looks you put together yourself (and that you own the photo rights to of course).
Staying on the cutting edge of styles and trends is at the top of the job requirements for a hair stylist or salon owner. Marketing for a business in the beauty industry seems like a great fit for Pinterest. Create boards of similar hair styles. When your customer sits down in your chair and can’t figure out what style they want – hand them an iPad and let them peruse your boards and pins. Or a hairstylist or salon might put together before and after photos or how-to photos. These seem to resonate well with the Pinterest crowd, as seen here with My Yellow Sandbox. The site’s tutorial photos of hairstyles and beauty are perfect for a board on Pinterest – this blog has over 2600 followers on Pinterest already so something must be working.
Another great idea for Pinterest is if you’re in the interior design world. From boards about design inspirations to boards of before and after photos you’ve done yourself, there are many design related ideas you can share. Blanca Feldman, an interior designer in Nashville, has quite a successful Pinterest account with over 1600 followers. Check out her design inspiration board, boards for each room of the house, motivation boards and more for some inspiration of your own.
I’m a huge fan of Dr. Oz and his no-nonsense way of being able to tell you in layman’s terms what the heck is going on with your body or give you advice that actually makes sense. Dr. Oz’s official Pinterest accountis a great example of how to use Pinterest as a health expert or blogger. His team pins healthy recipes, Dr. Oz approved deserts, fitness information and more. As a health blogger or expert, develop pins that are consistent with a healthy lifestyle. Pin your own photos and pin others too.
In recent years, news stations and radio stations have had to join the digital world as their listening audience has migrated to the online space. It’s not uncommon to see references to Facebook and Twitter during the 5 o’clock news. Pinterest very well could be the next social media site to enter mainstream newscasts. TV Channels or radio stations can start putting breaking news photos up on Pinterest and encourage citizen journalists to take their own photos which can be repined. Thanks to Elana at Media Bistro, who suggested giving viewers a sneak peak of an upcoming interview or tomorrow’s front page news by adding pins to your news boards.
Looking to increase subscribers to your magazine or promote an online publication? Showcase graphics and editorials on dedicated Pinterest boards for the beats or items you cover in your publication. Check out Martha Stewart Living’s Pinterest profile with boards like “Baking and Desserts”, “Easter”, “Appetizers and Hors d’Oeuvres”, “Drinks” and “Sewing”. Holiday themed boards are perfect if you’re looking to highlight the holiday issue of your magazine. Two to three months ahead of time start putting together your boards and keep up the pinning momentum throughout the holiday.
Am I morbid in thinking there is a Pinterest use for funeral homes? Let me explain before you get all judgey on me… Creating a memory board of the people we love is something that can now be done digitally through the use of Pinterest. Funeral Homes can organize boards for the recently deceased, allowing their tech savvy relatives to view pinned photos of them for an uncluttered digital memory board preserving them in time. The deceased’s Facebook page can be cluttered, but with Pinterest photos and memories are displayed easily. A funeral home could take this concept to the next level by having a tablet or computer screen at the viewing for mourners to enjoy the pinned photos.
Feature your culinary delights on Pinterest to bring traffic and new business your way. Thematically tie pins together on a board by sticking with a holiday or event theme – Valentine’s Day treats, 4th of July dishes, one-pot buffet dishes, etc. Get started today promoting a board on summer parties or 4th of July barbecues to pique a prospective clients interest, and you may just hook a client for this summer.
Women be shoppin, women be shoppin! If you’re an eCommerce website why not put together a gift board. You can create a board of gift ideas for men, gift ideas for women or even get super specific – gift ideas for eye rolling preteen girls or gift ideas for the Midwest mom. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be completely self serving on your board, pin items from other stores that fit into your overall theme too.
Landing a job today takes a lot of creativity. Make yourself stand out by creating a visual CV of all the projects you’ve worked on. This is especially true for graphic or web designers looking to move up in their careers, or freelancers looking for additional jobs. Check out these 7 cool resumes found on Pinterest, from BusinessInsider.com to get some inspiration.
Raising awareness about your non-profit can be hard. Not only are funds tight it can also be difficult shining the spotlight when so many other good causes exist too. Using Pinterest to start boards about your cause can be a good start. Animal shelters such as the Humane Society of New York use Pinterest to share photos of cats and dogs up for adoption as well as the animals that have gone to a good home and a wish list of the supplies they are in need of. Think about the opportunities here when natural disasters hit, a new animal goes on the endangered species list or checking in a few years after a devastating accident to see how the area is rebuilding (or what still needs to be done).
