I'll admit it: I do nearly all my #SmallBizStyle shopping online, and a large majority of it is influenced and inspired by two things: blogs and Pinterest. Now discussions on online conversion rates (in terms of blog reviews leading to online purchases) is no new concept, but my own realization a few months ago that I'm making more and more online purchases based on items I've pinned to my Pinterest boards was a notable discovery. What's even more notable? I'm part of a large number - over 48 million users, 80% of which are women - who are already part of the Pinterest community. From this moment onward I want you to think of those people as potential or current customers and brand ambassadors your business MUST connect with!
Your business needs them. No matter what you are selling or creating, there are people on Pinterest who need to know about what you do, and there are customers you already have who should be sharing you and your products via their own Pinterest boards (if they aren't already). Pinterest can be POWERFUL, and to make sure you're taking advantage of it in terms of engaging online shoppers (like me), this edition of Pinterest Power will give you a checklist of tips you want to use to be sure your businesses usage of this social community is strategic and really promoting your products.
Pinterest Power: Strategic Product Promotion Checklist
BE SURE your Pinterest company information is filled out fully and clearly. If you haven't started yet you may want to begin a Business board.
MAKE SURE your website is "Pinterest Friendly". Before I tell you what this means let me tell you why: the most Pinterest-inspired shopping I do is from purchases I make after having Pinned an item to a board days, weeks or even months earlier. Pinterest more or less serves as an online shopping list for me.
I regularly visit Boards of mine such as my Accessories Obsessions Board or my Pinterest tribute to my sister's new baby, my Things Mira's Baby Needs Board. I cannot tell you how many items I have purchased after discovering them online or on e-commerce websites. My save-to-Pinterst and purchase later system means I don't ever forget about a cool item I find online but don't feel like ordering at that very moment. Without pinning them many of these products would be forgotten! You do not want to be forgotten!!
So what does this mean to you as a business owner
This doesn't just mean linking to your own Pinterest Page from your website. It means encouraging pins of your products from your shopping pages. It means being sure there are great visual images of your products that someone would want to Pin in the first place! It means adding Pin It buttons on your website and Pin It Bookmarklet on your browser to make it easy to pin from the web! You may even want to include Pinterest Widgets that make it possible for people to follow all of your boards immediately, and allow for other easy "funnels to Pinterest".
REGULARLY making sure your followers and brand ambassadors from other social networks (Twitter and Facebook for instance) are invited to your Pinterest Page.
CREATE organized Boards so that shoppers can find things easily. They should be labeled clearly (whether this be Floral Dresses or Pin Up Girl Style, Beach Vacation Must-Haves) so that Pinterest users known what they are finding on them. Boards can also include your collections: Summer 2013, Earrings, Gluten-Free Dog Treats...you get it!
BONUS TIP: Let some of your Boards double duty as seasonal Look Books or linesheets for editors you're pitching. What do I mean here? Don't just create a new linesheet for every occasion you're pitching. If you're pitching Mother's Day, create a Mother's Day Gift Guide board. Shoppers can use it, and you can include it in your pitch to editors and bloggers!
MONITOR your Pinterest traffic and "action" via their analytics offerings. I think the best way to see if sales and promotion tactics are working is to "check the facts" and you can begin doing that here!
CONTESTS: You hear it all over these days: Pin to Win! Can a small business without an outside social media/marketing agency create opportunities like this for themselves (without losing their mind)? Sure can! Try Apps like Woobox and Votigo to test out a Pinterest contest of your own. When done well they can lead to more followers and likes, all keys to increasing sales! Need some contest inspiration?
LEARN FROM THE PROS: Taking off my "shopper hat" and putting on my "entrepreneur hat" I'll tell you this: I get inspired by other brands all the time. Read: inspired. I don't knock off their concepts directly because hey, we have different audiences, needs, products etc. That said I love watching other brands use social media and often their ideas trigger great ideas that work for my brand. Check out stellar Pinterest brands you can learn from. Some of the ones I study include: Nordstrom, Nasty Gal, Nina Swim (a Tin Shingle member), Dr. Frank Lipman and West Elm.