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13 Ways to use Pinterest for Marketing

April 12, 2012 · 21 comments

in Internet Marketing, Social Media

Pinterest MarketingJust last week, the “pinning” website Pinterest overtook LinkedIn for third largest social media site, behind only Facebook and Twitter. Just in case you have not been keeping up with things online, Pinterest is new in the world of social networking. What it does is allow users to make online collages of pictures, which other people can “repin” or “share” easily. You can have many different “pinboards” for all sorts of topics. It is really a quick and fun way to grab bits and pieces of the internet that you like.

Tools that allow you to “pin” things to Pinterest abound, and you can quickly find a one-click button to put in your toolbar for easy pinning. Because it is such a simple way to save and share things that you like, it has taken the world by storm. Young people love it for the visual aspects, and older people love it because it’s just so simple to use. Logging on to Pinterest can take you anywhere you want to go—whether you’d like to see pictures of beautiful mountains or adorable puppies, lots of images will be available to you.

This leads us to the heart of this post. Yes, Pinterest is gorgeous AND amazingly popular…

But how in the world can a business leverage that to gain customers, revenue, and profit?

Here, I will share some ideas to get you started “pinning for profit.”

  1. Use the name of your business or website on the Pinterest profile for lots of exposure. Pinterest allows you to use the business name as your username on the site.
  2. Use the “About” section to tell more about yourself, and add your website address and Twitter name. This will show up next to your picture and let people get to know you a little better.
  3. Hook up Facebook and Twitter with your Pinterest account. This does a few things—allows others to follow your pins from those sites, and lets them click through to your Facebook or Twitter pages from Pinterest.
  4. The more you pin, the more you will engage other people and draw them to you. Pin engaging stuff, and you will have lots of activity and many followers.
  5. Tag people in your pins, just like Twitter, with a @username, so they do not miss something of interest to them.
  6. Networking with others in your field or related fields by using the @username pins is a smart idea that most people have not thought of yet. Find people by searching for related keywords.
  7. Commenting on other people’s pins is another way to get dialogue started. Most people do not actively do this, yet, but it will be a huge growth area, much like blog and social media commenting.
  8. Make the names on your boards short but enticing as they are shared when you pin something.
  9. Consider clicking “like” on a pin as well as repinning to give a thumbs-up for the great photo or idea.
  10. Pin from all over the internet. Variety is the Pinterest spice, so be sure to mix it up.
  11. People like it when you repin. They get credit on the pin on your Pinterest board, and that brings more people to their Pinterest boards, increasing their followers.
  12. Add a Pinterest button to your website or blog so that people can follow you there as well.
  13.  Pin your best blog posts. DO NOT be excessive with this…just like Twitter and Facebook; you will turn people off if it is constantly all about YOU. However, every now and then, pin a great post so that people remember you are a business owner.

This is just hitting the tip of the iceberg, and there are lots more ways to use Pinterest to market your business. As a new medium, only a business owner or marketer’s imagination limits the number of ways to utilize it. Just keep in mind that like any social tool, you want to give more than you receive with your efforts.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Theuns April 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Hi Kosta

I just join Pinterest last week and WOW what you just tell us make my head Spin LOL 🙂

People and businesses that do not use social media will fall behind , you help me a lot to understand Social media better over the last month’s that i come to your Blog to read what is new on Social media.

Regards
Theuns
Theuns recently posted..There are no traffic jams on the extra mileMy Profile

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DeniseGabbard@WriteandGetPaid April 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Hi Theuns—Pinterest has taken off like wildfire— businesses NEED to be there, and be engaging.
DeniseGabbard@WriteandGetPaid recently posted..Guest Post: How to Make Money as an Online WriterMy Profile

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Donna Merrill April 12, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Hi Kosta
I Love Pinterest! It has been three weeks or so since I have joined. I cannot tell you how many people I have connected with during that time. At first I was hesitant, but as I followed the rules that you gave above, things went wild.
I must reinforce what you said about pinning your posts. Only do it a few times because it works just like any other social network. No one wants to be “pushed.” It is so funny because one of my boards is SHOES I love shoes, and so do many other women. I received an influx of people going to my other social sites just because of shoes.
Here is where it gets great. You can share your interests other than your business and resonate with people. Of course you need to hit those like buttons and comment too. But repinning something is really the key to success.
I thank you for spreading this news. This stuff really works!
Donna
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DeniseGabbard@WriteandGetPaid April 13, 2012 at 12:38 am

Thanks for your comment, Donna:) I love PInterest, too….pinning shoes and pretty summer dresses is lots of fun. Just imagine if you were a marketer for a company that sold those things:)

Even so, people will also look at what you post business-wise. I know that I do.

I appreciate you leaving a comment on my post so that Kosta will allow me to guest post sometime again soon:)
DeniseGabbard@WriteandGetPaid recently posted..Monday Motivation: Successful Writer with Dogged DeterminationMy Profile

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marquita herald April 13, 2012 at 3:11 am

Yep, I’m a fan of Pinterest and I do enjoy it when people repin my images, especially those from “my business.” The only downside I’ve found so far is people not just repinning images but using them elsewhere. I design a lot of the conceptual images on my blog and that includes the Pinterest widget I created for my sidebar – which I just came across on someone else’s blog! It’s not a BIG deal in the scheme of things but it is something we have to be prepared for by opening our creations up to the world.
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DeniseGabbard@WriteandGetPaid April 15, 2012 at 12:37 am

Thanks for commenting Marquita– you are definitely right, there are challenges, especially for creative people. I see that they’ve had challenges already about that, and I’m hoping it will get worked out without big changes to Pinterest— I really love my pinning!
DeniseGabbard@WriteandGetPaid recently posted..10 Work from Home Jobs Poised for Major Growth!My Profile

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Perry Davis April 14, 2012 at 12:02 am

Hello Denise

With Pinterest being comparatively young there are many things to learn. In this article you have shared very solid ideas which will enable an individual or a business to leverage this tool to gain customers, revenue and profit. This statement, “Just keep in mind that like any social tool, you want to give more than you receive with your efforts.” put the icing on the cake.

