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Taking a Shot at Pinterest: Tips for Businesses

Shove over Twitter. Facebook too. Pinterest, the site that lets users 'pin' photos of their favorite things, is soaking up the social media spotlight. Last week's post about surprising statistics on how social media is being used mentioned the industry's "breakout star"--Pinterest. With 10 million unique visitors a month, Pinterest is now the third most popular social media site. As Kelowna branding and social media wizards, we say if your business sells anything that can be in pictures, you need to know about Pinterest.

Pinterest users can search for anything, even Kelowna, and come up with everything from mall addresses to vineyard scenes. For businesses, using Pinterest can instantly translate into site traffic and sales because the amazing Pinterest-able photos you post on your website or blog always contain a hyperlink back to your site. So when Judy Westbank 'pins' your shot of socks from your catalog, her friends are half-way to your website when they click on her picture. Plus, Pinterest just created business accounts so it's easy for you to set up and start getting pinned. Here are some tips to follow after you sign up:

1. PYOP - Pin your own photos.

One of the most appealing things about Pinterest from the consumer's perspective is that it's genuine. No stock shots of robots holding products a la Vanna White. On Pinterest, you'll see pictures of real people and the real things they've made. Somehow, these photos are trustable and sweet. Therefore, it's important your business uses original, engaging photos as if you're not out to sell. Why? So you can sell it. Site visitors are more likely to pin your authentic pic of a sloppy Sloppy Joe than a Photoshopped Philly cheesesteak sandwich, for example.

2. Build a catalog.

It's almost too easy to attract attention to your amazing products once you put up 'pinboards' (or categories; chairs, then tables, for example) of your stock. Pinterest even has a price tag tool so users can see how many items are, which means they're more likely to buy and share pinned images with other likely buyers. Vancouver's Cadeaux Bakery uses Pinterest to post links to the press as well as mouth-watering pastries. 

3. Host contests.

A great way to engage potential customers and build a community through Pinterest is to host a contest. When you put out the call for the best recipe, craft, or photo of a family using their x or y, you can promote your products while boosting site traffic. This discount online ticket vendor, Pave Life, boosted site traffic by hosting a Pinterest contest where users sent in inspiring images. 

4. Pin and be pinned

Pinterest, like other social media tools, is a two-way street. The more you pin other business's photos, the more recognition you'll get in return. To get the best traffic, aim for related industries. For example, if you own a deli, pin pairing tips from a wine shop. Is your business is ready to take advantage of Pinterest, the latest tool being used by the ones with all the buying power (women between 25 and 49)? Contact the Kelowna social media experts at Twin Creek Media today.