We are big fans of Pinterest.
Pinterest is a super fun, visually appealing platform that allows its users to create content hubs full of helpful information, blog posts, photos, and graphic images. What are you passionate about? How do you gather and save information on that topic? Pinterest is a great way to collect and share what you love!
Note: Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit, and even Twitter! In fact, Pinterest consistently drove over 5% of referral traffic in 2014, while none of those services drove over 1% in Q4 2014.
What is Pinterest?
You know the pin board in your college dorm room? The one where your super important to-do list was usually buried in ticket stubs, or covered with magazine clippings of tiny houses? Yeah, that one.
Pinterest is pretty much like that pin board, but for the Internet.
The WHY of Pinterest
Let’s say you’re staring at tumbleweedhouses.com, wondering how the heck anyone lives their entire life in 117 square feet. Those people must have other, normal houses. Maybe those tiny houses are vacation houses. Yeah, that’s it, vacation houses!
I mean, where does their clutter go?
You know, the old cameras and landline phones and stuff that you haven’t quite gotten rid of, because you keep thinking maybe you’ll want to set up a second phone line or something, even though you pretty much definitely aren’t going to set up a second phone line or anything.
I think literally everyone has that kind of clutter. Everyone. Except apparently the people living in 117 square feet. But that’s sort of the appeal of living in a tiny house, right? No clutter? Sign me up!
So now you’re all excited about a tiny house, and your dream clutter-free life. You’ve even found a super cool house with 172 square feet, because your new life will totally fit in 172 square feet! Right…
You want to save that photo, so when it’s time to start living light, you’re ready!
You could email a link to yourself, but really, who uses email for anything except work or school anymore? Some people, I guess, but not me. Probably also not you. Email’s out.
You could save it in a document, but that’s a really boring way to save the cornerstone of your clutter-free future.
And that pin board you had in college? Forget about it. That means printing and cutting and finding a tack, and by the time you finish all that, you could have already been living in your tiny house! Plus the printer is out of ink. Again.
With Pinterest, you can just click the Pin It! button next to the idyllic photo of your future home to save that photo, with a link to the webpage.
On Pinterest, you have Boards. Right now, you can have up to 500 Boards, each dedicated to a different subject.
When you Pinned your dream tiny house, you might have created a Board called “Clutter-free Life.” That would make sense. You can go to that Board any time, and see everything you’ve Pinned to it.
Maybe you find a ukulele the next day, and want to remember it for when your clutter-free life starts. Because if I were living in a tiny house, I’d totally play the ukulele. It just seems like a ukulele would fit in! (Get the pun?)
So you Pin the ukulele to your “Clutter-free Life” Board. And with that, you begin putting together your dream future, on Pinterest.
That’s how Pinterest works. As users browse the Internet, they save sites, pages, items, recipes, ideas, or pretty much anything else that they love, by Pinning them to Boards.
Pinterest is particularly effective from a marketing standpoint because, while Facebook is largely about who you are, Pinterest is about who you want to be.
As a marketer, that’s precisely the perspective that you want to appeal to!
Thanks largely to this philosophy, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit, and even Twitter!
But it doesn’t stop there!
Pinterest is not some mere photo collection website; it’s a fully-fledged social network!
“But how,” you ask, “is Pinterest a social network? I’ve found a tiny house I love, and I saved it. What’s so social about that?”
Let me let you in on a not-so-secret, secret. Tons of people have clutter. And tons of people share your dream of a clutter-free life, and have ideas about what their clutter-free lives would feature.
Just like you, a bunch of them have made Boards of tiny houses and ukuleles!
On Pinterest, you can explore other people’s Boards (as long as they’re set to public). You might discover lots of things that you might want in your clutter-free life (ironic, huh?). You can even find other entire boards devoted to tiny houses!
You can follow other users’ Boards, and you’ll see Pins from those Boards in your Pinterest feed. If you follow lots of Boards about clutter-free lives, your Pinterest feed will become a great source of cool stuff you’ll need when you’re living in 172 square feet!
And when other users who love tiny houses or ukuleles find your Board, they can follow it, and see all your Pins (again, as long as your Board is set to public). They can even RePin your Pins to their Boards!
So when Frank the carpenter Pins a chair that would look super cute next to your ukulele in your tiny house, you can RePin it to your Board! If Meg, who followed your board when she saw the ukulele you Pinned, also loves the chair for her dream music room, she might RePin it. Dudley, who follows Meg’s Board, is looking for a chair, and the chair Meg Pinned is perfect, so he goes to the linked webpage and buys Frank’s chair. Boom.
Thanks to the RePin function, Pins are as prone as pretty much any kind of post to going viral, and unlike some other social media platform posts, Pins can continue to gain traction for weeks, and even months!
“Wow, sounds awesome!” you’re thinking, I’m sure. “But how can I get in on this incredible marketing opportunity for my business?”
It starts with optimizing your website for Pinterest.
You want people to Pin and RePin your images, blog posts, and content pages. There are a few steps you can take to:
- Make it easy to Pin from your website, and
- Make sure that Pins from your website look awesome, so tons of people will RePin them!
Follow these 3 steps to make sure Pins from your website look great:
- Add a PinIt Button
Make sharing your content easy. Add a PinIt button to your photos or a sidebar, so that if someone stumbles across your stuff, they can Pin it super easily!Remember how the tiny house website had a PinIt button next to the idyllic photo of the tiny house? That button made it super easy to Pin the tiny house and make it part of your dream life.
