Tag Archive | how to use pinterest

Pinteresting Ways To Use Pinterest For Your Business

If you’re aware of Pinterest and you’ve been reading about it, you have probably read that some businesses are doing very well from Pinterest – both for increasing their brand awareness and for driving significant traffic to their website and generating sales.

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However, if you’ve been wondering how else to use it besides trying to create content that gets repinned and goes viral, here are some ideas.
I recently gave a talk on pinterest for the KLCK bloggers network and I was trying to provide examples for how the various people in the listening group could use it for their business. One example was photography and I suggested that photographers could use examples of photographs for future shoots. We then had a chat about copyright issues as there is a very fine line between finding inspiration and breaking copyright rules unfortunately.
Our photographer for our upcoming Grafton Media Blog awards shoot, Damien Carroll,  was there and he went home with ideas forming in his mind. As we are three women organising the blog awards, we had come up with a “Charlie’s Angels” idea for the photoshoot but we were still rather doubtful.  Damien created a board for the photoshoot with various photographs from the original Charlie’s Angels from the 70s and 80s and the more recent film.
A picture tells a thousand words and once we saw the shared board (see our post on how to create a shared board if you need that information), we could visualise what he meant and what poses we thought were possible and might get us some publicity.
We chose the “Charlie’s Angels” pose from the film with the 3 characters in black and then we added our “Charlie” to the mix.
We also tried the “Angels Walk” pose and what was so valuable once we had decided on the poses too, was that the pinterest app was available on the iphone and we could glance at it, glance at the photos on the camera and see if we needed to adjust.
Lorna Sixsmith, Amanda Webb and Beatrice Whelan
As Damien found, it is a fantastic way of putting mood boards and shoot plans together.  He is using Pinterest for more shoots by sharing the boards with mdoels, make-up artists and stylists and each person can add pins to the boards which leads to an interactive collaboration of ideas.  We will be using pinterest to plan our theme for the blog awards night too.
Dress makers could use pinterest to create boards of dresses and clients could choose the sleeves of one dress with the skirt of another, hairdressers could pin pictures of their models to demonstrate their skills, beauticians can pin pictures of nail art, food bloggers can include pictures of their recipes and the list goes on.
Have you found pinterest to be a handy tool for your business? We’d love to hear more examples.

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Find It Friday – 9 Pinterest Questions & Answers

PinterestToday’s Find It Friday is about pinterest (we’re having a pinterest week here – did you notice?;)  ).  Following a consultation with a new client recently, I thought I’d share some of the questions she had about her new pinterest account and some of the answers I gave her.  Her products are bathroom & kitchen sinks and taps.

What boards should I set up? Should I just call them Kitchen Sinks, Bathroom Taps?

Yes, you can certainly include those boards for the specific product seeker. However, remember to include quirky or different kitchen sinks along with your own pins to those boards too. Don’t concentrate on self-promoting.

I’d also suggest setting up boards for the various Kitchen types or styles. For example, contemporary kitchens, classic kitchens, country kitchens, white kitchens, small kitchens etc.  If you are selling a product for kitchens, be on the lookout for striking or pretty kitchen images and share them with your followers which will demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for your product.  You can then include some of your own images as well.

I see you have a ‘Gardens’ board but you don’t have any products for gardens. Why do you have a board for it?

Partly because I like gardening and to me, pinterest is about showing the ‘whole you’ and showing your interests too.  It’s not just about the product, it is about showing the lifestyle too.  If your target audience were those who wanted ‘country kitchens’, then including boards of cute farmyard animals and country scenes wouldn’t go amiss.  I actually did slip one product picture into that board the other day as it was photographed in a pretty garden but generally, that board is just for fun and for sharing.

Hubspot recently flagged Oreck, a vacuum cleaning brand, as a great example of how to use images other than the actual vacuum cleaners, to entice pinners to follow and people to engage and buy. While it also has product boards, it also had a board called ‘furry friends’ emphasising subtly of course, that their products can deal with all the dog hairs that pets leave on your sofa. It’s ‘Stunning floors’ board connotes that your floors can be just as stunning by using their products and of course, all the floors are stunning.

