Why you can't ignore Pinterest, and how to get it right

Why you can't ignore Pinterest, and how to get it right
With a strategy most businesses can generate results from Pinterest ​— in particular in the fashion, travel, parenting, food, photography and homeware industries. Here are some tips to give your Pinterest strategy a head start:

Pinterest is a social media network where your account is the equivalent of a scrapbook or photo album. You 'pin' images, infographics or videos on to themed boards to refer to later, and for others that are following you to view.

Many recent studies have shown that Pinterest is driving more traffic to websites than Twitter and LinkedIn combined, so it is a social network you can't ignore.

Pinterest is growing rapidly around the world and is currently used by 5.63 percent of Kiwis. This social network is extremely popular with women aged 35 and older, the majority of which have a higher than average household income.

Pinterest users love to browse content, with the average time spent on the site extremely high. That allows a lot of opportunity to discover your brand. The demographic that uses Pinterest is a tough one to market to, but if you are in the right industry it can be an extremely lucrative one.

With a planned strategy and sufficient effort most businesses can generate results from Pinterest ​— in particular businesses in the fashion, travel, parenting, food, photography and homeware industries.

So how can your business get involved in Pinterest? The first step is to ensure you have enough time to commit to a social media strategy. That can involve a lot of work for little return at first, as you build your following.

If you can find the time and are ready to launch, simply sign up for a business account and then start planning exactly which images you are going to pin that will appeal to your target market and drive traffic to your website.

Here are some tips to give your Pinterest strategy a head start:

Organise your pins

Ensure you have a clear structure to your account with pins organised into categories (known as boards) to allow followers to easily access the images they want to see. Name your boards with very specific titles so people can easily find and follow your boards.

Pin correctly

When pinning, ensure you fill out every detail possible, including an easy to read description of the product and a link to your website (preferably a tracked link).

Use high quality images

It goes without saying that people re-pin higher quality images more often than low quality, so invest in quality images and make sure you watermark your images to drive additional traffic to your website.

Add 'Pin It' buttons to your website

If you want to be part of the Pinterest community you need to let your current website visitors know. Adding 'Pin It' buttons to your website is easy and allows others to pin your images to their own boards.

Be social

Like other networks it will be hard to get traction if you are one sided and simply post images from your website. Get involved in groups and interact with the leading users in your industry by commenting and re-pinning.

Keep motivated

It is easy to get really enthusiastic about a new social network and put a lot of effort in during the first month, then slowly lose focus if you don't get instant results. It will take time and effort to generate a return from Pinterest, so keep motivated and ensure you consistently work on your strategy.

Track everything you do

The best way to improve any online marketing strategy is through tracking and Pinterest is no different. Ensure you use tracked URLs and take note of the pins which get the most engagement and conversions so that you can focus on creating more of this content.

It can be hard to succeed on Pinterest, but the network is showing no signs of slowing. If your business' target market is already on Pinterest then you need to get involved. Once you have a basic strategy in place of sourcing images and pinning them to your boards, you can start to experiment with infographics and competitions which both get a lot of traction. Happy pinning.

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Duncan Jones is an online marketing specialist and runs roimarketing.co.nz