The year might be winding to an end but smart business owners are always looking ahead. 2013 was an amazing year for businesses using Pinterest as a part of their social media marketing.
Major retailers such as Nordstrom and Target brought Pinterest offline and featured their most pinned products in stores.
Small businesses jumped in on the fun and used rich pins to drive sales.
Bloggers were big winners and saw huge spikes in traffic and got an extra boost in branding with article rich pins.
Here are 10 tips for business using Pinterest to keep in mind as we enter 2014.
Have a pin it button available for visitors to use on your site. Even if you don’t quite yet have your Pinterest account launched or a Pinterest strategy in place, make it easy for them to pin your images and link back to your site.
1. Have pinnable images for each product and in each blog post
To be pinnable, images should be at least 100 x 200 pixels and in png, jpg or gif formats. As with other things in life doing the bare minimum won’t get you far. To really stand out on Pinterest bigger is better. Though all pins get scaled to 238 pixels wide on the Pinterest feed, when a pin is clicked on, it shows up actual size, up to 735 pixels wide. Businesses with product should take advantage of this large size to show the details of the products they have for sale.
2. Over 50% of traffic to Pinterest comes from mobile devices
Are your sites mobile friendly and ready to receive traffic from Pinterest? Are your blog posts easy to read and are your products easy to buy from smartphones? Check out your site on different devices and on different browsers. You might be surprised at what you find.
3. Choose social sharing buttons wisely
Speaking of mobile devices, what kind of social share buttons do you have on your site? Floating social share bars became very popular in 2013 but many of them aren’t visible on mobile devices. There have been many times that I’ve wanted to pin something I found while using my phone but haven’t been able to. Make it EASY for visitors to your site to pin, tweet and post no matter what type of device they use.
4. Don’t rely only on hover pin it buttons
Nifty hover buttons that appear when a mouse hovers over the image made their way onto the scene this year. I’ve seen some really creative uses of these that tie into the branding of the site. Despite the cool factor, there is a drawback, there’s no mouse to hover on mobile devices. If I come to your site while browsing the web on my iPhone and the only pin it button you have is the hover kind, I won’t be able to pin it and share it with my Pinterest followers.
5. Don’t forget about SEO
Even though Pinterest is a visually dominated platform, text still matters. To find success with Pinterest use keywords anywhere you can. This includes pin descriptions, board names, account names and account descriptions. Doing this makes your pins, boards and accounts more visible in Pinterest and Google searches.
6. Don’t rush repinning
Take the time to click through pins when repining. As Pinterest has grown in popularity so has the appeal to spammers to try to take advantage of its users. Serve your Pinterest followers well, when repining take a couple of seconds to click through and make sure that the image links back to the original source and not to a spam site.
7. Keep your boards neat and organized.
Choose board cover images that represent the pins on your boards. This can be done on the iPhone and web versions of Pinterest. Organize your boards with the most important board to your business first to draw the most attention to it. At the time of this post boards can only be rearranged on the web version of Pinterest, not on mobile apps.
8. Avoid being flagged
DO NOT use link shorteners for your Pins such as bit.ly links or other types redirects. These will be flagged as suspicious links by Pinterest and could cost you traffic and conversions.
9. Mind your manners
You’re building your Pinterest account to serve your followers not just for you. Pinterest does have etiquette standards. Avoid these pitfalls:
- Only pinning your blog posts
- Only pinning your products
- Creating boards only because they’re a popular Pinterest topic. Example: a healthcare company creating a wedding dress board.
10. Don’t rush your pins
Pinning the same image from your site to multiple boards back to back. While this is a good strategy to maximize the exposure of your image, leave some time between pins to avoid clogging people’s feeds and to catch pinners at different times
With all of the advances and changes Pinterest has made in 2013 for business accounts, it’s exciting to think of what could be coming up in 2014. With some thought and strategy businesses can increase traffic and sales from Pinterest. What’s a tip that has worked for you that should be added to this list?
