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The 411 on Pinterest for Businesses

One of the best ways to drive traffic and involvement to your Facebook page is to promote it on other social networks. Facebook itself is hard enough to master, not to mention the other dozens of social media sites. Don’t worry, as we’re here to help you get started. Today we start with Pinterest, one of the fastest-rising, business-friendly social networks in existence. Look for future installments for Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and more.pinterest

OK all you small business owners out there: it’s time to start using Pinterest as part of your social media marketing strategy.

If you’re unaware, Pinterest is a social bookmarking site. Users find cool stuff on the web and “pin” it to their “boards” at Pinterest. Typically, each board contains pins all relating to a single topic, such as “Stuff I’d like to eat” or “Places I’d like to visit.” Users can “repin” items from another user’s board to their own, like it, or comment on it.

Why, you may be asking, should you be on Pinterest? It has proven to be a place where consumers go to share their hopes and dreams – or at least, things they want, or things they want to show off.

  • Pinterest is reportedly the fasting growing social network, with over 12 million users
  • 70% of those users go there “to get inspiration on what to buy”
  • 43% use it to interact with brands and businesses, and 39% are looking for deals
  • Nearly two billion pages were viewed on Pinterest this July alone
  • Experian Marketing Services reports that Pinterest grew 5,124% from July 2011 and July 2012

Let us translate those stats for you: you should be on Pinterest.

Here’s all you need to know about setting up your own Pinterest business account. 

Creating a Pinterest Business Account

The first thing to be aware of are some of the differences between a personal and Pinterest business account.

• Any account used for commercial purposes must create a business Pinterest account that comes with a business-specific Terms of Service agreement.

• By creating a business Pinterest account, you have the ability to use your regular business name as the account name  rather than having to do a “first” and “last” name.

• With a business account, you’ll receive educational materials focusing on how to market your business using Pinterest.

• You’ll also have access to an exclusive set of features geared for businesses.

If you already have a personal Pinterest account you’d like to convert to a business account, simply log into your Pinterest account and then go to the Pinterest for Business section. From here, you’ll click on a big red button that says “Convert your existing account” and then modify your information to reflect your business and agree to the new TOS agreement and privacy policy.

Or, you can simply sign up for a new business account, fill out the relevant information, and choose a new username.

Choose How You Want To Get Started

After you’ve created your Pinterest business account, you’ll be given four getting started options to choose from:

1. Verify Your Website- Lets users to see your full website URL on your profile and in search results

2. Start Pinning- This allows you to install the Pin It Bookmarklet to start pinning.pinterestlogo

3. Drive Traffic Back- This option helps you encourage your website visitors to share your images with their Pinterest followers by adding the Pin It button to your website. When setting up your company profile, make sure to include an image that clearly reflects your business and is consistent across other social networks. Don’t forget to put in a brief message describing what your business is and why people should be interested in it. And be sure to include your website and links to any other of your social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook.

4. Grow Your Audience- This allows you to add the Pinterest Follow button to encourage people to follow you on Pinterest.

Using Pinterest As Part Of Your Social Media Marketing Plan

Once you’re all set up and ready to go, start thinking about creating boards associated with the keywords for which you’d like to rank on search engines. Next you’ll want to start pinning images that your target audience will relate to, and even run some Pinterest contests. The key with Pinterest is think graphically. It’s worth investing a photographer or a nice camera to create some great shots of your product, because that, more than anything else, will drive engagement. Place the images on your site, on a product page or blog post, and pin from there.

Don’t just post your own content, though. Pinterest users are looking for purchase inspiration, but that doesn’t mean they want to be spammed. Become an authority in your industry by sharing out pins related to your world. If you run a French bistro, create pins from prominent French chefs about their latest creations, or pin some beautiful photos of the vineyards at Avignon. These will help earn you followers interested in French food, which will lead to growth of your influence, visits to your website, improved search rankings, and interest in your products. All of these are part of the revenue growth equation.

It’s also a good idea to keep track of whose pinning images from your website and to later interact with them. Use this URL to see who is pinning from your website (http://pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com.) And you can use Google Analytics to figure out how much traffic to your website is being generated by Pinterest.

A pin a day will bring potential customers your way! Like other social networks, over-posting can turn off your fans, so pin once or maybe twice a day.

Friend2Customer offers a Pinterest widget that will share out your Facebook apps (see this great example.) Pinterest doesn’t allow pins directly from Facebook URLs, which makes our Pinterest widget a fairly important tool in your social media arsenal.

Need more help with Pinterest, or just want to chat social media? Leave us a comment or contact us today, and let’s chat.

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