How will people come to my website from my pins?

All the photos pinned from your website or blog are traceable back to their originial source so no matter how many times they are repinned, if someone clicks on them, they will be brought to where you pinned it from.

It is a good idea to have a ‘pin it’ button on your blog or on your product pages so that it is easier for visitors to your site to pin the photos (and it reminds them to do so too).

How do I merge my products with those of other pinners? Will they stand out like a sore thumb?

The cut-out photos of the taps, for example, will look like product shots so yes, it will be evident that they are your products. My tip is to pin them little and often, that is, don’t pin ten photos of taps from your website in one go.  Write a clear description for the taps including a benefit for the user or why that tap is perfect for a country kitchen especially if you are pinning it to the ‘Country Kitchens’ board.

How often should I pin?

Little and often.  If you are pinning lots, then ensure that they are of different types of photos and for different boards. There is nothing more off-putting than going to my pinterest account and seeing the page almost full of similar pins from a single pinner.  Don’t pin too often to your facebook profile and take care of pinning too often if sending them out as tweets too.  Pinerly will soon have a scheduling option which will be a really handy tool.

How long should the description be?

Pinterest allows up to 500 characters but unless you wish to include a tutorial, I think up to 150 characters is sufficient.  Ensure that you are including keywords that are likely to be searched for and if you wish, do include a price. At the moment, only the £ and $ signs display across the front of the pin (not the €) but research suggests that pins with prices displayed receive more click throughs. Remember to include a ‘benefit’ for the customer or a tip on how it can be used.

I tried to link my Pinterest account to my Facebook business page but it wouldn’t work. Why not?

At present, there is only the facility to link pinterest to your personal profile on facebook.

How can I get more followers?

Here’s 5 suggestions for getting more followers on pinterest:

  • It is a case of following other pinners and seeing it they follow you back. By repinning pins you like, this can generate follows too.  Don’t rush to follow people – take some time to build up a good portfolio of boards and pins first. Check out our post on why you should set the covers of each board so that they look more attractive.
  • If you have your pinterest account in sync with twitter and facebook, you will be able to see which of your facebook friends are using pinterest and they will be flagged up for you to follow.
  • Find others that have a similar interest to yours. Check out Pinerly which flags up suggested pinners to follow under the various categories (if you need an invite to Pinerly, just ask us for one in the comment box).

How to find new people to follow on pinterest

  • When you look at a person’s profile on pinterest, you will also see 3 people they have repinned from so it is likely that those pinners follow a similar theme – this can be a handy way of finding new people to follow too.
  • Look at the most popular or the trending pins and boards on Repinly – if they fit in with your style, pin images that are similar to them.

How do I build up a relationship with followers? I remember being told that twitter is about relationship building and having conversations. Is pinterest similar?

How we spend time on pinterest

Yes and no, to be honest.  About 80% of the pins on Pinterest are repins which suggests that people enjoy looking for fresh content to pin on pinterest rather than on other sites and build their relationships with others by repinning their pins if they like them.  As you can see from the statistics above, we only spend 0.5% of our time on pinterest commenting so we have some way to go in terms of having conversations there.

If you have any questions on pinterest, do ask in the comment box.

At Write on Track, we offer training on pinterest as well as showing business owners how to blog more effectively for their business so do get in touch if you would like to book a consultation or a training session.

Setting Your Pinterest Board Covers – How & Why

Did you know  that you can select the image for the dominant space on your pinterest boards?  You might be asking why would you want to do that when it already shows your most recent image?

Well, as you can see in the screengrab below, that doesn’t necessarily show off your board or your pin to its best advantage.

Pinterest Boards

The ‘Boy’s Bedroom’ board shows a guitar cushion as its main image but as it only displays part of the picture, it really isn’t possible to see what it is. It would be more appropriate to display a picture that makes it clear it is a product for a boy’s bedroom or show an image of a boy’s bedroom. I’ve chosen to select an image of dinosaur wall stickers (see below) as this is a product I stock and it clearly shows it is a bedroom for a young boy.

