Tips for Using Pinterest to Promote your Online Retail Business

Pinterest is a relatively new social media site that is already the third largest after Facebook and Twitter. The site works like a virtual pinboard where users essentially pin up things they have seen on the net. It’s a very visual site (mainly images with a short bit of text/tagline). Common things to pin include recipe ideas, home décor tips and fashion inspiration. Initially popular with female users, Pinterest is now becoming widely used by both men and women and is increasingly featuring in the marketing strategies of online retailers to drive sales.

Here’s some tips for using Pinterest for your e-commerce business.

1. Use Pinterest in conjunction with other social networking sites
Like Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is most effective when part of a social media strategy. Link your various social media strands to increase traffic.

2. Put a ‘Pin It’ button on your website
Alongside the ‘Like’ and ‘Tweet’ buttons for products on your website, a ‘Pin It’ button will allow visitors to your website to pin your product to their Pinterest page and be seen by their followers.

3. Don’t self-promote all the time
As with other social media, just promoting your own products won’t wash with your followers. They will see through it and either not pay attention or stop following you entirely. Make sure you pin a range of things including products or ideas from other companies and things you’ve found online that would interest your followers.

4. Be creative
Put some time into thinking of new ways to engage your customers on Pinterest. Previously successful strategies have included tagline competitions or photography competitions where, for example followers are required to take a photo of themselves using your product and pin it and the most creative photo wins.

Using Pinterest isn’t an exact science. It’s still a new site and therefore businesses are just starting to get savvy about how best to use it. If you’re not very familiar with it (as many still aren’t), create a personal account for yourself while you get to grips with the basics. You will then be better placed to decide whether Pinterest is right for your business.

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