How to Get a Boatload of People to Pin Your Products to Pinterest

pinterest

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:

complex pin

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:

europe pin

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:

quote pin

To date, there are over 79 pins with inspirational text-based images like this one:

sevenly pin

Notice three things about this image:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.

quicksprout pin

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:

mashable pin

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:

contest pin

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:

etsy pin

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:

iphone pin

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:

ge pin

The U.S. Central Command, for example, has really humanized its organization with boards like Interesting:

interesting pin

Or its military dogs board:

dog pin

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:

neil pin

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.

blog pin

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”:

pinterest.com/source/yourwebsite.com

If I look at the source for all my pins, then I see this:

source pin

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.

Conclusion

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?

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Comments

  1. Awesome post Neil!

    Pinterest is so very addictive that it gets tough to stay away from it at times. And I totally agree with all that you have mentioned, and this post surely needs to be pinned and shared with others too. :)

    Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. heard about this network but somehow never tried it. I think it was my big mistake. but still I can be in the game with the help of your post. thanks

  3. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for the post…have never considered Pinterest as an option for social media but seems like it is only growing..beautiful post.

    Nate

  4. Awesome post, Neil! Need to pin this on my board about Pinterest :)

  5. Great post Neil – thanks. Totally agree with….

    “And think outside of the box by creating boards that are dedicated to things not necessarily tied to your business.”

    I try not to just pin stuff about business, and keep it personal and fun.

    Cheers….Matt

  6. Nice post, as usual… I wish i had the time to implement all your tips and tricks… I’ll definitly ”pin” a task on the whiteboard so one of my traffic staff will do it for me !!! Implementation….. running a business is a never ending quest !
    Thanks Neil
    Can we see more exemple for a e-commerce site ? We have start working with a long range wifi manufacturer lately… http://www.illumi-nations.com and would like to find industrie specific success story in pinterest ?

  7. I don’t have a need to use Pinterest now, but it seems like a great way to get a lot of traffic to your site. I’ve read it’s great for female niches like cooking, clothing, etc too.

    Amir

  8. Priceless thank you. Im on Pinterest slowly building a plan based on graphically presenting my business, but this confirms and enhances my plan, thank you :-)

  9. Naveen Kulkarni :

    Nicely laid out information Neil.
    Given that pinterest is still in growing stage, it is quite easy to draw some traffic from it.

  10. Yeah how to use Pinterest for apps would be awesome.

  11. it will be interested to see if the industry becomes at all segmented, i.e. male/female with the introduction of male oriented Pinterest-like sites. http://dudepins.com

  12. Wow, Neil, this one of the best posts on using Pinterest for biz, thank you so much! You have stimulated so many ideas that I must get them all written down and in some kind of format to expand. I have been using Pinterest cuz it is sooo much fun, addictive but fun! Now I can have fun And build my biz on Pinterest.

  13. This is another milestone guide I love to follow and implement in promoting my site and other people’s online real estate. But I need to be cautious to avoid abusing this site to the detriment of all good users who only love to share the beauty and funny side of life.

  14. Good Job Neil!

    Pinterest is really a unique and promising site. I didn’t pay much attention to it at first but then I start seeing it all over the net so I became curious and started using it.

  15. Day by day, the demand of pinterest is increasing in most of the U.S. people. It is the good medium for the ecommerce business as well as for brand awareness also.

  16. I ve been using pintrest for social integration for while but i learned more through neil patel thanks for it

  17. Great tips Neil. Thanks!

  18. Can’t wait to apply it on my boards. Thx, Neil!

  19. Nice timing with the article, Pinterest is just in the growing stage. Though I see large scope for it.

  20. David Mitchell :

    Hi Neil,

    Great Post, I have been doing a lot, and I mean a lot of Pinterest research recently and been so impressed with the results. It’s definitely worth taking the time to master it, the results are amazing.

    Thanks
    Dave

  21. In spite of all my thoughtful content creation at Pinterest, my most-repinned image was a casually-pinned infographic about coffee. I didn’t foresee it, but hundreds of repins later I realize it was inevitable. Infographic…coffee…unbeatable combination.

    I hope the site I pinned it from got lots of high conversion traffic.

  22. Hi Neil
    First of all Salutation to the Master
    You have nailed this one perfectly. For the last two months I have been doing a lot of Pinning, hoping to get tons of traffic, now I know the real deal. Cant wait to use all your techniques.
    Thank you

  23. Neil How do you get so much time to research all this data. I am addicted to internet but still not able to categorise and classify all that data. do you have any special software or a team of researcher? Thanks for this thoughtful article on pinterest. ~rakesh kumar

  24. happyledlight :

    Lots of info and great insight given here. Must admit Pinterest is a fast growing site. Your post just made me register for my account at pinterest :)

  25. I’ve seen Pinterest around the web, but like other social media channels, I doubt its usefulness for b2b marketing. Does anyone have good examples of a company doing this?

    Thanks for the content Neil!

  26. Superb Tips Neil. Using pin button is very effective way to get more RePin. #9 is new for me. Would love to try this ;)
    Thanks.

  27. It’s all good for the design community as pictures are all good for them. Referring traffic will be simple considering the points shown.

    Anyhow you always keep bringing good things. Keep it up man.
    Thanks.

  28. Amazing Post as always Neil

    Can I ask something?

