If you’ve not heard of Pinterest you soon will. Pinterest is the up and coming visual social media site that soon all your friends will be talking about.
Forget Twitter and Twitpic or Facebook for pictures, when you see an image on the web that you like you can simply “Pin It” marking it as interesting and your Pinterest chums can then see it as can the rest of the world.
Like all social media you can follow and be followed and you can re-pin images from those you follow. You can classify images so that you can have categories such as “Jokes”, “Christmas”, “Decorating Ideas”, “Wedding Plans” or whatever happens to take your interest. I’m confidently expecting some Tamebayers to have “Steam Trains” as a Pinterest category!
So how can you use it for business? Well the first thing I would say (and sorry) but you are boring! If all you do with Pinterest is the same that some merchants tried in the early days with Twitter and Facebook is to constantly Pin your own products people won’t be interested. I know that’s not what you want to hear but better you know now then when you wonder why you have no followers and those you do gain rapidly unfriend you.
Social media works best when other people are talking about you. It works when someone who genuinely is interested in your products Pins them so that their like minded followers can see them and share them. Don’t plug your own products, make it easy and encourage your customers to do the work for you.
Each time you Pin or Re-Pin an image it shows up on the community boards so be interesting. Pin quality images and by all means Pin some images that relate to your area of business but Pin others so that your followers and potential followers are interested in you.
For the real work though make it easy for your customers to punt your products by Pinning them. I’ve just noticed my mate John Pemberton has added “Pin It” links to his Designer Clothes 2U website – take a look as it’s a master class in how to get maximum exposure on Pinterest.
First you’ll note it’s a quality image. If you want to drive traffic make sure that your product shots are worthy of sharing and will stand out. The border around the image adds further to ensure that it pops out of the page.
Second there’s additional product information contained within the image. If you happened to be in the market for Doc Martens Industrial Boots and saw this image on Pinterest you’d know that you’d found them even before you visited the site to buy them.
Thirdly note the DC2U branding in the lower corner of the image. There’s little point encouraging your customers to share your images if anyone who subsequently sees them can’t find their way back to your website. Watermark or brand your product shots to ensure that you can be found.
Fourth is to make sure that your image description is complete and lets people know what you have to offer and where you can find it – In this example the description is “DesignerClothes2U.com – Dr Martens Industrial Rigger Boots Gaucho Brown Icon 0098“. That leaves very little work for anyone wanting to source the product to find your website and make a purchase.
Fifth and final tip is of course to add the “Pin It” button next to all your product images on your website. If you make it easy for customers to add your product shots to Pinterest they might just do so. If you have no button don’t be surprised if no one Pins your products.
Have you have success with Pinterest? If so let us know and feel free to add your tips in comments below.