Pinterest is a social bookmarking site that allows users to create a visual, online pinboard with images they love organized around topics of their choice by category. Its the fastest growing social media site in history, the third-largest network after Facebook and Twitter and has over 25 million members and 10 million unique visitors a month.
The most recent studies indicate that nearly 20 percent of women using the Internet are on Pinterest, 72 percent of Pinterest users are female, and 66 percent of those are age 35 or older, and the average amount of time visitors spend surfing the Pinterest site is an hour.
To help you leverage this interest for your own business, Karen Leland, author of the new book Entrepreneur Magazine's Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business, shares these top tactics for achieving maximum performance in business on Pinterest.
1. Strategize First and Pin Second:
Consider your objectives before you pin. Are you trying to: drive traffic to your website, boost your brand awareness, promote new products or services, educate your customer base, enhance customer understanding and enthusiasm, increase prospects and sales or improve customer service? Depending on your strategy, you will want to pick the images that best support your objective.
2. Manage and Balance Your Percentages:
Create inviting boards by making 40 percent of your pins motivational and inspiring, 40 percent instructional and educational, and only 20 percent about your brand including products, services, sales items, profiles, specials and contests.
3. Make Your Website Pin Friendly:
Install the Pin It Button on your website and give every page and blog post a featured image that can be pinned automatically. In addition, put a social media Follow me on Pinterest button on your home page.
4. Share With, Engage and Promote Others:
Build your brand by engaging with others through re-pinning, commenting on and liking other pins. You can also tag @ another pinner you are following in one of your pin descriptions. Engaging with others in these ways generates flow back to your Pinterest.
5. Establish Your Expertise:
Craft keyword-rich pin and board titles and descriptions to boost your Google ranking and be found for your expertise. Use hashtags # to highlight key words and phrases your customers search for. In addition, emphasize pins with a focus on problems and solutions you specialize in.
6. Integrate Pinterest With Your Other Social Media:
Connect with your other social media by creating a Pinterest tab on Facebook, tweeting your pins, and embedding pins in your blog posts.
7. Organize Your Pinboard:
Research shows that pins placed front and center receive the highest percentage of viewers and capture the most attention. So place your most important pins near the middle of the top or second row of the board.
8. Give Away Value-Added Information:
According to Pinerly, pins that have a call to action see an 80 percent increase in engagement. Post pins that focus on free reports, e-books, videos and podcasts you offer. Be sure to add a live link to each of those pins descriptions.
9. Leverage the Power of Multimedia:
Make your Pinboards more interactive by sharing videos, webinars, teleclasses, screencasts and podcasts. Good multimedia pins include: presentations, expert tutorials, product demos, behind-the-scenes tours and excerpts from live recorded interviews, courses and trainings.
10. Analyze Your Metrics:
Sign up for access to Pinterest Web Analytics via your settings page and pay attention to which of your pins generate the greatest response and interest. The info will help you see which of your pinning efforts are paying off and shape your future strategy.
Karen Leland is the best-selling author of nine business books and the President of Sterling Marketing Group, where she works with entrepreneurs, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies around the globe on building stronger personal and business brands.