Pinterest For Business
March 6, 2012
How To Drive Quality Traffic To Your Website Using Pinterest
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social netwoks around today. A relatively new phenomenon, Pinterest has already broken past the popularity of Google +, and Linked In touting over 10 Million unique visitors. The big question for business owners is, “How can I use this hot new social medium to market my business?” The purpose of this article is to help you understand what Pinterest is and how it works, but most importantly, how you can benefit from its marketing brilliance!
So What Is Pinterest and How Exactly Does It Work?
To better understand what Pinterest is and how it works let’s begin by exploring the anatomy of Pinterest and understanding the lingo.
Pin– A pin is any image that you add to Pinterest
Pinboard– A pinboard is a collection of theme-oriented pins
Pinning– Is essentially posting a pin (see Pin)
Repin– Is the same as reposting a pin that another user has posted
Pin It Button– Adding a Pin It button on any website will link from Pinterest to the website where the button resides.
Pinner- the person who does the pinning
The beauty of Pinterest is that you can browse things that have been pinned by other users and comment on what you find, repin (similar to retweet on Twitter) what you find or like Facebook, you can, “Like” a pin you see. The whole idea is to spread the pins virally across the Internet in the form of repins, likes, and embeds on your website or blog.
Pinterest is geared towards brining together like-minded people. According to pinterest,
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
How Can Pinterest Benefit Me?
Considering that Pinterest has exploded on the Internet scene and is rivaling some of the more prominent social networking sites, it makes sense that you would want to have your business represented in the thick of this new social medium.
According to Hubspot (source) Maggie Georgeiva notes:
In october, the website of Time Inc.’s real Simple magazine got more traffic from pinterest than facebook.
eye glass retailer warbly parker reports that 11% of their social traffic is coming from pinterest compared to 18% from Twitter.
After blogger kate bryan started pinning her work, she has had more than 10 million page views and has attracted 16,000 blog subscribers. “My top 10 traffic referring urls are all pinterest,” says kate
If you are using the “Pin-It” button on each of your pages every one of your pins provide you with a link back to the originating page. Of course these links are “no-follow” links and won’t do much for your inbound SEO; however, they still provide a valuable source of exposure to pages on your website that you want to highlight.
One of the best features of Pinterest is its Open Graph integration with Facebook. Users can automatically share interesting content they find on Pinterest through their Facebook pages! Unfortunately, there is no way to link your Pinterest to your Facebook business page. Another bonus is that you can use your Twitter to post Pins that you find and want to share, and of course you can use good old-fashioned email as well.
What’s The Catch? How Does Pinterest Make Money?
How does Pinterest monetize their offering since it is not based on advertising or subscription based models? Well this covert Pin-Ninjas are already making money by tapping into affiliate marketing links. According to Georgieva,
They [Pinterest] partnered with a firm called Skimlinks, which automatically scans through every link posted on the site to see if it goes to a retail site with an affiliate program. If it finds that kind of link, it secretly adds an affiliate code that ensures pinterest will make some cash from sales that derive from that link.
This in of itself might not be bad practice, but the fact that pinterest hasn’t disclosed this information outright definitely is. Many bloggers and marketers out there are complaining about the lack of communication from pinterest on its business model.
So How Come I Cannot Get On Pinterest?
Believe it or not, it is still in Beta and like Gmail did back when it first started, you can only access Pinterest by Invitation Only. You can request and invitation and will likely get one by simply visiting the Pinterest website at www.Pinterest.com and when you have received your invitation register youraccount. It would be wise to register your account using the same business email that you use for your Twitter account so that you can easily integrate the two.
Once you have completed the account activation process you can go ahead and start optimizing your profile by accessing the settings tab on the Pinterest site. Be sure to use your business name as your your username and iclude a company description and your company logo. Also be sure to add a link to your website.
You will want to make sure that you have done everything that you can to completely fill out your Pinterest profile. This is a great place to optimize your profile to build some quality links back to your own website. The branding qualities alone are worth the time. We recommend that you brand any image you post on Pinterest with your watermark or logo, but keep in mind that “Self-promotion” on Pinterest is frowned upon. If what you want to share on Pinterest is exciting and novel to you then feel free to pin to your hearts content!