As you can see from all the boards above, none of them are shown off to their best advantage and not only does this affect the repinning statistics by potential new followers but it can also affect their decision regarding whether to follow you or your individual boards.  All the ‘bookcases’ board needed was a re-alignment of the photograph.

Pinterest Board Covers After

How to set a photograph for your board cover:

  • Select the ‘boards’ option in the drop down mention under your name (top right hand corner).
  • Hover the mouse over the board and ‘edit board cover’ pops up.
  • Click on it and a box will open showing the current photo that is in the board cover (usually your most recent pin unless you have pre-set your board covers)
  • Selecting a Cover for your Pinterest Board
  • You can then scroll across until you find the image you like, you can adjust it and then click ‘Set cover’
  • As you can see from the screengrab above, the photographs have been adjusted so that the ‘best’ part of the pin is on display.

Just as we recommend you to move your boards around occasionally, we also recommend that you set your board covers and change them periodically.

I am speaking on the topic of ‘Pinterest for Bloggers’ at the KLCK Bloggers Meeting this coming Monday in Kilkenny. More details here if you would like to come along. If you can’t make it in person, do follow the hashtag #klck on twitter from 7:30pm

Pinterest Explained

Have you decided that it has become a case of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ with regard to Pinterest but you’re a tad baffled by it?  Here’s an explanation of many of the Pinterest terminology.

Pin – A pin is a picture that is ‘pinned’ to pinterest.  When you decide to ‘pin’ a picture to Pinterest from your website or another website, you will be asked to choose a pinboard to post it into, and to write a descriptor.

Pinterest Board – a board is a virtual pinboard, resembling a scrapbook. You can ‘pin’ as many pictures as you like onto a relevant board and you can create as many boards as you like.  Popular titles for boards include ‘My Dream Kitchen’, ‘My Wedding’, ‘For My Home’ and ‘Recipes’.  You can pin as many pictures as you like to each board.

Pinterest Boards

Repin – to repin means that somebody pins a pin that they see on pinterest – partly to share it so their followers can see it and partly because they want to include it on their boards.  A pin can always be linked back to its original source by clicking on it. When you repin, you can change the descriptor of the pin if you wish.

Like – Liking a pin means that it isn’t added to your boards or your collection of pins but it will show on your profile as one of your ‘liked’ pins. The originator of the pin will receive a notifcation that you have liked it.

Comment – As with so many other social media tools, one can comment on other pins. However, very little time is spent doing this. People tend to either like or repins pins they like, rather than commenting. Hence, is pinterest going to be the place to develop relationships? Time will tell if this changes.

Following – You can follow all of another pinner’s boards or you can choose to follow selected boards.  Following all means that you will see new boards as and when that pinner creates them.

Because my boards are set up in my personal name rather than for each business, my boards tend to be a mixture of social media, interior design and farming along with other things I like so I have noticed people following selected boards rather than selecting ‘follow all’.

You can unfollow someone and they won’t be notified. When you follow someone, they will receive an email showing a number of your pins to encourage them to follow you back.

Sharing to Facebook and Twitter – note that you can choose to have your pins coming through to facebook but that it is to your personal facebook page, not your business page.  I tend to let the very occasional pin go to my facebook page, however, I let all of my pins and repins update my twitter stream, being careful to do so ‘little and often’.

Sharing a pin with another user – if you want to bring a pin to another pinner’s attention, you can comment on the pin and by using the @ symbol with the pinner’s username (you need to be following that pinner) , that person will be alerted to your comment and hence, the pin.

Sharing a board – you can share a board with other users so that they can also pin to that board and it will also show up on their page of boards. (See our post on how to share a board)

If you have any questions on pinterest,  leave  a question in the comment box. You can follow Marie on pinterest here and Lorna here.

Is Pinterest Right For Your Business?

Is Pinterest becoming King of the social media platforms?

Have you seen reports that pinterest is surpassing other social media platforms, including facebook, for driving traffic to various websites? Indeed, on checking my own google analytics last week, I discovered that traffic from Pinterest had surpassed that from Facebook for the first time, and not only were more people visiting but the bounce rate was lower, they were staying on the website for longer and they were looking at more pages. Of course, the next step is to put aside time to set up funnels for my Google Analytics to see if the traffic from Pinterest is resulting in sales (See CGOnline Marketing’s post on how to set up a funnel).

