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Ask the Pit Crew – How Can I Use Pinterest for Business

Pinterest for business

Members of the Pole Position Marketing pit crew answer your web marketing questions from their unique perspectives, with a “bonus lap” by a guest industry pro.

Have a question you’d like answered? Ask the pit crew!

Today’s Question: What info can you provide about using Pinterest for businesses? I’ve used it for my own personal use, but I’m not sure how to use it for business.

Julie GraffJulie Graff’s Answer from a Social Media & Content Perspective:

So I’m known as a bit of a Pinterest queen. Actually, I believe the words “obsessed” and “intervention” have been bandied about. I ignore the criticism, just like I ignore the dust covering my house while I work on my latest Pinterest project instead of cleaning.

But this isn’t about my newest Pinterest creation. It is beautiful though, right?


FOCUS, Julie! Ok, anyway, Pinterest should definitely not be overlooked for business. After all, Pinterest boasts the highest average order spend than any other social media site, and 87% of Pinterest users have purchased something they have seen on the site.

Does that mean it’s right for your business? Not necessarily. Like any other social media site, you have to determine if your audience is there. If you market to women or sell any kind of home decor or clothing, it’s a no-brainer. But don’t disqualify it if you don’t fit that mold. See if your customers are there. See if your competitors are there. If so, you may want to consider building an audience there as well.

If you do decide to dive into Pinterest, here are some tips:

  1. Make it visual. If you don’t have a real visual product/service, you’ll have to get creative. If you have a blog, add an attractive image that includes the title to each post that can be pinned. Consider creating infographics – they do very well on Pinterest!
  2. Make sure that your profile, pins and boards all have keyword-rich descriptions. It’s tempting, especially with board titles, to get creative. While it’s cool to be clever, don’t make people guess what your board is about. Including keywords will not only help them understand the content of your board but will also help you come up in search results.
  3. It’s important to pin consistently, but don’t “pin dump” (adding 10 or more pins at once). Pin 3-4 at a time daily or a few times a week.
  4. Your boards should be displayed in order of importance, and board names should be descriptive so visitors will know what they’ll find there. Social Media Examiner also recommends that you have at least 10 boards.
  5. Make sure your profile is linked to Twitter.

Twitter @jasgraff

KathyKathy Gray’s Answer from a Social Media Perspective:

Pinterest can be a great source of traffic and sales for your business and website. In fact, most social media experts recommend utilizing Pinterest to drive web traffic. However, as Julie mentioned, you must ask yourself “Is it right for my business?” I’ve seen too many businesses that aren’t the right fit jump on the Pinterest bandwagon and invest a lot of time without investigating whether their customers are there. Focusing on the networks where your audience is most likely to be active is more important than ever. If you’re an industrial manufacturer whose primary customer is a middle-aged male engineer, skip Pinterest! If you’re an e-commerce site with a female customer base, you most likely need to be active on Pinterest.

Just like all other social networks, you need to have a plan before you begin to randomly pin items to random boards. Think about your buyer personas. What are their interests? What’s the lifestyle of those who buy your products? What activities do they enjoy and participate in? How do those tie in with your product and brand?

Plan in advance what the subjects of your boards are going to be. Let’s use the example of a campground. Of course, you’ll want boards about your business, but you’ll also want to curate boards with content that reflects the lifestyle of those who camp at your campground. You could have boards for activities in the area, area events, campfire cooking, campfire games, camping tips, decorating your campsite, etc.

If you’re in e-commerce you’ll want to make sure you implement Rich Pins. Rich Pins pull in additional information from your website when a user pins something from your website. Product Rich Pins include real-time pricing and availability of the product.To use Rich Pins, you’ll need to work with your web developer to implement the correct meta data on your website. Pinterest has also started rolling out Buyable Pins that allow users to buy your products without ever leaving Pinterest. This is currently available if you use Bigcommerce, Demandware, IBM Commerce, Magento or Shopify as your e-commerce platform.

Don’t forget to make sure you have pin-worthy content on your blog. Are you product images clear and enticing? Do you have a blog with Pinterest-friendly images? Peg Fitzpatrick has a great blog post on how to design stunning images for your website and social media.

Remember, don’t just start pinning. Think about your audience, whether they’d active on Pinterest and their interests first!


BONUS LAP WITH: Caitlin Rulien, Social Producer for Search Engine Journal

Caitlin RulienWith a background in public relations and photography, Caitlin Rulien has been working with social media, and particularly grassroots organic promotion, for the past five years. She is the Social Producer for Search Engine Journal and oversees the site’s entire social media presence while building SEJ’s online community. 

Pinterest is a wonderful platform to drive traffic and emphasize the “eye candy” of your brand. Because it is so visually focused, it’s important to take a quality over quantity approach. There are so many options for great, captivating visual content out there, especially with the whole realm of infographics these days—take advantage of this and be creative!
Make it easy to let people Pin for you. Add a “Pin it” hover button on select images, especially those in blogs, so readers may bookmark and share your posts. Just like in all social media, don’t neglect the opportunity to network! Comment and share pins not only about your brand, but also pins of interest to your target audience. Invite others to group boards, leverage rich pin options, and always include links back to your website. With Pinterest you can visually connect with not only your current viewers, but also a whole field of influencers and new audiences.


Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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