Pinterest is currently the third largest social media site, but many small businesses shy away from it, believing it’s solely geared towards women interested in cooking, decorating, and planning birthday parties for their children. That’s unfortunate, according to Social Media strategist Penney Fox. She believes the site offers small business owners a great way to market their products and increase sales.
Fox, who specializes in Pinterest, notes that while Pinterest is designed for curating things, it can do much more than that. She says, “Research shows that more people come to Pinterest with the intent to make a purchase.” Fox began using Pinterest for fun thinking that it was of no use to her business because she provides a service. “But as I continued to use Pinterest for my business, I found time and again that I was getting huge traffic numbers for coaching services and my online products.”
The secret to success on Pinterest are the pins (images). Fox has a strategy when she launches a product or service. “I create 2 or 3 different images and see which one gets the most shares. Once I figure out which image appealed to the most number of pinners, I pin that image to my Pinterest group boards. I rotate which boards I use and post to the boards at different times of the day to reach more people.” Fox believes Pinterest is an ideal showcase for products and how customers can use them. She says, “If you sell some sort of product, you can show images of people using your products. The idea is to have the person see him or herself using your product.”
Fox also says small business owners would be wise to create their own group boards. Similar to LinkedIn groups, these boards are places where people gather around a topic and share content, products, and services they’re promoting. So, there could be a Pinterest group board set up for those interested in SEO, Small Business Marketing, or Maximizing your Time. Fox says, “The idea to make this successful is to post your content in group boards with people who will be interested in your content. If I want to promote my social media workbook, posting in a cupcake group board wouldn’t make sense.” Fox advises joining group boards based on the content that is being shared and the number of people it’s reaching with the hopes that the followers of the board will be interested in your content. If they are interested, they’ll share it, pin and click on the links and go to your site. Ultimately, group boards are about increasing the number of targeted people that you can reach on Pinterest.
One of the biggest advantages of group boards is their ability to expand your reach. When you pin something to the group board, not only will the other board members see the pin, but so will all of their followers. So, if five people contribute to the board and each of them has 100 followers, you now have the potential to reach 600 people, many of whom may not be following you already. Some of those people will click on links to your site. Others may click on your profile, learn more about you, and follow your other boards.
“As owner of the group board, you have the opportunity to promote your own stuff, bringing more traffic back to your website,” says Fox. However, Fox cautions against using the board only to push product. It’s important to share other content and to create a board that people want to follow as an information resource. Her rule is 70 percent information/education, 20 percent promotion, and 10 percent “fun.” She also suggests sharing other people’s work.
Fox adds that small business owners should follow and participate in other group boards besides having their own. To find groups that may interest you, check out Pingroupie.com. This site allows you to search by keywords relevant to your business. You’ll see a listing of group boards with information such as how many people pin to it, what you can pin, and if you can promote.
Pinterest groups might just be the ingredient you should add to your social media mix. Check it out and let the traffic roll.