I’ve been exploring social media’s latest runaway site – Pinterest*, a virtual bulletin board that allows users to share images, objects, and links they find interesting or inspiring. While, personally, I enjoy pinning photos of stylish outfits, chic MacBook and iPad cases, and outtakes from home décor magazines, I see the value this platform has for brands. When it comes to my brand, I’ve taken a thought leadership approach— just check my “Essential Books” board to see what branding, social media and marketing books I’m reading. This user-friendly platform is already proving to be valuable for businesses.
There’s serious potential to drive sales for business owners. Getting images of your products pinned and repinned can literally drive customers to your door step. At the very least, it will drive traffic to your website where customers can request your service.
Here are 6 ways small businesses can extend their brand and up their revenue using Pinterest:
Share your authenticity
Show your audience who you are. Pinterest allows you to curate photos of experiences, recipes, looks and influential people – anything that you love and want to refer back to. By being authentic and showing your followers what you’re into, you allow them to get a sense of the person behind the business. The more you can show your customers the face behind the brand, the more they’ll get to know you and connect with your business.
Pin and repin others
Remember…don’t make it all about you and your business. Repin others who are doing great work in your space.
When it comes to your offerings, don’t just pin photos of your products. Pin photos that communicate the inspiration behind your product, too. For example, if you’re offering Mediterranean cuisine, pin a photo you took during a trip to the Mediterranean. Get people in the mood to experience what you’re offering. Aim to inspire!
Link back to your business
Do you own a restaurant, catering service, cupcakery or other food-related business? Pin professional photos of your dishes and link back to the menu on your website. Pin great recipes you find or recipes you create, but don’t forget to link back to a landing page on your website. Make it easy for your Pinterest followers to become customers by including the website, online menu or reservation section for your cuisine.
If you have a home decor service or store, pin photos of rooms you have styled or rooms you’ve come across that inspire you. Those with a furniture or home accessories store can look to West Elm’s presence on Pinterest. They do a great job of giving inspiration for home decor while at the same time showcasing their products in an easy-to-see format.
We can learn a few things from their technique. Most importantly, pin actual items from your store with the price to indicate the items are for sale.
Be a resource for customers
If you have a service-based business, consider pinning visually-appealing short tutorials and how-to items. Pin the photos from media coverage or blog posts and link back to the full story.
Remember aim to inspire and connect with others who are on a similar journey. If you have a business-to-business (B2B), you can use the online pinboard to share infographics, charts, slideshows, or even your latest book or e-book cover. Include the link where customers can find or purchase the book, as well as a brief description of the book. Don’t forget that Pinterest is great for accumulating inbound links and search engine optimization, so that’s another way you can increase your web traffic and drive business.