Pinterest is now the third most-popular social network in the U.S. The best part about Pinterest is that it is an image-driven site, and people love browsing images, image after image. If your business is product-based, you’re a great fit for Pinterest.
If you have a service business, you can still leverage Pinterest, but it will probably be through other means such as producing viral image-rich content. If you can get other people to share and repin your images, then you’ll create a boom in traffic to your site.
Here are 9 tips on how to help you do just that:
Tactic #1: Craft a message within your images
As a blogger, you will probably put a lot of emphasis on writing great content and optimizing it for search engines, but less so when it comes to the optimization of the images you include with your content.
However, if you use the right image, you’ll get your post pinned.
In fact, the image may be the difference between drawing in more traffic and not seeing any traffic. And if you want to increase the power of that image, put a clear message on it.
Here’s a message on the blog post title from Complex Style that will drive click-throughs:
G Adventures, a travel tour company, uses this strategy well, too. For example, promoting their Europe trips, they show you that travelling is not just about touring cathedrals:
The secret is to use bold, simple text. Here are some image editors you can use to add text to any image (and they’re free!):
- Pixlr – You can create new images from scratch or edit one from the web or from your computer.
- FotoFlexer – Lots of visual effects with this free image editor, but the advanced features are harder to use.
- Gimp 2.6 – A really powerful image editor, but very complex.
Tactic #2: Create a daily theme board
An organization that has taken the text-based image into overdrive is Sevenly.
Sevenly raises money and awareness for charities around the world. One of the boards they’ve created is the Daily Inspirational board. The description tells you the purpose of this board:
To date, there are over 79 pins with inspirational text-based images like this one:
Notice three things about this image:
- Sevenly branded it with their URL so that even if someone doesn’t link back to them, people still know the original source of the image.
- The text on the image doesn’t have to be long. If you can blend the right image with the right words, the picture will literally speak for itself!
- In the description, they’ve encouraged you to repin it. That’s a great call to action!
Keep in mind that since this is a board that people know will be updated daily, they’ll keep coming back to check it.
Tactic #3: Format your photos right
Any time someone visits your site, he or she should be able to pin your images to Pinterest, which means the images need to be optimized for Pinterest.
A simple way to test if your site is optimized for Pinterest is to go to this page and put your URL in place of “YourWebsite.com.”
This is what QuickSprout looks like.
Or you could install the “Pin It” button to your browser, visit one of the pages on your site and pin it. This will show you what your images look like on Pinterest.
The more images you have on your page, the more pins you will get…as long as your images work on Pinterest.
Here are some great tips on optimizing images for Pinterest:
Tactic #4: Run contests and giveaways
An increase in traffic to your site can lead to more pins for images. What would be a better way to increase traffic than to throw a contest?
Contests are very popular on Pinterest. Just do a search for “giveaway,” and you’ll get a ton of options:
As you can see, many people put the word “giveaway” in the description. You can up your chances by putting other keywords in the description like “contest” or “enter to win.”
In addition to that, include keywords related to your industry. For example, if you sell body lotion, add “body lotion giveaway” in the description. If you sell karate lessons, add “enter to win karate lessons.”
This Etsy giveaway does a good job of including excellent text in the image:
Whenever you use a bold image for your giveaway, you are sure to generate more pins.
Tactic #5: Create a board around broad interests
Let’s say you sell custom-made iPhone cases. Instead of creating a board called “Cool iPhone Cases,” you can create one called “Cool Illustrations.”
This will open up your category so that you can share many more awesome images on it…including your iPhone illustrations.
Or if you make hand-made objects like Umbelas, then you can create a board for iPhone cases:
If your product changes with the seasons, you can create boards for those. Or if you sell sports gear, you can have boards for different sports.
Images rule on Pinterest, and if you can share some pretty awesome stuff, then people will repin it.
Tactic #6: Show people and animals
Some people will tell you that Pinterest isn’t for every brand. I’m not sure I would agree with that.
Look a GE, a company that sells light bulbs. It’s got a super cool Pinterest account that helps consumers understand that it does a whole lot more than build light bulbs.
Its badass machines board shows that GE builds trains, airplanes and huge turbines:
The U.S. Central Command, for example, has really humanized its organization with boards like Interesting:
Or its military dogs board:
You have to remember that Pinterest is a social platform like Google+ or Facebook. That means you have to be very human on it.
This also means you have to leave comments and post photos of people and animals in your pins.
Tactic #7: Follow the golden rule
Speaking of being social, make sure you take the time to repin other people’s stuff. If you are constantly pinning your own stuff, you are less likely to get followers or get your own stuff pinned.
If you want to be repinned, then you must repin.
Think outside the box by creating boards that are dedicated to things not necessarily tied to your business.
For instance, even though I’m a marketing consultant and co-founder of two web analytics companies, I have boards on my Pinterest account dedicated to other stuff I like:
And just like on your blog or website, the more images you pin, the more likely your content will get shared.
Tactic #8: Use the Pin It button
If you want to encourage the sharing of images on your site, then step one for you is to put the Pin It button on your site.
If you have products, then put the Pin It button beside them too.
And do the same for your blog. (You can get the buttons here.)
Let people post your blogs to Pinterest. In addition, encourage people to follow you with the “Follow me on Pinterest” button.
And like I said above, if you use a clever message in your image, then you will have a greater chance of getting that image shared. The more images there are on your site, the more pins you’ll get.
Tactic #9: Track what is being pinned from your site
No, you don’t need Google Analytics for this trick. All you need to do is put your web address in this link where it says “yourwebsite.com”:
If I look at the source for all my pins, then I see this:
I like to go through the pins of my images on occasions and thank the people for sharing my pins. Then I can decide if I want to connect. Usually, I’ll pick up a few followers too.
This is a great strategy for keeping the conversation going on Pinterest and driving even more traffic to your site.
If you can invest the time and if your target demographic is females or you care about referrals, then Pinterest is a great inbound marketing lead generation tool.
Plus, when you share beautiful images with compelling messages and make it easy for others to share these images, you generate a lot of traffic from the boatload of pins and repins you are bound to get!
Do you have any other tips for helping people generate more pins?