Help spread the word about a missing person or a wanted person by creating boards. I’ve seen these movements go over well on Twitter, of crowd sourced find the missing person projects. Just this past January several UK celebrities retweeted pleas from one family trying to find their missing son, who was found a mere few hours later in safe condition.
If you sell products that are part of a large project, such as an online retailer of craft supplies – why not start a board that shows the “after” result of a project. What does a craft project look like after they’ve purchased your items? Create your own instruction graphics to inspire prospective customers. Get customers to send in their photos so you can share on Pinterest and inspire others to purchase products.
Everyone loves a great photo of a demolition job for a home improvement project. Before and after pictures too! For any home improvement store such as Home Depot, Lowes or even Ace Hardware, Pinterest seems like an easy enough fit for marketing. Put up photos of renovations and home projects. Sponsor a contest, asking fans to submit their home improvement photos. This user generated content can be then repurposed throughout your social media profiles, including Pinterest. Take a look at Home Depot’s Pinterest account for some more inspiration.
The theme of using before and after photos can transcend many industries. From contractors, home builders and architects to even a plastic surgeon. If your industry heavily relies on images, then use before and after to showcase the staunch differences before and after your services. A clean and professional looking before and after cosmetic surgery photo, a before/during/after construction job photo or a time lapse photo of a building being erected, all can be used effectively to illustrate before and after.
Are you a travel agent or travel concierge service? Create boards for travel inspiration. Try a bucket list travel themed board with photos of the Seven Wonders of the World and other places someone might have on their bucket list. Create an entire experience for a trip to Africa or even Disneyland. Cater your boards to the experiences your customers want to have on vacation and let Pinterest users know you’re available to help them plan their next vacation too.
Take Duke University for example, they’ve built out boards revolving around their sportsmanship, student life, traditions and even around their Arts & Humanities department. If you’re in the education space try out degree program boards full of photos and information that would interest a student in that field of study. Someone who is a fashion student would be interested in a fashion related board, develop boards that highlight a specific degree program and appeal to a specific type of student. Create your own images that cater to that fashion student and promote them on Pinterest. Start thinking about ways to integrate Pinterest style into all your image assets!
Creating boards centered on your hotel or lodging facility is a great use of Pinterest. Things to do in the city where your hotel is or places to see in the city your hotel is located are two boards you can (and should!) put up right this minute. Local eateries, transportation, travel resources or even area emergency clinics or facilities could all have their own board. Additionally, you can create boards dedicated to your event facilities showing past weddings or events held at your hotel. While not many hotels are currently utilizing Pinterest, there are a few you can look to for examples: Crowne Plaza NYC, Hotel Berlin andForest House Lodge.
This Pinterest marketing strategy is enough to make you batty – well maybe not literally but you get the idea. Pin photos of the types of the insects and bugs found around your area. Share before and after photos of infestation or mold remediation projects. Create boards focused around poisonous insects to help educate. There are many ways an extermination company or mold remediation company can use Pinterest.
Who wants to get all their gifts from one store? With links to each of the images in the board, guests can see a bride’s Pinterest account and choose the gifts they want to give from all across the web – not just one store! The same can be done for a baby registry too. Pin photos onto your own gift registry from Etsy too, what other time would you be able to add those types of items to a wedding registry?
Market your blog posts on Pinterest. One example of a great Top “10″ type post doing well on Pinterest is“17 Tips to Make Your Life Easier”. They’ve simply pinned one of the images in the top 10 style post and added a brief description about the post. This is a relatively simple concept, but one that could be done by any blogger out there. Try giving some new life to an old blog post by pinning one of the images and adding to Pinterest.
One brand I’ve started following on Pinterest is PediaStaff, a pediatric/school based therapy staffing and placement firm. They have a mission to serve the special needs community through great resources, so they’ve started using Pinterest to help share. Anyone who first visits their page is guided along their mission, with the first board dedicated to introducing their brand. They’ve built out many of their boards to encompass topics important to parents of special needs children: sensory activities, fine motor crafts, rhyming games, social skills and pragmatics, visual supports, and more! They have over 17,000 followers and a very engaged community
If you have been considering using Pinterest for your business, here are some resources that you will find of assistance.
Learn how to turn your Pinterest boards into PDF’s and JPEG’s so that you can refer to them offline.
