Although Pinterest started out as a place for women to share product images, its meteoric rise as a social network makes it a great place to promote your business. The site registered more than 7 million unique visitors in December 2011 and is driving more traffic to company websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined according to a recent report. Think of it as an online bulletin board, or a place to share ideas in a visual way and use your creativity to make a profit. Users on Pinterest love to share and repin images from a whole range of categories. However, as with any social network, you just need to find a balance between self-promotion, social networking, and making money.
Here are just 5 ways you can use Pinterest both for profit and promotion.
Promote Your Blog or Website
If you have an image on your site, it’s pinnable. For that reason alone, you should always add images on your website and blog posts along with a “Pin it” button. Readers are drawn to images and an interesting one encourages them to go on and read your articles or content.
When you or a reader pins your image to Pinterest, it creates a direct link back to your site. Not only does this add to your link-building efforts, it can bring a whole new type of traffic to your site. Create themed boards on Pinterest that are based on the categories on your site, and make sure that you always pin your own images to those boards.
Involve Your Customers
Having Pinterest boards is a new way to engage your customers online. Not only can they pin their favorite images to your boards, but they can comment on them and share them with their friends and followers. When people enjoy interacting with your site, they tend to come back more often. Not only are you building relationships with your site visitors, but it also gives you more opportunities to showcase your products and services.
Inspire Your Customers
Often people only see your products in one way and for one purpose. Pinterest boards give you the chance to inspire different ways to use your products through visuals. For example, if you sell wedding favors, you can show pictures of them at the table settings of customers’ weddings. That’s far more inspiring than a simple product image in your store.
Show That You’re a Real Person
It’s always difficult to make a personal connection with people online vs. face-to-face. By including both business boards and personal boards in your Pinterest account, prospects and customers get to see some of your own interests. They start to see the real person behind the business persona. Even if you are representing a large company, remember that customers are eager to know the real people behind the corporate face. If you’re a small business or entrepreneur, this is even more critical.
Add Affiliate Links
You may not realize it, but you can also insert your own affiliate links on your pins. It’s a whole new way of doing affiliate marketing. You can create boards that are just product oriented and earn cash when people click those links and buy something. Just go into the “edit” button for a specific pin and replace the direct link to the product with your affiliate link.
Pinterest isn’t going anywhere any time soon and it is incredibly active. Why not make the most of it as a place to engage your customers and prospects. At the same time, it presents a new opportunity to earn income online from a completely different source.