Should you use Pinterest to market your business?
Unless you’ve been ignoring recent news around the social media scene, you’ll be aware that Pinterest, the image-based social network, has become a very important player in the marketing arena. Currently it has around 11 million worldwide users.
Pinterest launched in 2009, but stayed pretty much “under the radar” until the second half of 2011, when it suddenly burst into prominence and rapidly gained users as well as a great deal of hype.
During 2012, it was reported that Pinterest was driving more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace combined. In the US the majority of Pinterest users are women (up to 97%, depending on the source) – however in the UK the male/female ratio appears to be much more even, although I’ve not been able to find any recent statistics. One report last year stated UK users were divided 56% male, 44% female, a statistic that was rather surprising.
An interesting fact is that Etsy, the favourite website of crafters, is the leading source of images pinned on Pinterest. (Google is in second place)
Do these facts mean that you should be using Pinterest to market your business? In my opinion, definitely YES if….[unordered_list style=”arrow”]
- Your business has products of a strong visual nature
- Your target clients are likely to be Pinterest users
- You have a blog and regularly include high quality images with your posts
- You are a tech business producing infographics regularly
Don’t forget – each image on Pinterest should link back to its source. If you pin interesting, high quality images, you have a great opportunity to boost your website traffic![hr]
Make sure your website is optimised for Pinterest
If you want your content pinned by visitors to your website or blog, then you have to make it simple for them to do so! Here’s 5 easy ways to make sure your website is loved by pinners.
- Include an image (or several) on every web page and blog post. To be pinnable, an image must be at least 80×80 pixels, and the higher quality the better. Additionally it has been shown that “tall” images get repinned more frequently, so consider using images that are taller than wide. YouTube videos are also pinnable, although not videos hosted on other sites. Unsuitable images include backgrounds, images hosted in an iFrame (e.g. an image on Facebook) and images embedded within Adobe Flash.
- Use images that will captivate your audience. Amongst the thousands of images pinned daily on Pinterest, you need to make sure yours will stand out. Choose visually appealing images that tell a story. Many bloggers use images that have the title of their blog post incorporated into the image – you will see that I’ve done this. Or choose an image that relates to the topic of your blog post or web page. There are a number of excellent websites offering either free or paid images, but why not try creating your own using simple graphic editing software such as Paint Shop Pro (my longtime standby) or a free one such as Inkscape? Or you could try PicMonkey, a free web app that allows you to add text and more to existing images.
- Add “Pin It” buttons to your images. The easier you make it for people to share your content on Pinterest, the more likely it is that they will do so! Ideally, add Pin It buttons to every image, as well as including Pinterest sharing links at the top or bottom (or down the side, as with my blog) of each post. This gives a clear call to action as well as a nudge for your visitors. A very useful tool that I’ve just come across is Markerly – it allows you to include social sharing links (including Pinterest) on all your images, as well as any text that visitors highlight from your website/blog. Check it out on this page – mouse over the images or try highlighting a snippet of text and see what happens! Any shares will be much appreciated 🙂
- Remember to give your images a descriptive title. When someone uses the Pin It button in their browser to pin an image, a window pops up with the description of the pin pre-populated according to the description originally allocated to the image. Make it easy for pinners by giving your images descriptive titles relevant to the post or page they sit on. (Don’t forget your ALT tags for SEO purposes too!) Including a proper description also means that the image will be easier to search on Pinterest – you could even include your name as the author. There’s no guarantee that pinners will stick with your description, but if you make it highly relevant the chances are greater that they will.
- Add a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button to your website or blog. As with any other social networks, if people don’t know you’re on Pinterest, they’re not going to follow you. Adding the “Follow Me on Pinterest” button is easy (it does involve inserting a piece of HTML code to your site, so if you’re not comfortable with this, ask your designer). It gives another clear call to action and will increase the chances of your website visitors pinning your content as well as following you on Pinterest.
What do you think? Do you use Pinterest already, or would you like to start using it? If you use it already, I’d love to hear how it’s working for you. Please let me know in the comments below![hr]
Need help setting up or managing Pinterest for your business? I particularly enjoy working with businesses to achieve more from Pinterest and have created the Pinterest Power Pack to get you great results. I’d love to hear from you – get in touch now on 01777 249075 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org[hr]