Using Pinterest for business
Posted in | 23 October, 2013
You’ve no doubt heard of Pinterest, the site often described as little more than “a bunch of pretty pictures,” but such a description couldn’t be more inadequate.
Yes, Pinterest is comprised of millions of pretty pictures, but, as reported by Search Engine Journal, it is growing in popularity by about 400% each month and has more than 10.4 million users.
What’s not surprising is that 80% of Pinterest users are women, with almost 50% of them between the ages of 18-34. Guess who is also between the ages of 18-34?
The average bride!
According to the Easy Weddings’ 2013 Annual wedding survey, the average age of an Australian bride is 28.6 years, which is smack damn in the middle of Pinterest’s biggest user group.
What this means is that if you are a wedding business and you’re not on Pinterest, you’re missing out showing your wares to your exact demographic!
So, what is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a repository of pictures, usually beautiful ones, but they may be pictures of houses, cats, memes or, naturally, dream weddings.
It’s like a giant scrapbook where people from across the globe pin their favourite pictures to themed boards such as Bedrooms, Geeky Fun, Vintage cars and, of course, My Dream Wedding.
People collect pictures on their boards and other Pinterest users re-pin them to their own boards. What that means for wedding businesses doing anything from shoes to photographs is that if you put up a beautiful picture of a new ring pillow or some pretty bomboniere or pictures from a wedding you’ve styled, they could be shared with the world and, because you can add a link to every single image, people who like and re-pin the image can see exactly where it came from – and potentially buy the product or hire you to create the same effect for your big day.
See how powerful a tool for wedding businesses Pinterest can be?
Pinterest, The Basics
How do you get set up? It’s pretty simple.
Once you have created your Pinterest account at www.Pinterest.com, you will need to understand that there are two basic functions of Pinterest: Pins and Boards.
Every image or video uploaded to Pinterest is called a Pin. Each Pin can be accompanied by a hyperlink and caption. These Pins are pinned to “Boards”.
A Board is a group of pins and people can either follow all your boards – or just individual Boards and whatever you pin to them will appear in their personal Pinterest feeds, in much the same way your friends’ stories appear in your Facebook feeds or the tweets of those you follow on Twitter appear in your news stream.
You can create as many boards as you like, about whatever you like. Usually they are groups of similar ideas. For example, a wedding dress designer might have a board for “Short Dresses,” “Long Dresses,” “Customized Designs,” and “Colorful Wedding Dresses.”
Whenever you make a new board, you want to make sure you have filled it with wonderful images which are visual treats for your followers.
Spend time building up your boards first, before you release them. You can do this by making your boards “Secret” and then making them public later. Remember, though: Once you’ve made a board public, it can’t revert to a secret board.
For businesses, it is good to have a limited number of boards so that your customers don’t get overwhelmed. Between 5 and 20 boards is more than enough to share your great ideas, connections and talents with the people who are looking for them.
Pin your portfolio, samples of the weddings you’ve shot or the shoes you sell to brides.
Remember the visuals
Unlike other social media sites that feature visual images (think Facebook and Twitter), Pinterest is ALL about visuals. In fact, a large number of people only look at the Pin image – that image you choose as the “front page” of the link you have pinned or uploaded. You rarely see an ugly picture on Pinterest because they’re all so beautiful!
You can check out the Easy Weddings Pinterest board here.
Clearly, the wedding industry has an advantage because we’re all about pretty pictures.
If you are a florist, get your most beautiful creations up there. If you are a photographer, post your latest wedding or engagement shoots.
Beautiful visuals are the lifeblood of a Pinterest following. If you have gorgeous pictures, your pins will be repinned countless times. That leads to traffic, and traffic leads to conversions.
Interact with other Pinterest users
Pinterest has an unspoken etiquette of following those who follow you. The truth is, the more users you follow on Pinterest, the more likely you are to build your fan base.
A great way to do this is by searching boards. Type a keyphrase like “getting married” or “wedding ideas” into the search field and then you can search the people who have those boards. By following them, you get great ideas about what other wedding professionals are doing. In addition, the people you are following will usually take a look at your boards. As long as you have some great visuals and a good product, this is a great way to drive sales to your website.
Another good way to increase your interaction is by re-posting and commenting on other users’ pins. Although you may not want to repost a competitive product (photographers shouldn’t be posting other wedding photographer’s pictures, for example), reposting related products is a good way to broaden your influence.
You can also make comments on other people’s boards, especially the people who you’ve found in your “potential client” search. Don’t be too aggressive, however. If all you do is post links to your page on other people’s posts, they will flag you for spam and you’ll lose a potential sale.
Set aside a little Pinterest time each day.
There is an unchangeable law of Pinterest that you should know: The more you pinning, the more you get pinned.
So, in order to maintain a steady stream of followers and fans, you need to get your pins and boards in front of as many people as you can, as often as you can.
During those peak hours, check out the pins of the people you are following. Set a certain amount of time to make comments and re-pin and upload your own pins.