How to use Pinterest to grow your business

Ecommerce and social media pros share 14 tips on using Pinterest to market your products.

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10. Post regularly – and try to time your pins to coincide with your audience’s peak viewing time(s). “Post a few pins every day or so,” says Daniel Orseno, ecommerce manager, This keeps followers engaged “and keeps [your] boards and pins close to the top of any feed.”

[ Related: Can Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest help marketers reach millennials? ]

To get better traction, time your pins to coincide with your target audience’s peak Pinterest viewing times.

“We use to post our Pinterest pins at all times of the day and night as we added new products to our inventory,” says Candice Galek, CEO, Bikini Luxe. “This was a huge mistake as pins need to be timed with people’s daily schedules and peak Pinterest user times. To combat this problem we started using a scheduling app called tailwind that pins our pins during peak user times,” she says. “We have seen a phenomenal increase in re-pins and likes since we incorporated this into our social media strategy.”

11. Include photos of products being used – but avoid showing people’s faces (unless you’re selling makeup). “Include both pictures of products only (as seen on the website) and pictures of the products in use,” says Orseno. “We like to show different and creative ways you can use our products, things our followers may not have thought of before.”

“By providing usage examples, retailers can spark ideas for how individuals interact with their brand, leading to better engagement and potentially leading to purchase,” adds David Stover, head of B2C Omni-Channel Commerce, Solution Management, at hybris, an SAP company. “For example, individuals shopping for a new couch may be unsure of the color they'd like to purchase. But if incorporated into the broader context of a room, it may make the decision-making process easier and accelerate the intent to buy.”

Just be careful about showing faces. Why? “Customers [like] to envision themselves with your products,” says Murray. Also, “pins without faces in them are re-pinned 23 percent more frequently than those with faces.”

12. Engage with followers. Re-pin, like and comment on followers’ pins – and engage with customers when they have a question about one of your pins. This shows that your brand cares about its followers and can often lead to more sales.

13. Connect with influencers. “What if your brand doesn't have a lot of followers [or is new]? No worries! Find yourself an influencer,” says Gabrielle Orcutt of Gabrielle Orcutt Photography. Influencers “have a meticulously curated set of Pinterest boards with followers that love the content they share. You can find your top influencers by Googling ‘Top 100 most influential pinners on Pinterest.’ Take note of their categories (e.g., Fashion, Food, Health) and [target those influencers who would be a good fit].” Then see if you can “work out a deal.”

“There are [also agencies] that connect businesses with influencers (such as Brand the Globe and Loop88) who will post your brand/company to their social media accounts,” says Greene.

You can also “work with partners and influencers to create group boards,” says Will Nathan, chairman & cofounder of Homepolish, an interior design company. “The added exposure will amplify your pins to a new audience. [Just] make sure to house the board on the partner's account, or your pins won't get through to their followers (even if they're pinning to a group board on your account).”

14. Pay attention to your Pinterest analytics. “Using Pinterest analytics can make all the difference between success and failure on Pinterest,” says Lindow. “Pinterest for Business's built-in analytics tool will tell you which of your pins and boards are the most popular.” Then you can use that knowledge to “pin on more popular boards a little more than the others to give your account a boost.”

You can also use information from Pinterest analytics to “add top pinned product carousels to your category landing and home pages [and] create a Most Pinned badge on product tiles,” says Scott. “These tactics will help fuel a product’s popularity on both your site and also your Pinterest page.

“Your pinners are a free focus group,” she explains. “Use the data they give you to better understand and speak to your audience and convert pins to sales.”

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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