Have you ever dismissed Pinterest?
Do you spend all your time managing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube (etc) accounts for your business, without ever thinking about what Pinterest could be doing for you?
Do you consider it to be a frivolous, frothy website filled with nothing but craft and wedding ideas?
If you’ve said yes to any of these things, I have a challenge for you.
I want you to make 2017 the year that you take Pinterest seriously. I want you to start using Pinterest for your business, so at the end of the year you can show your boss how much your traffic has increased.
Trust me, this platform is not to be overlooked.
Don’t believe me? Here are 10 reasons why you should be using Pinterest for business.
Pinterest will bring you loads of traffic
Take my humble travel blog as an example. In December 2016, Pinterest accounted for 43% of all my social traffic – almost double that of Twitter, and almost six times more traffic than I got from Facebook.
Almost every blogger I speak to agrees that Pinterest is one of their biggest traffic sources, and not just out of the social channels. It’s usually second only to organic search for all their traffic sources.
If it works for bloggers, I promise you it can work for your business, too.
And you don’t even know the best bit. Do you want to know how much time I put into Pinterest last month? Absolutely none. Zero. I didn’t touch it.
Have I got your attention yet?
After the groundwork, Pinterest requires little ‘upkeep’
I may not have put any effort into Pinterest last month, but I did do some groundwork, originally.
And that took time. There’s no way around that bit, I’m afraid.
I still have a list as long as my arm of things I want to do to make my Pinterest game stronger, but the beauty of this channel, unlike other social networks, is that you don’t need to spend time on it every single day, week or even month for you to reap the benefits.
It’s the perfect platform for companies who don’t have a huge amount of resource to spend on social media. Put time in when you can, and let it work away for you in the background when you’re busy with other projects.
Your posts last forever
Yeah, technically your posts live on other social networks forever, too.
But seriously, how likely is it that someone’s going to find your content months or years after you posted it to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter?
My most popular pin for the past year or so is from a blog that I wrote in 2010. That’s right, a seven year old blog post is getting a consistent flow of new traffic thanks to one little pin. In fact, it’s had a total of 2.3K repins since I posted it (and that number keeps growing).
Your content has longevity on Pinterest in a way you won’t get from other platforms, so it’s a great place to continue posting past content that’s still relevant.
Pinterest allows you to do competitor research
I always knew that I could check what people were pinning from my own website by using the URL pinterest.com/source/yourwebsite.com For example, the URL pinterest.com/source/croftsocial.com will show me everything that’s been pinned – by anyone – from this website.
But the real genius of this trick is that you can use it to see what content is performing best on your competitors’ websites – or any other websites within your niche. Just swap your website for theirs in the source URL I’ve shared above. Easy peasy.
It can be an extremely useful tool for planning new blog posts, or just to see what kind of Pinterest graphics work well in your industry, and best of all it’s free!
Pinterest provides all the tools you need
The team over at Pinterest really knows what businesses (and individuals) need, and they make it easy for you to set up your website, promote pins and analyse results.
You don’t need to be a coding genius to make your site pinnable, and you won’t have to spend hours looking up how to get yourself started, because you’ll find all of that info on the platform.
Now you’re really running out of excuses to get going, right?
You don’t have to be an expert designer to succeed
Thank goodness for that or I wouldn’t have ever got my account off the ground.
There are loads of good free tools for designing Pinterest-style graphics, but my personal favourite is Canva.
The only rule you really need to follow when designing your graphics is to make your pin vertical (i.e. portrait orientation). The rest is trial and error, honestly.
Play around with different styles, colours, photos and fonts to see what works best for you and your brand.
You don’t have to be a wedding business to succeed
I get it. Not all businesses are visually pleasing.
I honestly do understand, but even if you’re a company that sells cardboard boxes, there are loads of ways you can create content that people will want to pin.
Off the top of my head, you could pin ideas for upcycling used boxes, or share how best to recycle cardboard properly, or offer top tips for how to pack when you’re moving house.
And if you don’t have a library of inspirational images to use, check out free stock image websites like Pexels.
You don’t have to be literal with Pinterest, you just have to get a little bit creative, that’s all.
Your readers will share your content for you
It can be such a challenge to get your fans to proactively share your content on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Not so with Pinterest.
As long as your content is useful (to them, not you) then your fans will want to pin it so they don’t lose the information. And that means it’s been ‘shared’ and is available on Pinterest for anyone to search for and view.
The real key here is making your content so unbelievably helpful to your readers that they just can’t help but pin it.
Also, ask them for pins in your blog posts. A simple ‘pin this’ at the end of the post will go a long way!
Pins are shoppable
If you sell physical products, you can enable rich pins to make them shopping-friendly.
Don’t worry, it’s not quite as technical as it sounds – although if you want to know the ins and outs you can find them here.
What this means, essentially, is that the price and product details will show up in a pin’s descriptions, including whether it’s in stock and where you can buy it. So rather than just a pretty picture of a pair of boots, your fans can see at a glance where to get them and how much it’ll set them back.
Pinterest is also about to roll out buyable pins, where you can actually make purchases from within Pinterest – but that hasn’t hit the UK yet so stay tuned for more details on that feature.
You don’t actually have to be social
Pinterest is a bit deceptive because it’s not really a social network.
You don’t really have conversations, or like people’s pins so they’ll like yours. You don’t even have to worry about how many followers you have.
Pinterest, in essence, is a search engine. It’s not somewhere you need to spend your time engaging.
That doesn’t make it better or worse than other platforms; just different. And once you know the difference, and how best to utilise Pinterest for business purposes, you start running out of reasons not to dive right in.