While Facebook is the leading online business portal, Pinterest is the only platform that embodies every brand’s dream to have millions of potential customers eagerly look through a carefully-curated catalogue. Those potential customers share what they see and love with their friends and followers -- with more than 80 percent of pins being repinned, according to Mashable's Lauren Indvik -- Pinterest thrives on third-party advertising.
At a 2014 Savor the Success panel discussion, social visibility expert and CEO of Social Sage PR Donna Cravotta pointed out that "21 percent of Pinterest visitors make a purchase based on an item they have seen there."
Pinterest has the marketing power. If you want to amp up your marketing game and pin to win customers, check out these four tips on how a brand can succeed on Pinterest.
1. Understand Pinterest.
The Pinterest crowd is focused on the visual experience, so it is the perfect place to show off your brand. If your product is visually oriented -- for example, a fashion or furniture brand or jewelry or graphic design business -- then Pinterest is the perfect place for your business.
"On average, you get 20 minutes per session on Pinterest, according to the studies I’ve seen," says business strategist Caitlin Burns. "Compared to others where it’s a couple of minutes for a check-in here and there, you know that when you’re on Pinterest you’re doing a bigger exploration. You’re looking longer and you’re searching more for the images and the ideas you’re trying to explore."
2. Know the Pinterest audience.
The audience for Pinterest is older than other platforms. Women ages 18 to 45 are the biggest group on Pinterest. Parents are big, with 40 percent of people on Pinterest having children, so you see a lot of parenting advice and family activities. Mothers tend to do a lot of exploring and spend more time on Pinterest than on other platforms.
3. Make your brand pinnable.
Include Pinterest on hover buttons with different functions and images at the top of blog posts and website pages for smooth sharing. No need to be brief -- long descriptions do well on Pinterest. Hashtags on Pinterest are search queries, so create a keyword-rich paragraph to make your pin searchable and easy to find.
Cravotta also advises brands to include dollar signs in a pin’s description so it automatically becomes part of gift guides, as well as a link to where the item can be purchased.
4. Organize your pins.
The only way to create a discovery experience that pays is to avoid chaos. Use more than one Pinterest board, and make sure that each board tells the story of one aspect of your brand. Keep in mind that Pinterest started as a tool to keep collections online, so make sure your collections are clearly cataloged. While a Facebook post has a greater chance of getting lost in your audience’s news feed, a pin has the advantage of never losing its shelf life.
Potential customers are most likely to find your brand by name or discover your pins as a result of a search, so it pays to be organized. Do this right, and you will become part of an endless repinning experience.
On social media, the need for a first-person voice is key for brands to succeed in connecting with their customers. As the business owner, always be mindful of mixing your personal pins with your professional pins. To be safe, consider switching to a business page. Your audience will not know the difference, and you will have access to analytics, metrics and more efficient technical assistance and support.