Social Media: Why your business needs to be on Pinterest
Let's chat about Pinterest, part 3 of my social media series.
Pinterest was my favourite social media platform in 2016. Believe me, I never thought I’d say that! If you thought Pinterest was just for decoupage and home decor enthusiasts, you’d be just like me last year. How wrong was I?
Pinterest is in fact one of the fastest growing search engine platforms for savvy small businesses. Yes, it’s a search engine! Yes, it’s for small businesses! And not just Martha Stewart-type businesses either. Any business can grow an awesome following on Pinterest, and in particular small businesses and freelancers that regularly produce relevant, awesome content.
Here’s some Pinterest stats you need to know…
Pinterest has 100 million active monthly users. Holy moley!
Pinterest more than doubled its monthly users from 50 billion in March 2015, and grew by another 66% from the year before that. Wow! That’s pretty phenomenal growth by anyone’s standards.
And Pinterest’s demographics, while female-dominated, are fairly even across the age spectrum of 18-64. That means a huge age bracket of potential readers, so you’re sure to find people interested in your niche.
How Pinterest works in my business
I started my Pinterest business account about 12 months ago and I was seeing results within a few months without really doing very much, outside of the setup process. Like anything in the business game, take the time to set things up properly and you’ll reap the rewards in spades.
And one of my rewards was a lot more blog traffic. Below is a screen grab of one of my popular posts, 5 ways to find small business freelance work, and over on the left are my social shares - Pinterest is way out on top with over 100 shares! It completely dominates my website’s social media sharing.
I’m as surprised as anyone, especially as I hardly know anyone personally on Pinterest. Which means that these re-shares are not from friends or family; complete strangers are pinning my content because it resonates with them.
Okay, so you’re probably thinking that all this Pinterest for Business stuff sounds pretty awesome BUT it’s not going to work for my business because a) everything needs to look so damn pretty on Pinterest and who’s got time to do that?; and b) don’t you need to churn out a hell of a lot of content on a regular basis because all these bazillion of pins have the lifespan of a blip?
Well, I’m going to show you exactly how to get Pinterest working for your business in just a sec.
But first, you need to set up a Pinterest for Business account.
You can also convert your personal account over to a business account. If you already have a Pinterest account and are wondering why you should bother making the transfer, here’s 3 good reasons:
- Pinterest requires businesses to use business accounts;
- Verify your business account and you’ll get lots more traffic;
- With a business account, you can access Pinterest’s awesome analytics.
Okay! So let’s get stuck into…
5 top tips to make Pinterest work for your business
1. Use keywords
Your business keywords need to be everywhere - in your profile, board titles, board descriptions and post descriptions.
Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Again, set it up right from the beginning and it becomes second nature. We talked about how to find your keywords in the past using Google Adwords Keyword Planner, which is an awesome SEO tool. So, take your keywords and use them in every one of the above places.
RELATED POST: How to: Set Up Keywords That Will Rock Your Website SEO
Remember that Pinterest is a search engine. So it’s all about keywords.
Tip: NO hashtags - they don’t work in Pinterest at all!
2. Create pinnable graphics
Yep, you called it. There’s no getting away from this one. Pinterest is like Google’s image search and popularity really is about looks here, unfortunately! So, in order to be successful in Pinterest, you need to create some awesome pins to go along with your awesome content!
Your pins need to be vertical, branded and clearly state your purpose in one short sentence.
Luckily, your old mate Canva is here for you. You can easily create free, Pinterest-friendly images online with Canva. Use your colours and fonts to create recognisable, branded pins for your business.
RELATED POST: How To: 6 Easy Ways To Brand Your Business
3. Create branded boards
Consider your industry and your niche when you create Pinterest boards. Say you’re a freelance travel writer, your boards might be titled “Travel Writing: Australia”, “Travel Writing: Tips”, etc. Or if you’re a health coach, they might be “Health Coach: Recipes”, “Health Coach: Fitness”, and so on.
I‘ve split mine in line with my blog categories, so there’s “Small Business: Social Media”, “Small Business: Web Design” etc.
Once you have all your boards titled and ready, arrange them in order of relevance to your business with your most important board up first.
Tip: Include a mywebsite.com board that just contains your work. This is a great resource for people who love your stuff but don’t want to wade through hundreds of other pins to find yours!
Then update all your old blog posts with your pinnable images to fill up your boards. Be sure to put your own pins on your board covers!
4. Post relevant content
You need a combination of your own material and other people’s, making sure that everything is relevant and useful to your reader. Unlike other social media platforms however, you can crank up the dial on your own stuff - use up to 50% of your own content, if you have it.
Wondering what you can post? There’s heaps of things - blog posts, portfolio items, product images, your own articles, recipes (it’s Pinterest, after all!), inspirational quotes, infographics, photos, and more.
And where can you find other people’s useful content? Why on Pinterest, of course! Just do a search and you’ll get loads of material. It’s good inspiration for your own blog posts and you can see what’s popular in your field too.
Tip: Start typing keywords into the search bar at the top of the Pinterest page and let the automatic text show you common searches. It’s a great way to gauge trending and popular topics in your niche which you can then use for your own content.
5. Pinterest loves consistency
This is a big one. Like other platforms, Pinterest rewards frequent pinners. You need to be posting on Pinterest at least 10 times a day, every day. It's not for the faint hearted but don't worry, you just need a good scheduling program.
You know that I’m a fan of Buffer which I use to schedule posts across all my social media platforms. I grab and save useful articles and blog posts all day long that I read online, as well as doing a weekly roundabout of stuff (often found on Pinterest!). Tailwind is another scheduling program that’s very popular with Pinterest but I haven’t tried it personally.
But late last year, I tried something new - Board Booster. It's a simple site that regurgitates your pins on a regular basis, day after day, week after week. So, if you want to keep your own pins fresh, you don’t have to keep rescheduling them week after week.
My own monthly views jumped over 40% in a single week when I started using Board Booster. If you're a Pinterest user, then seriously consider Board Booster. The interface isn't great but I haven't seen a program that compares to its results.
Remember, if your audience is on Pinterest, then you'll want to to be too. Pinterest is hugely popular in the United States but less so in Australia. Investigate your own industry and market and make the choice that suits your business.
And if that's Pinterest, then enjoy!
About the author: Lilani Goonesena is an Australian freelance writer, Squarespace web designer and blogger currently based in Vientiane, Laos. She loves helping freelancers and small businesses get online with web design and content, blogging and her awesome weekly newsletter on digital marketing, social media, blogging, web design and "all that online stuff". She also writes food and travel articles for businesses and magazines, and blogs at the delectable Eat Drink Laos.