Discover how you can create instructographics with your mobile phone for your Pinterest marketing
Implement these three essential tips in your Pinterest marketing
Discover three Pinterest power tips when using Pinterest for business from a super user with over 1.5 million followers
Follow my Pinterest for business resources and training tips board on Pinterest
Find examples of organisations using Pinterest on this board
Find examples of Irish businesses using Pinterest for marketing and promoting their business on this board
If you need assistance in developing an integrated plan for your organisation you can contact me about my webinars and in-house training. I have been covering Pinterest for business in my workshops since Spring 2012 and been providing commentary to the media including the Irish Times and the Irish Tatler over the last year for their articles on the use of Pinterest as part of an integrated content marketing plan.
Access the presentation covering the ten tips to getting started using Pinterest in your business (find the presentation here on SlideShare in the event you can not access it on this page):
In the Pinterest Training and mentoring programmes I deliver we go in-depth into using Pinterest for businesses and organisations as part of your content marketing plans..
As at May 2013, Pinterest is increasing in adoption across the globe with the top five locations using Pinterest being the US, India, Canada, the UK and Australia (source Alexa.com).
Pinterest is a popular platform for sharing and curation with Pew Internet reporting that 15 per cent of online adults in the US us Pinterest.
Increasingly Pinterest is a source for inbound traffic in the US, UK and Ireland as demonstrated in the presentation.
Here are ten tips to get you started in using Pinterest in your business:
1. Before you start pinning, start with an audit of your current content – there are several parts to the audit that I undertake with my clients one important element is identifying what content has already been shared from your website to Pinterest. Slide 7 in the Pinterest for Business presentation indicates how you can check this
2. Set up your business account - if you wish to transfer your personal account into a business you can also make this change. Create your Pinterest business account here. You can also access Pinterest web analytics and resources to assist you in your Pinterest marketing from that link
3. Create boards that are relevant to your business - in my workshops I cover essential Pinterest boards to have for your business. It is important that your Pinterest marketing is effective and your content is relevant to the people you want to connect with
4. Take care with what you pin and share – unfortunately there are Spam accounts and affiliate accounts on Pinterest so take care with the content that you re-share (known as re-pinning) as that will also impact your online reputation
5. Create engaging content that will help you generate leads – visual marketing through Pinterest requires content optimised for the platform if you wish to maximise your impact. you can share photographs, infographics and instructographics. In addition you can share videos from YouTube, post podcasts hosted on SoundCloud and share your presentations from SlideShare
6. Make use of your three ‘secret boards’ – at the timine of writing this article you can have three secret boards that you can use strategically for example posting content to share with clients in meetings or even curating content that you wish to re-pin at a later time
7. Like, share and comment on content to nurture relationships – unlike Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is not a platform that you willfind many people commenting on, however if you do this strategically you can nurture new relationships and build visibility for your organisation
8. Grow your followers through hosting competitions – Pinterest does enable you to host competitions, however please take note of their competition guidelines. If you are a larger organisation i recommend that you invest in enterprise solutions such as Curalate to help you manage your competitions
9. Connect with influencers on Pinterest just like blogger outreach – as shared in the Pinterest for Business presentation
10. Remember to integrate your Pinterest marketing – as an example you can cross post your content to your other social networks, include links to your Pinterest boards, pins and even account in your website and also include an application on your Facebook Page incorporating your Pinterest account.
- where to get beautiful photos at no cost or for little cost
- the structure, basics, and method for making eye-catching pins – pins that will get repins and click-throughs to your website
- the common mistakes people are making when creating their Pinterest images
- how to use Pinterest as a visual storyboard that serves your customers.
Note: I am promoting this event for Melissa so if you decide to purchase the programme I will receive a small referral fee. I do know Melissa personally and the quality of her training and she is a great teacher on this topic if you are a small business looking to get started using Pinterest and want to be be able to create your own images for Pinterest.
Pinterest for business photo credit Theilr
We hear that Pinterest is a really only used by younger females – so let me introduce you to Dan Ashbach, who is a retired airline pilot, just to provide a different perspective. You might have read my article about how many boards should we have on Pinterest where I comment that Dan has just 38 boards (I wonder if that is a coincidence that he has been married for 38 years) that versus many accounts I see with well over 100 Pinterest boards.
Dan recently participated in a Google Plus Hangout with PinLeague and this is a recap of some of his ideas and perspectives about Pinterest as a super user with over 1.5 million followers. Yes I know you usually expect me to share tips about content marketing and social media for business, but I think you will find the ideas Dan shares provides an interesting insight into what a Pinterest super user thinks.
Dan started to see his Pinterest boards grow at a fast rate in 2012, building from a few thousand followers to over a million followers.
He commented that he initially started sharing his own photography which he cross posted from Flickr, but he soon realised his photographs were not repinned, commented on or liked, so he started to share other peoples content.