Are you wondering if Pinterest is right for your business?

Repinly will help you to determine this.  You can check out the most popular pinners and see if you can emulate their success, read the statistics on the most popular categories  and perhaps it is of no surprise that Food and Drink is the most popular in terms of pins, with its most popular pin of fish cakes coming in at 1,516 repins.  Home Decor is the most popular category for boards.  You can even find out your own pinterest score (Mine is 26 out of 100).

Most Popular Categories on Pinterest

How can you use repinly effectively?  It will give you pointers regarding how to create popular pins and how to gain comments, likes and repins.  Of the Food and Drink category, the top pin with 1,516 repins may seem like a very high number of repins to reach but if you look further down the page, #16 has 53 repins, a relatively small number in comparison (at the time of my search).  Having a pin repinned by one of the most popular pinners would certainly be an excellent method for your picture to go viral.

How Users Spend their Time on Pinterest

80% of pins on pinterest are repins, this is an interesting statistic especially when compared to the statistic that only 1.4% of tweets are retweets. It certainly demonstrates the high possibility of pins going viral. What is interesting is that while people repin or like a picture to show that they like it and wish to share it, they don’t spend much time commenting.  I have to admit I rarely comment on pins – but perhaps we need to be doing more of this in order to build relationships on pinterest.

Popular Categories on Pinterest

See the above table for the most popular categories – this also shows that it is important to categorise your boards appropriately.  I was surprised the ‘Food and Drink’ was so low on the list considering the popularity of any pins related to food and drink.

Repinly is an interesting tool particularly if you love statistics but it is also interesting to see the most popular pins and wonder sometimes just what has made them so popular!

Are you on pinterest yet? If you have any questions, do ask them in the comment box below. You can follow me on pinterest here.

Using Pinterest for Business: How To Share Boards

It is Friday Find It time again (and this week, there’s a ‘thank crunchie it’s Friday’ vibe going on too – it’s been a brilliant albeit exhausting week!)

Today’s question is from Deirdre who emailed us to ask us a question about Pinterest:

You say you can allow others to pin to your boards – can you allow anyone to pin to your boards or do you have to name them? I’ve looked around Pinterest and can’t find an answer so thought I’d ask you.

Pinterest have changed it ever so slightly since they last put up their instructions on this.

You have to be following at least one board of a a potential contributor to your boards so not only do you have to name the contributors but you have to be following them as a ‘follow all’ or at least one of their boards.

How to share boards on pinterest

Once you click ‘edit board’ a page comes up where you can change your categories or add more description. You can also decide if you, as the creator, want to be the only contributor or if you wish to invite others to contribute. Once you start to type their name, suggestions for contributors will appear, for example, I started typing MAR and all the Maries, Marias and Marians I follow popped up.

An invitation is sent to all the people you add to the board and they will receive an email advising them of this. Once they accept the invitation, you will receive an email so you’ll get a idea of the response.  Don’t spam people on this – only invite those you know are interested in this board.

Once someone is a contributor to that board, they can then invite other contributors so it can spread and your board can become very popular.

What does this mean for business? Businesses can still create a board that can be shared, hence forming a community and showing interest in your customers. For example, I have just started a board called ‘Decorating Stories – Before and After’ and am asking people to contribute their before and after decorating photos to it and I will let you know how it goes. The difficulty is that there would already have to be a relationship there for you to know their name and have a follow in place but this would be a wonderful way to build on a relationship. The trick is to keep an eye on the board and comment on those pins that are added.

If you would like to become a contributor to my ‘Decorating Stories – Before and After Pictures’ board, do let me know and I’ll follow you and add you as a contributor.

I’m sure that a few months ago people could contribute to other boards if the box ‘Me and contributors’ was ticked and I’d imagine they have changed it to only allow named contributors in order to prevent spamming as pinterest has become so busy.

