Pinterest for Small Business Owners Stephanie Ward

What is Pinterest? Well in case you haven’t heard all the buzz lately, it’s a fast growing new social network. According to Hubspot, “In December 2011, Pinterest made HItwise’s list of the top ten social networks, sitting at #5 and beating out big names like LinkedIn and Google+.”

I know, I can hear you saying “I don’t have time for yet another social networking site.” But if it could help you grow your business would you be interested? Well it can, more on that in a minute. First let me tell you a bit about Pinterest.

If you’re a visual person like me, you’re going to love Pinterest. It’s all about sharing images by ‘Pinning’ them to your ‘Boards.’

You organize your ‘Pins’ by putting them on Boards you create and name. Other people can ‘Repin’ your Pins onto their Boards as well as ‘Like’, ‘Comment’ and share them on Twitter and Facebook.

It’s super easy to get started and I’ve got several resources to help you along scattered throughout this article.

Benefits of Using Pinterest

Besides the fact that it’s fun and addictive? One word, traffic. Serious traffic to your website. And more traffic means more clients. And who doesn’t want that?

You can monitor how much traffic you’re getting from Pinterest by using Google Analytics. This is a fabulous and free tool I hope you’re already using to monitor your website. 

What to Pin

Pinterest is not meant to be used only for promotional purposes. Even the big brands are being creative about what they Pin.

As a small business owner you want to mix it up and have a good balance of fun and interesting information along with promotion of your products and services.

Use Pinterest to illustrate different aspects of your personality and your business.

What’s the right ratio? I always advise more value than promotion. Have a look at my Pinterest account to see the various boards I’ve created.

Actions to Take

1. Install the Add the Pin It Button to your browser so you can start Pinning. Then create some Boards and start Pinning.

Pinterest will give you some ideas for Boards, feel free to change the names of the Boards to something unique and to add additional Boards. Think about creating Boards around specific topics that relate to your business.

2. Start following people. You can find people to follow using the ‘Find Friends’ drop down box under your name in the top right navigation.

You can also find people by browsing through Pins by going to Pinterest and clicking on ‘Everything’ right below the Pinterest logo. There you can also select specific categories to search.

3. Repin, Comment, and Like other people’s Pins. You don’t have to be following someone to do this. You also have the option to share each Pin on Facebook and Twitter.

4. Be sure to include the url to your Pin in the description box of each Pin. You can use a url shortener like bitly so the link looks tidy, and more importantly so that you can track the clicks. Just like on Twitter, you can also use hashtags in the description area.

5. Add a Add the Pin It Button button to your website.

6. Add the Add the Pin It Button to your blog posts. But before you do, make sure that you have designated a featured image for each post. Otherwise, it’s kind of pointless. 

7. Upload your videos to your Boards. If you post your videos in blog posts, it’s best to Repin them from your blog so that the traffic goes to your blog/website. If your videos are only on YouTube, you can Repin them directly from YouTube using the Repin button. Still haven’t started with video for your business? Please read this.

I hope you’re starting to see how you can use Pinterest to grow your business. As with most things that are new, the best way to learn is just to dive in and start using the it. So set aside some time to get started with Pinterest and watch your traffic grow.

Additional Resources

How To Resources

– Free 44 page ebook from Hubspot

56 Ways to Market Your Business on Pinterest

– Help on the Pinterest Website Help

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© Stephanie Ward

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How do you use Pinterest for your business? Share your thoughts and questions on this topic below in the comments section.

Stephanie Ward

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