Facebook and Twitter may have more users and get more press, but Pinterest is the social network of choice for businesses who want to increase their sales.
Did you know that the average Pinterest user follows nine brands and spends over 15 minutes on the platform at one time? People use Pinterest as a shopping site – no wonder that it now drives more sales than Facebook. 70% of users say they went to Pinterest to find inspiration for what to buy!
Your business should be using Pinterest to drive traffic to your website, build your email list and most importantly, grow your sales.
Here are 9 ways you can use Pinterest to increase your sales and grow your customer base:
1) Understand the Pinterest culture
Pinterest has a very different culture than the other social networking sites, and these differences make it ideally suited for brands who are selling products.
However, many businesses get on Pinterest thinking that it is exactly like Facebook or exactly like Instagram. They don’t take the time to explore, to listen and to experience the network before jumping in.
Take some time to use the site and see how people are using it. What are the most popular pins? Who are the influential users? Learn from them.
2) Create a strategy and measurable goals
Jumping in and starting to pin is all well and good, but pouring hours into Pinterest without a defined strategy will get your business nowhere.
How will you be using Pinterest? What will success look like? More website traffic? More email signups? More leads?
If you are just starting out, aiming to increase your sales by 200% in one year may not be feasible. However, a strategy that includes increasing sales generated through Pinterest by 25% may be doable.
3) Pin your stuff – don’t just re-pin!
Your strategy should include benchmarks for how many pins you are going to share per week. I encourage you to re-pin, like and comment on other users’ pins frequently.
It is a social network after all, and sharing content from others is a good way to get new users to follow you.
However, statistics have shown that over 80% of Pinterest users are simply re-pinning other people’s content. Just re-pinning pins that do not lead to your website or your online store will not increase your sales – in fact, it will probably increase someone else’s!
Be strategic with your re-pins, and consistently share a steady but not overwhelming stream of your own products.
4) Tell your story using pins
Tell people about your company using visuals that communicate part of your story. How did you start out?
Share testimonials and success stories from customers. What problems have you solved for them? Think about how these stories can be told in a simple snapshot or infographic, and pin it to Pinterest.
Potential customers like to connect with brands on social networks, not see faceless, nameless logos that have no personality or back story.
5) Invest time and resources in great visuals
This is the #1 rule for success on Pinterest. You could have a great strategy and great content on your website or online store, but if the pins are not optimized for Pinterest, they will not get re-pinned and liked.
Shareable, pinnable images are clear, colorful, elicit emotions and get a reaction. “Wow, I want that!” “Wow, that is a cool photo!”
Remember why people share things on social media. They share photos that will make them look good to their friends and family, and content that represents something about them. They don’t want to look bad, and they won’t share bad photos and visuals.
6) Enable Rich Pins
Pins that have a price attached have several advantages.
First, they put people in a shopping state of mind subconsciously.
Second, prices on pins may actually increase purchases. If you have a gorgeous photo, I may think that product is too expensive for me. But if you put a price tag on it, I may change my mind.
It used to be that you added a price with a $ in the caption. Now, you need to enable Rich Pins. Rich Pins pull a larger image and give a bolder headline to your pin.
They stand out from others and this will help you stand out from the pack. Read more about starting with Rich Pins on the Pinterest blog.
7) Spend time on your captions.
The caption should be descriptive of the product and include a price. Do not make it longer than 140 characters and do not make it too wordy.
Think – descriptive, catchy, compelling. What will make someone want to learn more and click on the pin to go back to your shopping site?
8) Link the pin to the right place.
Pinterest users (myself included) expect to be able to click on a pin and have it lead them directly to the place for purchase.
You will lose potential customers if they have to click around your website to find the product they want.
9) Pin coupons and special offers.
Coupons and special offers do great on Pinterest!
Now, I do not mean taking a grainy photo of a coupon in the paper and pinning it. Coupons and offers must be designed beautifully (see #5) in order to get many re-pins and clicks.
When used correctly, Pinterest is a fantastic avenue for small, medium and large businesses to build a following and increase sales!
In the coming months, I will be blogging for Maximize Social Business on topics that include how businesses can get the most from Pinterest, how to create great pins, what types of boards to create, and how to get more traffic to your site using this innovative social networking tool.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net