By guest blogger Laura Carter
So what exactly is Pinterest, how does it work, and why is it important to your small business? According to the insight firm Semiocast, Pinterest now has over 70 million registered users, 70% of which are active users in the U.S. These numbers have helped Pinterest join the likes of Twitter, Google, and Facebook in becoming a major player in the social media market.
The content on Pinterest has grown tremendously over the past year and is no longer just recipes and do-it-yourself projects. Large and small businesses alike are realizing that it is a valuable tool for promoting business and driving sales. In fact, studies have shown that Pinterest is responsible for over 41% of e-commerce traffic from social networking sites.
How does Pinterest work?
Pinterest differs from other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, in that it is primarily an image-based social media platform. It is a collection of your favorite images, quotes, products, recipes, and more that you “pin” to a virtual pin board and can reference at any time. When you use Pinterest for your small business, you can pin your awards, project photos, books, sales notices, or products for everyone to see.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Keep Boards Neat and Organized
It is crucial to pin dynamic, visually appealing photos that are high quality, colorful and relevant to your business. These images also need to be organized into specific boards. For example, if you are an architect,, you should have one board for homes you’ve designed, one for commercial buildings, and so on. Be sure to add links in the descriptions of pins and use hashtags to increase visibility. Choose eye-catching images for board covers that are representative of the pins on that particular board. Take the time to build up your page and choose pictures that inspire you and contribute to the overall authenticity of your page.
Make Your Website Pin Friendly
If your business already sees significant traffic, increase your Pinterest audience by making it pin friendly. Add “Pin It” buttons to all of your content. Doing this makes it easier for visitors to pin your pages and share them with their friends.
If you want to increase your website traffic, Pinterest can be a powerful way to direct new visitors to your site. Have Pinterest-friendly, hyperlinked content on your boards to lead viewers from Pinterest back to your website.
Engagement Is Key
As with all social media, engagement is important. Take the time to curate and pin images that are relevant. Follow “Pinterest etiquette” and don’t pin too much all at once since this will clog your followers’ feed and look insincere. Instead, try pinning images twice a day. Morning (10-11a.m.) and late evening (9p.m.-midnight) seem to be the best times for the majority of brands to pin.
Get active in the community and like, comment, and re-pin others’ content. Also answer questions and comments that others leave on your boards. This will create a sense of genuine networking and will help build relationships with current and prospective customers.
With its own spin on social networking, and the advances and changes made to accommodate business accounts in 2013, Pinterest is proving successful for many small businesses.
Let us know how Pinterest is working for you by posting a comment in the Comments section.