How Do I Use Pinterest?
The idea behing Pinterest is to brand your lifestyle so that you can gel well with others that share your same interest. The way you do that is by looking at what your brand does for people in the “real world.” Finding this and translating it on to Pinterest can be difficult initially, but when you start to think about the kind of impact you have on the world around you then you will start to see the direction you want to take your Pinterest account. For example: at Adwebvertising we build websites. But our slogan is, “Thinking Beyond the Box.” So instead of posting screenshots of our websites, we might post pictures of stuff that our clients encounter, and put a cloud above their heads with a screenshoto f the website our clients own.
Again, it is not so much about defining or promoting your own business as it is defining and promoting the lifestyle that your business promotes. It will look different for everybody. Take a company like Jackson Guitars. They would not want to post all of their guitar inventory on their pinboard, but they may take pictures of people like the bassist for Megadeth, Dave Ellifson, playing a Jackson bass on tour in Madrid Spain in front of a sold out concert. The whole concept is not the product or service, but how it is impacts others and is part of the culture as a whole.
Once you start your Pinterest account you will want to go ahead and create and get several boards of your own populated before you start building your network of followers. The goal is to bring on as many followers as you can so that you can establish your network and start delivering potential clients back to your pages. Having something to look at when they get to your boards is the first step. You would not want to create a blank page and start sending traffic there before you added content would you?
You might want to take note that Pinterest followers are not like the tradition Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn followers, as Pinterest followers have two options for following your pins. In Pinterest the follower can either follow the a particular users board, or they can follow a particular users account. The difference is that when they follow a board they are the only one notified via their stream that a new item has been added. But, when they follow a user (say Adwebvertising) they will be notified anytime Adwebvertising posts on any Adwebvertising board. The trick is to identify how to build up your followers on both the account and board levels respectively.
Tips On Promoting Your New Pinterest Account
You will want to promote your new Pinterest account through your existing social channels including: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Your Website, press releases, etc… The best way to engage your users and allow your existing followers to do some of the legwork for you is to add your Pinterest follow buttion to your website and blog. You want to to build enough excitement so that you get your new friends that have their own boards to follow you as well. It is good to reciprocate follows.
You will want to keep your boards organized so that you have one topic per board. Nothing is more annoying to a user when they are looking at things and can’t find them. It would be like going to Walmart and going down the produce isle only to find socks and motor oil mixed in with lettuce and denture glue. By keeping your ideas organized you make a more seamless user experience. If it holds true on your website, it is probably a safe bet to employ the practice on your Pinterest boards.
How to Market with Pinterest
The goal of marketing on Pinterest is to drive traffic to your website and build strong brand recognition. Since Pinterest is highly visual and is based on images you will want to focus on ways that you can tell your story with pictures. You can begin by tapping into the photos that you already have. If you are blogging, you might consider making the featured images in your blog really spectacular and then start pinning them as well. Photos of your customers or of you doing work for your customers is an awesome source of good pins. Add a guest Pinboard and start getting others involved in your marketing. But the best thing that you can do is make sure that you add the Pin-It button to your own website. You want to make it really easy for your visitors to share your content or images on Pinterest. Adding the button is the way to go! Be sure that you add links in the descriptions of you pins whenever possible. these will serve as backlinks to your website and landing pages. You can use your analytics to see what traffic resulted from Pinterest to quantify the ROI on time spent building this social network. If you have videos you might consider creating a video gallery. Since Pinterest is visual (including video) you will want ot create a pinboard that showcases your top videos that have a strong call to action associated with it. And like Twitter and Google+ you can use the old hashtag (#Adwebvertsing).
Above all else you want to make sure that you have fun building your content on Pinterest. The things that you pin are a reflection of what your business culture is like. Keep it fun and watch how much business you can generate. Its all about finding creative ways to show off the products and services that you offer without showing off the products and services themselves.
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