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How to Market Your Business through Pinterest

Pinterest LogoWhether you’re a business trying to promote your product, a teacher looking for classroom activities, a mom teaching herself how to plant a garden, or a single guy looking for easy dinner-for-one recipes, Pinterest has a lot to offer.  Since its creation in 2010, the visually based platform has grown to over 70 million users.  The marketing strength of Pinterest lies in its visually stimulating, content-sharing format.

While search engines like Google give you a list of text when you search for certain key words, Pinterest gives you a panel of images.  Recently, Pinterest has been referring to the site as a new form of search engine, rather than another social media site.  The beauty of the interface is the way it brings search and social together.

The visual format allows for quicker sorting than Google’s list of text and, since Pinterest is full of content curated by people, there is a creative and inspirational aesthetic to the site that search engines like Google cannot produce.  Here are some things to keep in mind when using Pinterest to promote your business.

1. Pinterest isn’t just for women.

Recent polls have shown that the number of men creating Pinterest accounts continues to grow.  While women still make up roughly 80% of the Pinterest population, it should be noted that the way men and women utilize the site is very different.  Women utilize Pinterest as a kind of visual wish list.  They pin things that they like to envision themselves wearing or imagine themselves doing or hope to one day accomplish.

Men, on the other hand, are a little more realistic with their use of Pinterest.  They tend to view their boards as an online shopping cart.  What this difference means is that if a man pins an item, he is much more likely to purchase it than a woman.  Male users have also shown great interest in photography, art, and design, as well as home décor.

Seeing how the percentage of male Pinterest users continues to grow, even if it is a female dominated platform at the moment, promoting a business that appeals to men more than women is not a waste of time.  Begin establishing your business now and recognize the potential diversity growth that Pinterest is likely to make within the next few years.

It’s also good to know that Pinterest isn’t merely for adults and teens.  Several middle schools have started up Pinterest clubs where kids meet weekly to do DIY projects seen on Pinterest.  It’s becoming more and more apparent that no matter your age or gender, an image focused search engine is intriguing.

2. Pin what you love.

If you’re going to start using Pinterest to market your business, it’s easy to think that you would want to be constantly promoting your own product through your pins.  However, this type of mindset can do more damage than good when it comes to gaining you followers. Diversity is key when trying to grow your Pinterest following.

Make sure that, no matter what category your business falls into, that you cover all the bases with your board topics: cooking, home décor, holiday themed boards, gift ideas, DIY, etc.  Pin things that you love, things that interest you and make you excited to get out there and be creative.  It may take time, but those with similar interests will find you and help grow your following.  Pinterest is great about promoting users within the site itself.

If someone pins a bread pudding recipe from Martha Stewart, Pinterest will suggest other cooking boards that also have that same Martha Stewart recipe pinned.  It’s just one of the many ways that Pinterest users can find others with interests like theirs.  If you have an obsession with a color, create a mood board entitled “Blue”, and pin anything and everything that applies.  There’s no limit to the ways that you can utilize Pinterest to organize all of the things that interest you.

3. Pinterest is about inspiration.

Pinterest is about expression, creativity, and story telling.  People love Pinterest because images help them imagine different lifestyles and place themselves within those images.  Pinterest is all about teaching others how to make that dream lifestyle a reality whether it’s through recipes, home décor, fashion, or the art they hang on their walls.  People pin images because they evoke a feeling within them.

Target joined Pinterest just a year ago, and already they’ve cultured a huge following.  Given the newness of Pinterest, Target has recognized the value of experimentation with the ways that they share their product.  Sometimes they utilize simplistic images: a product on a white background.  But other times they have used a “lifestyle” image that shows the product in use.

If you’re trying to promote a line of products, you may find that for your business, simplistic images are the key.  However, if you’re trying to promote a blog full of recipes, lifestyle images may be more beneficial.  Whatever you do, remember that a picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure that message it sends if one of creativity and inspiration.

4. Pin little and often.

This should become your mantra when deciding how to best distribute your pins on Pinterest. Bombarding your followers’ feeds with 50 pins every other night can become irritating to those who like diversity within their feeds. Pinning 4-5 pins at a time a few times a day is much more likely to bring you more traffic and gain you followers.

It’s important to keep your pins diverse as well.  If cooking is your passion, be sure you don’t let your other boards suffer. Distribute your time and your pins evenly throughout your boards.  However, it is important to note which of your boards has the most followers. Make your highest-follower boards your main focus and fill in the others later.  This will keep your exposure at its highest.

When promoting your own business through your pins, also keep in mind the value of making the item’s caption informative. List the name of the item and give its price.  This allows the pinner to have a shopping experience through Pinterest and allows them to decide right away if the item is something they want to pin.

5. Know when to pin.

Like any other social media site, Pinterest has its own set of slow and busy hours.  A recent survey showed that over 75% of Pinterest’s daily use is done through its mobile application.  Because of this, the hours that Pinterest is busiest aren’t always conducive to a busy workday.

The best times to post to Pinterest are either between the hours of 2pm and 4pm, or between 8pm and 1am.  Pinterest is a great way to pass the time and entertain oneself during the slow hours of the day.

Traffic builds every day after 12pm, and Saturday mornings have been established as the peak time for pinning.  If you’re a working adult who has a lot on their plate, the idea of trying to pin during these ideal times might sound overwhelming.  There are however new tools in place to assist you with pinning even when you don’t have time to pin.  See this article (http://www.writeontrack.ie/blogs/best-scheduling-tools-pinterest/) for some resources that can help you do just that.

When thinking about ways to promote your business and bring traffic to your site, remember that Pinterest is more than a social media site for women looking for a new casserole recipes.  Pinterest is a unique and valuable marketing platform that is reinventing the concept of the search engine through its visually simulating interface.  Be sure to implement some of these tactics to your business’s Pinterest account and check out some of the sources below for even more detailed information pertaining to promoting through Pinterest.

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