It’s time to get down to business and create that perfect Pinterest plan. You’ve learned the basics (Pinning Down the Basics of Pinterest) and have weighed the options to decide if Pinterest is right for you (Should Your Business Take a Stab At Pinterest?). Now here we are, getting ready to boost your business potential! It’s time to get roll up your sleeves, get your creative juices flowing and start your Pinterest plan!
Here Are 4 Ways to Start Your Pinterest Adventure:
1. Identify your Audience
First thing’s first, know who your audience is. Chances are, you already have already identified your target audience and know who you’re trying to market to. Be aware, though, that your Pinterest community will more than likely be a segment of your target audience. Make sure you do your research and take into account things like the fact that most users are women (87%), the visual aspect to Pinterest or the fact that many Pinterest users have families and children. Use your other social networks to ask questions and see which followers in your community are on Pinterest and slowly narrow down who your Pinterest audience will be. Figuring these things out will make the rest much easier!
2. Basics of Creating Your Profile
Second, you need to request an invitation. That’s right, Pinterest is an invite only website! If you know someone already on Pinterest, they can send you an invitation from their account and speed the process up. Otherwise you’re looking at a week or two to receive your invite. Once you’ve received your invite you can get started on your profile! It’s like an other profile you’ve set up, really, and it’s self explanatory as you go. Your profile picture will automatically link to your Facebook picture but if you don’t want that, you have the option to upload a different image. Furthermore, you’ll have the choice to link your Pinterest to Facebook and Twitter which will automatically share whatever you’re pinning and updating on Pinterest to those accounts. It’s easy to turn off if you don’t want everything to be shared, but could be beneficial in drawing people from your other communities to your profile. Finally make sure that you share your website on your profile and create a keyword loaded “About” section to get the best SEO value.
3. Starting Boards and Figuring Out What To Pin
Boards are the homebase for your pins. They are specific categories of things that you’re interested in or want to share with your followers and community. As I explained in my first post, these can be anything from “Crafts for the Kids” to “Must Read Books”. Base your boards around what you’re business is all about but don’t focus just on your product(s)! For example Cabot Cheese has boards focused on everything from ways to use their cheese to pictures of cows to pins representing Vermont. They focus on their community, not just selling the product. Having a good mix of retail and community is so important otherwise your profile will just become your website in a different form.
The number of boards is really up to you, some businesses have two or three while others have 20+! Figure out a few key ones to get started that reflect your values and mission, and go from there. When it comes to what to pin, the possibilities are practically endless! As we’ve learned, pin is simply an image. Either linked back to a website (the most practical thing to do for website traffic) or a direct upload from your computer. I cannot stress enough, though, that it is much better to integrate your pins into your website or blog. Meaning making sure to include a URL so the image links back to your content. Create pins from a new product you have coming out, a blog post, or even causes you support like Lindt Chocolate did!
Once you’ve decided what to pin, take the time to decide what to put in the description. To me, the best pins hardly have a description and instead have a beautiful image to draw users in. If you want, though, feel free to add a description with any extra information you feel people need to know! This can be a space for product description, event information, pricing, etc. Once again, use heavy keywords to optimize search potential!
4. Growing Your Community
Once you’ve gotten your feet wet, take this social media platform and grow your community!
Here are just a few ways to do so:
- Learn About Your Audience – Your Pinterest users have a different presence on Pinterest than other social media and networking sites. Take the time to learn about what they are liking on Pinterest. Look through your followers profiles, keep tabs on what they are liking on your page, see what they pin to their boards – simply show interest and take the time to get to know your audience! Pinterest communities can become close knit if you take the time, so take the time.
- Create Boards Focused On Interaction – Use Pinterest for a new contest or fundraising effort – something that gets followers to interact with you and each other. Have followers share a picture of them using your product or trying a craft you suggested and post them to a new board. Like Lindt above, promote causes you support via Pinterest and get others to repin what you post. Use other sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote your efforts!
- Share Followers Pins and Content From Other Websites – You can really connect to your audience by not only getting to know who they are, but repinning their pins! How great would you feel if a company you supported took the time to share something from your profile? Also, create some great networking opportunities by sharing pins from other companies or groups your support. Even create pins from other websites or blogs that are relevant!
- Use the Pinterest Goodies – Pinterest offers a ton of ways to incorporate Pinterest into your website and other sites you’re on! Add a “Pin It” or “Follow Me” button to your site so customers and visitors can easily share what they love about your company with others! Furthermore, remember from earlier that you can connect things like Facebook and Twitter to your Pinterest to easily share and grow your community!
All in all, creating your account, navigating Pinterest and growing your community can be intimidating – but don’t let it be! Take the time to sit down with your marketing team and create a plan using tips from this post. With effort and the right amount of creativity and determination, Pinterest has the potential to take your business to the next level! *Note to get to some of the nitty-gritty of it all, here’s a Pinning 101 tutorial directly from their site that will help you with all the little things from how to create a board to changing your profile picture. There are lots of small details to creating your Pinterest account that are easy to understand if you take the time! In the final post in this series, we’ll discuss some do’s and don’ts of Pinterest so don’t miss a post in this series! – sign up here to get updates in your email box!