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Using Pinterest for business: planning ideas and social media tips

Let people window shop for your products or ideas with Pinterest. The image sharing site has gone from strength to strength since it emerged in 2011.

In June 2015, Pinterest’s parent company announced the launch of buyable pins. It’s safe to assume that this move will only strengthen the platform’s appeal to its fan base.

So, should you consider adding Pinterest to the social media network repertoire of your business? Consider our facts below.

Should you use Pinterest for your business?

A quick analysis of the platform and its users should give you a good idea of whether your online business is suited to Pinterest or not. The primary focus of the network is discovery, or to put it in consumer terms, window shopping.

The stats on typical Pinterest users vary, but whether it’s a 68/32 or an 80/20 split, the sources all agree that the majority of Pinterest users are women. This fact has a variety of consequences, such as articles like “ Men are from Wikipedia and Women are from Pinterest”. Politically correct persons be warned: rampant gender binarism is contained within.

But flippancy and pseudo-scientific sexism aside, there are definitely some key categories that succeed on Pinterest. Some of them may have connections to the stereotypical feminine gender. Take a look at the most popular categories and see if there’s any potential crossover with your company:

  • Home and garden
  • Recipes
  • Food and drink
  • Weddings
  • Fashion
  • Hair and beauty
  • Photography
  • Art
  • Design

Essentially, if you can get your hands on attractive images, then you should seriously consider Pinterest. In many of the areas listed above, Pinterest is already starting to exceed Facebook in “social-to-sale purchases” (aka people who bought after spotting something on social media).

Universal Pinterest favourites

What if your business isn’t really covered by the above sectors? Is there still hope for you? Well, there are still options if you’re willing to get creative.

As well as categories, there are also a variety of boards and pins that are of particular interest to the public. These include:

  • Inspirational quotes
  • Health & fitness
  • Humour
  • Travel
  • Technology

Let’s face it – everyone needs a pick-me-up once in a while, whether it’s an uplifting statement or a visual joke. And as demographic evidence suggests that most users are fashion-conscious femmes with money to spend, it’s fair to suppose that health, fitness and travel will have great appeal.

Trendzer tip: find a category or a board that relates to your business. If you have the skills or resources to create your own photographs, designs, or infographics; then all the better!

Setting up your Pinterest business account

Go to Pinterest for Business. Get your username right – it should be memorable and related to your company. Optimise your account by ensuring that you have links to your website (and vice versa), and make sure to fill out your profile fields to get as much relevant info out there as possible.

Make a plan for Pinterest

As the old adage goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail! Pinning without a basic plan is like going out to for dinner and not knowing that your outfit will suit the restaurant. It could work out okay but success is left to chance.

Goals of your pins

First of all, make sure to figure out your goals. These might be things such as:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Develop more website traffic
  • Research your target market
  • Attract new customers
  • Promote seasonal sales

Align your goals with your plan - how will you use the best categories and boards to deliver results? Maybe motivational quotes are the best way to reach new customers, and pins promoting under-performing products may help boost seasonal sales. Jot down your ideas.

Goal Without a Plan

See? People do love motivational quotes!

Consider your Pinterest market

Decide what popular topics you will embrace. Consider your target market? You can base this on factors including intuition, website Analytics, or in-store customers.

Target your key demographics accordingly. Will you make separate plans for women and men? Research by the University of Minnesota and Georgia Tech suggests that female users primarily favour crafts, home décor, and fashion; while male users seem to be of a creative bent and prefer photography art and design. Food and drink are universals!

Narrow your focus when creating titles for boards, much like you would use long-tailed keywords for a website. You’ll stand out from the thousands of Humour boards if you have a Gym Fitness Humour board for your personal training business or Mindfulness Motivational Quotes for your therapy business.

Timeliness and scheduling

Next up, there’s scheduling. As with all social media efforts, there are ideal times to be active and trends in user receptiveness. For example, Friday afternoons and Saturdays are great times for engagement and sharing, but working hours are typically not so hot.

Pinterest Favourites by Day

Source: Pinterest Blog

The above image is taken from Pinterest’s own blog article and points out the following weekly topic trends:

  • Monday = Fitness
  • Tuesday = Technology
  • Wednesday = Inspirational Quotes
  • Thursday = Fashion
  • Friday = Humour
  • Saturday = Travels
  • Sunday = Food & Crafts

You should also draw up a calendar – this should incorporate all other social media including Facebook, Twitter, and so on. This should include broader seasonal focuses, special holidays to promote towards, and notable times like International Women’s Week, World Health Day, or similar.

It’s easier to be social when you’re engaging in a popular conversation!

Take notes of what works

Identify some metrics based on your goals. For a successful social media campaign, you should really track what works – and what is not as effective – and see if you can identify patterns and re-focus accordingly.

Figure out how to monitor your results – this will normally involve Analytics. You’ll need a Pinterest business account to take advantage of their free Analytics tool, and we always recommend that you set up Google Analytics as soon as possible for your website.

Pinterest’s analysis software can tell you some great at-a-glance info including your audience, top pins, and most popular boards. Keep track of your wins and fails: Future You will thank you for it!

Happy pinning!

That’s all on our intro to Pinterest: hopefully you should have enough information to form a meaningful plan. We hope you enjoy building your business using Pinterest!

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