Six social media quick fix tips: Pinterest for small businesses
With over 2 million users in the UK and growing engagement levels, the potential marketing benefits of Pinterest cannot be ignored by any online business. However, for many businesses already struggling to come to terms with other social media platforms, they simply don’t know where to start. Just like other social platforms the best way is just to get involved and learn first-hand how it works. These six tips focus on helping you understand how Pinterest can help you grow your business online and raise awareness about your brand, services and products.
Don’t be afraid to have some fun
The key to successful social media for businesses is getting the right balance that achieves a very soft sell with education, education or inspiration. Whatever your company, whatever field you operate in, showing your company personality, creativity and a sense of fun will benefit future engagement with your audience. Pinterest offers just that. In basic terms it is just a series of images, usually found elsewhere on the internet, but the simplicity of being able to share those images, embed and organise them in categories and on boards provides a more creative and exciting way for them to be presented. This in turn gets them under the eyes of potential new audiences who may not have previously come across your brand, products or services. Pin images that you would like to be associated with your business or reflect your way of thinking.
Just pin it
Too many businesses are reluctant to embark on Pinterest for fear that their business has no appeal to the Pinterest community. Well, that community is now far more diverse and growing daily, so there really is an audience of everyone. If you are marketing correctly you already have an image for every product and service you offer, so you already have something to pin. Newsletters, product specs, informal staff pics, even videos can be pinned to Pinterest. Each one has a value – although great pictures work best – and with good descriptions you will be increasing your opportunities to be found by potential new customers. Just having those images on Pinterest creates potential as some 80% of pins on Pinterest are repinned from elsewhere on the site – that’s the strength of the community. Once you begin to take a look at Pinterest in action you will see how diverse the pins on there are.
Be specific with your wording
Clear titles for your boards and categories are important. Most people are likely to find your pins via a search, either within Pinterest or via a search engine so the more specific or exciting it sounds, the more likely people will click through. Descriptive or emotive words help bring that to life, so rather than just “lights” think of titles along the lines of “lighting to brighten your mood” or “light ideas to rejuvenate a dark room”. Think keywords and how people will be searching. Pinterest’s success has been based on “inspire and desire” so consider these human emotions when selecting your description words. Unsurprisingly then, many of Pinterest’s small business success stories have come from traders on the Etsy marketplace with hand-made craft wares, but any industry sector can create a Pinterest presence to inspire.
Make use of analytics
If you want to understand the platform properly you need to be able to see how your pins are performing. Pinterest has its own free analytics tool, available to all once you have verified your website via a small piece of code. To use Pinterest analytics you will need a Pinterest business account. These are free and if you’re already using a personal Pinterest account for your business, you can easily convert it to a business account following these instructions.
Make it easy to Pin
Install “Pin it” buttons across your website. A little hand-holding and prompting will increase engagement from your visitors and encourage them to share your offerings to their own followers. Pin it buttons add a bit of psychology but also simply make it easier for your visitors to share. Pinterest has even recently been promoting Pin it as “The save button for the internet” and with multi-platform access and a growing user base that isn’t such a far-fetched claim.
Use alt tags
You should be doing this anyway, but the potential new audience reach offered by Pinterest, highlights the importance of the alt tag. Every image on your main website should have a relevant alt tag description attached to it. The alt tag is automatically used by Pinterest to help auto-populate the description field of a pin. Without it, your pin is likely to be shared less. With an alt tag description not only is the image more shareable, but you can also determine the keywords that will be associated with the image when picked up by search engines.
At first glance, Pinterest is all about images but in practice it is all about passion. As a small business, passion is something you won’t be lacking in and a Pinterest presence offers great opportunities to express that. Consider Pinterest as a facilitation tool. You can create a presence successfully just by using elements you already have elsewhere, Pinterest just facilitates reaching out to new audiences and potential customers who otherwise may not have found you.