How to use Pinterest to its full business potential - Heart Internet Blog - Focusing on all aspects of the web

Pinterest is a simple, well-executed idea that has a lot more potential for businesses than most people realise. It’s perfect for those on a small budget, and can be readily adapted to the vast majority of businesses.

If you haven’t already seen it, check out our list of 29 unmissable Pinterest articles and resources – it has something for everyone, whether you’re a Pinterest newbie or a pinning addict. Following on from that article, we’ve put together some tips for using Pinterest for business.

Use the most interesting aspect of your industry as your angle

Even if your business doesn’t naturally lend itself to visuals or shareable content, you can still use Pinterest to your advantage indirectly. For example, if you’re an ironing or dry cleaning company, create some boards featuring clothes and follow local users interested in fashion.The more interesting and attractive your pins are, the more followers, likes, repins and comments you’ll get. You can then work in a few pins directly relating to your business or let your website URL do the talking.

Go beyond your products – if you have a bakery, have a board of interesting foodie books or tools of the trade. You can even work in affiliate links if you want to, but it’s good practice to disclose them as such if you go down this route.

Think about your strategy before you start pinning

Do you want a small, more targeted audience or a huge general one? This really comes down to your business model, how ‘consumer’ your products and services are, and who you want to attract.

If you’re targeting a small, interested audience, try to post things directly related to your audience and their interests. If you’re taking the general viral approach, try to find new things that haven’t been seen before on Pinterest (Etsy is fantastic for this), and back up your pin with a tweet or Facebook status to get the ball rolling.

Get a good mix of boards

Pinterest gives you a great opportunity to show your personality through images. Mix it up and have a variety of boards about things your followers will be interested in and pins directly related to your business. Don’t be afraid to show off with an Awards board, and create a Special Deals board with repinning incentives to spread the word about your brand.

If you have several staff members, consider asking them to create a board each or have a general one they can post to. If you’re on your own, make a board of your favourite things or images your followers find appealing. People don’t want the hard sell, so make sure the majority of your boards are useful or interesting rather than focused on your business or selling.

Integrate Pinterest into your whole social media approach

Don’t just pin something and leave it – build it into your complete approach for maximum effect. Maybe you’ve posted an infographic that you can tweet, or you could create a blog post based around a pinboard theme or your recent pins.

Be careful that you don’t undermine your own efforts when using social media. Make sure your channels complement each other and interact well together rather than dividing your efforts. Although social media is an excellent way to get attention and interest, try to avoid sending people round in a social media circle, where they end up hopping between channels and then closing the tab. Setting clear goals and using Pinterest as a tool to direct people to your website should always be one of your main goals.

Interact with people who have already pinned you

To see the images people have already pinned from your website, go here and change the domain name to your own. Then you can follow up by following, commenting, liking or repinning the images accordingly. It’s a great way to engage with people who are already interested in your website or products and services.

Use contests to go viral

Unlike many of the other popular social networks, Pinterest doesn’t currently restrict contests. As the main focus is on sharing, popular images can spread extremely quickly. Having a contest on Pinterest is a great way to spread the word about your brand, particularly when teamed with an attractive image and an appealing prize. Asking people to repin is the simplest way to get sharing going on, and promote your contest on other networks to boost interaction.

Add a Pinterest button to your website and/or blog

Encourage pinning – and make people aware you’re happy for them to pin images from your website – by adding a Pinterest button to your website. If you’re using WordPress, check out the Pinterest plugins available in the plugin directory or check out the various buttons available for all websites.

Have you got any tips for using Pinterest for business? Let us know in the comments!


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