Thanks for the tip about needing an additional pin-it button besides just the hover buttons for mobile devices. I did have one at the top of every post with the Hupso plugin, but I didn’t like the automated description so I disabled it hoping that people would use the hover buttons. I guess I need to put it back.
It ‘s tough to keep things streamlined across all devices. I would try to find an option that allows you to customize descriptions to maximize the SEO benefits. Thanks a bunch for your comment. If I can help out, just let me know.
Love this quick-tips post, Cynthia! I’ve had trouble customizing my pin it button and removed it momentarily (hover button for now). I love your emphasis on mobile pinning – and all the other tips here. Excellent advice (as always)!
Thanks Traci, glad you found the post helpful 🙂
Thank you for writing this. It was very helpful I’ve been trying to learn more thing about the right way to be active on pintrest and the was very helpful.
I would love to hear your thoughts and others on services like pinwoot.
Is this a good approach to help get followers ?
By: Mark White
Thanks for stopping by Mark. Pinwoot isn’t a service I currently use but I have been receiving a lot of questions about it lately. I tend to prefer to attract followers through the content I pin and through engaging directly with people. I think it brings you followers that are more likely to be in your target market. I like the scheduling feature but tend to repin within Pinterest more often than pin from the web so that the person I’m repinning from gets a notification.
I’ve always felt like pinterest was meant for sites in the photography niche. Maybe I got to post more eye candy.
Brian, that is a common misconception but Pinterest can be used for many different niches outside of photography. Thanks for stopping by.
Nice post Cynthia! #8 is a bugger. Sometimes I need to use an affiliate link or tracking link for clients and Pinterest just says no. Bothersome sometimes. Bow I really like your blog post images. Nice.
Thanks Phyllis! Affiliate links are a challenge but I understand it keeps the spam level down. It reminds me of school when the good kids would be punished for the bad kids’ behavior.
[…] The year might be winding to an end but smart business owners are always looking ahead. 2013 was an amazing year for businesses using Pinterest as a part of their social media marketing. […]
Excellent tips Cynthia! I have no clue why I never considered the whole SEO concept within Pinterest. Silly me. I also never took into consideration about the timeliness of repinning from one board to the next. Very good stuff!
Best of luck at the Expo this weekend. You are going to ROCK THEIR SOCKS OFF! = )
New Media expo was amazing but exhausting.
Thanks so much for stopping by hope you’re finding great success with Pinterest 🙂
Awesome tips! I’ll have to check out your video on rich pins. I’ve heard this term before but not sure what it is. Thanks for sharing 🙂
I’m new to Pinterest, and I welcome your sound advice (more please!). You wrote a tip about posting blogs. I’m launching my website (responsive, mobile friendly) at the end of February. What exactly is the “link to and read my blog post” pinning etiquette, and must the categories of my posts – journal essays – always correspond to categories of pins and boards? “Yes” is the logical answer? Yeah, I’m new to this.
Oh, and how often?
Congrats on the launch of your site. Your pins from your posts should be relevant to the topic of the board you are pinning it to to avoid confusion. You also run the risk of loosing followers if you pin irrelevant content to your boards.
How often should you pin your content? It really depends on how often you create new content. Best of luck with your new site!
Cynthia, what WP plug-in do you use on your blog to make the images pinnable? I noticed you have hover pins over the images as well as a separate set of social sharing links at the top of your blog posts.
I use the Pinterest “pin it” button plugin by Phil Derksen. It includes the other social sharing links too. http://pinterestplugin.com/
[…] There are several areas in your Pinterest content where you can utilize hashtags and keywords. Image descriptions, board names, and account descriptions are all prime opportunities to outperform …. […]
Hi Cynthia, Great tips. I think Pinterest seems to be growing a lot in popularity here in the UK however do you think it is only wise for retailers and those who own actual products to use or can any business attempt to make the most of the network?
I think most businesses can use Pinterest in some way. The ones who benefit the most are the ones with great online content no matter if they have physical products to sell or not. 🙂
Thank you for your tips they are simple and doable.
what I like in pinterest it gives inspirations and lot of ideas. truly, i ended up of thinking only positive things about blogging, business, crafts and life.
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