The big five of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Instagram) control the internet’s flow of information, photos, and friendships. Whether your business is present on them or not, these billion dollar companies won’t be leaving the internet anytime soon.
And that means, for you as a small business, being present socially online. Today we’re going to talk about Pinterest, the social website for sharing images. We’ll focus on five best practices to promote your business and presence and a couple not so great ideas. New to Pinterest or a veteran user (bride, planner, caterer or otherwise!), these tips should boost your sociability.
1. Pin often/pin regularly – Pinterest is all about community, pinning images you love from your own site and from other sites. Pinners that post on a regular basis, and often, are seen the most in the newsfeed (the Pinterest homepage when you’re logged in). There’s no hard and fast rule, but 15-20 pins per day, scheduled throughout the day do best. To ensure you’re not glued to the Pinterest page all day, you can use scheduling tools like Ahalogy, Viraltag, and Tailwind.
2. Create a portfolio board – Whether you’re a wedding planner or florist or photographer, always have one board dedicated *only* to your work. That board, let’s call it “Amy’s Wedding Cakes”, should be in the top row of your boards. This way, your board is always visible when a user visits your profile page. In addition, it’s an easy way for anyone to see your talent and know who you are.
3. Pin from credible sources – When pinning or repining, always pin from credible sources. That means pinning from online magazines, fellow wedding professional sites, known wedding bloggers. If you repin, make sure you check the source of the pin and click on it. The worst pins are the ones that direct you to one site, only to direct you again to another site. You want quality pins, quality sources.
4. Create & take part in group boards – Weddings is one of the categories on Pinterest that has few group boards. For food, DIY, crafts, you can find thousands of group boards, but for weddings, a mere few hundred. A group board is any board where you invite others to pin to the board. If you created the board, you’re the board owner and can invite/kick out anyone, delete pins, or delete the board. As a group pinner, you can add pins to the board, and invite others to join (though most pinners frown upon this).
One of our group boards, just for our vendors:
A few things to know about group boards:
– Group boards can bring out the best in pins, but also the worst. Make sure you have guidelines for your pinners to follow, and don’t be afraid to delete a pin or two if it’s not related to your board. At the same time, you’ll have to relinquish some control and trust that pinners pin quality stuff.
– Group boards grow quickly in terms of pins and followers. The more pinners in your group board, the more followers you will get (the group board appears on all the pinners profile pages).
– Keep your group board to under 15 pinners to maintain quality and a theme.
5. Have trend-inspired boards – Regardless of your niche in the industry, you should always have a few trend inspired boards. These boards can be about anything, from flowers to foods to destinations. A few examples, “Geometric Wedding Trends”, “Pantone Color of the Year – Marsala“, “Latest in Little Bites to Eat”.
Besides the best practices above, there are a few no-nos on Pinterest.
1. Don’t repin photos and add in your own url/company name to the description – This is increasingly common and frustrating for the community. You pin a wedding cake. Someone repins the image and adds into the description their own company name and website URL. It’s shady and bad for the community.
2. Don’t message magazines/blogs and beg them to repin your images – With the Messages feature, you can send a pin to another user in the network. While this is a great option to privately send your friend an image, it’s also easy to beg for repins. We receive dozens of requests from wedding companies asking us to repin their pin. In all instances, they never tell us about themselves – it’s the equivalent of sending generic press releases to journalists. If you really want to get in touch with another user, then type them a personable message.
I hope these tips help you boost your social media presence and your business with clients in the future. Like all social networks, Pinterest is about developing relationships, not forcing sales. Happy pinning!