How do you use Pinterest for your business?
How I Grew My Pinterest From 8,000 to 31,000 Monthly Viewers In 15 Days (with no automated scheduler)
In our last social media for business article we shared that Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms and there's still an opportunity for you as a small business owner to grow your account. Facebook is 100% pay to play where we found business account likes that were only "slightly targeted" as much as $5 a piece. There's still room to organically grow your influencer status on Instagram in 2018, it's not too late. As we discovered marketing correctly on Instagram is not the same strategy that you would have for other social media platforms like Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. Check out our 33 Quick & Helpful Instagram Tips You Need To Know About. Now we have compiled a list of 37 things you need to know about Pinterest which has an entirely different purpose and marketing strategy to Instagram. Pinterest is a catalog of ideas, a visually captivating search engine that will drive traffic with readers to your blog, buyers to your online shopping cart, subscribers to your email list, or prospective clients for brand visibility.
If you don't have a blog yet, I have a DIY real estate website - quick and on a budget tutorial. Check out my article on REDigitalUnicorn: How To Create A Website In WordPress Step By Step (Real Estate)
Using Pinterest For Business Marketing
One of the most eye opening phenomenons of Pinterest is that your follower count does not directly determine your Pinterest visibility or immediate success. We'll look at how this is possible later on, but keep in mind this is unlike all other social media channels where your posts or content are primarily shown to those that follow you and or consistently engage with you unless you pay $ to boost. Most importantly take the time to learn how Pinterest works before you start creating boards and pinning. Don't just do a huge pin dump. That's a waste of time and you might as well not bother.
My Pinterest Impressions
You'll be able to see that massive Pinterest reach is possible for you or anyone by using my account as an example. I was able to grow my Pinterest account by 792% in 15 days.
Here are my Pinterest analytics for the first half of January 2018:
Here are my Pinterest analytics for the second half of January 2018:
Pinterest For Business Tips
1. 200 million Pinterest Users
Pinterest keeps a running tab of their market reach on the Pinterest Business page. As of January 2018 the Pinterest business page shares there are 40% more users than last year, 93% of Pinners plan purchases with Pinterest, 67% of Pinners discovered a new brand or product from business content on Pinterest, and one of two users have made a purchase after seeing a Promoted Pin.
2. Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy will depend on what your ultimate goal is, how do you make money? For me I make money selling houses. Therefore driving traffic to my blog increases user dwell time, social signals, and other google SEO metrics that help my website rank higher in search for real estate for sale in San Diego. Many Pinterest trainers will tell you to stay on topic and in your niche. I believe that for any "boring" business you need to create off niche boards with viral pins. You have three goals on Pinterest: impressions, saves, and clicks. Those actions will reward you with followers.
Of course follower count is a vanity metric, however this may be the only social media marketing where success is not directly influenced by the number of followers that you have. The way Pinterest is designed, you can still have success with very few followers after the algorithm changed in 2016 to a smartfeed. Now the likelihood of your followers seeing all of your pins is minimal. Followers will naturally come as the Pinterest algorithm puts your pins and boards in front of it's users and as you learn to pin re-pin worthy content.
4. Pinterest SEO
Pinterest SEO is so important a user should take the time to understand this prior to starting an account, or transitioning a personal page to a business page. Pinterest is a search engine like google with artificial intelligence built in. Users come to Pinterest for planning and inspiration. Not only do you want your pins and boards to be found by users searching for opportunities in your niche, but you even have the opportunity to have one of your boards rank on page one of google for a keyword search! Pinterest SEO begins with keyword research in the guided search tool. Just like on Google keyword research is not enough. There are other factors and signals that determine how well your page will rank on Pinterest related to the Pinterest algorithm. Also see later on in the post regarding naming your images, creating an alt tag prior to upload.
5. Pinterest Keyword Research
Use the guided search tool and pick two keywords that you want to rank for. As an example I've chosen San Diego and Realtor®/ Real Estate Agent. These keywords need to be strategically threaded through your username, business name, about me, board titles, board descriptions, and pin descriptions. For a deeper dive into Pinterest keyword research check out searchengineland for more.
