Yesterday we gave you Pinterest 101, but now its time to amp up your Pinning knowledge to learn how to market your store on the fast growing social network.
First, we we'll answer the most pressing question, WHY?
Pinterest users are extremly engaged and if you have a personal account you probably know why, ITS ADDICTIVE. Pinterest is a marketers dream - it has the openess of Twitter but the intimate nature of Facebook. Users feel connected with their close-knit following enough to pin and share things, but because Pinterest is open, everything is searchable!
Users cannot login to Pinterest without being bombarded by their friends pins, making it all too tempting not to repin images they like to their own boards. This sort of 'social stealing' promotes tremendous peer-to-peer sharing, aka viral sharing. With the right momentum, your pins have the potential to been seen by thousands of users ( potential customers).
Links That Last
Like we pointed out yesterday, each pin is linked to its online origin which means pinning is a sort of link-building. Although the links are not 'do follow" links ( meaning they have no affect on seo), users information is always available so even months after someone pins your products, people can stumble unto your store.
Like other social networks before it, Pinterest offers online merchants a chance to extend their brand, become more social and engage users.
HOW TO DO IT RIGHT
So you have an invite and you're ready to Pin? Here's what to do next!
Optimize Your Profile
Add you logo as your profile picture and add a description of you store. Make sure your description is keyword heavy because 'People" also show up in Pinterest search results.
Find Your Friends
When you connect your Twitter and Facebook account, you will see all of your friends and followers who are also on Pinterest (well, those who have connected their social accounts at least). Friend your existing contacts to start building your network.
Find Your Existing Pinterest Fans
Search to see if anything from your site has already been pinned by going to http://pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com/ with "yourdomain.com" being the domain name of your store. If you've already been pinned, comment, thank and follow the pinner!
Don't Build Boring Boards
Don't just create one big board for all your products, or create boring boards that no one would follow like "TV Stands" ( now you know, thats not very enticing). To win the Pinterest game, you need to think like a true Pinhead ( sorry, I had to say it). Think about using more general topics where it would make sense to pin your products and other interesting items. For example if you sell kitchenware, create a board called "Dream Kitchen" where you can pin your products and also kitchen design inspiration from around the web or you could create "In The Kitchen" and pin you products, easy recipees, fun tips etc. You get the idea!
Optimize Your Pins
Make sure that all of your Pins have descriptions with a few keywords, but don't keyword stuff and DONT copy and paste your product descriptions from your site. Create an authentic voice for your brand. For example, i f you pinned a dress you sell at your store, some example descriptions would be: "This cocktail dress demands a night out" or "Black dress, you never fail to impress."
Pin Your Style
Just like all social marketing, Pinterest marketing is 40% marketing 60% social. The site itself discourages too much self-promotion:
"Avoid Self Promotion | Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion."
But you wouldn't get very far with being an annoying Pinner anyway. Basically in order to reap the benefits of Pinterest, you need to contribute to the community. Contributing to the Pinterest community just means that you need to use the site like your brand was a person. Your brand has a style and you should show that off by pinning things outside of your products that interest or inspire you.
For social marketing to be effective, it has to be engaging, interesting and social (duh). So go comment on under pinners you don't know, follow people and boards that you think are interesting and that fit your demographic.