7 Tips For Using Pinterest To Build Your Small Business

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May 13, 2014 ‐ By Janel Martinez

nordstrom pinterestSure, Twitter and Facebook are great for marketing your small business online, but have you considered Pinterest? Many people think Pinterest is only for home décor collages and party-planning tips. Not true! Small business owners have the potential to take their brand marketing to the next level if they use the social media site wisely.

Last week, Pinterest unveiled its new business site where entrepreneurs can check out Pinterest buttons and widgets to add to their website, sign up for the business newsletter and read how brands such as Nordstrom have grown using the visual discovery tool. Pinterest announced last week that the company is working with a small group of brands across various industries, including Kraft, Target and ABC Family, to help the company test out its Promoted Pins feature. “We hope Promoted Pins give businesses of all sizes a chance to connect with more Pinners,” said Joanne Bradford, head of partnerships, in the company’s blog.

Once you’re signed up on Pinterest, you can begin leveraging the network. You can sign up for a business account and create a custom URL to align with your business name. Business pages provide valuable analytics. For brands just starting out on Pinterest, here are five ways you can pin your way to the top:

Visualize your brand

For businesses that automatically have a visual nature (i.e. culinary, cosmetics, or travel), it’s rather simple to get started. But for other businesses, the connection might be a bit more difficult, but not impossible. Think of visuals that represent your business and begin pinning attention-grabbing pins. If you’re selling a product, upload high-resolution photos (with your company’s logo/watermark) so people become familiar with what you have to offer. Infographics perform well on Pinterest, too. Turn industry/company data into a cool infographics and share it with the Pinterest community.

Etsy is a great example of a brand that promotes its numerous sellers via strong visuals, driving traffic to their website and, ultimately, revenue to the sellers.

Connect Your Pinterest Account to Other Social Media Accounts

Some people are for connecting it, while others are not. However, connecting Facebook and Twitter will allow you to carry over your customers and followers from each to your new platform. When you sign in to Pinterest from either Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest will place an icon on your profile that links your followers to each of those networks. There’s nothing wrong with cross-platform promotion.

Add a Pinterest “pin it” button on your WordPress site for easy integration.

Promote deals

Graphic coupons are a great way to inform your audience of deals/sales. You can design the coupon yourself or tap coupon-making sites like easycouponmaker.com or coupontank.com to upload to your Pinterest board. You can then cross-market the deal on your other social networking sites for greater exposure.

Check out the competition

There’s nothing wrong with seeing what other businesses within your industry are doing to market their offerings to their customers. It can both be a source of inspiration, as well as a way to see what’s already being done and improving upon that.

Keep content organized

That’s simple. Use more than one board and be sure to click the appropriate category for each.

Link blog posts and videos to Pinterest

Pinterest drove nearly four percent of traffic to publishers last September, which is the second highest of the social networks according to Mashable. In fact, Pinterest’s share of overall visits increased by 66 percent year-over-year, more than any other social network. Pinterest reportedly drives more traffic to publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined. For entrepreneurs with a blog, it’s a great way to generate traffic to your site.

Guest pinners are welcomed

Like guest bloggers, you can enlist the help of fellow small business owners or even loyal customers. It helps to select individuals with a large following on Pinterest.

How do you use Pinterest? Let us know in the comments section below.

Based in New York City, Janel Martinez is a multimedia journalist who covers technology and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of “Ain’t I Latina?” an online destination geared toward Afro-Latinas. You can follow her up-to-the-minute musings on Twitter @janelmwrites

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