6. Pinterest’s Algorithm
I've found the Pinterest Alorithm is similiar to Instagram. The more the user interacts, pins popular pins, and is physically on the platform each day, the more the Pinterest smart feed will reward your pins with impressions. I've also found that repinning the most viral pins to my boards has helped my profile and pins gain more visibility in the smart feed.
7. Change Your Personal Page to a Business Page
Technically if you are using Pinterest for commercial reasons you'd be violating the Pinterest terms of service agreement by not creating a business account and agreeing to their business TOS. Having said that it's in your best interest as a small business to convert your personal account to a business account, or start a brand new business account. Make sure you confirm your website with Pinterest to apply for rich pins, more on rich pins further on. Reasons for setting up a a business account:
- You can set up an account with the business name without manipulating the first and last name fields.
- You select a business type which helps categorize your account for Pinterest search.
- You have access to Pinterest analytics and individual pin stats.
- Rich Pins, Promoted Pins, and Buyable Pins
- Rotating showcase space to highlight your best five boards that tell the unique story of your business.
8. Your Pinterest Handle
If you are beginning a new account you may want to put some thought into your Pinterest handle which will be your Pinterest.com/xyz url. There are an allowable fifteen characters. I've found that when searching google for various people they rank on page one of Google with their pinterest profile link. Because your url can play a role in your Pinterest SEO, selecting a keyword rich username is the best idea. I personally like to keep my username consistent throughout all channels including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
9. Your Business Name
Unique to Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter your social media handle can be independent of your business name or brand name. On Pinterest a prevalent strategy is to use your personal name or company name | "what you do" for a more descriptive introduction to your audience. This extremely important as you can see below in the screenshot most pinners will only come across your Pinterest name and profile photo on a repin.
10. Your Profile Photo
Just like on all social media channels your profile photo matters. It needs to be clear, professional, and should be a headshot. The circle is too small for a body shot, or group shot. Unless your business has no marketable face, it's best to use a personal photo over a corporate looking logo.
11. Your Bio/About Me
With 160 characters allowable in the space our bio needs to stand out, be keyword niche specific, and tell the user quickly what inspires you. We want to share with audience what makes us unique amongst the thousands of other's in our niche and how we may be able to help our targeted audience. Keep in mind on mobile devices the bio is truncated, only the first half of the allowable character limit will show if you have the location filled out (which you should). Use the Pinterest guided search tool for keyword inspiration surrounding your niche. If you type in one word example "Lifestyle" the most prevalent secondary keywords will show below that goes with it. Ultimately Pinterest users use Pinterest to plan with recipes, vacations, and home remodeling as an example.
12. Pinterest Boards
Pinterest boards are how you collect and organize pins and are also a reflection of your brand. To optimize your Pinterest account you'll want to have a minimum of fifty of the most popular on topic pins per board. The best boards to create for your niche go hand in hand with board titles and keyword research. When you type in your keyword that most closely relates to your brand in the guided search tool you'll see the top 5-6 options for exact keyword search match which in turn will make great boards. You can also create boards based on Pinterest categories knowing these are the most popular trending searches. The reason great care needs to go into the creation of your boards is because a clean professional look will make your profile more appealing to Pinterest group board moderators. Successful group boards are the secret to massive Pinterest success. Your invitation to popular group boards, with 10,000+ followers, is dependent on you being an awesome pinner.
13. Pinterest Group Boards
When a popular pinner with many followers starts a group board, those followers automatically become a part of that group board and it takes off from there. This is why group boards are the secret to pinning success for a newer pinner because your pins have possibility to be seen by all followers of the group board. The absolute best group boards are those with under fifty contributors. Some group boards may be very small, however their users are very supportive and collaborative with each other. The easiest way to find group boards is to go to super popular pinner's profiles in your niche. You'll typically find the group boards positioned towards the bottom of all of their boards.