Dan stated that he avidly tracked the performance of his pins making a spread sheet to monitor which pins were getting the biggest response – of course we can now avail of Pinterest analytics if we have a business account directly from Pinterest and there are other independent Pinterest tools available such as the hosts of the Pinterest Google Plus Hangout PinLeague.
Dan’s biggest board in terms of numbers of followers is his gardening board (examples of the content are in the image on this page) which currently has over 1.46 million followers. Dan carefully manages his account and regularly ‘prunes’ his pins. He explained that he if his content does not get around 150 – 200 re-pins in the first 24 hours he will analyse if that is because his content did not hit the Pinterest feed at the right time. In some cases he re-pins his own content to give the pin another chance of being seen by his followers. However if his content is not responded to well, he will delete a pin.
He also made reference to the fact that he attracts about 1000 – 1500 new followers a day.
His success on Pinterest has attracted attention from some brands who have approached him to try new products and services – consider it ‘Pinterest Outreach’ just as you would refer to Blogger Outreach’ and influence marketing programmes.
Dan summarised his view of Pinterest as being like a magazine and had a healthy warning for brands as he does not want the site to be turned into a catalogue with just product shots. I am noticing some brands treating Instagram in the same way where all they post are products for sale, rather than being imaginative with their visual content marketing.
When asked how to grow your following on Pinterest, Dan commented – “Be objective, we all have our favourite things. If you want to be unique you need to have a niche”. He commented that we need to share content that is different and not what many people share.
Dan is retired and therefore his personal use of Pinterest is not going to reflect how you would use the platform for your business, but here are three points worth considering that can apply if you are looking for advice on how to use Pinterest for business:
1. Do not just pin content that you think people will like – analyse what content is doing well and be prepared to ‘prune’ your boards and pin great images
2. Review the times that you post your pins – examine if your content reaching your followers when they are online, just as you plan your content on Facebook and Twitter to ensure you attract the maximum reach
3. Remember that people on Pinterest are not looking for a replication of your website or a catalogue of your products – develop a content plan for Pinterest but stay true to your brand and ensure that the Pinterest boards you create reflect what your business stands for. Some of the most progressive businesses on Pinterest seeing results from investing in the platform have a content policy where they also curate other peoples content.
Access my the slides and notes from my recent webinar about how to get started using Pinterest for business plus access to additional resources.
Follow my Pinterest for business marketing tips board that I curate on Pinterest.
Check out my curated board of organisations on Pinterest to inspire you in how your business could use Pinterest in your content marketing plan or contact me about the content marketing training programmes I deliver – most of my open workshops include best practice guidance for using Pinterest.
Discover how to create eye catching content for your Pinterest boards in this training programme.
What have you found is working for you when looking to use Pinterest for your business?
By Bree Fowler
NEW YORK -- Don't worry, Pinterest fans: Your sprawling virtual pegboards of wedding dresses, handmade jewelry, craft projects and food porn haven't changed dramatically. They're just easier to manage.
The popular link- and photo-sharing website, based in San Francisco, has rolled out an update, one offering people simpler navigation and new ways to arrange their boards to fit their needs. Although the haphazard spirit of Pinterest remains, the site is much less overwhelming.
I wasn't a Pinterest user before, so the redesign gave me a chance to take a good look at the site for the first time. Before that, I had refused to be sucked into yet another form of social media. I figured I didn't have much use for it.
In the months since I started testing out Pinterest's new look, though, I've found the service helpful in organizing and sharing my continually expanding recipe collection. And it's fun to check what other people around the world are looking at and to see which strangers choose to follow me or respond to what I'm sharing.
For those who have never used Pinterest, the free site lets people "pin" pictures from websites they want to share
The result is an eclectic mix of millions of boards spanning just about as many topics. Although it doesn't offer as much of a chance to communicate and debate the way Facebook and Twitter do, Pinterest is an interesting and often beautiful supplement to those social media networks.
Pinterest's recent redesign is intended to cut down on clutter and make the site easier to manage, without drastically changing its look. The new look continues to evolve. Most of the changes are very subtle, and some have been tweaked or reversed already, helping Pinterest avoid the kind of backlash that Facebook has weathered in the past. Pinterest promises even more updates in the weeks and months ahead.
One of the most noticeable changes so far is Pinterest's move to larger pins, so you get four rather than five items per row. The site looks cleaner and less overwhelming because you don't see as many items on the screen at once. Much of the text previously found on Pinterest boards is smaller or gone. Menus have been streamlined.
What impresses me most about Pinterest -- and also what drove me crazy -- is its vast variety. Although there's no shortage of boards devoted to food, clothing, gadgets and home decor, there are also ones devoted to obscure topics such as doors, hockey goalies and the character Daryl from the TV show "The Walking Dead."
