There’s no question that the growing popularity of Pinterest is not slowing down. According to an article in Forbes, “A recent study by the Pinterest marketing firm Ahalogy adds to the growing body of evidence showing that Pinterest has surpassed Twitter in popularity in the U.S. and looks set to widen the margin still further, while also catching up with LinkedIn.”
Furthermore, while people are on Facebook to share, and are on Twitter to chat, many are on Pinterest to “window shop,” the penultimate step before pulling out the credit card. So if you have an eCommerce site, or are selling products on your blog, then Pinterest is the place to be.
In fact, one often-overlooked advantage to Pinterest is its ability to drive traffic to a website. For bloggers in particular niches, Pinterest drives more traffic than Facebook and Twitter combined.
So what are some techniques that you can use to harness the power of this increasingly popular social media platform? How can you draw some of that traffic to your own site?
It Starts with Pretty Pins
Perhaps it’s obvious, but too many people don’t take the time to create content native to the platform. On Pinterest, you should NOT just use the photos from your blog or Facebook Page—the dimensions are not the same. Your pin should be vertically oriented, ideally 736 pixels wide by 1100px high. It can be more than 1100, because Pinboards will automatically accommodate taller images. But keep the width consistent.
After you’ve created an eye-catching image, upload it directly to your relevant Pinboard. Once uploaded, complete the editing right away by adding your description (including relevant keywords), the URL, and a call to action. You can add hashtags if you want, but every word in a pin description is searchable, hashtag or not.
These are just the basics. There are many best practices for using Pinterest to promote your brand that you can use to make your Pins stand out. Pinterest provides a handy pinning guide on their site for download.
Never forget the “social” part of social media. Share your content with others by joining active group boards in your niche. You have to be added by the group administrator to join, but most groups are friendly and welcome newcomers. Just don’t wear out that welcome by “spamming” the board with too much self-promotion.
In order to find relevant groups to join, try out the web app, Pin Groupie. It has an algorithm that crawls Pinterest searching for active groups across dozens of categories.
Regarding group etiquette, it’s polite to only post one pin at a time so as not to be seen as spammy. You might annoy the owner of the board and they can remove you if you continue to do this.
Instead, just be active and friendly, and you may discover that Pinterest group boards are where the majority of your website traffic comes from.
Grow Your Followers
There are some basic tactics common to most social media platforms that work on Pinterest, as well. For example, the old follow/follow back works to a degree. But use it sparingly, and only for people that you truly want to follow, and not just random accounts. You’ll just wind up with a lot of noise in your feed. Better, re-pin, comment, and like other people’s pins and many of them will follow you back.
Pinterest has a feature that allows you to follow your Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers. Obviously you should do this, as these people have already expressed and interest in your content, and are likely to follow you on Pinterest, too.
Furthermore, you should clearly display your Pinterest account on your blog and across your other social media and encourage readers to follow you. Don’t forget to mention your Pinterest activities to your email list, as well.
For certain markets these days, Pinterest is THE social media platform for getting potential leads to visit your website. Some examples: home décor, travel, food, fitness, fashion, and weddings. If you’re in any of these niches, then you’re missing out if you’re not on Pinterest.
The good news is that Pinterest is fun, friendly, and easy to use. You’re not stuck in the closed loop of Instagram, and you’re not at the mercy of Facebook’s Edge Rank Score. You can grow your following quickly, which will translate to more traffic to your website—and ultimately more conversions.