Why You Should Re-Arrange Your Pinterest Boards

Pinterest have just redesigned their pages and it is most noticeable (for now anyway, perhaps they are changing the pages one at a time) on the ‘Boards’ pages.  Your most recent pinned picture is larger than the others with 4 others displayed underneath and pinners can also see the total number of pins within each board.

What is important is that you re-arrange your boards regularly. I have seen pages with a ‘Christmas’ board still at the top – this doesn’t reflect well on your pinning ability nor your pinning kudos. If you are including some business boards within your account, it is all the more important that you re-arrange them regularly.

To rearrange your boards – go to the top right of the home pinterest page once you have logged in, where your avatar and name are, click on the arrow and a dropdown menu will open, just click boards and your Boards page will open.

I had St Patrick’s Day and Mother’s Day boards at the top of my ‘Boards’ page and as those dates have just passed (Mother’s Day was today in Ireland and the UK – but I must remember to raise its profile again closer to the US Mother’s Day in May), I decided to move them to the bottom of my page.

Simply click on the little icon as indicated by the red arrow in this graphic. Then click on each board that you wish to move and drag it to the place you wish to place it.  I have to say it is much easier to move boards around within this new design.

Once you have moved the boards around, don’t forget to click the red tick box to save them or you will have lost your work.

We recently wrote a number of blog posts on pinterest so do check them out if you have any queries or ask us a question in the comment box below. Are you pinning yet? Is it proving good for your business? Are you enjoying it?

Pinterest Tips for Business Pinners

Following on from yesterday’s post on Pinterest for Business we thought we would give you some practical tips regarding how to pin for your business.

Some Pinterest Tips for Business Users:

  • Initially pinners were signing up using their personal details but I notice that now people are signing up using their business name.  It is important to remember that true pinners pin pictures they like and not just their own products and I think this should go for businesses too. To date, I have followed almost everyone back that followed me but I didn’t follow one jeweller back. Why? Because he only had 2 boards filled with what looked like stock pictures of diamond rings. He was clearly using it for promote his product rather than showing a regard for his favourite jewels.
  •  I believe that people will prefer to engage with people rather than businesses on pinterest. Having said that, pinterest gives a business a real opportunity to demonstrate their personality through images.
  • If you don’t want to set up a business account for pinterest, you could set up a couple of boards for your business and the business name will show up in the search box (I have boards relating to both businesses as well as lots of general ones).
  • People who know you will follow back whether you have few or many boards and you can start off by following all your facebook friends on pinterest.  However, if you are following people you don’t know and you are hoping they will follow you back, then do build up some pins and boards first.
  • If you are pinning continuously, it may be best to disable the automatic tweets and facebook updates from pinterest and just share the ‘best ones’.  I tend to pin for 10-15 minutes at a time to spread the love and prevent anyone becoming too irritated at the flow of pinterest tweets.  I do find that I can receive lots of tweet responses to pins though, particularly in the evenings so people are intrigued enough to look, particularly if your description lures them in.
  • Be careful about what you pin, particularly if you are using it for business and/or business personal pictures.  If potential clients or customers are following you, they may lower their opinion of you if they see racy pictures or suggestive underwear.
  • Pin pictures that relate to what your brand means to you and what you want it to mean to your customers.
  • Bloggers are using pinterest to source images for their posts so this will increase the chance of them being seen by more people. As mentioned earlier, the image will carry evidence of its source particularly if the blogger embeds it into the post. This should drive more traffic to your website. Marie will discuss the issues of copyright in a post later on today but you can use watermarks on your pictures or you can insert some code into your website which means the images cannot be pinned.
  • You can allow others to pin to your pin boards so it can become a collaborative effort – get clients involved.
  • Put your website address in the bio of your Pinterest account.
  • Show people what they can do with the products – include lifestyle photos.
  • Create boards to publicize events or days when people give gifts, e.g. Mother’s Day and create a board of suitable Mother’s Day gifts.
  • Remember to re-arrange your boards so different ones are over the fold at different times.  If you have an Easter board, move it down to the bottom of the page once Easter is over.

If you have any more questions about pinterest, do post them in the comments and we will answer them in our blog post on Friday.

Do add any comments if you have any tips to share with our readers. Thank you, Lorna and happy pinning.