Pinterest burst upon the social media scene just a few years back as the “new kid on the block.” Retailers were agaga for Pinterest, claiming that mountains of qualified traffic came from Pinterest to their eCommerce sites. Others saw it as “the” platform to reach young women, DIY’ers (do-it-yourselfers), shoppers, folks planning weddings, and just about anyone spinning off ideas for a new college dorm room, a vacation in the Bahamas, or what to cook with Kale. Now Pinterest has matured, and the hype has settled back a bit, but it remains an incredible social media IF –
- Your product or service targets its primary demographics of women, shoppers, craftsy types and do-it-yourselfers (plus recipe hounds).
- And/or your product or service is very eCommerce friendly, especially if potential customers spend time “brainstorming” ideas.
I won’t waste time with explaining “how” to use Pinterest other than to give you this Pinterest in one paragraph explanation (and pointers to a few great resources to learn ‘how’ to use Pinterest).
Pinterest in a Paragraph: Idea Boards
Pinterest is a sharing platform in which users “pin” interesting and fun items from other Internet websites (e.g., cool stuff from Amazon or other eCommerce sites) to “idea boards” that are a place to “pin” ideas of things to buy, build, make, or enjoy. A good example is a person planning a wedding. He or she would “pin” ideas for flowers, photography, priest / rabbi / officiant services, venues, cakes, venues, and other “ideas” for the “best wedding ever” to one board (or a series of boards). Then friends and family can socially see, share, be notified of, and even contribute to this “idea board” on the best wedding ever. Brands can create accounts and boards, too, and these accounts and/or boards can be “followed” by other people on Pinterest in every way, and can even be participatory. For example, people who love REI, can “follow” REI on Pinterest and/or one of its boards to keep up-to-date on great ideas for outdoor sports. A board might be something like camp recipes or gifts for hikers or campers. People who love REI (its products) and/or the outdoors can follow REI and its boards as well as participate in them via social pinning to share ideas about outdoor activities, including (GASP!) things to buy! (That’s why retailers love Pinterest: it’s a heavy ‘things I want to buy’ site).
In terms of guides on how to use Pinterest for business, I recommend:
- Pinterest Business Guides – Official business-friendly information by Pinterest about how to use Pinterest for your business. Don’t miss the official Pinterest for business resource, and Pinterest Brand Guidelines and the Pinterest for Business (official) eLetter. (Like all social media sites… they somehow don’t get the concept of ‘one stop shopping’ so these resources are pretty much all over the place!).
- The Retailers Guide to Pinterest – Business2community.com shares this short yet informative ‘how to’ article on what to do when, where, how, and why on Pinterest as a business.
- Pinterest for Business – Pinterest can be used to promote your business, especially if you reach one of the two intertwined demographics: young women, and shoppers. This brief but meaty article explains how.
- KISSmetrics guide to Pinterest – KISSmetrics has produced a landmark guide to how to use Pinterest for business. It’s a great, basic read for the beginner.
Top Ten Free Tools for Pinterest for Business
Ok, now on to the resources – tips, tools, and treasures so you can “Pin it to win it” – here are my top Pinterest tools for business (in sort of rank order) –
- Pinterest Goodies – Made more for the end user than for the business user, this is a resource by Pinterest about Pinterest. For example, both the iOS and Android apps are available here. Don’t miss the ‘Pin it’ button which makes it easy to pin content right from yoiur browse, as well as widgets for your website to encourage Pinterest.
- Official Pinterest Tools for Business – Yes, you wanted it. Yes, they created it: a one-stop resource of tools to help your business succeed on Pinterest. Has not only official Pinterest tools, but also a compilation of third party business-friendly tools to help you pin it, to win it.
- Pin It Button – Want your business to be discovered on pinterest? The pin it button is a great tool that allows your customers to save what they like to pinterest and show their followers what they’re interested in. This is a easy way to get referral traffic and what pinterest calls, “a button that works for you.” Get the pin it button today!
- Rich Pins – Use rich pins to enhance your add utility to your post for your viewers. The six types of rich pins are: app, movie, recipe, article, product, and place. Use these six rich pins in addition to your ‘pin it’ link to further enhance your post.
- Pinstamatic – This free tool can be used to quickly create visual content for Pinterest boards without any editing tools. Use it to add a website snapshot, quotes and text, sticky notes, Twitter profile, calendar date, location map, captioned photo, and even a Spotify track.
- Widget Builder – This tool allows users to further integrate pinterest into their website for all of their marketing needs. Use this tool to add a ‘pin it’ button or a ‘follow’ button as well as other various pinterest widgets. Pinterest offers a variety of widgets allowing you to build the perfect widget for your marketing needs.
- PinGroupie – Use this tool to find group boards on Pinterest where you can join and contribute. Additionally, PinGroupie has options for sorting boards by popularity so you can quickly see those with the biggest following, or most pins or likes.
- Postris – This simple app helps users keep up with what is trending on pinterest. Easily find the most popular pinners, boards, and pins.
- Canva – This free image editing tool is optimized for pinterest so that all of your pins and boards look sleek.
- LoveList – This tool lets you scan any barcode and create a pin of the product instantly. Use to pin all the products in your product line easily.
More Free Social Media Marketing Tools
There are more cool tools for Pinterest for business, of course, but these are the top ten favorites. When we publish our updated 2015-2016 Social Media Toolbook, we’ll publish the complete list to Pinterest tools as well as free tools for all social media marketing. To get your free copy (and an alert when it’s published), please sign up for our free email newsletter, here.