5 Ways to Rock Pinterest!

by : 

Maggie Feeney

June 1, 2013

Pinterest isn’t just for foodies and DIY crafters anymore. With 25 million “pinners” and growing, it’s the third most popular social network, and more and more businesses are tapping into its marketing potential. According to a 2012 Shopify study, Pinterest-referred shoppers spend 70 percent more money than visitors referred from non-social channels! Even if you don’t have an e-commerce site, a Pinterest presence can still help you connect with potential—and existing—customers. Below are a few tips to pique your “Pinterest” in this popular site.

#1: Pintertain!

Pinterest is a social network, so put away your hard-sell hat and get personal. Maybe you don’t carry baked goods, but the most popular pins are recipes, so why not create a board of your staff’s favorites? Inspirational quotes are another top-pinned category, so gather up your words to live by and pin away! Love pink flamingos? Garden gnomes? Star Wars action figures? Start a board! Whatever gives people a sense of what’s unique about you or your store brand is ripe for the pinning. If your content is helpful or entertaining, people will get on “board”!

#2: Pin DIY

More than 80 percent of all pins are re-pins, meaning people primarily re-post pins they love to their own boards. If you want your pins to track back to you, generate as many yourself as you can. This can be as simple as linking to images on your own website or uploading images directly to Pinterest. If you are raring to start an inspirational quote board, create your own pin-able quote images in Microsoft Paint or Adobe Photoshop. If you use an online generator instead (e.g., behappy.me, quozio.com, and pinstamatic.com), the images track back to their sites, not yours.

#3: Pin to win

Companies big and small are harnessing the power of a good scavenger hunt to generate customer interest. Everyone loves the chance to win a prize! Contest possibilities are endless. How about sponsoring a “Pin Your Holiday Wishlist” contest for a chance to win merchandise or a gift card from your store? Direct participants to pin product images from your own website or Pinterest boards, of course. Your “pin to win” prizes don’t have to be big-ticket items—even a token prize is worth the effort for a fun pinning contest. Just be sure to post clear contest rules. Most contests direct pinners to enter by posting a link to their entry board on the sponsor’s contest board. Need more inspiration? Search “pin it to win it” or “contests” on Pinterest.

#4: Pintroduce your store

Lacking inspiration for your Pinterest site? Start searching for topics you are personally interested in or check out the Pinterest sites of big companies with whole departments devoted to social networking. Aim for boards that inspire return visits, such as a pinning contest or “New Arrivals”; boards about gift ideas, such as “Gifts Under $25,” “Gifts for Her,” and boards for specific holidays; boards that reflect your specialty, such as “Made in the U.S.A.” or “Eco-Conscious”; personal boards such as “Our Style” or one about your city (e.g., “Bellingham Love”); and boards that are just for fun, such as “DIY Tips” or “The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie.”

#5: Pinteract!

If you want to draw people to your Pinterest site, reach out and get social with the larger Pinterest community. Visit our Pinterest site at www.pinterest.com/RetailInsight. Search for local businesses and organizations. Follow their boards and the boards of your vendors and customers. Re-pin and comment on images you like! Explore what’s popular on Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/popular/) and make connections to your store. Make it easy for people to pin images from your website by supplying a “Pin It” button (www.business.pinterest.com/widget-builder/#do_pin_it_button). Tell your customers you’re on Pinterest, and take advantage of Pinterest analytics to track how things are going. Above all, have fun and happy pinning!

Maggie Feeney is Editor in Chief of Retailing Insight.