7 things you should be doing on Pinterest.

From my experience, finding your business niche with Pinterest can be tricky, if you’re not selling products to women between the ages of 25 to 35. There are THOUSANDS of statistics out there about Pinterest.  There has to be.  I read hundreds just for writing this post. As Pinterest has been recognized as the fastest growing social media outlet, new stats about the platform is released almost every week. (There’s even a Pinterest page dedicated to Pinterest stats!)

But the one thing that is generally agreed upon is that the majority of Pinterest users in the United States are women between the ages of 25 to 35.

The site is perfect for people in the B2C industries of weddings, interior design, cooking and/or arts and crafts.  These are the most popular topics that we see Pinterest boards and pins about.

The most popular Pinterest site is Etsy:

Screen shot 2012-10-01 at 10.31.02 AM
Screen shot 2012-10-01 at 10.31.02 AM

Etsy is an online marketplace for artists and creators of all sorts to sell their products. The site captures creative ideas and makes it easy for artists anywhere to display and sell their products.

According to a survey I read this past summer on Shop.org, "Pinterest has become a big player in an even bigger arena, with online U.S. consumers reporting that they already follow an average of 9.3 retail companies on the site, compared to the average 6.9 retailers they follow on Facebook and the 8.5 retailers they track via Twitter." The trend is there.  People are using Pinterest to buy things.

If you are in one of these B2C industries like Etsy, you NEED to be using Pinterest. No excuses. The consumers are there, they are looking for you. Show them what you have.

If you’re not in one of these businesses you still should be using Pinterest. Like I said before, Pinterest has been recognized as the fastest growing social media outlet. Furthermore, it’s still emerging. Be prepared to get creative. There are ways in which your business could become a Pinterest leader, find them!

According to the "about" section on Pinterest:

“Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web...Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests...Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests.”

No where in there does it say that you HAVE to be in the wedding, interior design or arts and crafts industry to use it.

INFACT, according to this article on Ragan.com, in the United Kingdom, the majority of Pinterest users are MALE and the top items on Pinterest are venture capital, blogging resources, crafts, Web analytics, and SEO/marketing.

So, how can YOU help your business capitalize on Pinterest?

First off, if you are a Pinterest beginner, I urge you to play around with the website to become familiar with the lingo and how it works and also to check out this beginner tutorial.

The following is a list of ways to start engaging with Pinterest and its users that I have created for you to use as a starting point:

1. Captivating images and/or info graphics, be they funny, beautiful or emotionally stimulating, are a must.

2. Pinterest drives users from Facebook.  As users can sign in with their Facebook account and promote their “pins” on their timeline, try to make as many connections with your business fan page on Facebook and your Pinterest page. Some examples:

  • Create Facebook posts that advertise new Pinterest pins or boards you have created.
  • Ask your Facebook followers to check out what their missing on your Pinterest page.
  • Make sure your business page displays the Pinterest app. (Click HERE for my step-by-step guide on how to do this.)

3. Push the transparency envelope.  Social media, at its roots, is about transparency.  People want to see the personalities behind brands. Have a board dedicated to something unique and personal about your brand.  For example, when expanding my design client's Pinterest page I created a board dedicated to what inspired the Murphy Empire group's design work and also a fun board dedicated to what was going into the expanded office space:

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Screen shot 2012-10-01 at 11.43.12 AM

4. Display your customers! Perhaps you can have a board dedicated to your "customer of the week."  The board could display weekly highlighted customers, be they big spenders, repeating customers or just customers with a unique story. (Obviously you promote this on your Facebook page as well.)

Encourage users to come into the store, or if you're an online company, have buyers send photo in to the company email address. As captions can be longer on Pinterest, you can include a short bio as to why this person is the customer of the week. Also as photos can have a hyperlink to attach, when promoting the "customer of the week" board remind your clients, be they consumers or other businesses, that you can attache a link to THEIR business page with their photo.

5. Like other social media platforms, follow other companies you believe in or admire that are in line with your business or morals. Try to look for big name brands that have already gained followers and users' trust.

6. Have a contest.  Post a creative photo of your product or of a product related to your business or something everyone wants, i.e. an iPod (take a photo of the iPod next to your company logo, obviously) and ask followers to “repin.” Then select one of the “repinners” at the end of the contest period. Perhaps the “repinner” who gets the most comments on the photo?

7. Include prices of your displayed products and links to your website if you sell your products online. The following is one of my favorite books displayed on my personal Pinterest page.  If I were selling this product, I could put a price in the caption and it would automatically display the price on the photo (see image below.) I could then enter a link to take users directly to my site so that they may purchase the book.  That way if someone saw the book and the price and they wanted to buy it, all they would have to do is click on the photo and it would take them right to my page to buy the book.

Screen shot 2012-10-01 at 11.50.54 AM
Screen shot 2012-10-01 at 11.50.54 AM

The ways in which you can use Pinterest for your business are endless and will vary for each business. Pinterest allows you to get personal and to GET CREATIVE.

To get more info on how to best use Pinterest for your business, check out the Pinterest page dedicated to Pinterest for business!