It’s been a long time since I’ve written about Pinterest for business, but Peg Fitzpatrick has renewed my passion.
She spoke at Agents of Change with me a couple of weeks ago and her presentation was spectacular.
Not only is she a great speaker, she also loves Pinterest.
Pinterest is the best for marketing and so many people don’t get that.
In other words, why not fish where no one else is fishing?
It’s the surest way to catch something.
If you’re anything like me, you love Pinterest for personal use.
(Sorry, guys…that doesn’t typically include you.)
I have everything from recipes and glorious clothes to photos for my dream kitchen and gift ideas.
But, like many of you (even you guys!), I abandoned Pinterest for business.
And that was just dumb.
A Pinterest for Business Case Study
I’ve always believed Pinterest is best for organizations that have something visual to show: fashion, food, sports, homes, retail.
But a client proved me wrong.
An organization that provides software as a service to a very narrow audience tested pinning their blog posts to Pinterest.
In some cases, the images from the blog posts were original—infographics, their product in use, or PowerPoint decks—and in others, they used a paid Shutterstock account.
They built boards based on their brand personas, representing five different segments, and got to work.
On every blog post, they had a call-to-action, offering the free trial they already provide.
While the people who visit Pinterest are not their decision makers, they do influence purchase decision.
They knew, if they could get these people into the free trial, they would then recommend the software to their bosses.
After just one month, Pinterest became their number-one social network referral source.
And, of those 35 people, 10 became customers.
So a four-month test of pinning blog posts to Pinterest drove approximately $50,000 in new revenue.
This is a public relations dream—using social media to drive new visitors, which can be attributed to sales.
Not too shabby, right?
So if a client that doesn’t have anything visual to show can make $50,000 in a four-month test of using Pinterest, imagine what you can do!
Here are 12 ways you can use Pinterest for business.
Bring Pinterest to You
We are lucky enough to have an Amazon store in our neighborhood and it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
They change their inventory every Tuesday (don’t ask how I know that) and it’s based on what has the best reviews from Chicagoans on Amazon.
Think about that for a second. Their inventory is based on what Chicago likes best in that particular week.
Let’s say you take that same approach (assuming you have a brick and mortar location(s)).
Mine your Pinterest mentions for the most pinned products in your business.
Then, using a simple laminated Pinterest logo, add it to your display cases.
For instance, if you have a mascara that people love more than anything else, add the Pinterest logo to it on your shelves.
Take the Amazon approach into your business.
Say Thank You
When The Today Show reached 100,000 followers on Pinterest, they said thank you.
With a photo of a cake and a recipe to make it.
Does The Today Show make and sell cakes?
But they know some of the most pinned things are recipes.
Hence, an idea was born.
That is a super easy idea for you to steal and own.
Say thank you in ways you know will engage the Pinterest audience.
Just like anything else on the web, there are Pinterest influencers.
There are gigantic influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers—and there are microinfluencers.
The easiest way to work with influencers on Pinterest is to create a group board.
That way, they can contribute to your board and, when they do, it shows up in their feeds, as well as your own.
This allows you to get in front of an influencer’s followers without a lot of time, effort, or money.
The behind-the-scenes idea works for any type of content—people love this—but it especially works on Pinterest.
When I was at said Agents of Change event in Portland, Maine, I got to spend some one-on-one time with Laura Petrolino.
She showed up at my hotel with a brown bag lunch, including a PB&J and chocolate.
(Two of my favorite things.)
She even wrote my name on the bag.
This is the behind-the-scenes kind of stuff that people want to see.
If you upload those photos to Pinterest, with a link to your About Us page, you will win.
(I even had a young lady email me to say she saw the photos and she wants to work with us!)
The Things that Inspire You
GE is not notorious for pulling back the curtain and letting people see The Wizard.
To boot, they don’t really have anything visual to share on Pinterest.
So they share inspiration.
One of my favorite boards of theirs is DIY science—the kinds of things you can do at home with (or without) your kids.
It inspires their work and it includes the kinds of things that get their team excited about getting out of bed in the morning.
