Four ideas for getting started on Pinterest

Don’t know what Pinterest is? You should.

In just 3 years Pinterest has become the 3rd largest social networking website in the world. In July 2012 Pinterest recorded more than 23 million unique visitors and 1.7 billion page views worldwide (comScore), and it seems Pinterest has the ability to turn those visits into sales, making it a retailers’ best new marketing tool.

At its core Pinterest helps people collect and organize the things they love. Users ‘pin’ images of products, clothing, inspiring ideas, recipes, instructions and more onto their account pages known as ‘boards’. The boards are grouped by theme and other users with similar tastes may access them to be inspired or ‘repin’ the item.

According to a new Bizrate report 69% of online consumers who visit Pinterest have found an item they’ve purchased or wanted to purchase as compared to only 40% of online consumers who visit Facebook. So how can you capitalize on Pinterest’s success?

Here are four ideas for getting started on Pinterest:

1. Use Great Images

Pinterest is primarily a visual bulletin board. People visit the site to be inspired. Take professional, high resolution photos and use those on your website and boards for people to repin. Images don’t have to be limited to products either, pinners love DIY tutorials! But remember to “tell the whole story” – while a close up photo might be beautiful if it doesn’t convey enough information users may be inclined not to repin it.

For example: if you’re selling paint stripper don’t just pin photos of the product. Take a before-and-after shot of a door after your product has removed the paint. Pinterest users doing home DIY will take notice.


2. Add a ‘Pin It’ Button to Your Website

By adding a Pin It button to your website, people can use it to pin your stuff to their Pinterest boards. This opens it up to thousands of people who can then repin those things or click back to your website. Place the Pin it button next to things you want to share and let users do the rest.

3 months after added the Pin It button, people pinned more than 50,000 recipes from their website. This lead to 139 million Pinterest impressions!

3. Engage Users With a Contest

Great photos and ideas can get people repining but having engaged followers is key to Pinterest success. Why not create a contest that gets users sharing your content?

Better Homes and Gardens invited Pinterest users to create a ‘My Better Homes and Gardens Dream Home’ board to compete for $5,000 in cash prizes in a ‘Pin & Win‘ contest. Users then curated their board with interior and exterior pictures from the Better Homes and Garden website and the winner was selected by judges appointed by BH&G. The competition which ran March 6 to May 4 2012, attracted more than 11,400 new Pinterest fans for the brand.

4. Make Use of Analytics

Use Pinterest’s new Analytics dashboard to find out how many people are pinning from your website, seeing your pins, and clicking your content. You’ll also be able to see recent pins and your most repinned content of all time, so that you can get a sense both of what is currently trending and what your most popular items are overall.

To get analytics set up for yourself, verify your website with Pinterest and then click Analytics in the top-right menu under your name.

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