Take a look here at impressions for my most popular pin:
Quick Tip, create your own custom hashtag. Mine is #REDigitalMarketing. When you want to re-pin one of your own pins from a massive sized group board to another board, it's very hard to find. However if you have your own unique custom hashtag it's super fast to sort.
14. Custom Board Covers
Custom board covers gives your profile a clean look, shares with your audience exactly what each board is about, and helps you keep your branding consistent. I make my custom board covers on Canva using the template Social Media Graphic.
15. Board Titles
Create board names using the guided search tool for optimum keywords that users are actually searching Pinterest for. Do NOT get creative or cute with your board names if you want your boards to be found in search.
16. Board Descriptions
Continue using the guided search tool for more keywords related to the master keyword with up to 500 words allowable and select the most relevant category possible.
17. Pinterest Board Sections
Board sections are a great way to organize especially if you have a large successful group board. Renae Christine's group board Top Blogs - Pinterest Viral Board is a great example of a very successful group board with sections to correctly organize.
18. Secret Pinterest Boards
With a minimum suggested pin count of 50 I always keep a board and all of it's pins secret until it's complete with board cover. You can also use secret boards to collab with your team for training purposes.
19. Rotating Showcase
The rotating carousel available for business accounts highlights your top five boards that tell the story of your brand only available with a business account.
20. Rich Pins
When someone on your website goes to pin your blog post a rich pin will display extra details like the title of your post and your website in the Pinterest smart feed. In order for rich pins to work you have to confirm your website and either activate the YOAST SEO plugin for wordpress or have your web developer add the metadata if it's a non wordpress site like in my case. If you want the secret to creating rich pins with not just a pin title, but a keyword rich description, and relevant hashtags, follow me on Pinterest, and DM me for where to put the code. It actually took me three weeks to figure this out myself.
21. Inspiring Pins
Pin quality is extraordinarily important. The quality of your pin, dimensions, text, design, and colors will determine your pinning success. So far my most popular pin is my Instagram pin. It wouldn't be shocking that it took a person with no design background four hours to create this pin. The more popular your pin is, the algorithm will continue to show it in the smart feed. The text overlay color, script, and size is important as your pin must be legible. You want to make sure that the photos you are using are light, bright, clear, and crisp. Photo editing apps like VSCO can help you make your photos more pinnable. You will want to bookmark the canva color combinations template which helps you find sets of complimenting color schemes for your fonts.
Marley Baird Media has an excellent tutorial for beginners on how to use Canva.
Biz BFF has an excellent tutorial for beginners on how to create text overlay images for Pinterest
22. Pin Size Dimensions
Canva takes the dimension question off the table if you aren't a graphic design wizard. If you click on Pinterest graphic in Canva you get pages and pages of templates that you can pop your photos into. The template size Canva Pinterest graphics are set up to are 795px x 1102px.
23. Pin Photo Alt Text
The alt text of your pin should be keyword rich. As an example my board promoting San Diego relocation I strategically made the alt text for the board cover pin (moving-to-San-Diego-tips-&-real-estate) keywords related to a user searching for moving tips while relocating to San Diego.
24. Pin Descriptions
Getting an individual pin to rank is difficult. You must use compelling inspiring details, keywords with helpful descriptions, and information with up to 500 characters. A CTA (call to action) is also imperative. Ad your keyword rich business name to the end of your description, mine would read San Diego Real Estate Agent Joy Bender | Luxury Realtor®. Finally use hashtags after you search for niche related ones.
25. How To Hide Pinterest Images In Blog Posts
A vertical image is not the best image to have in your blog where your user is endlessly scrolling. Therefore using some special html code is necessary to have your image still readable by Pinterest but hidden to your blog readers.
Check it out on this post by clicking the Pin it button and you'll see my two pins allowable to pin aren't visible in the post.
