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Using Pinterest to Market Your Business

Pinterest is the big buzz word at the moment in social marketing.  I ran across this article on Mark Austin’s Resell Rights Weekly website.  Hope you enjoy

Using Pinterest to Market Your Business (link)

If you’re a small business owner, then the Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/) statistics ought to grab your attention:  More than 10 million users, 70% women, and 2 million Facebook users daily. Those are some impressive numbers if you’re looking to find a market for your goods.

Here’s how it works: Users can set up “boards” to store all the images they find in their daily surfing. Cute puppies, home décor ideas, fun crafts for kids, and recipes are some favorites among the Pinterest devotees. When you pin an image, that image is linked to the original page you found it on, so others can check out that great new way to store wrapping paper, too. Those other users can also re-pin your image to their own boards, thus spreading the word far and wide.

This kind of viral sharing is – in large part – why companies are so interested in using Pinterest as a part of their marketing plan. And why you should be using it as well.

But before you run off and start pinning stuff, you need to consider whether or not your business would be well-served by Pinterest. Since this social network is almost exclusively visual, it stands to reason that you’ll fare better if you’re a seller of cute, crafty stuff. Etsy sellers are ideal – digital product sellers…not so much.

That doesn’t mean digital retailers are out of luck though – we’ll cover how clever sellers of digital goods are making use of this wildly popular social network in a later lesson.

Of course, as with any social media, relationships are critical in your efforts to expand your circle of influence.

Like any social media outlet, Pinterest is all about who you follow – and who follows you. When you log into Pinterest, you will be greeted by a variety of pictures pinned by those you follow. Lot’s of browsing available at the click of a mouse – and you want to be on as many pages as possible.

How do you do that? By being a good (and strategic) follower.

Just like with Twitter, users on Pinterest tend to (1) follow those who other, well-known users follow, and (2) follow back. That means if you identify the heavy hitters in your niche and follow them, there is a good possibility they will follow you back. There is also a good possibility that some of *their * followers will find and follow you, thereby further increasing your reach.

Because repinning is the currency of Pinterest, you can expect your new followers to pin and repin your pins (as you will theirs). This gets your site and your products in front of more people. Not to mention the positive effect it will have on your backlinking campaigns.

Speaking of followers and backlinking, it’s probably time to talk about how Pinterest traffic can help – or hurt – your website. So let’s talk about branding.

Branding is the process by which you let readers know – in no uncertain terms – exactly who you are and what you stand for. You do this by consistently using the same social media profile picture, by carefully researching and using your most import keywords in critical locations, and by linking all your social networking accounts together.

You’ve likely already done this with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and the process is much the same with Pinterest. Completely fill out your profile, including your URL, a keyword-rich description, and your logo or profile picture.

Next, create boards that make sense for your business, and use keywords where you can. Install a “pin it” bookmarklet in your browser, and use it often. Fill your boards with pins that speak to your audience, and which will help establish you as the go-to Pinterest page for all things [insert your industry here].

Consider connecting your other social media profiles to your Pinterest. You can link Facebook and Twitter, for example, so each time you pin a new item, your Facebook page is updated. This will help draw followers in from other social networks, and increase your presence in all of them.

Finally, add Pinterest links and pin-it buttons to your site, and encourage your visitors to share what they find there.

Earlier we discussed the issue of building relationships by following the big names in your niche. But there is more to Pinterest than just following (and being followed).

Like other social networks, there is a lot of interaction that takes place on Pinterest.  Aside from just repinning, you can also comment, “like,” “share,” email, and embed pins on your blog.

Commenting and liking serves to open a conversation and encourage further interaction – including questions about your products and services, your website, and your other interests. Think of it as building a client base, one conversation at a time.

Liking, sharing, and embedding pins on your website will all help you find more followers and draw traffic (and sales) back to your site.

Just remember, as with all social networks, it’s important to be genuine. Simply repinning, liking, and sharing all sorts of random pins just for SEO purposes will quickly get old. And your followers will notice.

Instead, use the service thoughtfully and strive to make real connections with others in your niche. Just like your Twitter followers and Facebook fans, it’s best to grow your Pinterest circle organically. Don’t rush it – you’ll see much better results in the long run if you put some thought into how you use Pinterest from the beginning.

Earlier we were talking about how Pinterest is best suited for sellers of cute crafts and food bloggers. You might think as a digital retailer you’re left out of the Pinterest crowd. After all, a picture of an eBook isn’t very enticing, is it?

But there * are * things service providers, information marketers, and even affiliate marketers can do with Pinterest to help build their business.

Video – You don’t see a lot of it, but you can pin videos on Pinterest. I can’t think of a better way to turn a how-to video on YouTube into a viral marketing tool. The key? Keep it short and as entertaining as possible.

Infographics – The Internet * loves * a good infographic, and if you’ve got one that shows how to use your product or service then Pinterest is the perfect place to share.

Headline graphics – Got a compelling blog post you’d love to share? Whip up a quick graphic of the headline and a fitting photograph and pin away. Just make sure the title really is compelling, like “14 Ways Bloggers are Driving Traffic with Pinterest.”

So you see, you don’t have to be an Etsy seller or home décor pro to use Pinterest to grow your business. You just have to think a little creatively.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about how you can use Pinterest in your business. So, are you on Pinterest? (http://pinterest.com/)