The most common myth about Pinterest is that it is a just a site for middle-aged women looking up recipes, dresses, and home decor. Think again. Pinterest is one of the most powerful tools a small business can use to market their business. So, if you still believe this myth, you’re doing your business a great disservice. Instead, you should be thinking about how to boost your small business online visibility using Pinterest.
#Marketingtip: If you are looking for greater online visibility for your #smallbusiness – you may want to start using @Pinterest. Here’s why… Click to tweet
Why? With over 200 million monthly active users, Pinterest is the third most popular social media site among American adults. Moreover, it has gained appeal across many demographics, including millennials and men.
Here’s why Pinterest is an excellent platform to add to your marketing repertoire:
- 96 percent of pinners use the site to research and gather information.
- 93 percent use it to plan purchases.
- 5 percent of all website referral traffic comes from Pinterest (the second most of any social network, behind Facebook!)
What these stats reveal is that Pinterest should no longer be viewed as just another ‘social media’ platform. Instead, you should be thinking of Pinterest as a search engine – like Google. With so many potential customers using the platform for research (and search), they are prime for being receptive to your message.
One million businesses are already using Pinterest to reach customers , and we encourage you to dive in today by using our tips for small business Pinterest success.
3 Steps to Boost Your Small Business Online Visibility Using Pinterest
Because we know so many small businesses have been ignoring Pinterest as a marketing tool, we are going to go back to the basics in this post.
If you already have a Pinterest account, you can use these tips to update your site and create a Pinterest Marketing strategy. If you’ve never used Pinterest to market your small business, these tips will get you started!
1. Create a Pinterest Business Account
Like Facebook, Pinterest allows users to sign up as an individual or a business, and a business account comes with extra perks that will help with your Pinterest marketing strategy.
For one, after you set up the business account and claim your website, you will get access to Pinterest Analytics. The metrics will show you what people are saving from your website and what your audience looks like regarding demographics and interests.
Further, only business accounts can create ads on Pinterest. While Pinterest is smaller than other social media options, it ranks second (just behind Facebook) in social media platforms that influence purchase decisions. Therefore, it can be a valuable part of a small business owner’s advertising strategy.
If you already have a personal Pinterest account that you are using for your business, no worries. The process of converting it to a business account is simple. Just follow the steps in this article to set up your Pinterest business account.
2. Optimize Your Pinterest Profile
As mentioned above, Pinterest is not just a social media site. People use the platform like a search engine to discover products, ideas, and inspiration. With 2 billion searches per month on Pinterest, the rules of search engine optimization apply, and it’s crucial that you take SEO into account when creating your profile.
- Profile Picture: Experts recommend that if you are visible in your brand, your profile picture should be a picture of yourself, not a faceless company logo. This makes your profile more personable and recognizable.
- Account Name: You’d think this section is straightforward—just write out your name or your company’s name—but you’d be wrong. Experts suggest including some keywords that people may use to find your brand or your content. You can keep it looking clean by using a dash (-) or a line (|) to separate information. For example: Company Name | Keyword Descriptors.
- Bio: Your bio is limited to 160 characters, so you must find a brief way to introduce who you are, what you do, and whom you help. A good bio also includes keywords and a call to action. The call to action can drive people to your website, a video, another social media page, or even a lead magnet. Using bit.ly or another link shortener will help save character space.
- Boards: Create multiple boards so you can craft a tailored brand experience for visitors. The board names should be short and use popular keywords for your area/industry. Make sure to include keyword-rich descriptions for each board too.
You’ll notice the emphasis on using keywords in all of your Pinterest elements. If you are having trouble coming up with board and keyword ideas, you can use Pinterest itself!
Simply type a word in the Pinterest search box and you’ll get several related words displayed at the top of the search results. For example, typing in “marketing tips” produces several other great suggestions: for small business, email, social media, digital, content, video. You can use these results to generate ideas for additional boards you can create.
Like other social media sites, Pinterest now embraces hashtags. Including hashtags in your pin descriptions will help get your pins found in a search. When users search a hashtag, the freshest pins using that hashtag appear at the top of the feed.
Pinterest recommends using hashtags that are specific and descriptive. You also want to keep it to under 20 hashtags per pin.
3. Pin Wisely and Consistently
When it comes to pinning, you will want to set up a regular schedule where you pin daily versus just going in once a week for a pinning binge. How, what, and when you pin is all-important. Here are some tips:
Pinterest says that “The first 5 Pins you save each day will be prioritized for distribution.” Make sure your best content is pinned to your most relevant boards first. However, to keep your page interesting and attractive to followers, make sure to pin third-party content, too. Like any social marketing, you want to follow along with the 80/20 rule. When you do promote your own content, make sure to include a link! Although this sounds basic, you’d be surprised how often it is missed. When people view your pin, they are typically looking for more information, so having a working link will help drive traffic to your website.
The peak times to pin are generally in the evening and on the weekends. To stay consistent while also saving time, use a social scheduler to schedule your pins.
Plan on pinning 5-10 things each day. Plot out your pins in a spreadsheet then schedule them using a tool like CoSchedule, Buffer, Tailwind, or Viraltag. At VirTasktic, we like to use CoSchedule’s “best time” feature when scheduling, which analyzes peak times and schedules your pins accordingly.
It’s essential to note that you can pin the same products and blog posts on multiple boards, so long as they are relevant. For example, we can pin this article to our social media board, our content marketing board, and our small business marketing board. You don’t want just to pin the same pins, however. Keep your pins fresh and diverse by using tools like Canva or Stencil to create multiple Pinterest-sized images. You also want to write different descriptions for each pin and use varying hashtags to help improve SEO.
The optimal size of a Pinterest image is 600 x 900, or any 2:3 ratio. If posting an infographic, aim for 600 x 1260 (or any 1:2.1 ratio) because tall infographics are cropped in the feed. And remember when creating your images to keep your brand in mind and include your logo.
Finding Pinterest Success
While it might take some time and discipline to implement a regular posting schedule, the web is full of examples of businesses big and small that found success on this social media platform. Here are a couple of our favorites:
- Artifact Uprising, a photobook company, was a small startup operating out of a basement when one of their pins went viral, helping to catapult them to a multi-million dollar business in just 19 months.
- Pura Vida, a bracelet company, experienced a 31 percent increase in orders after running a Pinterest advertising campaign… and they were paying for engagement – i.e., repins – not even website visits!
- BuzzFeed, a media company known for its coverage of trending news and humorous stories, uses Pinterest to help make posts go viral. According to their Vice President of Growth and Data, “Pinterest is BuzzFeed’s second-largest social network referrer. It also has a much longer lifecycle than other social networks, often driving traffic to posts months after publication.”
Since Pinterest works like a search engine, any business can benefit from a Pinterest presence, not just those that sell products. For example, in this Amy Porterfield Podcast, marketing expert Jenna Kutcher talks about the incredible amount of website traffic she gets from Pinterest and she also shares her own tips for using the platform.
So what do you have to lose by trying out Pinterest for your small business? More importantly, what could you gain? Start implementing these tips today and DREAM BIG, small business owners. The next Pinterest success story we want to hear is yours.
Are you using Pinterest in your small business? Share your tips for success or any questions you have about the platform with us in the comments below. Happy Pinning!