As a creative entrepreneur or business owner, if you think you spend a little too much time on Pinterest you'll be pleased to know that's not always a bad thing. Of course, we self-employed business owners or managers of small and medium enterprises depend on brand memorability and engaging web content. To achieve this we should be active and producing valuable content across multiple social media channels.
When outlining an online marketing strategy, we know the importance of including social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The role they play in advertising and customer engagement is key to a successful marketing campaign and maintaining an overall business presence in the virtual world. While Pinterest might not be one of the first social media platforms that come to mind, it's certainly a must-have in your online marketing strategy. This is why.
In digital marketing, it's crucial to make traceable connections back to our businesses online using SEO, applying continuity to our brand identity and initiating and upholding direct engagement with our existing and potential customers.
So what happens when someone isn't searching specifically for you? The chances are somebody out there is looking for a business relatively similar to yours, that can offer the same product or service as you do. Put simply: how can you increase the chances of somebody stumbling across you?
This is where you need Pinterest. Essentially a virtual mood board, it's a different style of social networking compared to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and fellow mass photo-sharing platform Instagram. The aim of Pinterest is to provide a visual environment designed to inspire or entertain its users. It's based entirely on image-sharing alone, making it easy for users to save or 'pin' photos to dedicated albums of their choosing so they can refer back to them quickly later on.
Where Pinterest becomes a clever and effective marketing tool is the automatic and direct link that is made to the website from which a photo has been taken or uploaded. Suddenly, your pins are visible to anybody who comes across them. If someone visits your website via one of your pins, you'll have gained a referral visit.
Pins that are proving popular among users, or that are deemed to be relevant to a particular search query, are automatically displayed on a suggestions list, which acts as a homepage for the user when they open the app. Without a doubt, this greatly increases the visibility of a certain image and, subsequently, a certain URL. You want this to be your URL.
This cycle of 're-pinning' is an incredibly easy way to gain leads to your website, shop, or blog as long as you post often and create high quality, engaging content. Adding 'Pin it' buttons to your images and widgets linking to your Pinterest profile are good ways to encourage visits to and from Pinterest. The more often your pins are seen and the higher quality they are, you can be sure that you're producing a strong online presence with which to remind people of your brand.
Here are some of the best ways to get your content out on Pinterest:
Create Pinterest graphics dedicated to each of your blog posts as a convenient way for readers to save, share and come back to your post later. Make sure your graphics are cohesive and in line with your brand to keep up your recognisability.
Enable 'Pin it' buttons on your site images and pages using HTML code or by installing a 'Pin It' plugin. As mentioned above, the 'Pin it' button is a real gamechanger and a must-have in modern blogging. The biggest reason why I switched to a new blogging platform from my old site builder was that it didn't support the 'Pin It' button plugin.
Save graphics and promotional images from your other social media pages to Pinterest to integrate each element of your online presence. Pinterest isn't just about making blog posts convenient to find later down the line. Remember that it's a visual platform and all of your branded images can be saved there.
Keep saving pins from other people! Not only might you learn something new or garner inspiration from other pins but, with every pin you collect, you can potentially attract followers who will see your content too when they check out your profile.
What's more, Pinterest, like many other social media platforms, gives you the ability to access tools for business. Pinterest Analytics lets you see your highest performing pins in terms of impressions, saves and clicks, and it also provides you with a helpful overview of your outreach and profile visits so you can monitor exactly how well your Pinterest profile serves your digital marketing strategy.
If you're looking to broaden your advertising outreach, dedicate a portion of your marketing budget to creating Pinterest ads. Running ads on Pinterest works in a similar way to targeted ads on Facebook. Use keywords to describe your campaign and determine what the aim of your campaign really is. Do you want to drive traffic to your site? Do you want to increase your brand awareness? If your business has developed a digital application, you can even use ads to encourage users to install the app and start using it - increasing your visibility on Pinterest all the while.
Since Pinterest started to direct it's efforts towards supporting businesses on a broader scale, the site has grown into a key part of creating a successful social media marketing strategy, even if it's not the conventional social media site you think of when considering customer engagement and advertising.
Of course, a successful digital marketing strategy never disregards one platform over another. Typical social media sites like Facebook and Twitter ought not to be ignored in favour of Pinterest. What makes for a great social media marketing strategy is a cohesive message across a combined use of platforms.
I'm guilty of not utilising all of my social media sites enough myself, so I'll be taking lots of advice from my friends over at Be The Bees, who are specialists in outsourcing and procurement across multiple areas of business management, from consulting and finance to legal services, marketing and human resources.
This post was written in collaboration with Be The Bees and they've got some more useful advice on their blog about increasing brand awareness across social media channels using incentive techniques, so head over there to learn more about how you can gain maximum impact from your social media marketing strategy. You can find their blog post here.
I'm always on Pinterest sharing lifestyle inspiration, seasonal living and business tips, so keep up with me by following my profile.