Some boards are very artistic and personal, while others, like mine, are more practical than pretty. The possibilities are endless, and so is the potential for wasting time -- another reason I held off on joining for so long. Basically, whatever you're obsessed with, there's something on Pinterest for you.
For me, that's food.
I have hundreds of food-related sites bookmarked on my work and home computers, plus my iPhone and my iPad. They cover healthy recipes geared toward using up ingredients from my weekly farm share, tips for cooking a filet mignon and lists of New York restaurants with the best ramen and pizza. Other people have shared everything from the most ornate wedding cakes to those old-fashioned casseroles held together with canned soup.
Pinterest became a handy way to organize all that. First, I set up a Pinterest board simply titled "Recipes." That quickly spawned separate boards for easy meals, desserts and New York City restaurants. Although they pale in size so far to many of the countless other recipe boards out there, I find myself adding a couple things every day as I browse Twitter, Facebook and, of course, other Pinterest boards.
The boards also serve as a handy way for me to share recipes. Want my go-to red velvet cake, mac and cheese and turkey chili recipes? They're all on my Pinterest page. It also gives me easy access to my recipes when I need them. Rather than emailing myself links to recipes that I've bookmarked on my office computer, I can just pin them to my board and open up it later on my iPhone as I walk through the grocery store or on my iPad as I stir something on the stove.
After just a few months, some of my boards have grown pretty large. The new, less cluttered version of Pinterest helps me find what a need a little faster.
The activity feed, which details who likes and repins your pins along with other information, is in the process of moving to a drop-down menu on the right-hand side, clearing more space for the pins and their often beautiful photos. Its content is expanding as well. Notifications go back further in time than what users previously saw.
Filtering boards and pins by topic, such as "Art," "Food & Drink" and "Geek," is now easier, too. Instead of one long list dropping down from the middle of your page, the categories fall from the upper left in three shorter columns. It's a simple change that makes the list less daunting to read through. Meanwhile, all of the profile and account settings have been consolidated in a dropdown menu on the right.
A plethora of new information also pops up now when you take a close-up look at a pin. To the right of the pin is a mini version of the board it came from, which you can scroll through. There is a mini board showing other pins from the same website, so you can discover related recipes, for instance. Below all of that is a collection of pins from people who pinned the pin you're looking at. It's a way to discover material from like-minded people. It's a lot of content on one page, but surprisingly manageable.
Pinterest has also boosted its search capabilities, so that when you start typing something in the search box located in the upper-left corner of the page, a list of suggested words appears below it. That's helpful if you don't know exactly how to spell something.
But some popular features have also been eliminated. Gone is the site's "originally pinned by" feature, which showed which user was the first to pin a certain item. But Pinterest notes that many users have requested its return. I wouldn't be surprised if it did. Based on user feedback, Pinterest has already brought back other features, including one that allows users who have just pinned something to look at related pins or go straight to their pin by clicking on its "see it now" button.
What makes Pinterest different from other social media services is that it's not so much about posting your opinions or even letting your friends know about what's going on in your life. Instead of creating new content, it's about sharing and organizing what's already out there, preferably content that's attached to cool photos.
You get a beautiful visual experience and links to just about everything online right now.
If that's something you're interested in, you might want to give the new and improved version a shot. Just don't spend too much time at the office looking at recipes for 1950s-style casseroles made with cream-of-whatever soup. It's 2013, after all.
Check out Bree Fowler's largely casserole-free Pinterest boards at https://pinterest.com/bronxbree
The rapid growth of Pinterest was one of the big social media stories of 2012, and by all accounts, the platform is continuing to see strong growth in the first half of 2013. What was originally a platform used by women is now expanding across wider demographics, and some businesses are even using the network in rather creative ways. If your small business or nonprofit is not yet using Pinterest, now is a good time to take a look at how it might fit into your overall digital communications plan.
Remember, anyone can just pin their products to Pinterest. That’s boring. Look beyond the obvious and find more creative ways of drawing people in and encouraging growth and repinning activity.
With that in mind, here are 5 ways that small businesses can use Pinterest more effectively:
Have you ever walked into a music or book store and seen a shelf of employee recommendations? Pinterest is perfect for this sort of things. Give each of your trusted employees their own board to play with. For a high end salon, let each of your stylists have a board to show off their work, or images of hair styles they like, to give customers a sense of their individual styles. You hire employees for their expertise and they are a big part of your brand. Let them show off their styles, interests, and sensibilities.
