If I asked you to name the biggest social media networks, what would immediately come to mind?
Facebook, of course. Twitter would probably be up there too. Some people in a younger demographic might say Instagram (A rapidly ascending favorite). One that you might not think of is Pinterest, and that’s a real shame. While most people only think of Pinterest for personal use, its application for business and social media marketing is rarely used to its full potential!
How Pinterest Works
If you’ve never used Pinterest, you need to know that it works a little differently than most other social media sites. In fact, some people would say that it barely qualifies as a social media network at all.
With Pinterest, the focus is more on your content than on you personally. Rather than having a timeline, you have a board that you “pin” your content to. Think about it as the digital version of a bulletin board crossed with a scrapbook. Much like with Facebook or Instagram, you can “like” posts, which are basically just a picture and a short caption. You can divide your Pinterest into different boards, each one for a different interest. Let’s say that you were interested in cooking. Well, then you could create a cooking board where you could post recipes and other cooking tips.
How To Get Started with Pinterest
First, you need to set up a Pinterest business account. It’s just as easy as setting up your personal account! All you need to do is include your business’ name, location, website, and other professional information so your customers will be able to find you. Don’t forget to add a professionally written bio!
If you are familiar with Pinterest from personal use, then you might be surprised to see some new “features” available to you that aren’t on your personal profile: Ads and Analytics.
The ads tool is fairly self-explanatory. Using it, you will be able to create customized ads that are designed to target your customers. The analytics tool goes side-by-side the ads tool, as it allows you to track engagement, see how many impressions you are getting per post, click-through rates to your website or landing page, etc. Together, these tools will allow you to harness the tremendous marketing potential of Pinterest!
The most significant difference between Pinterest and Facebook ads is how they are incorporated into your customers’ “timeline” or “boards.” With Facebook, ads often stick out, disrupting the user’s browsing experience. Pinterest ads are incorporated into the user’s content in a much more organic way, making them much less annoying than something as intrusive as an auto-play video.
How to Use It Effectively
Once your profile is all set up, it’s time to create some boards for your account.
All you need to do is click on the big red plus sign to get started. Once you’ve created, named, and added a description to a board, you can begin to save things to it. You can pin anything to your board from just about any website, including your own. Remember that, because the focus of Pinterest is on the visual, it’s vital that every pin includes a high-resolution and engaging graphics or image. No one is going to click on a fuzzy, low-rez photo, after all. If you don’t have the ability to create your own beautiful images, then you can use stock photography or hire a virtual assistant like me to create clickable graphics!
Unlike with Instagram, where you can’t put a link in a post, Pinterest depends on being able to have clickable content. When a user clicks on a pin, they are actually being sent to the original source of the content, making Pinterest a gold mind for referral traffic.
One way that Pinterest is similar to other social media networks is that you need to be constantly posting content to build engagement with your customers. This can quickly start to feel like a never-ending race. Even if you are fantastic with social media, a robust posting schedule can start to get to you after a while. This is one of the main reasons why my clients hire me to do their social media for them. I can create original content and write posts for all of your social media networks, then schedule them to go out at times of highest engagement. You will never have to worry about remembering to post content again.
Like all social media, Pinterest can be a huge time sink for small business owners. In order to get the most out of it, they need to be aware of all the digital marketing insider’s secrets. You can find them in my free Pinterest Tips, Tactics, Topics & the Best Time to Post infographic. It’s a fantastic way to start getting using Pinterest and making the most out of it for your business.
I think that Pinterest is a “hidden gem” of social media marketing. Not only is it a fun platform to explore, but its target audience is 80% women! It has a broad reach across generations, including boomers and millennials, and continues to grow! So, no matter who your target audience is, you’re likely to find them on Pinterest. If you’d like to talk about how I can get you started with Pinterest, or do an audit for any of your other social media profiles, please feel free to contact me today!