7 Ways to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Business – Plus Infographic

Image centric social networks are rapidly gaining market share due to their high engagement levels.

Everyone apparently loves an enticing photo.7 Ways to Use Pinterest to Market Your Business

Pinterest has become the social media network to watch after growing over 4,000% in the last 6 months. At an average of 88.3 minutes per visitor it ranks third on engagement behind Facebook and Tumblr and well ahead of LinkedIn (16 minutes) and Google Plus (5.1 minutes).

Pinterest is a social network with a simple premise: Users share photos that they find online by “pinning” them, the equivalent of “liking” a status on Facebook or giving a +1 on Google. Users have to download a toolbar that can be used to pin items from any Web site. The photo and information then appear on your Pinterest board, and users who follow you can see your collection of photos and even re-pin them if they like them. The simplicity of this system does not lend itself to obvious marketing strategies, but there are a number of ways that you can use this growing social network to promote your business:

1. Share Your Products

The most obvious way to use Pinterest for your business is to pin your own products to share with other users. There are a few ways that you can leverage this strategy for the most benefit. Since you can create several boards, it is best to group your pins into product categories for specific customers, such as items for moms, kids, artists, and others. Doing so creates a virtual product catalog of interest to these consumers or for gift ideas for these groups. You can also create a “best of” board, showing off your most popular products.

7 Ways to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Business

2. Add to Gifts

When you create an entry for your pins, you can add a price tag. When you select this option, you can then add a link, pointing back to your Web site. Items added in this way are automatically included in the “gifts” section on Pinterest, which is a virtual catalog of gift ideas. Be sure to select your best photos for pinning, and include an evocative description.

3. Highlight Services

Not every business sells products. Pinterest is still a useful marketing tool for these businesses. If you provide a service, you can create a kind of visual resume with Pinterest. For example, if you design Web sites, you can pin a screenshot of a home page. If you are a graphic designer, you can pin samples of your work. If you offer other services, such as consulting or writing work, you can use Pinterest to share photos that inspire or that share a message about your work. For example, financial consultants could pin to photos that represent client goals, such as financial independence or financing education. Non-profit groups can share photos of the clients they are helping.

Pinterest for selling services

4. Maximize SEO Efforts

When you pin your products, you have an opportunity to maximize your SEO strategy and to drive trafic back to your site. You create quality backlinks whenever you or other users link to your products. When you write descriptions, you can use your targeted keywords, which will attract your target customers and encourage them to visit your site. You can share your pins on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, encouraging more links to your products. All of these efforts will help to drive more traffic to your site and to increase your search-engine ranking.

5. Offer Added Value

Savvy social-networking users can easily identify a profile that is designed primarily to market products and services, and they are likely to avoid these profiles. Offer other users more reasons to visit your profile by offering them added value. Pin to other products and services that will benefit them, but that also complement your own products and services. For example, if you create custom wedding gowns, you can link to other bridal accessories or to beautiful wholesale fabrics. If you are a Web designer, you can link to useful tech gadgets.

6. Offer Exclusive Content

Encourage users to interact with you on Pinterest and to visit your Web site by offering exclusive content. You can hold contests by asking users to re-pin your items for each “entry.” The more items are re-pinned, the more buzz you will build around your products and your site. You can also offer exclusive discounts or other promotions by using a QR code or other tactics.

7. Engage with Users

Pinterest is a social network, so take the time to form relationships with other users and to build a community around your brand. When you see that users have re-pinned your items, comment and thank them. Follow other users, and this will encourage them to follow you in return. Ask for customer feedback by encouraging them to re-pin their favorite products in your catalog. The more you can do to encourage customer interaction, the better relationship you will have with them.

With the number of Pinterest users growing rapidly — as much as 4,000 percent in the last six months — the site is quickly becoming a dominant player in the social-networking field. Finding ways to leverage this site to promote your business is important to your overall marketing strategy.

How to Sell on Pinterest - Infographic

Source: Marketing on Pinterest

How About You

What other ways have you been able to use Pinterest to promote your business? What has worked for you?

Share your ideas in the comments!

About the Author: Bridget Sandorford is a grant researcher and writer for CulinarySchools.org. Along with her passion for whipping up recipes that incorporate “superfoods”, she recently finished research on culinary schools in Colorado and New York culinary schools.

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  • Comments

    • http://www.robertpickstone.com Robert Pickstone

      Great round up. Has anyone seen a recent breakdown of user demographics?

    • Bill

      Thank you so much for this article.  I wasn’t really all that familiar with Pinterest.  Using this new social network to post images about our barbering services, about our grooming products and images of kempt men is a brilliant way to promote our business to an image consuming public.

    • http://www.sugarpinerealty.com/ Mike C

      I had been wondering about an approach for businesses. I should have known you would be one of the first to offer one :)

    • http://twitter.com/GotMutt Reba Messina

      We are mesmerized by Pinterest. Have our Pinterest set up and welcome this article on how to use it to promote our business. Pinterest appears to be the best combination of all of the social media networking sites I use on a regular basis. Genius organizational and networking site.

    • Claire

      I’m a small independent online kids shoe shop http://littlestomper.co.uk …. I’m an active user of pinterest and have a dozen or so boards. I always pin my products, but have boards that are wider than just my product range. My products compliment the other items I pin and this works, because like you said, people see through the hard sale boards’. I’ve had sales though pinterest, olark is constantly telling me so. And I get a steady stream of traffic via pinterest too. It’s a great way of getting my product out there too the people most likely to purchase them – pinterests demographic fit mine perfectly. and you can see whom else in pinning your goods, this is great …. I’ve a lot of time for using pinterest as a marketing too, instagram to for that matter!