Repins are a great way to give yourself more brand exposure on Pinterest and add incredible content. Especially if you are just starting out and only have a couple of pins created. I've found Repinned is an excellent source of categorized viral pins that you can repin. Keep in mind you must click the red text "view this pin on Pintrest" BEFORE you pin. I made the mistake of clicking their pin it button which I then had to go back and delete 150 pins. First you can't verify the pin is still valid some have been deleted and most importantly it doesn't re-pin from the original and correct source. You will find the most viral pins are food, DIY crafts, travel, and fashion. Therefore if you are in a boring niche it's important to include these more popular themes. You will find repin opportunities lacking pin descriptions where you can add both descriptions and hashtags.
27. Pin It Button google chrome
The pin it button for Google Chrome ads a Pinterest icon next to the address bar. This is a very helpful tool to help you curate content across the web.
28. Curate Content
As mentioned above the Pin It button in google chrome is the easiest way to curate content from websites you normally interact with throughout the day, videos from youtube, recipes, soundcloud audio, slideshare slideshows, and gift ideas.
29. Pinning Strategy
I pin from my blog first to popular group boards. Then after the pin gains traction, clicks and saves, I re-pin it to my personal boards, and other smaller group boards that I am a part of. The discover page has the top three trending hashtags. You can go back and add these hashtags to some of your relevant pins within your boards.
30. Build Relationships With Influencers
Building a relationship doesn't mean following them on social media and spamming with "why you." Apparently it's still necessary to make that statement as I get spam DM or comments at least once a day. I've found the best way to build a relationship is to add include one of their blog posts in one of my own epic blog articles.
31. Time Of Day
All studies point to 8pm-11pm Pacific Standard time as the best time to pin, having said that with the new smart feed timing has become less important. Just like any other social media platform the best time to pin and be "online" is when your target audience may also be active.
32. Pin Schedulers
There are multiple pin schedulers, and I'm finished with my 30 day experiment with no scheduler. Now I've chosen to sign up for Tailwind only because Pinterest directly endorses them. Logical reasoning would have that pins scheduled through Tailwind will be looked at fondly by the Pinterest algorithm. I'll update this post in 90 days with my results using Tailwind.
33. Vary Board Position With the Seasons
Your pinboard traffic is affected by seasons and holidays. I have moved my Valentines Day board up right under my rotating showcase, but will move it back to the very bottom of all of my boards once February 14th passes. This helps you keep holiday or seasonal boards front and center when relevant and burying them once the time frame passes.
Integrate Pinterest into your Facebook business page with a Pinterest tab by Woobox that will show your first 50 boards clickable to your Pinterest profile. Woobox can also help you add an Instagram tab as well.
35. Tracking Your Website's Content on Pinterest
Once you have thousands of pins and repins it's hard to sort through to the exact pins from your website. You can do this by entering this website address https://www.pinterest.com/source/yourwebsiteaddress.com
36. Pinterest and Google Analytics
The Pinterest analytic overview will give you your top 5 pin impressions in the last 30 days from your website, and the number of saves and click throughs. It is no surprise that my top performing pin is on a group board with 54,000+ followers. Google analytics help you see more about your user like dwell time (average session duration), how many pages they viewed, and your Pinterest audience's (bounce rate). Find this at GA under Acquisition - All Traffic - Referrals = Pinterest.
37. Pinterest Courses
A big thank you to Debbie Gartner - The Flooring Girl that first told me I have to get ON Pinterest. Of course I had an account but it was dormant. You can check her article out here. Pinterest Hacks To Rapidly Increase Your Traffic. Pinterest resources to consider investing in that I have personally vetted, Carly's MommyOnPurpose and Anna Bennett's White Glove Social Media.
Instagram Tips For Business
Would you like to learn more digital marketing, SEO, search engine marketing for real estate, and how I use this method to close high end buyers and sellers?
Request to join my new Facebook Group Luxury Real Estate Sales - Breaking Into The High End
Joy Bender is the co-founder/owner of Aumann Bender & Associates, La Jolla real estate agents with Pacific Sotheby's International Realty. She has a passion for digital marketing and helping clients discover San Diego's lifestyle. Joy Bender specializes in La Jolla Condos, San Diego beach homes, San Diego oceanfront real estate, and San Diego ocean view houses in La Jolla, Coronado, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, and beyond.