Friday, May 24, 2013

Using Pinterest to Drive Traffic to your Business

Pinterest is growing in popularity with each passing day. Even though this site is relatively new, with development beginning in late 2009, users are seeing the benefits of using this social media platform almost immediately after joining. In addition to everyday people using Pinterest, celebrities and businesses are also jumping on the bandwagon. Can Pinterest really be used for business? The short answer is: Yes.

Using Pinterest as a Tool:

Businesses using Pinterest as a means of driving traffic should do so in a way that in engaging. However, because users are pinning information that is linked to a picture, a different angle must be taken compared to using sites like Facebook and Twitter. Therefore, pinning information that grabs the reader will drive more traffic. Pin pictures that make the user feel urges to click through to the site it is linked from which, of course, is the business'. 

Use Creative Images:

In addition to writing content users will want to read, businesses have to be creative with their images. Rather than choosing images from a free photo site, it would behoove businesses to create their own imagery. This does not require expertise in photography, illustration, or editing software. However, a certain level of "know how" is recommended. If the images look too generic, pedestrian, or amateur the user is less like to pin it or click through.

Include Calls to Action:

You should know by now that using calls to action is a social media best practice by this point. According to Reachli, did you know that using “call to action” increases the engagement (repins, comments, likes) of a pin by 80%? The thing to note though is that Pinterest automatically generates a caption for your pins or repins, so it's important not to be lazy and to come up with a caption that will get a user to interact with your pin in a meaningful way (repin, visit your website, etc.). Think about adding phrases like “click here,” “comment below” or “repin this” in every caption. You could even include a call to action in the actual image of your pin.

Host a Contest:

Contests on Pinterest tend to generate a lot of engagement which not only helps with getting traffic, but it also reinforces your brand and helps to build consumer interest. The travel deal site, Jetsetter, ran a contest on Pinterest and saw a 150% increase in their traffic. You can do the same thing by hosting a contest where participants must either pin content from your site, or repin pins you already have on Pinterest that link back to your site. The crucial element here is to get as many people as possible to share your pins. There are a lot of ways to structure a contest in Pinterest... just take a look at this article that uses real life examples of engaging Pinterest contests from brands like Country Living, HP or even Land’s End to learn more.

The bottom line:

When approaching a social media site like Pinterest in order to drive traffic to a business website, think outside the box. Consider the fact that Pinterest is different and edgy, therefore marketing and promotional strategies utilizing this tool should follow suit. Because there is a certain level of time commitment involved with social media marketing, use strategies that will also convert well across the board so efforts can be linked to other social media profiles as well.

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