Your customers are the reason you are exist. They buy your products and services, and presumably are happy. Think about opening up some boards for all of your customers, or maybe just a few for some of your more loyal customers, to let them share what’s on their mind, particularly in relation to your products. Perhaps they can show off how they are using your products to inspire other customers.
Rather than just showing off your products, explain to users some of the ways in which they can use your products. My friend Kim Carlo works at Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill, a regional chain of grocery stores and garden centers, and she does a great job with their Pinterest boards. Since they sell food, they offer boards with recipes on how to use that food. Another very popular board is one on Fairy Gardening and Terrariums, with ideas on how to use plants and other items purchased at the store.
We hear the phrase content marketing a lot these days, and it simply means you are creating some sort of content for your customers, whether it be blogs, ebooks, videos, or something else. It’s one thing to create that content, but another to give it legs. We share our content on Twitter, Facebook, and G+, but why not Pinterest? As you can see from the above image, SKH creates original “Gardening How To Videos” that are not only on Youtube and their website, but are pinned to their own board. I have a board of my own where I share both my own blog content as well as other blogs that I find interesting. It ends up being a good source of traffic. Plus, sharing the content created by others is just a good thing to do.
Brands big and small have learned that Pinterest can be a great place for a contest. “Pin it to Win it” contests have been done by Macy’s, Land’s End, Campbell’s Soup, and Volkswagen, to name a few. Have your customers pin their own images to your boards (perhaps integrated with Instagram) as a means of winning a prize. It’s a great way to get user generated content while building buzz and engagement.
Consider these ways of using Pinterest, and see if any might work for you and your business. Understand your audience and discover if they are using Pinterest, then figure out how they are using it.
You’ve obviously heard about it by now — the social media site that’s taking the Internet by storm. Now the question is, what do you do about it? Is there a way to use the Pinterest craze to the advantage of your business?
What is Pinterest?
First, for those who aren’t familiar with it, here are the basics:
Pinterest is a lifestyle brand that allows you to create a visual online pinboard, organized around topics of your choice, by category. Seventy percent of the site’s visitors are women age 25-44, and they spend an average of 15 minutes looking around. If that does not make a small business mind sit up and take notice, nothing will.
If your small business primarily sells products or services to men, it’s doubtful that Pinterest would be a worthwhile addition to your social media efforts. On the other hand, if women compromise a sizable portion of your business, it’s time to start pinning. And the more visual your line of products or services is, the better. Photographers, wedding-related businesses, arts-and-crafts retailers (like Etsy.com), and bakeries are particularly strong candidates for Pinterest.
So how can a small business owner, entrepreneur or expert make the most of this new marketing tool? Here are ten ways you can use Pinterest to promote with pictures — all in a non-hype, customer-friendly, low-key, value-added way:
#1. When setting up your Pinterest account, add descriptive, keyword-rich text to your “About” description. This will help your Pinterest account show up in search engine results. Include your location as well.
#2. Promote user-generated content with a guest pinner board. Allow visitors to add videos and photos that fit in with your niche. You may also want to consider running a contest for the most interesting, unique, useful, etc. pins on a topic. Offer a juicy prize and drive traffic with the competition.
#3. Don’t just pin pictures, pin videos. Think segments from speaking engagements, news clips, interviews and YouTube videos that are highly relevant to your Pinterest boards.
#4. Use strong visual images with all your blog posts. The more captivating your images, the more likely they will be repinned. Adding an image to every blog post you put up gives you the opportunity to pin it and drive traffic back to your site.
#5. Be creative. Curate the quirky, odd, funny pictures that have some relevance to your brand, products, or services, and that appeal to women.
#6. Put your presentation materials on Pinterest. Are you giving a speech, leading a webinar, conducting a class? If so, why not create a Pinterest board for that specific presentation that you can direct others to who didn’t have the opportunity to attend can share with the attendees as supplemental material after the session is over — or that they can direct others to who didn’t have the opportunity to attend.
#7. Introduce the members of your team. Although Pinterest is primarily an online platform for showcasing your interests, hobbies and lifestyle finds, it can also serve as a way to let customers in on the inner workings of your company by featuring members of your staff. In addition, look for ways to pin photos of your company’s behind-the-scenes scenarios such as conferences, speaking engagements, company events and actual production of your product as appropriate.
#8. Create customer boards. Much in the same way that introducing your customers to your staff creates a more intimate business relationship, highlighting your clients to the world has similar benefits. Use Pinterest to tell your clients’ stories and highlight hot case studies. Just be sure to check first before making their mugs public.