    How do you manage to write such informative post while working on 2 startups? How do find the time? :-)

  29. These are really great rules. These rules inspired me first of all to get an account there on Pinterest. Then using your tips/strategies I am able to get almost 220+ followers for my board of the website. People who really like the pins are re-pinning it. This website I guess has same potential as of Twitter and is a great resource of traffic. Thanks for those strategies! :-)

  30. Great idea on #2 that Sevenly.org had, branding their pictures. I share a lot of pictures of my laser engraving work but doing that never occurred to me. I think a small logo is also in order. Thanks for the tips Neil.

  31. I have experienced that Infographics work really well, thus they can be easily leveraged to get a viral marketing campaign up and working.

    But some of the tips mentioned here are simply golden, could have never thought of them by myself.

    Thanks. :)

  32. Before I comment on your article..

    I must say.. WHAT AN IDEA…!!! Pinterest…
    I think most of the successful internet entrepreneurs would have at least have had a though… “Why I didn’t get this idea before.’
    Its so simple, but very powerful.. I heard Guy Kawasaki saying the same on CJ Live..
    You have given some serious tips on how to use pinterest best.

    Thanks for the yet another great article.

  33. Pinterest have gained its name in the social media scene. Knowing how to maximize its potential and effectiveness is a must for social media marketers. Thanks for the very informative post!

  34. Oh My God
    Great tips.
    Damn I’ve been using pinterest the wrong way

  35. Pinterest sure is easy way to get lot of referring traffic but only if you have enough time anyways nice encouraging tips ..!

  36. Those are very good tips on how to get many people to pin your products on Pinterest! I like the one at the top that tells you to put your website link on it, asking them to re-pin it ( call to action ) and also having a nice short message to help the photo speak for its self.

  37. One word of warning: Pinterest is predominately used by women, so if your customer base is largely male – or you sell male focused products – your ROI may be fairly small.

    Both of our eCommerce sites focus on primarily male audiences, and we’ve focused on other social media platforms instead. I’d be interested to know if there are male focused companies getting traction on the site….

  38. Pinterest is easy way to get lot of referring traffic but it does take alot of time to make it work!

  39. Great work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the net. Shame on Google for now not positioning this submit higher! Come on over and visit my site . Thanks =)

  40. This is truly excellent and really educates me how to use Pinterest effectively and get ton of traffics. As I believe Pinterest is useful for both product-based and service-based business but for product based business it is like a boon. As you said Pinterest is image driven site and that is the thing I like the most. Also like the idea of Seventy.org. Really Pinterest is great platform for effectively organizing and sharing things and also great source of traffics. Thanks Neil for sharing this valuable tips.

  41. This is an awesome post! As a travel blogger, I’ve been wondering the best ways to utilize Pinterest as I really wasn’t familiar with the platform, but this will help a lot. Thanks!

  42. Pinterest is awesome when you have a product that is geared towards women in general i think. Not sure about how well men convert to sales through it.

  43. I absolutely love pinterest but only as a social/personal site. My family all use it but I have to be honest, I don’t think of it as a business social site and in fact, it would be pretty depressing if businesses took over it with their corporate messages, etc.
    Fine if you are a business but are pinning your personal interests and likes but just keep it to that.

  44. Thanks for a great article Neil.

    I am actually only now really starting to look at Pinterest as a viable tool due to being in the services business. However it has been on my radar for quite some time especially as you say for product businesses. So thank you for the guide.

  45. Thank you Neil for this guid, I do not really use Pinterest as I should do!

  46. Great guide, posting things that are funny and catchy can really get you a lot of views and a lot of traffic !!

  47. Hi,
    Pinterest is really great social networking its really help for our business and i totally agree with all that you have share, and this post surely needs to be pinned and shared with others too.
    Thank you Neil.

  48. I have key tip for marketers using Pinterest: be sure to backup your pins to protect them from hackers and accidents. Have you heard about all the people who have lost pins, even whole boards? Don’t let it be you! Pin4Ever can save a copy of all of your pins, boards, and likes on your computer. Don’t wait, because you can get a FREE backup of your whole Pinterest account at pin4ever.com today!

  49. hey neil,
    Great article again. i found all the tactics useful for me. i liked this post very much.

    Thanks.

    Matt

  50. Oh,, I’v never tried this one but now as I see in your post I agree about this so I think I try for this I have trust in your tactics I understand the point so hope I do better in trieng this,,
    Thanks for this post!,,,,,,,Happy,,,,

  51. pinterest – where do i go to thank someone who repinned one of my images?
    Thanks

  52. Brilliant guide, an extension of the marketer’s guide to pinterest. I’ll be using Pinterest on a weekly basis for my marketing efforts. Will be interesting to see what the results are like.

    Like you recommended in the article, it is good to also be the original pinner of an image – you’ll get more followers that way as you profile is curated with the image everytime it is re-pinned.

    Great stuff!

  53. I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This paragraph
    posted at this website is truly nice.

  54. When you say “I like to go through there on occasions and thank the people for sharing my pins. And 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.”

    How do I thank them? Where, etc?

    • You can thank them by pinning or hearting some of the images you like on their board. You can also comment on some of their images and tell them how you are grateful that they followed you.

      On Pinterest there isn’t a way to message users (as far as I know), but sometimes people have a link to their Twitter and Facebook profile. So you can always message them on those social sites.

  55. Yes, but is there a way in Pinterest to do #9 or am I thanking people via twitter, etc.?

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