“Pinterest is a huge time waster.”
“It’s one more thing to do.”
If these are your reactions to using Pinterest to market your product and increase your blog/website traffic, stick around. I’ve got a few things to teach you.
Pinterest is growing at such a fast rate, it’s hard to “pin” down any statistics, but this is how it stacks up against Twitter and Facebook in the data I found:
Facebook - 1 billion users, 12 minutes spent per visit
Twitter, 500 million users, 36 minutes spent per visit
Pinterest, 17 million users, 1 hour and 17 minutes spent per visit
Look at that data again. An average visitor spends 77 minutes on Pinterest per visit, twice as long as on Twitter, and it’s thirty times smaller. Plus, Pinterest has a high “half-life”, an indicator of how long its content stays alive on the internet. Think about it – Tweets have no long-term benefits, while YouTube and Pinterest content is passed from one user to another. The rate of referrals, hopefully back to your blog or website, is priceless. Would you rather spend your precious marketing time on a Tweet or a Pin?
Pinterest is highly visual. Each pin is a mini ad campaign, pulling in your customers and touching their emotions. The best sales are based on relationships and emotions. But, you have to know how to connect with your niche and how to position yourself so that your visual promotion makes your target audience click their way to your website and product.
How do you do that? I’ve studied the experts and made tons of notes on what makes a successful pinner. Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Create a Pinterest name that either identifies your brand (Oahu Homes) or is the public face of the brand (CherylsOahuHomes). There is a space limitation. I had to truncate my profile name to www.pinterest.com/cheryloahuhomes, but I’m satisfied with it as I can use the correct name in the header.
2. Create a profile. I can’t emphasize this enough. You have 200 characters to describe you, your brand or your product to anyone who clicks on your name. Remember, every time you repin something, the person before you gets an email announcing the fact. I click back on each one because I want to know who they are and if they are worth following. If enough people follow them, and they’re following me, that increases my exposure. But, in 99% of the cases, all I see is their name. Maybe their city. This is a golden opportunity to promote yourself, so make those 200 characters count.
3. Pick beautiful, unique, clear, inspiring or remarkable images to repin. Wipe out the description and add your own, rich with keywords, phrases and hashtags or @theotherpinnersname, so when people are searching for antique sewing machines, fantasy fiction or a good real estate agent in Hawaii, your image will pop up.
4. Link to useful articles, videos (under 5 minutes long), audio files, podcasts, tutorials, slideshows and excerpts. People want content, and you can be the outstanding expert in their niche.
5. Know your niche. It’s powerful. Tap into the passion of its users, whether it’s American Girls, Nascar, D&D, or people looking for homes on Oahu. In fact, the narrower the niche, the more passionate your audience. Go small. Find out what’s popular and tailor your pins accordingly.
6. On the flip side, keep marketing to less than a third of your pins. No one wants the hard sell, so intersperse your pins with other subjects. You’ll be pulling from a different audience that might be interested in your main product.
7. Verify your website through Settings to lead people to it. Your website will appear under your profile, the first place Pinterest takes people when they click on your name.
8. Tie your Pins to Facebook and Twitter so that every time you pin, it shows up on other social media. Add your Pinterest address to your email signature and on other social media sites.
9. Generate pins from your website. Install a Pin It button on your website. http://tinyurl.com/adbydxf is a great site to help you do this.
10. Schedule your pins through www.pingraphy.com so you’re not bunching them all at once.
11. Saturday is the most effective day to pin, followed by Wednesday, with 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. the most popular times.
12. Celebrate seasons and holidays with like-minded pins.
13. Rearrange your boards so the most popular are in the first two rows and center.
14. Give stuff away through Pin It to Win It contests. Conduct a poll. Fuel dialogue. Ask questions. Keep your pinners engaged.
15. Open up some of your boards to other pinners with group boards. You must follow at least one of their boards to invite them to join you, but inheriting some of their followers is a great strategic move. I investigate everyone who re-pins me. If they have a large following, and their boards are similar to mine, I’ll invite them to join me on a group board I’ve set up.
16. Don’t just like a pin. Add comments. These will show up below the image, giving you more exposure.
17. Don’t pin everything. Steer clear of poor or too small images.
18. Keep your pins organized on boards with clear categories, using keywords for searches.
19. Check the link to make sure it leads back to a content page, not an image only, or the dreaded 404 error.
20. Credit the source.
21. Go outside of Pinterest. Better than repining is finding new content online. Best is to upload original images to your website with original content, then Pin It.
22. Follow the top influencers on Pinterest at www.pinreach.com. What are they pinning? Does it tie in with your brand?
23. Pin every day. If you know your audience and what will serve them the best, you won’t have to spend a lot of time on the site.
24. Keep educating yourself on how to market on Pinterest. A good source is www.marketingonpinterest.com
Have fun and report back if you see a noticeable increase in followers and sales!