What inspires you to innovate?
Include those things on your Pinterest for business boards.
Use Your Newsletter
I’m always surprised when I’m on Pinterest right before going to bed and I see something of ours pinned there.
And we didn’t pin it.
Every organization, no matter what you do, make, or sell, has a handful of pinners who adore you.
Recognize them in your company’s newsletter.
You can have a “best of Pinterest” section—or an entirely separate newsletter for the topic.
Include boards of theirs you like and pins from their profiles.
They’ll love that you’ve recognized them and your readers will love the fresh, new ideas.
Create Moderated Boards
When Spin Sucks, the book, launched, we held a big brand ambassador program.
There were some (cough, Eden Spodek, cough) who took their job very seriously.
We had a moderated Spin Sucks board where our ambassadors could pin things to help the book sell.
It included everything from pictures of me with Robert Downey, Jr. (in my dreams) to reviews of the book.
It had 13 curators, 624 followers, and more than 100 pins.
When you create moderated boards for your fans, they can add videos, blog posts, and photos on their own.
And remember, when they do this, it all goes into their streams, as well as your own.
Include Products You Sell
This seems like a no-brainer for some of you—after all, products are what you sell.
But for those of us who sell information products, it isn’t the first thing we consider.
Let’s say you have an online course and it’s taught for eight weeks.
You can create boards for each lesson and use them as supplemental material for your students.
I like the idea of making Pinterest part of their homework.
They can get more information, downloadable templates, and more on Pinterest.
If your class is live versus online, you can also include photos from the event.
A few years ago, a friend and her team sent me a thank you for helping them with some content.
Rather than sending something they send everyone, they mined my Pinterest boards for ideas.
I have a chalkboard wall in my kitchen so I pin a lot of ideas that I can draw there each season.
(Which reminds me, I have to get something up for autumn.)
They sent me chalk paint, a book of inspiration, and a mini chalkboard.
Talk about knowing your audience!
The holidays are right around the corner.
Check out what your clients and VIP brand ambassadors pin for gift ideas.
Highlight Team Members
The first time I saw Tim Washer speak, I was blown away.
He talked about a video program they created while he worked at IBM.
Because IBM has so many offices around the globe—as well as “stringers” in the field—it’s difficult for the organization to create culture.
They needed to implement something that would highlight team members in a new and interesting way.
Hence their video program was born.
They empowered every employee to take video of their day-to-day lives.
It could be playing with their kids, out to dinner with friends, or traveling the world for work.
This idea also works on Pinterest.
Ask your team members to upload photos and videos of themselves doing their things to a group board.
Make sure each photo and video links to your website (not your home page, please) so you can track effectiveness.
When you join the PR Dream Team, you gain access to exclusive content that includes tutorials.
While we don’t make that content available anywhere else, it is ridiculously easy to create a 30 second video that leads to the PR Dream Team.
If you have video tutorials—or even teaser videos—get those up on Pinterest!
Use the engaged and passionate pinners to drive traffic to something you sell (see products above).
Blog Posts and Other Content
And, of course, you can’t forget about your blog posts and other content.
Just like our client that I mentioned at the start of this article, if you have a call-to-action on each piece of content, you can easily track results.
Make sure there is a compelling image in all of your content, pin that, and link back to your website.
Then open your Google Analytics and your customer relationship management software and watch it work.
Pinterest By Day (and Night)
The Pinterest experts all say there are certain things that work on certain days of the week.
Generally, they are:
- Monday: Good intentions spark interest in fitness and health
- Tuesday: Gadgets and technology tend to be all the rage
- Wednesday: When people look for a little something to get through the week, such as inspirational quotes
- Thursday: Fashion, fashion, and more fashion
- Friday: Funny GIFs bring comic relief to the end of the week
- Saturday: Vacations and travel are top-of-mind
- Sunday: Food and craft ideas
If you brainstorm some of the 12 ideas above, along with what works on each day, you will easily have a Pinterest for business plan.
Now it’s your turn…what have you seen work really well on Pinterest for business?