Pinterest For Business: 12 Simple Tips To Become A Power Pinner For Fun And Profit

Pinterest For Business: 12 Simple Tips To Become A Power Pinner For Fun And Profit
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There are complaints that occasionally make it to my ears… and computer monitor… about how marketers and businesses have “taken over” Pinterest.

It’s supposed to be fun, people argue. It’s supposed to be cool stuff to look at and not another advertising opportunity.

They have a point.

Some companies and marketers jump on the trend du jour to promote the heck out of themselves with little regard for the unspoken rules of engagement, namely, “Don’t show up where we’re having fun and throw your selly-sell-mcsell stuff around.”

But to capitalize on this popular and visual social network, you don’t have to be the party pooper or that dorky guy with the plaid tie and brochure. You can actually have fun while you build a fan base, win leads and make sales.

In fact, there’s a case to be made that if you have fun first, then sales will follow.

So hop on the party train and learn some simple tactics you can use to mix, mingle and make a little money, too.

1. Promote Less

Nobody likes to be advertised to. Promoting your products and services should come as a natural extension of your social sharing, not as the dominant force behind it.

In other words, have some fun. Pin photos that you enjoy in addition to all those promotional photos of products, services and blog posts. Better yet, pin photos that you think your customers and prospects would enjoy.

A couple of cute cats haven’t put anyone out of business yet.

Try some “behind the scenes” photos, too. Your office, the donuts someone brought for lunch, the bicycle event you participated in. People are people no matter the network, and they want to connect with you. There’s no better way to put a human face on your business that to literally put your face out there.

2.  Add Prices

When it’s time to promote, include prices on your products.

Showing a price has been demonstrated to increase clickthrough rate. It’s a nice identifier to indicate when you’re promoting something vs. when you’re simply sharing. People appreciate honest engagement.

As a bonus, if you put the price (with a dollar sign) in the description field, Pinterest will overlay a price banner right on the corner of your photo. It’s a clean, elegant look that doesn’t require any extra effort from you.

3. Arrange Your Boards

Click the “edit profile” button right beneath your profile then drag and drop your boards into whatever position you want.

This can be useful if you want to showcase certain boards at the top of your page where they’ll be more obvious, order boards according to type, season, color or some other similarity, or just group them thematically.

4. Put A “Pin It” Button On Your Site Or Blog

Let other people do some of the work for you! Just as you let people Like, Tweet or Plus your page or post, let them Pin it, too.

If you’ve got an eCommerce site, put a pin button on every single product page right next to each product photo.

If your photos aren’t specifically related to your products, keep in mind that they can become irrelevant out of context. For instance, we’ve been know to use a couple of cute cat photos on this blog. Lots of people like to pin those, but it’s not necessarily going to drive any qualified traffic if I’m looking for people who want their websites built.

The good news is that that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Our cute cat photos don’t always bring interested people, but sometimes they do. And it’s incentive to challenge yourself to find the most relevant photos you can.

5. Follow And Comment On Other People’s Pins

Remember the “social” part? Give a little to get a little. If you’re sharing, commenting and pinning other people’s images they may just do the same for you. You’ll also begin to build relationships, expand your reach and establish a presence.

Whenever you comment on or repin someone else’s pin, they’ll get a notification and may be inspired to check you out and share your pins, too. Likewise, when you receive notifications that people are commenting or repinning, take a moment to visit, thank or return the favor.

You can search for keywords on pins by using the search box right on Pinterest. Use that keyword search to find related pins that you can repin to your boards. Not only are you showing some love but you’re doing yourself a favor and finding content in a relatively simple, stress-free way.

While you’re at it, follow any people or boards that you like or find particularly useful. They can give you ideas for your own boards and provide you with a continuous stream of new content for repinning.

6. Space Your Pins

You may have ten great photos to pin but don’t do it all at once. Space them out over time so you don’t inadvertently spam anyone.

Plus, people are online at all different times of the day. By spacing pins you’ll increase the likelihood of getting noticed by more people.

Try a tool like Pingraphy to schedule your pins ahead of time. It’s free and has a quick pin button that you can add to your browser so that whenever you’re on a web page that you want to pin, you simply click the Pingraphy link and it will walk you through the scheduling process. You can schedule pins for specific dates and times, or set them to post at intervals.

7. Add Affiliate Links

If you’re reviewing products or providing resources that you’re an affiliate for, you can include your affiliate link – full disclosure, please – to generate some extra cash once you’ve built up a reputation for being the awesome, helpful, reliable person you are.

Be careful again not to spam or to constantly post affiliate links. And never trick people into thinking your link is “just a link”.

8. Know The Difference Between ‘Upload’ And ‘Add’

When you “add” a pin, the referring URL automatically goes with it. That means that when you click on the photo, you go to the web page where the photo lives. That may be your website, blog post or some other place where you found the photo.

When you “upload” a pin, it’s just a photo. When you click it you get… a photo. That means no referral traffic back to your website.

