‘What’s a Pin, Anyway?’ — Best Business Practices for Pinterest
Is this you? You finally came around to recognizing the B2B utility of Facebook. You
installed Twitter on your website and are even doing some consistent posting, tweeting, and blogging. Finally, you are feeling like you are “all set.”
Sorry. There’s a new kid on the block and it’s time to welcome her to the neighborhood. We use the feminine pronoun as estimates of the female membership hover around 70%. And, not just any females – about 28% earn in excess of $100,000 per year.
In a world where quick start-ups are commonplace, the development of Pinterest over the past two years has been nothing short of breathtaking. The website has leaped from conception in December of 2009, launch in March of 2010, to top ten status today. In January of this year, it drove more than double the referral traffic to retailers than YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ combined. That should attract your attention! Check out this infographic provided by our friends at Mashable for some additional interesting statistics.
The factors that separate Pinterest from the other social media sites are its uncanny simplicity and the fact that it is easy on the eyes. The entire site is largely a collection of photos and graphics curated onto “boards.” You “pin” an image or video onto a board and hopefully, develop followers on Twitter or friends on Facebook.
Here is the most attractive aspect of Pinterest for B2B or B2C marketers: if you play your cards right, you have a good chance of getting your board to rank on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
Here is a step-by-step guide to getting started with Pinterest:
- Go to the website and request an invitation. Yes, there is a bit of snobbish aspect to this process. It’s part of their marketing process and it has merit. To them. If this seems overly burdensome, either suck it up or ask a current member to invite you. Just keep in mind that you must have either a Facebook or Twitter account to activate a Pinterest account. If you don’t, it’s time you did. Another caveat is that if you enter via the Facebook route, the next time you log on you will have activated the timeline.
- Within a day or two, you will receive the exciting news that you have been accepted.
- Go to the help page under the “About” drop down and read it all. Unlike many similar sites, you can accomplish this in about 20 minutes. Stunning simplicity defines this site and it is quite a welcome change from the complexities of so many others.
- Go to your board and start pinning. You will want to install the Pin It button to your bookmarks toolbar so you can pin any images, photos, or videos you run across that are consistent with your product or service. As you might imagine, there is Pin Etiquette involved so that the source is credited and decorum is maintained. Predictably, nudity is not allowed.
Now, optimize your board for Google placement. Keep in mind that as of now, Yahoo and Bing are not as aggressively courting Pinterest and you may not see the same results. Here are some tips:
- Use your complete business name in the “First Name” field. There is no limit to the number of characters, so use whatever you have been using with your other optimization efforts.
- The “About” field allows for 450 characters. Use them all. Make it concise, interesting, and of course use your primary keywords one time each. However, readability should always trump keyword density.
- There is a separate board description that will accommodate up to 500 characters. Don’t just copy and paste the About content. This is a terrific opportunity to add more keywords and input more interesting information about your company.
- Watermark all proprietary photos and images by using any of a number of online services for about $20. The good ones will allow you to test-drive about five of them before buying. All images should have keywords in the file names and of course, a link to the appropriate landing page on your website.
If you have been wondering how to gain a marketing advantage, you will notice that in spite of the tremendous growth of Pinterest, few of your competitors have jumped onto the bandwagon. Jump first and you’ll get a better seat!