I adore Pinterest. It's basically a virtual vision board where you can attach all of your interests - things to make, clothes to wear, recipes to try, places to go, hairstyles to have - whatever floats your boat, really.
In fact, I find it so useful for my personal growth that I've stopped spending time on all other social media channels, and am taking a break from all of my personal accounts for the forseeable.
Strange for a marketing strategist maybe, but I continue to use social media for my clients, so I'm not out of the loop entirely.
I've been working with Pinterest for my clients for a while now, and it can be a really useful channel, if your business is aligned to the demographic on there.
Here's some numbers at a glance (Jan 2018)
- 175 million monthly active users (75 million US, 100 million outside US)
- 2 million daily users
- 81% of users are female
- 67% of users are under 40
- 2/3rds of pins represent brands and products
- Average time spent daily on Pinterest is 14.2 minutes
At first look, this is nothing compared to the social media big guns, like Insta, Facebook and Twitter. But Pinterest can be very lucrative for product manufacturers, artists, photographers, and anyone with a wide range of products or visual art to pin.
I used to use Pinterest quite sporadically, but now I use it daily. The reason why? I've realised it's value as 'soul food', and the direction it gives to your unconscious mind. It can stop you from getting in a rut with the foods you cook, the thoughts you think, and what inspires you.
You can use it as a tool to create your dream life, searching for things to buy for your home, jewellery to wear, life wisdom to live by, or just images that make you feel all warm and glowy inside.
I've used it successfully with clients in order for them to get traction for their brand. It's a great brand builder, as well as a sales tool. Not only can people pin and then directly buy your product, it allows you to create a virtual values board where you pin images related to your brand essence.
Spiritual Gangster is a good example of this, and has an impressive 33k followers.
Here's some of the things I've learned about Pinterest in order to grow a successful channel:
- Treat it as a search engine
Pinterest isn't really a social media platform; it's a visual search engine. By treating it in this way, you use it like you would do Google, as the strategy has some overlap. Make a list of your long tail keywords and search terms and use these to inform how you title and describe your pins.
- Pin frequently, across timezones
The secret to big success on Pinterest is Tailwind. It's fantastic, and really allows for rapid growth. It's a scheduling and analytics tool that allows you to schedule a large number of pins on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Ideally you need to be posting at least 10-20 pins a day, 7 days a week.
Board names and descriptions are important. As well as the more conceptual names you might use, you definitely want to include board titles that specifically match what your customer is looking for. For example a 'Fun books for children' board may include the description :'Here's a selection of some of the fun books for children we stock. Our books for children range from 4-14 years'
- Use hashtags appropriately
Hashtags are great because these are what will get you found. Don't be afraid to use up to 30, like you do on Instagram. Again, think about what your customers may be searching for. For example, if you're a sunglasses store, you might use something like #sunglasses #shades #fashionshades #eyewear #funkyshades #womensglasses #glasses #holidaywear, or similar. Use your SEO research and current keyword list to inform your strategy for hashtags.
Don't worry about having too many boards. In fact, the more boards the better. Having a large selection of images on your Pinterest shows a strong presence, and will enable you to be found easily. Even if you only have 50 products, you can still create other 'brand vibe' boards that serve as a visual moodboard for your brand identity. For example, I work with a swimwear company and have an 'Inspired by the beach' board where I pin sandy toes, coconuts on the beach, palm trees, and everything evoking the feeling of being at the beach.
- Use product pins for your products
In the lifespan of Pinterest, product pins are fairly recent. You can connect your website or online store to your pins, so they show the price. Your customer knows what they are getting, and for how much. Make sure you use your product pin description to its full capacity, describing the product, and maybe even an incentive ('10% off your first order!')
- Connect your website to Pinterest
Pinterest's developer tools include an API where you can add a Pinterest 'save' button to all of the images on your website, meaning Pinterest fanatics will be able to save your online store products to their boards, thus increasing the likelihood of purchase.
- Run competitions: 'Pin to Win'
I've found competitions to be very successful, particularly when it comes to building followers quickly. In order to be successful though, you need a couple of other strong platforms to send traffic there. If you have a thriving Facebook group for example, selling beauty products, you could ask them to pin their favourite product to enter a monthly prize draw. It works, as loyal Pinterest users will usually follow you at the same time.
This may go without saying, but think about where your customers are coming from (use analytics to inform), and be strategic about when you're posting. It's not just about the time of day, it's also about the season. For example, in November and December you might be focusing on Christmas party pinning. The more you know your customer, the more you know what they'll be searching for, and when.
Although you want Pinterest to be an extension of your shop, it is also a brand builder. To do Pinterest for a few months and then stop means you may lose traction with your customers. You want to be seen as much as possible, to the most amount of people. By using a scheduler, you can schedule in your pins weeks or months ahead.
Need a Pinterest Marketing Expert? Contact me for more on how I can help with your Pinterest Strategy, and grow your Pinterest Channel.