#9. Create a coupon graphic. In order to give potential clients a promotional discount on Pinterest, create a coupon graphic that can be pinned to an appropriate board. Use the description section to further detail the goods and services being offered at a discounted rate.
#10. Create an FAQ for working with you. Think of this as the owner’s manual for your business. How can clients work most effectively with you? What are the most frequently asked questions people have about your business, product or expertise? Perhaps a glossary of frequently used terms in your business would be useful. Once up, you can use this board as a place to send potential new clients for suggestions on how they might best take advantage of what you offer.
#11. Unlike Facebook or Google+, there’s currently no distinction between people and brands on Pinterest. You’ll get more traction if you approach the site more as a person, less as a brand.
#12. Follow other Pinterest users in your local area and/or field of expertise. Comment on and share their pins; they’ll often return the favor. Endorse the pins others share by clicking the “♥ Like” button.
Don’t forget to add a Pinterest icon to your website. This allows visitors to showcase and share things that they find on your website on their Pinterest boards, driving traffic to your Web page and promoting your products/services.
There's a lot of talk about Pinterest and Instagram today, and for good reason. For many businesses, it's possible to develop a following on these image-based sites and drive high amounts of traffic to your site. It isn't as difficult as you may think, either.
Consider the following example.
If a mom-and-daughter-run website can harness the power of pinned images on Pinterest, your business and well-planned strategy can too. As reported by Entrepreneur.com, a mom and her then-15-year-old daughter started PopCosmo -- a site they envisioned as being a teen trend spotting site focusing on their local area.
A single image mashup the daughter posted on Pinterest drove 10,000 visitors to their website in a single month. Now, they're averaging 120,000 page views per month:
It's true that they had a website that would naturally appeal to the demographics of Pinterest. If you don't think your site would quite fit in, maybe you're right, but there's still benefit to be had. I've even seen pins of products as mundane as portable storage containers go viral on social media channels; it really comes down to creativity and effort behind the campaign. Social media marketing is one of the three pillars of a successful SEO campaign, and Pinterest is a big player in the social media realm right now.
There are many ways to use Pinterest for positive-ROI benefit. If you want to get started with it, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Be Selective: Don't pin every single product in your store, every image from your blog, etc... Pin the best ones.
Use Teasers: Don't give all the goodies away in one image or one image description. Create pins that relate to your products or service and give just a little info to guide them to your site for more.
Add 'Pin It' Buttons: Just as you integrate social networks and sharing buttons on your website, be sure to add buttons that make it easy for other people to pin your images. Add a follow button for your Pinterest profile, too.
Use Lots of Images: Use lots of images on your site so there's more for people to pin. Remember that you can pin videos, too!
Pin Often, Pin Variety: Pin often. The more you pin, the more people who are likely to see one they like and re-pin, like, follow or comment. Remember that unlike other social networks, images on your boards have a long shelf-life. They aren't buried as easily as a Tweet. Don't just pin your own images, though. Repin, like, follow and comment other pins/pinners that are relevant to your industry or might be interested in your business at some point. Be personable.
Pin Interests: Most people on Pinterest don't want to "see marketing". They want to find what they're interested in and they want to "see people". So as you have time, make boards on topics that interest you and pin and interact on those boards too.
Pin Vertically: By vertically, I mean that literally... use images that are taller than they are wide. Because of Pinterest's layout, it will attract more eyeballs. Using dark borders on your image or adding text (think memes) can also help.
Pin Mashups: Take several examples of something and combine them into a vertical image showing each on in a different block. Great for grouping favorite items, how-to steps, etc.
Feature Customers: Make your customers feel special and they'll keep coming back. You can do that in many ways on Pinterest. You could create a board where you feature a particular customer each week. You can hold contests that require repinning (or whatever you like) for an entry.
Secret Boards: A new feature to Pinterest is secret boards. These can be used in many ways. You could offer a membership type board where only VIP members are invited to view and contribute to the board. You can even use it as a collaboration area for your employees. You could use it for private clippings and viewings of ideas for your landscaping, interior decorating, wedding planner customers (so many possibilities!).
Tools for Pinterest:
There seem to be new tools sprouting up for Pinterest each week and lots of current social media tools are integrating Pinterest. Some are paid tools, but there are lots of free ones. While you may want to invest in some of the more robust paid ones in the future, here are just a few free ones that you can consider using when getting started:
ShareAsImage (Was previously PinAQuote): Quotes and sayings are popular on Pinterest. If you aren't a graphics person it can be a challenge even to create a basic, good-looking quote. It's easy with this tool. Here you can easily create word-based images to share on Pinterest. Simply drag their button to your bookmark bar and it's ready to use whenever you are.
