Pinterest is a social network enabling individuals and businesses to post and find content through boards (groupings) of pins (content) with a common theme.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is visually based, so businesses can use it to give clients and prospects a window into their world. Businesses can share insights and experiences related to their company and industry, as well as to promote products and services.
However, there is also a planning component to Pinterest. Many of Pinterest’s more than 250 million monthly users go on the platform to discover new interests, skills, or information regarding a future event or activity. And, Pinterest is also one of the largest search engines. This makes it the perfect platform for service-based businesses to highlight their value and expertise, so potential clients and customers can discover who they are and what they have to offer.
Creating Pins on Pinterest
Before you start selling on Pinterest, take the time to explore the platform. Visit similar or complementary businesses to see how they are using the Pinterest - types of content (photos, infographics, videos) - and put your own spin on it. Then, create boards relevant to your business with pins that educate, but also highlight your services and expertise. Remember, you want content that’s visually appealing, on-brand, and has relevant keywords (hashtags) in the description.
Here are some great examples of what small businesses are doing with Pinterest:
- TheYogaNomads offer education (online courses and consultations) and information for current and future yogaeachers. They have boards on “Business of Yoga,” “Yoga Poses,” “Blogging for Yoga Teachers” and more. Their pins link to articles on their website, such as “How to Theme a Yoga Class.” TheYogaNomads use Pinterest to drive traffic to their website, where they offer more free content, newsletter signup, and paid offerings.
- Chef Todd Mohr’s business is web-based cooking classes. His boards and pins, which range from recipes to cooking techniques, link to a free webinar sign up or a video replay. He then uses the webinars - an example of his teaching style and knowledge-base - to promote his online cooking education.
Pinterest is not just for shops, crafters, and restaurants. Marketers, writers, editors, virtual assistants, teachers, web developers, and other professionals are using Pinterest to reach new audiences and sell their services.
When you are ready to start selling on Pinterest, switch over to a business account.
How to Use Promoted Pins
To bring more attention to your pins, advertise. Ideally you want to select your pins that are already doing well (getting impressions) to capitalize on their engagement. Check analytics to find out which ones these are. Before promoting, edit the name of your pin, so it’s easy to find. Also, make sure the pin links to your website; you may want to update the url to one you can track through UTM codes or bitly.
There are two ways to create promoted pins.
Promote from the pin:
- Pick a pin to promote
- Choose your targeting
- Set the budget and ad duration
Create a promoted pin in Ads Manager:
- Select Create Ad
- Choose a campaign goal: build awareness, drive traffic, grow sales
- Enter ad group details
- Choose your targeting
- Set the budget and schedule the ad
- Select a pin
- Submit for review
If you want your ad approved, Pinterest suggests avoiding the following:
- Images with promotions and prices
- False sense of urgency
- Excessive symbology or hashtags
- No content on destination landing page
- Images with calls to action
- Images with confusing design elements
- Images or descriptions with shocking content or profanity
You can also create and promote video ads.
Handling your Pinterest Traffic
Connect each pin to its relevant link destination. And use a multi-channel approach to give users a variety of content, as well as a better picture of what you have to offer. For instance:
- Article links direct to the blog post
- Video links go to YouTube or Facebook
- Quotes, inspiration, or general information may go to a newsletter sign-up
- Pins that promote a specific service direct to that landing page
You may also want to create pins that direct to an introductory deal on your services or a freebie (content, video, course) to get prospects invested in you and your business
Note: Make sure your website has the Facebook pixel for retargeting set up, so you can follow-up with the users who found you through your pins.
Just like Instagram, Pinterest is as much about showcasing your business as it is selling from it. While Pinterest is widely used to sell products with buyable pins, you can still use this wonderful, searchable platform to showcase and sell your services. You just need to get creative about it.
Pinterest is a Search Engine for Small Businesses by Joel Comm
About Mari Smith
Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.
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