You want to make it as easy as possible for other people to do the same thing with your product, and a PinIt button is the solution.
I like photo-specific PinIt buttons because they can usually be more centrally located. That way, when someone finds your killer blog post about your amazing services, your site reminds them that they can Pin it.
Photo-specific Pins also give you more control over which photo from your site is Pinned.
- Feature Photos that Will Look Great As Pins
People might Pin your stuff, but if those Pins don’t look awesome, they probably won’t go viral. And then you probably won’t sell as many chairs as Frank the carpenter. Or whatever you’re trying to sell.The resolution of a photo can make the difference between a great Pin and a lousy one. Wherever you have a PinIt button, use at least one photo with a minimum horizontal resolution of 735. On your page, the image can appear smaller, as long as the file itself is high enough resolution.
Pinterest standardizes the width of Pins, and adjusts the height accordingly. As a result, tall, skinny Pins get more screen real estate than short, wide ones. Featuring high-res photos with a portrait aspect ratio will help your content attract the most attention. We recommend a photo resolution of 735 x 1,102.
- Provide Pinterest-Ready Descriptions For Your Photos.
Every Pin has a little description that goes along with it. Users can modify the text in the description, but usually they don’t; the PinIt Button fills in text automatically.People are more likely to RePin your stuff if the Pin descriptions are really cool, so I recommend making sure they are.
PinIt Buttons work differently, but they often default to using the alt text field from the photo metadata as the description.
For every photo that could be Pinned on your site, enter a description into alt text field. Descriptions are most effective when they’re snappy and intriguing alongside a photo.
Try providing the title of your page, a question your page answers, or a cool quote. I recommend aiming for descriptions of around 200 characters.
Also, provide links at the end of your descriptions. I know that there’s a link on the Pin itself, but it isn’t redundant, I promise! When you stick a link on the end, the description will pretty much scream, “CLICK ME!”
So Your Website is All Ready for Pinterest? Now Comes the Fun Part…
You can build your own presence on Pinterest!
Because really, who wants to do all that work writing descriptions, and then not actually use it? Not me. Also not you, probably.
So get on Pinterest! Seriously, it’s awesome for business. It’s pretty much social media marketing nirvana.
And unlike the other nirvana, where people spend years and devote their entire lives to attaining it, you can experience this nirvana in minutes! And also be home by dinner!
Nirvana but with normal dinner. Sounds perfect, right? Right.
(Side note: There’s a ton of food stuff on Pinterest. Super tasty looking food photography. The kind where the tomatoes are all juicy, and the mozzarella is white and creamy, and it looks so good that the hour until lunch seems waayyy too long to wait! And side side note, if you’re not sure what to make for your post-nirvana dinner, Pinterest is THE PLACE for cooking inspiration. Trust me, try it.)
If you don’t have Pinterest yet, create one. It takes 15 seconds. And if your Pinterest is specifically for your business, create a Pinterest account for business.
Do all the account setup stuff, like choosing interests and all. It isn’t hard; you know what you’re interested in.
Maybe create a few Boards for topics you want to Pin about.
Then dig into Pinterest, and keep in mind these few tips:
- Pinterest Is Fun
There are a bunch of different ways to say this, but it all pretty much comes down to having fun on Pinterest. So have fun on Pinterest.Pin about whatever you’re excited about! Do you love koala bears? Pin that article about koala bears. Did you find a new Neve pre emulation that you HAVE to have? Pin it! (If this is you, I know your struggle)
Pin a mix of business and personal topics. Keep it fun and light! New blog post on your website? Pin it! Tasty cucumber salad recipe you want to try? Pin it!
Remember, you’re a person. Act like one on Pinterest, even when promoting your business.
- Pin to a Variety of Boards
The trick to Pinning about a bunch of different things is to organize them. And I know that sounds like a total pain, but I promise it isn’t. Just use a number of Boards, and Pin to the Board that makes sense for that topic.If you don’t already have a Board that a Pin fits into, make a new one!
That way, people only interested in your business can follow your business-related Boards, and people who love your cucumber salad or Neve 1073 posts can follow your “Tasty Food” or “Audio Software” Boards.
- Interact With Other Users
Explore Pinterest. When you find boards that you love, follow them!When you discover Pins that totally rock, RePin them! If you have a question or thought, comment! You’ll grab attention, and start to build a presence on Pinterest.
Keep it positive. Spread the love, and people will return it. They’ll follow you and RePin your stuff. Seriously, it works!
- Use Pinterest for Business
I know, this is sorta the point of the post, but I want to be a little bit more specific.When you release a new product, Pin it! Create a Board for your products, or even use multiple product Boards for different target audiences.
If your business is service-based, Pin great examples of your work! Photos of your food, your client websites, your custom-made signs; anything can work.
Pinning sales, offers, and exclusive opportunities are also great ways to sell your products and services through Pinterest.
Pinterest is a powerful business tool, but make sure you Pin helpful and interesting content, instead of just marketing your product. Your followers will appreciate it, and keep coming back for more!
Have Fun Getting Started on Pinterest!
Remember that social media marketing, especially on Pinterest, is about long-term success. Pin great stuff, and Pin often. People will notice, and over time, they’ll follow you and engage with your business.
With time and energy, people will discover your stuff on Pinterest. And like Frank the carpenter’s chair, your doohickey might fit just right in someone’s tiny house.
Be patient, be passionate, and get Pinning!