Thanks

Perry A Davis Jr
Music City
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DeniseGabbard@WriteandGetPaid April 15, 2012 at 12:39 am

Hi Perry– I am glad that you took the time to comment, because I found your blog pretty interesting, and I am now following you on Twitter.
DeniseGabbard@WriteandGetPaid recently posted..10 Work from Home Jobs Poised for Major Growth!My Profile

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clare@ Social Media Strategy April 14, 2012 at 12:29 am

Hi Kosta,

Social media is changing faster than most can keep up with it. The biggest change is that it is going visual so if you are not using photos and videos, you will be left behind.

Thanks for sharing the power of pinterest. I am enjoying pinning!

Clare
clare@ Social Media Strategy recently posted..How to build a Business Brand that Resonates?My Profile

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DeniseGabbard@WriteandGetPaid April 15, 2012 at 12:46 am

That is so true– constant change is the status quo:) You are right about everything going visual—for those of us who prefer to read instead of watch videos, though (ME, ME, ME!) Pinterest provides a good middle ground…you have the photos but can typically click through to find the article or blog post that goes along with it.

Thanks for your comment on my post:)
DeniseGabbard@WriteandGetPaid recently posted..10 Work from Home Jobs Poised for Major Growth!My Profile

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Shelley Alexander April 14, 2012 at 1:25 am

Hi Kostas,
I have been on Pinterest for about 1 month and I love it! It is a great way to share what you are really passionate about with visual pictures that really catch your attention. As a chef this form of social media really appeals to me because food is so beautifulto look at and it really draws attention on this type of site. Thanks for all the great tips on how to use Pinterest for your business.
Shelley Alexander recently posted..Green Tea Mango Energy SmoothieMy Profile

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DeniseGabbard@WriteandGetPaid April 15, 2012 at 12:48 am

Ah, jeez—now I have to go to Pinterest and see all the great pictures of food you have on there. I have found so many cool ideas for different and yummy foods on Pinterest that I made a board especially for that.

Thanks for your comment!
DeniseGabbard@WriteandGetPaid recently posted..10 Work from Home Jobs Poised for Major Growth!My Profile

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Cynthia April 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I love Pinterest! It’s so eye attractive, even when I don’t want to stay and browse, I do. I guess that’s just human nature. Your advice is great. I just got a copy of Loop Pigeon (not I am not an affiliate or anything lol) one advice they give is to make your pictures long, because they take more Pinterest real state.
I think today may be the day that I start to share. Thanks
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Denise Gabbard May 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm

That is a good point– making the pictures long and taking up more real estate. Infographics are great examples! I have also noticed that crafty things, and ways to recycle or decorate inexpensively are huge on the site— so if there is a way to tie that to your marketing, you will do quite well!

Thanks for reading my post and commenting!
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Rick Lelchuk April 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Denise,

The Pinterest phenomenon boggles my mind. I am a part of it, I’m pinning my pictures, etc., but it makes no sense to me. Maybe we’re evolving into a picture based society for those who are unable to comprehend the written word. Who knows?

In the mean time, you post helps to “get a handle on” Pinterest. Thanks for the insights.

RICK

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Denise Gabbard May 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Hi Rick—

See– that is the draw, you don’t get it, and it boggles your mind—but you just can’t help it! I have to limit my time on the site— it so addictive! I wish I could figure out a way to make a living pinning pretty pictures!

Thanks for stopping by!
Denise Gabbard recently posted..God Bless the USA!My Profile

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Mike Sherratt April 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Hey Denise, Awesome info on Pinterest. I love all of the ideas and will use some myself but I thought of some others to share too…

Here are five other examples of triggers you should consider:

1. If a user clicks on a single pin multiple times over the course of 3 days, send a message with the product image and a special offer, after auto-checking that the person did not already purchase the product.

2. If a user clicks on multiple pins, create a style board of the images with a message about celebrating the user’s individual style.

3. Generate a list of top-pinned products and group by style. If a person clicks through images that match that style, send a message highlighting the top-pinned products in that style.

4. Identify heavy Pinterest users. If a person clicks through to your site from more than five pins, encourage this by compiling and sending a list of “hot” pinned items.

5. If a user clicks through on a product that you have already identified as over-inventoried, send a message with a special offer on the product that is not available on the public site, after auto-checking that the person did not already purchase the product.

Mike
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Denise Gabbard May 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Hi Mike — Those are awesome ideas for those with online stores. I cannot imagine online retailers NOT taking advantage of this FREE opportunity to get massive exposure for their products!

Thanks for adding some great insight!
Denise Gabbard recently posted..God Bless the USA!My Profile

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Patricia Gozlan April 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I love pinterest too, eben though I just started using it, it is easy an dyou do not need to write or talk much, this is what is cool! As perry says we need to give more an dmore to see results like all social networks.
Thanks for the tips I’m taking notes of all your interesting points here.
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Denise Gabbard May 29, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I think the fact that you do not need to write or talk much has really helped to drive its growth. People who shy away from Facebook because it is too much– too technical, too many people talking, too much invasion of privacy– LOVE Pinterest, because they can scour the web for things they love and keep track of them without all of the rest!

Thanks for stopping to say Hi!
Denise Gabbard recently posted..God Bless the USA!My Profile

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