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We’ve probably all heard of Pinterest and how it’s a great place to create wedding boards or how to redecorate your home, but that’s not the only good use. Last week we discussed how to get started on Pinterest and this week we’ll look at why it is a great (read: amazing) place to showcase your business. Let’s dive into how to best use Pinterest for business.

According to Shareaholic, Pinterest is still driving more social media traffic referrals than Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Youtube, Google and Linkedin, which makes it a perfect addition to your marketing toolkit.

In case you haven’t heard of this brilliant site called Pinterest, let me introduce you. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard just like the corkboards we might have in our office. The one you cover in pins and inspiration. Pinterest has taken this same concept and created a social networking site that allows users to create photo collections (pin boards) online.

Although there are many ways to use Pinterest and I can probably come up with a bigger list on how to best use Pinterest for your business, let’s get started with the five most important tips.

1. Branding

First things first.

Make sure that you’re using your business name on Pinterest, or at least feature it in the profile section. Make it easy for people to find you.

In the profile section that appears at the top of your Pinterest account, include a brief description about who you are and what your interests are. It’s the bio area, it should be short but provide a good description of your business and what you can do for your ideal customer.

Don’t forget to connect your account with your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Plus make sure to include a link to your website. The link will appear right under your bio and people can click on it to be taken to your website.

2. Be active

Your first step will be to create and build your boards. I recommend starting with 10 boards and having at least 4 pictures in each of your boards. Never leave them empty, but rather hold off on creating a board if you don’t have content for it yet.

Make sure that you are presenting your products, services and content in a visually appealing way because this is what will draw people’s eyes to your boards. They will notice your image but most likely won’t be reading the text that goes with it so your visual content has to stand out.

 

You want your Pinterest visitors to know that you are active, engaging and have great content.

 

Make sure that you actively pin and repin to your boards and if you come across pins that you like but aren’t necessarily useful to your audience or is something that you don’t want to pin to one of your boards, you may want to like them instead. When you like someone’s pin, it will show up in their activity feed which may grab their attention. Grabbing attention and having beautifully curated boards often means new followers which means that more people will see your content.

3. Engage

Although Pinterest isn’t like any other social media platforms where engagement is king, you still want to be engaging through repinning, liking and even mentioning other pinners.

You can mention others in your Pinterest comments or pin descriptions to get their attention or to acknowledge someone. A ‘mention’ is very similar to Facebook and Twitter. Type the @ symbol before starting to type the name of the person. A drop down box will appear and your pinner should be displayed there for you to select. One little tip; you can only mention users who are following you on at least one board.

4. Browser extension

Pinterest has developed this handy tool to make pinning from websites much easier for you. You can download the browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. This handy little ‘button’ gets added to your browser’s toolbar so that you can quickly pin on any site you’re visiting. The great thing is that the pin will be linked back to the source so when you revisit it, you’ll be able to click on it and be taken back to the original source.

5. Smart pinning

Smart pinning means that you use an optimized image that is directly related to the blogpost or product you’re pinning and you include a description with your most important keywords hashtagged.

You might want to add a text description to your image so that it is clear what your content is all about; like the image at the top of this blog post.

Add a good description underneath the image and remember to include your business name in the description so that people know its source and find you if they want to.

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