How to make Pinterest work for your business in five easy steps

Larissa Ham

Think Pinterest – the modern-day version of the corkboard – is just for crafty types and DIY gurus? Think again. Pinterest, basically a giant visual search engine, declared on September 16 that it had reached a new milestone: 100 million active monthly “pinners”. That’s a lot of eyeballs.

So what can you do to get your business a slice of the visually appealing action? Here are a few tips.

Make sure you’re saying it right

First up: Avoid sounding like a rookie. It’s Pinterest – definitely NOT Pin-interest.

The basics

Blogger Ruth Soukup, who has almost 150,000 Pinterest followers, recently presented a Pinterest training session at the Problogger Training Event.

Soukup said the “perfect pin” must have three elements: an eye-catching visual, great content that helps to solve a problem or inspire people, and a compelling description that’s less than four sentences.

It should be conversational and exciting, and go easy on the hashtags.

High quality, original photos are best. As is good lighting, composition and bright colours (red is a winner).

Finding good photos

High quality, original photos are best, says Soukup. As is good lighting, composition and bright colours (red is a winner).

Failing that, sites such as iStock, INGimage or Unsplash are among other options for cheap or free stock photos.

Where possible, avoid faces, says Soukup. Close crops are good, and the subject will ideally be offset to one side, leaving you room to add text if needed. Try free photo editing software at PicMonkey or Canva.

Get your branding right

The first line of boards should be all about your business, and include corporate information, your brand story and values, says Jo Hutchinson, of Rumble & Co. Branding.

The next boards should be based on your different products or services – what they are, how they’re made, and perhaps even what’s in them, says Hutchinson. After that, include posts from your blog, guest pieces you’ve written and media mentions.

Make sure each board from there is related to your brand directly and appeals to your target customer.”

The “perfect pin” must have three elements: an eye-catching visual, great content that helps to solve a problem or inspire people, and a compelling description that’s less than four sentences.

Develop a lifestyle, not just a product

“Pinterest is fast becoming one of the best platforms for businesses looking to expand,” says Judy Sahay, director at digital agency Crowd Media HQ.

“It’s about showing your customers what you are really about, rather than just coming across as an impersonal business,” she says.

“Your lifestyle boards can also be used to inspire your customers, and give them ideas of how they can incorporate your products into their everyday life.”

Lastly, keep to a consistent visual style and stay true to your brand.

Larissa Ham

Larissa Ham is a Melbourne-based freelancer. She write for publications including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The New Daily and Forge magazine, and also shares money saving tips at Hey, Little Spender!

Image: Bunches and Bits, Flickr Creative Commons license

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