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How To Honestly Use Pinterest To Promote Your Site

ethical pinterest marketing

Last week I shared with you how well spammers are doing on Pinterest. This week we’re going to flip that coin and take a look at some ethical strategies for using Pinterest for marketing.

Keep in mind Pinterest’s etiquette rules! They don’t want spammers (even though they’ve shown up in droves), they don’t want shameless, worthless self promotion. They want their community to use their site as intended. Remember that when you’re using Pinterest, make your marketing “seamless” with how they see themselves:

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the webOur goal is to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people.
– Pinterest.com about page

Ok here we go. Here’s a collection of the best tips and tricks for using Pinterest for marketing.

Pinterest Marketing Concepts

1. Create an Online Catalog

This is the most obvious example for a business with a physical product to sell. Gap has treated some of their boards this way. A jeweler might create boards for earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

This is probably the most organic form of promotion on Pinterest. Yiou can use images of your physical product inventory and even attach a price. Be sure to connect those images with the correct product description page and you’ve got a natural promo.

2. Create Demographic Driven pinboards

An online marketing company could create pinboards for SEO, PPC, Social Media, etc. But you could take this even further and really dive into your demographics. For example, you could create pinboards like this: SEO for eCommerce, SEO for Blogs, PPC for Direct Marketers, etc.

3. Cross Promotion

To get broader exposure, you should cross-promote the content you publish on your blog, Facebook Page, and other social media profiles on Pinterest pinboards.

This one is kind of a no-brainer. Just be careful not to break etiquette here. Too much self promotion may just end up in your pins being ignored.

4. Start a Contest

You won’t be able to start a contest directly on Pinterest. But what you can do is host one on Facebook and have contestants pin photos on Pinterest as part of the contest. See, we’re using that noggin’ now.

pinterest video gallery5. Post Video Galleries

Pinterest’s video capabilities offers a lot of options for folks who want to create tutorials or record segments of a conference they are holding. Because of the draw of the visual element to Pinterest, I could see a content marketer like Smashing Magazine leveraging video tutorials, giving lessons on CSS and Flash design.

This is great. Not everyone realizes Pinterest even has video capabilities. Just one more way to expand your reach and content marketing efforts.

6. Use More Images in Your Site Content

Adding beautiful images to your site or blog content will lend itself to being pinned. Remember it’s all about the visual. The more visual appeal you add to your content, the more opportunity you’ll have for getting Pinterest attention. Infographics are a great way to take advantage of this too.

7. Show the Faces of Your Business

Here’s a great way to show off those goofy pics from your company’s most recent BBQ event! Use them! Create a “Faces of XYZ Co” board. Pin photos of the people of your company and show the warm side of your brand. People do business with people. Give them a chance to meet your people.

7.5 Create a Board to Tell The Story of Your Company

Create a board that tells the story of your company and communicates your core values. Make this board available to people as part of your sales process.

Loved this concept. It’s creative and has a great opportunity to resonate with your audience. Create, Connect, and Cultivate Relationships!

8. Pin Photos of Your Customers

Promoting your happy customers is a great way to create a positive sentiment around your brand. Encourage your customers to send you photos (or take photos of them at your next event.) Create a board of their smiling faces –perhaps using your product or service!

Similar concept to #7. This is pure gold. Creating a board of happy customers will build your relationship with your customers AND create a visual “testimonial” board. Imagine how much this could do for your brand!?

Increasing your Pinterest Exposure

  1. Completely fill out your profile! You’ve got an about section, use it. It will show up under your profile image and be one of the first introductions you get to a Pinterest visitor.
  2. Add your website url into your profile for easy access
  3. Connect your social profiles. Give people a chance to connect with you.
  4. Pin consistently! Don’t just set up a profile pin a couple photos and let it marinate. You’ve got to be consistently active to build your followers.
  5. Add descriptions to each pin. Remember to use vital keywords here. Don’t get all spammy, just remember to use a keyword or two in the description.
  6. Repin popular pins related to your market/product/brand. This will notify the original pinner giving you a chance to network.
  7. Remember – this is a social network! Connect with people by following them, commenting on their pins, repinning, etc.

Many of these concepts came from stronger minds than mine. Just wanted to give a big thanks to those content creators. You’ll find them in the source links above.

So what do you think? Have you been using Pinterest? Have you been using it for business? Do you have any tips you’d like to add to this list?

Hit the comments below and let me know what you think of this list.

21 thoughts on “How To Honestly Use Pinterest To Promote Your Site

  1. I haven’t been a member of Pinterest very long but already have some followers. I was surprised at how fast my invitation came.

    Thanks for the tips!

  2. I think Dustin is right. Never place an affiliate link on pinterest or even one that links directly to a product. Just link to a site you own and provide links or offers there.

  3. Thank you so much for these excellent ideas! I have been on Pinterest for awhile now and really didn’t understand much about it. You have given me a lot of information here to promote my business. (Happy you came up in Bing search.) I am going to set a schedule to implement your suggestions.

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  5. I need to know what is the most important thing when I show my work on Pinterest, the content (text) or the original images?
    I have an energy blog with selected audience and maybe Pinterest could become a good source if traffic.

  6. Hi Mary! The short answer would be images. Pinterest is a highly visual community in which the eye is drawn to images far more than text.

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