    • Claire

      I’m a small independent online kids shoe shop http://littlestomper.co.uk …. I’m an active user of pinterest and have a dozen or so boards. I always pin my products, but have boards that are wider than just my product range. My products compliment the other items I pin and this works, because like you said, people see through the hard sale boards’. I’ve had sales though pinterest, olark is constantly telling me so. And I get a steady stream of traffic via pinterest too. It’s a great way of getting my product out there too the people most likely to purchase them – pinterests demographic fit mine perfectly. and you can see whom else in pinning your goods, this is great …. I’ve a lot of time for using pinterest as a marketing too, instagram to for that matter!

    • Ryan

      You can also submit your pin(s) to pinfaves.com – which is a social voting platform (like digg) for pinterest pins.

    • http://www.etsy.com/shop/divelegant Divelegant

      What an excellent idea in building relationships on Pinterest with common threads of interest in vintage clothing and accessories and Wish Lists!  I will make a point of it to try to thank everyone in the comment section for repinning and taking the time to post to their boards.  Pinterest is a wonderful promotional tool as well as networking.

    • http://www.markmolina.com/ Easy Home Business

      I have been using Pinterest for marketing just for a few weeks but so far the results have been nothing short of amazing.

    • http://www.brittanygoldenstudio.com/ Brittany Golden

      GREAT article! Found you via Pinterest interestingly enough! I have been wondering how to tactfully incorporate my jewelry designs and classes into my Pinterest boards and this just put the fire under my boards! Thank you! You can count on me to be doing a lot of pinning in the next few days @ http://pinterest.com/silvergirl6/ !

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks for dropping by. In thinking about your question, you could create an account on Pinterest that includes a board that you pin Infographics from your industry sector (either created by an internal designer or external sources) that could be shared and repinned. You might be surprised by the results!

    • http://www.marketingonpinterest.com/ Jason Miles

      Hey Jeff, thanks for including my infographic here. Glad it could be of use. Love your site! All the best,

      Jason Miles
      Marketing on Pinterest

    • Firedup

      Thanks for the great information! I’m loving pinterest but, was still a little foggy on how to use it for my business!

    • Donna McNamara

      Try a user generated board, let your consumers pin their favorites and ideas. I’m loving Pinterest and the opportunities it brings!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311746680 Andrew Tan

      You hit the nail on the head. Simple but useful info. THANKS.

    • Mytoolkit

      Great post, fully expecting jeffbullas.com to lead the way with the pin it button ,next to info graphics especially! My research is pointing toward exceptionally fast conversation of PINtime over Facebook time. The spirit of sharing, the FACEBOOK page of my toolkit has just started giving brands free advice on Pinterest etiquette for brands. You’ll find why the magic number is 8 or 12…..

    • Stefani McCune

      Great article! shared your infographic on my blog too. Thanks for being so helpful and creative!

    • http://twitter.com/tvemarketing internetmarketing

      Thanks for the interesting article. I think that the United States are far ahead than Eastern Europe for example … It’s predictable .. What kind of statistics in other English-speaking countriesCanada, England, Australia, South Africa, for example …? Thank you in advance for the help and attention…

    • Amy Vercher

      I’ve been using Pinterest to better understand our conference attendees. It’s an engaging way to interact with them directly! http://pinterest.com/rexannual/

    • Matt Kring

      Pinterest is awesome. That 4000% growth in 6 months is an astonishing number! Thanks for the tip on highlighting services for business who don’t sell product. I will definitely go back to this article to better myself on Pinterest!

    • www.codedcontainer.com

      I like how you linked to fiverr. Nows there’s a technique.

    • shayjordan

      Great post! Pinterest is what I am going to be aiming at next. It’s a great tool! Thank you for sharing these great tips!

    • Shelby

      This was a great article that I found very interesting and has encouraged me to use Pinterest to promote and sell my clothing line.

    • http://www.calebstorkey.com/ Caleb Storkey

      Thanks Jeff!

    • http://www.squirrly.co/ Alexandra Petean-Nicola

      Spinning information is also a great idea for images on Pinterest. Showcasing a different view on subjects is in many cases important and useful to your followers.

    • Erika Tirado-Gomez

      Great article! I actually had a Pinterest account back in the day where I would re-pin a variety of things when I had free time. Time flew by while on Pinterest! Having to use social media through internships I have held, I never thought of utilizing Pinterest as a tool. Perhaps I just didn’t know how to use it for the purpose of promoting a business. I will definitely take the points made here and implement them in my future practices. The last point really resonated with me because it is very true- Pinterest is a social network and that means forming relationships with the clientele and followers. A business will greatly benefit from taking the time to comment/connect with those who take their time to also show support for the business product/service they are promoting. I am a true believer that small gestures such as this go a long way for a business, no matter how “big” they already are. A business needs to communicate with their customers.

    • Alice Hoffman

      We have been planning to launch a shopping search website http://www.searchub.com, and we built some social media profiles including pinterest. It really helped in improving in building traffic for our blog as the website is still under construction. Thank you for the adice, they are really precious for marketers!

    • Brigita

      Yeah

    • http://www.linkworxseo.com Link Worx Seo

      The growth of 4,000% is incredible. What other companies have grown at least that much or more in such a short period of time?

    • http://www.pluscrates.com Socrates

      I didn’t realise that pinterest even had a gift section! So thanks for that!
      http://www.pluscrates.com

    • http://fasprinting.co.uk Luke

      Really great ideas! I think offering exclusive content is a big draw, but it is hard to create. And yes engage with users! I’m still yet to try the Pinterest gift section – sounds useful though!