How to Use Pinterest for Your Blog, Business or Nonprofit
By Melissa Brewer
Pinterest offers hope to the world of online marketing in many ways, offering a great way to increase the potency of your website traffic. The platform is very user-friendly and built to highlight the best content from your website. Any website that does commerce online can benefit from creating an active Pinterest presence, although not every website should use Pinterest in the exact same way.
Pinterest provides a place for you to collect and gather your own links, broken down by the categories you choose. In other words, it’s all about deep-linking and hand-created indexing. The visual aspect is similar to an online scrapbook or collage, which is why users are so highly addicted to it! Pinterest is a universe of wish lists, favorite clothing, beautiful ideas and well-curated content. It’s a marketer’s dream.
One of the best features of Pinterest is its ability to build a highly -motivated audience through “repins” — which are essentially users that reblog your content and move it onto a board that’s all their own. Users are quite adept at finding new niches that you hadn’t thought of appealing to, and retailers often find their products cater to certain groups that they may have overlooked. If you’re not sure how to use Pinterest to amplify your website’s visibility, traffic or increase your sales, here’s a quick primer, broken by website type.
Pinterest for Bloggers. While Pinterest typically focuses on images, many bloggers have found success by targeting their audience by starting boards on their favorite topics to write on. Pinterest does best with content that is easy to share. It’s an excellent idea to look for other bloggers to connect with via Pinterest and ask them to share a board. By using board sharing, you will be able to have other contribute to your Pinterest board, creating fresh content for your active followers without having to blog all day.
Because Pinterest is a visual social media network, you’ll only be able to post blog postings with visual images. The search engines dig visual content, too, so if you’ve been writing text blog posts without any images, now is the time to invest in some good stock art! Headlines are often as important as the image you choose. Pinterest allows you to write your own headlines and doesn’t pull that content from your blog. Be creative and experiment with different headlines. You can’t go wrong by offering the answer to an intriguing question or promising “the world’s best” brownie recipe. It’s also the perfect venue to launch memes about your brand or product.
Pinterest for Businesses. Businesses can take one of two approaches to their pins. It’s fairly easy to categorize your products and approach Pinterest as an enormous online catalog by pinning your products one by one. In fact, many companies join Pinterest as a business account and choose Pinterest to announce new products and sales.
There are several different reasons that one might use Pinterest:
To share photos with family and friends; To share information – Many people use Pinterest to post their recipes and ideas, or showcase their talents through photographs; To gather inspiration – Individuals from around the world use Pinterest to showcase their best ideas. So whether you are looking for wedding ideas, cake ideas, decorating ideas, or other forms of inspiration, Pinterest is a great place to find it. To promote a business – Pinterest can be a great way to share your products with the world. Post your product pictures, or use Pinterest to showcase the talents that you have to offer. Even better, use it to create a visual brand personality for your business. Make people fall in love with who you are and what you do.
Other businesses use a different approach. They create boards based on themes and sometimes invite their users to participate in pinning. Sometimes businesses set up boards with recipes from their activse followers or hold photo contests. The more you engage, the more likely that people will follow your business on Pinterest, and become interested, maybe even intrigued, by your brand.
If you want to fund real success using Pinterest, don’t merely pin your products and forget about them. Find a better way. If you’re selling services, don’t pin an icon of the word “SEO” – nobody will want to repin that type of image, and you won’t actively engage with others. If you’re a tree removal company, highlight the biggest, baddest tree you’ve had to haul away. If you sell gourmet food, pin recipes and photos of foodie creations. If you sell business service, create fun memes and infograpics that highlight problems and solutions. If you’re a retailer, create boards highlighting decorations for fantasy rooms. Set up boards for seasons and holidays. Invite users to upload pins of your products in use. Pinterest allows retailers to list dollar amounts for the products you choose to showcase, but don’t pin them all at once because they will get lost in an avalanche of other products. Choose a few produts to highlight each day, and pin them to every board you can. The best thing about this feature is that people will click, and buy.
Pinterest for Nonprofits. Nonprofits can make a great case for their cause using Pinterest. Make sure your content is pin-worthy, both interesting, eye catching, and unique. Pinterest should reflect your mission statement with appropriate boards that show the problems your organization seeks to solve.Boards for nonprofits should be filled with hope, information, and action. highlight your nonprofit delivering vital services. Create infographics and memes that explain why your nonprofit is needed. Show off your events and your staff’s smiling faces. Don’t forget that Pinterest allows users to showcase items for sale. Nonprofits can set up donations in this way by adding a dollar amount to uploaded images. Use the most compelling images you have and tell users where that $25 donation will go – to buy a pair of shoes, feed a hungry family in New York, or send a lifeline to a struggling soldier in Iraq.
As you can see, Pinterest is a versatile and fun social network where it’s all about what you can show the world. Cultivate relationships with other users and join shared baords to maximize your exposure. Because of its addicting nature, you’ll soon find that users from across the world are “loving” your pins and leaving comments that give you insight into future promotion efforts. Make sure that you monitor your growth, keep tabs on what works, and continue to pin all of your visually-appealing content on a regular basis to keep your followers engaged and drive traffic to your website.
Melissa Brewer is a freelance writer and researcher in Washington, DC. She works with nonprofits and small businesses to help tell their stories and elevate their brands. She has been writing professionally since 1999. She is currently working to build a business geared toward nonprofits and activists, teaching them to maximize the impact of their social media engagement. Want to know more? Connect with Melissa Brewer on LinkedIn using the email address mbrewerDC at gmail.com.
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