WiseStamp: This is a really cool one, especially for a business. You can display your latest pins in emails that you send. This is a great way to gain new followers. Do you send out a newsletter? By all means, add this to it!
PinPuff: Pin Puff is similar to Klout, but only used for Pinterest. It measures a user's influential potential and even assigns a monetary value to your pins.
Reachli: With Reachli you can actually track the effectiveness of each pin. Social media analytics are important for a successful social media marketing initiative. You simply set up your pin through the website and it'll show you how many repins and likes it gets. You'll see the potential number of people that pin reaches. But what I really like about this is that you can track the number of clicks that the pin has received. Here's an example from the dashboard:
PinReach: I've saved my favorite free Pinterest tool for last. This one is incredible and something that they could easily charge for, in my opinion. The amount of data you can get is incredible, whether you're tracking your own profile and campaigns or you want to spy on other people.
It assigns a score, kind of like PinPuff, but seems much more detailed and accurate. They have a 'guide' to their scoring system that kind of lets you know where stand in comparison to other users. The higher your score, the more influential or popular you are on Pinterest.
Example: only 3 percent of users have a PinReach score of 40. The majority (45.7 percent) fall between a 20 and 29. And only .04 percent have fall between 60 and 69.
Here are just a few screenshots that show just how robust this free tool is:
Trending pins: Here you can see pins that are trending right now. This shot has been cropped to keep it short, but they show way more than this.
This is for trending pins overall. But if you look on your dashboard, you can also look at only your pins to identify your best performing pins (the ones with the most repins). If you click on a particular pin it will take you to the analytics page for that individual pin.
In your dashboard, you can also identify your influential followers (if any). Here are a few of the other really cool reasons I like PinReach...
There are many things on this site that make it my favorite free tool for Pinterest.
I hope this look at Pinterest and the tools available are helpful as you move forward with your online marketing initiative. Pinterest isn't meant for everyone, but it sure can be helpful if your business is visually-oriented. Do you have any other tips for marketing on Pinterest? Let me know in the comments!
Follow Jayson DeMers on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jaysondemers
In her book Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business, marketing and branding expert Karen Leland provides a Pinterest roadmap that will help you drive website traffic, boost your brand and build business. In this edited excerpt, the author describes eight types of boards you can set up in order to strengthen your brand and drive traffic.
Before you begin to create new boards on Pinterest, it's smart to consider what types of boards would serve you best given your overall Pinterest marketing goals. We'll explore eight ideas to consider when building your business boards.
1. Topics that interest to your target audience
Think about boards that would speak to the obvious themes, subjects, areas of interest, and issues that are important to your clients and potential clients. Many of your boards will fit into this category since topics of interest are what you want to focus on to draw visitors to your boards. This can also include ideas that aren't spot-on with your business but are related in some way. For example, if you sell high-end stainless steel cookware, it's a safe bet your visitors are foodies, chefs or cooks. While a board on party planning might not be directly related to your products, it is tangentially related and would be of interest to your audience.
2. Educational value
Boards based on "how to" information do very well on Pinterest. If you have access to content (video or print) that can educate, inform, teach or transfer knowledge to your audience, create some boards around it. The nice thing is, as long as the information relates to your business, it doesn't even have to be your original content, as long as you properly credit it.
3. Feedback for your business
Thinking about launching a new service or product? Looking for opinions about how a particular aspect of your business is being received? Want to know what your customers like or don't like about your offers or delivery? Try a virtual focus group by creating a Pinterest board that allows you to test what your target market thinks.
4. Upcoming events
If your business is hosting a training, meeting or upcoming event, create a board that introduces it to your audience. Some ways to promote the event without being overly spammy include pinning information about:
5. New products or services
In the same way that you can create buzz for events, you can rev up your audience's anticipation of a new product or service launch by dedicating a board to it. Pin information about the features and benefits, suggested audiences and uses, and special deals, testimonials, etc. After the release, you can post customers' comments, media reviews and photos of clients using the product or service.
6. Showcase your company culture and employees
Generate greater customer engagement by giving your clients an inside peek at your business through a board or boards that offers a feel for your company's style, ideas, projects and commitments. You can also feature photos of your office and employees or even your customers -- all with their permission, of course.
7. Provide social proof
According to Wikipedia, social proof is "a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation." In other words, if it worked for the Joneses, it should work for me. There are several flavors of boards you can create that will help create social proof.
8. Discussion groups
Like an online forum, a Pinterest discussion group board features a designated topic for discussion and invites other pinners to weigh in with responses in the description box.