But what’s not so obvious is that after you upload a pin, you can then edit it to include a link. So if you’re uploading a photo and you want referral traffic back to your site, then be sure to upload, then edit and add the url.

9. Make It A Little More Interesting

There’s a neat tool called Pinwords that will let you upload an image and then overlay text onto it with a super simple no-frills interface. You can then pin the image you created to one of your boards.

If you’re not inclined to spend hours with Photoshop and you want to do something a little different, try this tool for quickly turning an ordinary photo into a neat conversation piece.

It can also help you spice up those generic blog photos and add some context. Did you see the photo at the top of this page? Yup, done at Pinwords.

As an aside, you can create then pin your photos immediately, but to use them on a blog or somewhere else, right click and save the image to your desktop so you can use it later.

10. Pin And Add Descriptions In One Click

If you add the Pinterest browser extension to Chrome or Firefox, you can pin a photo and capture a description at the same time.

Simply go to the page you want to pin from, swipe the text on the page that you want to use for the description and click the pin button on your browser. That will grab the image and plunk the highlighted text right into the description field. That can be a real time-saver.

11. Consider Your Covers

If you click on a board you can edit the cover and select any photo on that board to represent it. That’s the first photo that people will see when they view your boards, so make sure it’s a good one.

Select a photo that is the most visually compelling and representative of your board. If it’s indecipherable, blurry or uninteresting it won’t inspire people to click through to the rest.

The size of the board cover is 222 x 150 pixels so scale your cover photo accordingly so that it doesn’t get oddly cropped.

12. Think Conceptually

When you use Pinterest you have to be a little more left-brained. Rather than simply thinking of your products in terms of “blankets” and “pillows” – logical and appropriate groupings for an eCommerce site – think about how you can make those things more visually coherent.

A board of pillows may be neat. But how about “blue”? Combine your blankets, pillows, curtains and dinnerware onto one board with the same color theme.

Think seasonal, think in terms of shape, color and texture. Now with Pinterest’s “secret boards” you can experiment privately with how images look together before you post them to the world.

Are you having fun yet? Pinterest can be a great way to drive traffic to your website and help generate sales and it can also be a place where you can indulge your creative side.

I’ve given you a few ways to help you pin faster, easier and more effectively. Add a few to your arsenal and you’ll pick up steam quickly!

Do you have any other ideas, tools or tips to share? Let me know in the comments!

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Carol Lynn Rivera

Carol Lynn Rivera

Carol Lynn is a content creator and marketer who has been in the business of digital marketing since 1999. Along with her husband and business partner Ralph, she owns and operates both {Web.Search.Social}, a consulting and marketing services business, and Rahvalor Interactive, a web and creative services production studio. On any given day Carol Lynn will wear the hat of project manager, consultant, social media manager and content marketer. Her true passion is writing, whether it’s web content, a blog post, email campaign or social status update. When she's not writing for customers, {Web.Search.Social}, or her own blog, she's planning her early retirement to Barcelona as a famous and wealthy novelist.
Carol Lynn Rivera
Carol Lynn Rivera
  • http://getpaidtowriteonline.com/ Sharon Hurley Hall

    Great tips, Carol Lynn – and I’ve been looking for something like Pinwords. Thanks for the tip. :)

    • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

      Oh you’ll have fun with that one. It has fun lettering and colors. The only challenge will be not to spend too much time there!

      • http://getpaidtowriteonline.com/ Sharon Hurley Hall

        Yes, I can see how that would happen, Carol Lynn.

  • http://www.liza-shaw.com/ Liza Shaw

    Wow, thanks Carol, pingraphy will make things much better. and pinwords looks like fun too.

    • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

      Definitely fun, some place it’s easy to get lost :)

  • https://plus.google.com/105076725141939280120/about Stephan Hovnanian

    Great tips Carol. You nailed it. I’m going to pass this along to a few of my clients who utilize Pinterest in their marketing.

    • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

      Thanks Stephan, that’s great to hear. I always get stuck on whether something is “too basic” but the basics are important too. Hope it can help!

  • http://twitter.com/BarbaraCharles Barbara Charles

    Thanks Carol. I have no clue about Pinterest but thanks for clearing up some of my confusion. Looks like that is the next thing to cover and learn. My focus has been on other things but I guess it’s time. :) Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

      Well I’m glad I could bring up something new :) I know you’ve been the Twitter expert lately so I’m sure that is keeping you busy! I don’t use Pinterest a lot but it’s fun when I do.

  • http://www.donnamerrilltribe.com/ Donna Merrill

    Carol, Thanks for explaining how effective Pinterest can be. Although I had to shave that down it is a great way to do business. My 2013 new me…was to cut down on some social sites and I had to let this one go. But your article is so informative, it makes me want to go back! lol

    Donna

    • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

      Ah, I know what you mean Donna! There are so many things to do that you really have to focus your energy on what works (and what you enjoy). I admit I’m not a big Pinterest user but depending on your industry it can be a great place to “show off”.

