8 Ways to Use Pinterest for Small Business Promotion

Friday, June 1, 2012 at 6:39pm by Sandy Jones

Browsing through a virtual pinboard, you’ll find anything from step by step DIY projects to wedding ideas to this summer’s hottest fashions. Pinterest is an online platform which facilitates discovering new things and organizing your interests into simple categories. Most importantly, it connects millions of users (11 million as of April 2012) and offers a platform for feedback and commentary. There are many ways small businesses can benefit from Pinterest, and free exposure is one of them. Here are 8 other ways Pinterest can be used for promoting your business.

  1. Use original photos and content to drive traffic

    The popular section on Pinterest will show you that original pictures and content are the most popular. As these original and unique pins get repinned and favorited by users, it drives traffic to your Pinterest and/or website. Remember, your content represents your brand, so choose content that reinforces your brand’s philosophy.

  2. Use boards as a virtual inventory catalog

    Use your boards to display your products according to categories so that viewers can easily pin items they see onto their own boards. Pinterest by nature is visually engaging, so use it to your advantage to reach out to customers. Whenever possible, include the cost of the item, which will automatically show up as a banner across the corner of your photograph. This attracts people to your website who are actually interested in buying the pinned product. If you’re promoting a service instead of a product, always link back to your website and post a relevant photograph.

  3. Build a wider following by pinning related content

    Traffic referral is a result of what content you post. With that in mind, if you follow other major brands that are relevant to your business and get a follow back, you gain a bigger network and audience. This is the whole purpose of social networking – sharing other’s ideas and building relationships. Make sure your boards are not just focused on your product, but also incorporate related topics and ideas.

  4. Promote brand and philosophy

    Even though Pinterest is purely visual, it’s important to connect the virtual branding to your business’ physical brand. This means making sure your account displays address, physical location, links to other websites (company website, twitter, facebook), and information. Be sure to incorporate more than just your products, but also highlight tips, tidbits, "behind the scenes" snapshots of your company, and other related content. If you want to display a large amount of content, an interesting way to make it more user-friendly is to create an infographic, which have been very popular on Pinterest.

  5. Introduce members of your company

    To make a business-oriented Pinterest page more dynamic, try introducing members of your company or brand. This way, you can create a more personal interaction with users, encouraging feedback and traffic. If customers can see the inner workings of your company, they may feel more connected and loyal to your brand. Look for ways to pin photos of company events and actual production of your products. Feature interviews of users who liked your product or go with a monthly theme.

  6. Display coupon graphics or create competitions

    Promotional discounts are common on Pinterest. Using a coupon graphic for certain products or services is a great way to drive attention to your product or site. You can also include hashtags in the description to help users easily find your content in searches. Ask your followers to contribute with their own pins, including a unique hashtag (mentioning your brand) in return for discounts or a chance to win a prize. A company that recently ran a competition was Land’s End. The company encouraged participants to create pinboards with their favorite Lands’ End products to win a collection of Lands’ End products. The company linked this competition on their website and ended up being very successful.

  7. Use other social sites to feed Pinterest

    Your business may have many other networking sites, not just Pinterest. A way to gain greater visibility is to add a Pinterest logo with a link to your Pinterest in order to gain more followers. Sometimes a simple link through Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, or company site can generate hundreds of new followers a day.

  8. Engage with followers & get feedback

    Create moments of engagement with your followers. You can do this effectively by participating in conversation: comment on a photo you like on another board, reply to feedback, and answer any questions. An option Pinterest encourages is allowing other contributors to pin on your pinboard. You can create a board just for your fan’s contributions to help spread the word about your products. In addition, fan involvement helps promote your brand across a wider audience.

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