4 Ways to Make the Most of Pinterest for Your Business

You’re finally using Pinterest, right?  Knowing what to pin and how to make it work for you can be overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be.  Here are four ways to make the most of this ridiculously simple and effective social media outlet.

1. Make the most of your pins

    • Pinterest is a visual site. Make sure you pin visually interesting things. High quality designs and high resolution images go a long way. Keep in mind that others may pin your products and posts even if you don’t, so always choose good images for your products and blog.

  • Be mindful of URLs. Try to link to the original source of an image whenever possible. Link to the specific page where people can find the content, not just the website homepage.
  • Adding the price to a pin’s description will automatically add a handy ribbon onto the pin and add the pin to the “Gifts” category.
  • Tag pins appropriately. You can tag pins in their description by putting the # symbol in front of the word. They’re called hashtags and they work on Pinterest just like they do on Twitter.
  • Tag other users. You can tag other users on Pinterest in the description of a pin and in the comments just like you do on Facebook using the @ symbol.
  • Share videos too! Most of Pinterest is images, but there’s an entire videos section. Upload a couple of those, too.  Pinterest just inked a partnership with Vimeo that will surely grow this content stream as well.

2. Breathe new life (and traffic) into old content

Here’s an example:  Back in November, Andi spoke at the Future of Web Design in NYC. She put together a thorough and visually interesting slide deck, flew to New York and spoke, and then wrote a blog post about it. Where it’s been sitting getting very little traffic for the last several months.

In five minutes, I scrolled through the slides, found a couple compelling visuals, took a screen shot, uploaded it, added a description, a couple tags, a link to Andi, and a link back to the blog post she wrote. Ta da! Anyone who clicks on my pin will be taken to the Big Sea site.

If you have a lot of followers on Pinterest (which happens by pinning interesting and useful things surrounding interesting and useful topics), your followers will eagerly click your links to find those blog posts.

Promote your Pinterest presence

  • Tweet, post on your Facebook fan page, maybe even write a blog post about joining Pinterest or when you have something interesting to share. Always (tastefully) use your networks to cross-promote one another.
  • When you pin, periodically post your pin to Twitter and/or Facebook. Only sometimes, though. Don’t annoy your followers!
  • Add a Pinterest “Follow” and/or “Pin It” button to your website or blog. We can help you do this, just ask!
  • Want to know what’s already on Pinterest from your website? Replace YOURURL with your company’s website like this: http://pinterest.com/source/YOURURL
    For Big Sea, that’s: http://pinterest.com/source/bigseadesign.com

Collaboration, crowdsourcing and contests, oh my!

You can add collaborators to any of your boards. Play around with the idea of inviting your staff, strategic partners, celebrities or even a couple select clients to collaborate on a board with you. Social Media Examiner even suggests using Pinterest to collaborate with your team on office shopping lists.

Just like running a contest on Twitter, you can have people tag you or a hashtag around just about any theme. Depending on your product, one of the most effective might be asking fans to pin pictures of themselves with their favorite product of yours and tag you.

Want to do something with all that fantastic new content? You can repin all of it to a new board, and then maybe even embed the whole board into a blog post.

The concept of contests on Pinterest is still really new, but Lauren Drell recently made special mention of Lands’ End Canvas‘s “Pin It To Win It” campaign. Lands’ End asked users to create a Pin It To Win It pinboard, categorize it as Women’s Apparel or Men’s Apparel, and pin or repin 10 to 20 images from the Lands’ End site or Pinterest page. To enter to win a $250 gift card, all users had to do was email Lands’ End the URL of their pinboard. Some quick searching (and math) tells us that around 200 boards X ~15 images each means some 3,000 Land’s End product images were injected into the streams of thousands of people. Pretty cool!

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