  • Adrienne

    They are so right Carol and I understand what they’re saying. A new site come on the scene and every darn marketer is vying for the #1 spot on how to optimize their audience and get more leads.

    I can see where people would get ticked because it’s called “social media” for a reason which I continue to hammer into people’s heads.

    But like you mentioned here, there is a smart way to go about this so that you won’t be one of those that people are pointing fingers at calling a slimy marketer just here for the bucks.

    But I will say that my niece wanted my Mom to make her an outfit that she had found on Pinterest. Had it not been linked to that ladies site, I would not have found the pattern to buy so that she could make it. I had no idea what the name of the person was that originally made it, I just knew the photo was on Pinterest so see, we need marketers there I’m afraid.

    Great points, thanks for sharing. As always, awesome tips.

    ~Adrienne

    • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

      You just shared the perfect example of how Pinterest can be good for business! You never know what you’ll find, and since it’s visual, it’s so easy to browse, almost like you’re browsing a magazine and then stop on something interesting. I think Pinterest should be fun so if you’re going to do business there, make it fun!

  • http://twitter.com/SylvianeNuccio Sylviane Nuccio

    When I started with Pinterest I was there all the time, and now I’m missing in action. However, I do pin each photo of my posts. I’ve got a board for each blog and another 2 or 3 boards, but I know I should do more. It’s just about finding the time.

    That’s the first time I hear about Pinword, and I will check this out for sure.

    Pinterest is like any other social media platform a great way to try to get to know people and make people know us. I’ve got to use it more

    Thanks for this great Pinterest review.

    • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

      I know what you mean, Sylviane, there are only so many hours in a day and you really do need to find visual things to post on Pinterest. It’s not the same as other places where you can just share links and stuff. But it’s unique and I think it has benefits. Maybe we’ll get back into the swing of it together. I keep saying I have to do the same thing :)

  • http://suejprice.com Sue Price

    Thanks Carol for some clarity on Pinterest. I have not spent enough time in there to figure it out property so I appreciate your guide here.

    Apart from being on the “Blogs I like board” that Ken Pickard started I have just repinned cute animals and things I like. I had not got my head around it for business.

    I get why people would get annoyed with people coming in promoting too much.

    Thanks again for writing this post as I needed it.

    Sue

    • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

      Glad to help Sue. People use Pinterest for fun a lot but you can also use it for business at the same time. It’s about finding a balance and putting some energy into finding good visuals. Not always easy!

  • Saytue Saye

    These are great tips. Thanks

    • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

      Glad to help!

  • deeannr

    Carol,

    My thought is to always have a balance. I think the same applies to Pinterest and every other social network. There needs to be some balance. This probably applies more so to Pinterest though because did start out for fun.

    I have a variety of boards on Pinterest that includes my internet marketing boards.

    You are so right though it is wrong to just jump on a new social network and barrage it with products or marketing information to try to hit the top spot and gain sales.

    Dee Ann Rice

    • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

      Balance is always the key. None of these social networks started as an ad platform…. well, maybe Facebook :) But honestly, people go to have fun so if you can do that as a business then you’re doing ok!

  • http://inspiretothrive.com/ Lisa Buben

    Carol, I haven’t added a lot of prices on my retail sites pins. Interesting that they may receive more click-thru’s. Our traffic really skyrocketed using Pinterest daily for a few moments in the a.m. and pm. It really is amazing. I will have to play around with adding more prices, thanks for that tip!

    • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

      Give it a shot and see what happens. You never know for sure until you try!

  • http://www.honestmarketingrevolution.com/ Erica Holthausen

    I started on Pinterest solely to have fun. To pin pictures that I found inspiring and interesting and quirky. So, when I started to see more and more pins designed to increase sales, I’ll admit that I hid as many of those boards as I possibly could. The value of Pinterest, and other social media tools, is to connect with others; to let them get to know you beyond just what you do or sell; and to get to know them. It took me a while to remember that my business is a big part of who I am. So it makes sense to share photographs that inspire me as well as information about my business, especially if it inspires others. And I didn’t realize you could upload a photograph and edit it to include a link to your website. That opens up a whole slew of new ideas and possibilities!

    • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

      Pinterest is definitely one of the more “fun” places so it pays to have fun! That doesn’t mean you can’t do business but you’re right, remember why your’re there: to connect and get to know people. Glad I could share a new idea with you :)

  • patricia gozlan

    I love Pinterest because without using words in a fun way we can share our personality as well as others’ personalities, tastes and interests.
    I was surprised to see on my Analytics how important this social media tool can be.
    Thanks for these great tips!

    • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

      Thanks Patricia. I was actually surprised too, when I noticed that Pinterest was bringing traffic back to my blog. I didn’t expect it to be that useful, especially since a lot of our photos are a bit abstract conceptually, but it does work. And it’s fun!