Earlier I talked about some Pinterest tips and tricks for individual users. What if you own a small business, then? Is Pinterest a brand different platform for small brands with their marketing efforts and user base engagement needs?
The answer, generally speaking, is no. No, it doesn’t differ so much, yet it does differ a little. After all a brand has a more diverse and engaging presence than an individual user. So in case you’re wondering what to do and what to avoid while roaming the Pinterest social waters, here’s some insight coming from my own experience.
The first step: Be Pin-friendly
If you’re doing things the right way, your small business will have a) a website and b) a blog. Furnish both of these with the famous small and red “Pin It” symbol. The technique is the same as adding a “Like it” or “Share” button for Facebook or “Tweet it” button for Twitter.
Why would you that?
First, it’s a very small tweak that doesn’t require any sophisticated process – just download the “Pin It” widget. Second, this improves user interaction and engagement a lot. It’s actually common sense, but I still see many people not inserting social media icons. Or when they do, they focus only on Facebook or Twitter, forgetting about Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Not to mention that it showcases which content of yours works best. So it’s actually a small engagement tool that gives you some analytics insight too.
The second step: You’re a brand. So brand your pins
This is something that I see very regularly, maybe one of the most often skipped chances to increase a brand’s social media influence. You are a small business a.k.a. a brand, right?
Well, every brand acts like one. Join the club.
What I mean by branding has a wide interpretation. The easiest one I’ll turn my attention to is just slapping a logo on every pin of yours. I’m not talking about a full-size logo ruining the quality and appearance of your images. Slip in a small yet distinguishable logo in one of the corners (I prefer the top left corner for this purpose). This way your image will a) look good and b) let people know that it’s related to your brand.
A small logo is one of the most efficient and cheap ways to increase your brand’s exposure. Even a few viral pins have the potential to reach thousands of Pinterest users. And while it’s clear that not all of them will care to look for more content by the brand mentioned on the logo, others will. That’s just enough to get you going strong.
The third step: Include information. Lots of it
No, I don’t meant some random babble or dull statistics that nobody cares about (except you). Do you know what differentiates Pinterest users from other social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
They think about shopping. And they think about it a lot. Pinterest is the best medium for small business and in order to cater to this shopping user mentality, you have to capture their attention with information.
There are different ways, of course, but the core concept in each of them is: be valuable to your customers and provide them with something interest and useful. Don’t swarm them with senseless facts. I’d advise on:
Infographics and other data showcases
Do you know what’s even cooler than a bunch of interesting facts that also bring value to customers? A bunch of interesting facts that bring value while being presented in a colorful and enchanting way. Infographics are the best way to do this, so consider putting up one. You can use tools like Infogr.am or Visual.ly. Visual content is captivating. Your small business will benefit a lot from this captivating method of providing insight into your business, your industry or market niche, or another field that is matters to your customers.
Product prices and deeper details
This is easier to do than infographics and I’m sure you’ll count it as a common sense practice. Yet I have to remind you to do this in case you accidentally forget about it.
Include vital product related information (starting with information) on all your pins. As I said earlier, Pinterest is all about shopping. If your pins have all the information that a to-be-customer needs, he or she will just make the purchase right away. There are a lot of people who will be turned off by the need to enter your website or click somewhere else to see the actual price of your product (and other product features). Don’t risk losing customers this way.
The last step: You’re an entrepreneur. Let your customers know about this
Chances are that if you already have a small business and it flows smoothly, then you’re an entrepreneur. What entrepreneurs do good (among all other things) is to…share experience. Brands are not a click-and-it’s-done thing. They involve hard work, dedication, strong will, failure and success. They have their ups and downs and it’s very interesting to have a look at the inner sanctum of conducting business.
If you’ve been in the game long enough, you’ll surely have an e-book or a presentation lying around somewhere. Dig these up and pin them! Or, if you haven’t done already, write an e-book and make an industry-related presentation, why not a webinar participation too.
Pinning any of these will a) show your customers you actually are a professional with experience and insight, b) provide valuable information for them (especially if you are good at story telling) and most importantly c) improve your brand engagement.
A wise thing to do is to make a specific Pinterest board for them and then offer a free chapter or better yet – a free download of your e-book. In case of webinars and presentation, a high quality video in YouTube, Vimeo or any other video sharing platform is fine.
You can consider doing a quick write up of a FAQ for your small business. There are no defined boundaries to a FAQ, but the common practice is to provide general questions that your customers might have and information about possible collaboration with you. A FAQ pin will further improve your communication with your customers.