How to Rock Pinterest to Market Your Small Business

A picture is worth a thousand words — and Pinterest posts can be worth a fortune.
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Pinterest plays a huge role in helping to expand your brand and increasing sales. (Photo: mkhmarketing/Flickr)

You might think Pinterest is mostly for posting recipes, inspirational quotes and pics of that sofa or lamp you’ve been coveting. But don’t be fooled: It’s also a great place to market your small business, whether you’re a retail or service business.

In fact, two-thirds of the content on Pinterest is from businesses, said Anna Bennett, Pinterest marketing expert at White Glove Social Media. So it’s safe to say the 100 million people who pin are saving pins of products and services they want to buy someday.

Bennett is often asked by businesses if they should be on Pinterest. Her answer is an emphatic “yes.”

Posting on Pinterest can help get your brand, products and services in front of more people using Google, because Google indexes Pinterest boards in their search results. This can translate to more traffic for your website. And more traffic means more sales.

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Using a plan to map our your pins and organize them is crucial. (Photo: JohnDickandSon’s channel/Youtube)

Pinterest can help small business owners get more traffic, make more sales, collect market intelligence which helps with future content and product development, raise their brand profile and develop loyal fans and brand advocates, Bennett said.According to a recent study by Millward Brown, Pinterest plays a huge role in influencing purchases:

  • 96 percent have used it to research and gather information
  • 93 percent have used it to plan for purchases
  • 87 percent have purchased something because of Pinterest

“These stats mean that pinners are looking for your products and services,” Bennett said.

Getting started on Pinterest

Bennett shared these steps to get you pinning fast.

Take a free course. If you’re not sure where to start on Pinterest, take a free course online. There are several to choose from. Chapter 1 of Bennett’s Pinterest Marketing for Business course is also free. “The course explains how to open a Pinterest business account, or if you already have an existing personal account, convert it into a business account. I show how to optimize your profile page so that you rank high on Pinterest’s search engine.”

Create pinnable images. “Create an image sized at least 800×1200 pixels with a text overlay. The text overlay should be a teaser of what the Pinner can expect to receive,” said Bennett. Your pins should link to your website.

Pin with a purpose. “If you want to reap the rewards of Pinterest marketing, you need to have a cohesive plan. Be sure to pin content that your target audience can’t resist. Then, measure your results so that you know what’s working and what’s not,” Bennett said.

Create original pins. “If all you do is re-pin other people’s images, you’re not going to get very far on Pinterest,” Bennett said. Knowing the types of images that work best on Pinterest is crucial. “Pin quality images that are captivating and helpful, because that’s what Pinterest wants to push on the pinner’s home feed.”

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Make sure to post at times that your audience is most likely to be online. (Photo: Nonprofit Organizations/Flickr)Make sure to post at times that your audience is most likely to be online. (Photo: Nonprofit Organizations/Flickr)

Pin often. Posting one or two pins won’t get you noticed on Pinterest. “Small business owners need to pin at least 60 images per week. That means if you are pinning six days a week, make sure you pin at least 10 images per day and pin them when your target audience is most likely going to be on Pinterest.” If this seems like too much considering everything else you’re doing, start with five pins a day.

Optimize your timing. Bennett says to experiment to figure out the best time to pin. “If your audience works 9 to 5, then you can assume that she’s pinning before or after work.”

Make your website and blog Pinterest-friendly. “When people land on your website or blog, make it easy for them to share your products and services.” Bennett recommends adding the following free Pinterest tools to your website and/or blog:

  • Follow button
  • Pin It button
  • Board widget
  • Product Rich Pin integration
  • Article Rich Pin integration

Consider paying for promoted pins. Pinterest’s newest ad guidelines allow small and medium size businesses to buy ads, aka promoted pins, giving you another way to leverage Pinterest to market your business, said Sue Reninger, Managing Partner of Brand Strategy at RMD Advertising.

“Small businesses can speak directly to their consumers with smart, targeted marketing that can set them apart from competitors,” Reninger said.

According to Adweek, ad-tech companies can now match a business’ customer information — like an email list — with Pinterest’s data to create targeted audience segments for promoted pins.

“While it may be too soon to tell whether Pinterest’s promoted pins are worth the investment for small businesses, it does historically drive consumer interest and quality traffic back to the business’ website, a benefit that should not be overlooked,” Reninger said.

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