This guest post is by Israel Defeo
The rise of Pinterest has revolutionised e-commerce as we know it. A social media platform that allows merchants to showcase their products through an attractive image-based interface, brands can enjoy unprecedented opportunities to reach and engage with their target markets with Pinterest.
Pinterest allows users to upload, re-pin or share, bookmark, and organise pins into different “boards,” wherein other users can comment, favourite, or share the “pins” to their own networks. These pins can come with descriptions and feature a link to the source website. Users can choose to follow an account or any particular board that they find interesting.
As of July 2013, French social media agency Semiocast reports that Pinterest has 70 million users worldwide. If you want to know how the platform can help your small business, refer to the following tips and tricks on how to do effective marketing using Pinterest:
1. Use engaging graphics.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good image. Beautifully styled images and creatively themed boards usually get the most attention, re-pins, and comments on Pinterest. Try having the right amount of engaging photographs and graphics, and just minimal amount of text for your boards. A couple of small businesses have saved money on marketing expenses simply by posting engaging images that enticed Pinterest users to click and ultimately, buy products from their sites.
2. Use Pinterest with another platform.
Some small entrepreneurs can increase traffic to their sites or acquire more customers through the strategic use of more than one social media platform. You can use Pinterest together with Etsy, an e-commerce platform site where craftsmen and artists can sell their goods. Etsy users can pin images of their merchandise from their Etsy storefront account on Pinterest. This enables them to showcase their products to Pinterest users, who can go directly to their main site on Etsy and make a purchase. Apart from Etsy, there are other e-commerce platforms like eBay or Shopify where you can promote your products in conjunction with Pinterest.
3. Provide entertainment.
An important point to consider with Pinterest is that you should cater to the interest of the crowd. This means that you should not just focus on cranking out corporate messages, promoting your products, and being a one-way communicator. You should also check the pulse of the action, explore the most interesting boards, and re-pin or post photos that are not just relevant to your brand and customers, but are also attractive and entertaining to your audience. You can try creating your own interesting boards and themes, and experiment according to the crowd’s response.
4. Offer information.
Most industries are using Pinterest to also offer their followers helpful tips and advice related to their products. For instance, if you are selling make-up, you can post pins featuring make-up advice and tutorials. Infographics are also a hot trend on Pinterest. Share, or if possible, create your own infographics and share on your Pinterest account. You should also maximise the 500 characters provided for description part to further enhance your pins and increase re-pins.
5. Be unique.
Even small businesses can start creating a brand personality on Pinterest to which customers from all over the world can can relate to and interact with. It’s also a good idea to post images of the company mascot (if any) or have your followers participate in activities such as identifying where the mascot is and other contests. Find ways to create “buzz” and build up your brand. If you do it right, Pinterest users will be sure to keep your company in mind when they need to avail of your products.
Building a brand doesn’t have to mean allotting a big chunk of your company’s capital in marketing expense. Use Pinterest to promote your company further and look for other ways in which you may maximise having a Pinterest account. Sometimes, all it takes is a little creativity and an eye for the hottest trends in order to create interesting boards.
Israel Defeo is a writer for Money Hero, the leading online financial guide in Hong Kong. He writes financial tips and features regarding credit cards, loans, deposits, insurances and broadband connection.