Can Pinterest Bring You More Sales?

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You may have heard about Pinterest or even enjoyed slipping into an obsessed haze of hours of pinning pleasure.  Just me?  “The site is a bit addictive,” says everyone who has used it for more than a few days.  And it’s great fuel for your creativity and bursts of inspiration!  But it’s also great for marketing, especially when you run a product-based business.

The stats don’t lie, plenty of research has been done about which social media platforms convert the most customers directly and BloomReach is not the only company showing Pinterest on top.  According to them, Pinterest traffic is 22% more likely than Facebook to convert to a sale.  And on top of that, Pinterest traffic spends 60% more than traffic coming from Facebook too!  That’s quite a big deal!

The conclusion is that Pinterest users are in more of a ”buying” state of mind than other social networks, even the behemoth that is Facebook.  The trick, though, is that it is a smaller network than Facebook or Twitter, which means fewer people exist in the first place, much less converting to customers.  That means you really have to get seen on Pinterest for it to work.  You can’t leave it to chance.

So how do you get seen more on Pinterest?

The first step is to have a topic that Pinterest users want to see.

Easy peasy!  You’re a maker of some sort and that is immediately interesting to the vast majority of Pinterest users.  Pinterest is comprised primarily of middle-class women in their 30’s-50’s.  But the platform is broadening their scope as Pinterest becomes more popular.

The next thing to worry about is making your shop shareable.
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Many shop platforms have social sharing buttons, including ArtFire.  If you run your own website, make sure you have a Pin It button there too.  You can grab it directly from Pinterest.  You can also create a shareable shop by making sure you have plenty of vertical images (which are presented better on Pinterest) and colorful images, which tend to get shared more.  Having some captivating text at the beginning of your item descriptions can also make a difference because the default descriptions for pins often come from that spot.

Prepare yourself for pitfalls as well.

Frequently, an image that has gotten really popular on Pinterest ends up losing the link back to your shop.  This means you could lose out on potential sales because people can’t find out where the product comes from.  To solve that problem, you can embed a small watermark into the image.  A watermark is just your url or business name placed somewhere on the image.  If you do this, make sure it’s discreet.  Images that have really large watermarks or put their watermarks across the middle of the image tend to not get shared.  Leave it off to the side or toward the bottom where it’s not so noticeable.  I don’t always recommend watermarks, though, because they’re not all sunshine and rose petals. They do discourage bloggers from posting your products and if they’re not done well they can pull a customer’s eye away from the product, distracting them.  You have to weigh the options on this one.  Is it more important to ensure every potential customer can find me or to keep my products useable for bloggers to help me market?

So once you’ve prepared your own shop, it’s time to get active on Pinterest.

You can do a fair amount from the sidelines, but eventually you’ll need to start your own Pinterest account if you want to get your products noticed on the social media platform.

Start organizing your boards so the top ones are the ones that fit with your brand.  That doesn’t mean that they have to be all about your products.  If you make jewelry, you’ll want all your fashion-related boards toward the top, as well as any boards that have a feel that complements the lifestyle your jewelry fits into.  So if you create boho-style jewelry, you could have a board near the top that is all California photos or another one that reflects the freedom of summertime.  In a similar vein, if you create boho-style jewelry, you don’t want a board about Scandinavian minimalist interiors cluttering the top of your profile.  The idea is that the first things people see when they hit your profile should all fall in line with your branding.  As they scroll down the page, they can get less and less complementary to your brand.  But don’t forget if something’s totally out of left field (like a lingerie board when you make children’s stuffed animals) you can always create a secret board instead.

Be Aware of the Seasons
Be Aware of the Seasons!

Be Aware of the Seasons!

Once you’ve started pinning a bit, you can start to optimize the way you pin.  Be aware of the seasons.  If you make lace doilies, you’ll want to post a lot of them on Pinterest just a few weeks before Valentine’s Day.  If you have three red necklaces lying around, pin them in November and December for people looking for Christmas outfits.

Another way to ensure your pins are optimal is to balance how much you pin your own products.

A lot of the most-followed Pinterest accounts use the 80/20 rule, posting only 20% of their own things and at least 80% of other people’s pictures.  That’s why it’s good to have boards that are about a lot of different things.  If you make scarves and all your boards are about cold-weather clothes, you’re either promoting yourself or promoting a competitor.  But if you extend your boards to become reflections of your brand in many areas of life, you could end up pinning decor, art, quotations, beauty, photography, recipes, etc.  And then you’ve got much more room to play and to make sure that people follow you because of your perspective, meaning you’ll get many more followers.   But don’t hide from pinning your own items either.

Your work will need a jump start, especially in the beginning.  I very much recommend pinning when you list a new piece in your shop, so long as you don’t flood your followers with new pins.  And also pinning each piece around once every other month, depending on how many items you have, so it keeps getting added back into the Pinterest ecosystem.

To get more attention on your pins, it’s fun and effective to host pin challenges or contests.

Anyone who pins one of your products during the giveaway period can be entered to win!  Or you can give extra opportunities to win by sharing the contest on other social media channels or purchasing something.  A pin challenge is when you host a contest for who can create the best board.  Usually, you tell people what to name the board and give them a hashtag to include on each pin.  The key to any contest, giveaway, or challenge is to publicize it often and everywhere.  So don’t contain the promotion to Pinterest, make sure you’re telling people about it all over the place and bringing them back to Pinterest to enter.

The last thing you can do that really gets things flowing is to ask.

Ask your Facebook fans to pin your work, tweet out that you would appreciate pins from your Twitter followers if they like your products, get in touch with an influential pinner whose style complements your products and ask if they’d pin something of yours to help you get the ball rolling.  If you’re honest and open, people love to help!

And I’ll just ask too: If you’ve found this article helpful, pin it on Pinterest so all your friends can read it too!

Written By: Laura C. George

ArtFire is very excited to announce that Laura C. George, Business Consultant for Artists, will now be writing for ArtFire’s Nosh blog!  We are sure she will bring a lot of valuable tips and small business advice for our sellers, so stay tuned for more articles from her!

Laura C. George, Business Consultant for Artists

Laura C. George, Business Consultant for Artists

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