In his book Tweet Naked, online marketing expert and social media agency CEO Scott Levy provides the critical information entrepreneurs need to craft a social media strategy that will boost their brand and their business. In this edited excerpt, the author offers advanced tips for strategic marketing on Pinterest.
Trying to get the bang for your buck out of Pinterest? Use these 11 strategies to get the marketing results you want.
1. Tag, you're it. It's not enough to simply pin your own images and hope others will repin. You must also actively engage with others by repinning content. A good way to gain new followers is to tag the original pinner in the description section. All you have to do is add the @ symbol in front of their name and they'll know you mentioned them. Let's face it, it's flattering to know that our pins are being used by others, and adding the small touch of specifically referencing the pinner is a great way to gain a loyal following on Pinterest.
2. Put a price on it. Pinterest users aren't just on the site to find inspiration--they're also there to shop. If you're selling a product, or even repinning products that are relevant to your business, be sure to include a price tag on the image because these pins get 36 percent more likes than those without price tags. So even if you're not selling your own products, think of creative ways to incorporate products with keywords that pinners will search for. If you're a designer, create a mood board; if you offer styling services, pin seasonal looks from online retailers. Think outside the box to maximize likes and repins through product pinning.
3. Search simply. Pinterest search analytics are far less complicated than those of Google and other web search engines. When uploading original content, be sure to use strong keywords as part of the image's file name. So rather than keeping the camera's generic "IMG_4289," customize it to reflect what you are trying to sell, like "round_brilliant_cut_engagement_ring.jpg." Even if you're promoting a concept rather than a product, you can still use this SEO technique to your benefit.
4. Get verified. Show pinners that you're a trustworthy source by verifying your business. It's a very simple process on Pinterest's website that simply confirms your website. Not only can users see that you are verified, it also gives you access to Pinterest's analytics, which can give you a lot of insight on what you're doing right and ways you may need to improve.
5. Speaking of analytics ... check out Pinterest's "Web Analytics Walkthrough" video, which shows you how to measure your metrics and conversions. You'll be able to tell how many pinners visited your website from your Pinterest page, how popular your pins are, and what's being repinned from your website. Knowledge is power; make sure you have the most information possible about what's going on on your Pinterest page and external website.
6. Focus groups. Checking out pinners who follow your business can give you a lot of valuable information about your target consumers. By following these pinners and evaluating what else they're pinning, liking and commenting on, you can glean detailed trends about your audience.
7. Visually market your content. Even if you're not selling a physical product, Pinterest can help market your brand. Pin industry infographics, charts, slides or other visual elements. Also be sure to use photos on your blog or website so that people visiting can pin those images as well.
8. Provide useful information. This is another great tip for content-oriented businesses: Pin ideas or products that would be useful to your target audience. Have you read a good business book recently? Pin it. Do you know of a helpful YouTube video on public speaking? Pin it. Be a resource to your constituents by providing useful, relevant information and ideas.
9. Guess what this next tip is? Start a conversation in the comments section by adding a question to your pin's description. It could be as simple as, "Guess what this is?" or an open-ended question about your business like, "Tell us what you think about . . . " By giving pinners an opportunity to comment, you're far more likely to create an engaging environment. And while I'm on the subject, remember your manners and comment back. The goal here is to be a hub of interaction for pinners and potential clients.
10. Board focus. Create boards on whatever topics are relevant to your business or brand, and start pinning images. Lowe's, for example, has boards such as "Helpful Hints," "Patio Paradise" and "Curb Appeal." Seasonal boards are also a good idea, and be sure to more actively populate the current time of year.
11. For analytics junkies. If Pinterest's business analytics just aren't enough for you, there are a number of programs for businesses that allow you to track pins in real-time, analyze your followers or even help you upload and schedule your pins in advance. Here are a few online resources for those who really want to catapult their "pinfluence":