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5 Pinterest tips and tools to grow your business

Pinterest for Social Media Marketing
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Social media has the potential of providing organizations with endless opportunities along with an abundant set of advantages. This is especially true when it comes to leveraging online platforms such as Twitter and Facebook in order to conduct business and market products and services. These perks come with the viral nature of social media. Organizations can use online platforms to build communities, engage sales leads and grow client relationships. Because of these key benefits, no business can afford to ignore social media.

Pinterest is one social media platform that is taking e-commerce and apparel vending by storm.It saw a whopping 125% growth in international traffic in the year 2013 alone. It gained its first 10 million users faster than any network. Pinterest is unique because it is photo centric and highly visual. Because Pinterest is so visually driven, it speaks to the growing number of online shoppers who are looking for merchandise on their smart phones and tablets.

Pinterest allows users to create collections of photos, articles, recipes, videos and other images that are called “pins,” to draw business to their own sites. Users can bookmark images they find on the Web under topics they create. When users pin an image, Pinterest displays any picture that is associated with it. The effect is similar to a bulletin board: Pins are organized under topics called “boards.” Users can follow other people’s boards. Pinterest has a clear advantage over other sites when it comes to selling products.

Pinterest generates 4x more revenue (per click) than Twitter and 27% more per click than Facebook. Also, 47% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest.

Founded in 2009, the social media platform is growing at a phenomenal rate. Pinterest is the 4th largest social media site, with 58.2 million unique users in March 2014. It’s behind only Facebook with 198.8 million users, Twitter with 114.3 million users and LinkedIn with 71.7 million users. Pinterest buyers are also reported to be spending more money, more often, on more items than any of the other top 5 social media sites. Pinterest has also captured the attention of an entire demographic group with 80% of users being women.

So, how do companies like Caribou Coffee and Target market through Pinterest and win? Well, here are 5 steps that can take when marketing through Pinterest and do the same thing:

1. Set up a Pinterest Business account – This should be dedicated solely to your products and services this will add to your organization’s professionalism and credibility on Pinterest. Your account should be well branded in a way that represents your business and what you do well.

2. Seed your pinboards- This includes seeding your pinboards with images from your sites and brand. Your images should be visually appealing and diverse while falling right in line with your brand.

3. Connect and engage with other Pinterest Users – While you are curating content on Pinterest, be sure to follow the boards of people who follow you. You can also find other users and engage with them by repining, liking or commenting on other user’s content. This will help to build brand awareness, recognition and credibility.

4. Cross promote your account – Don’t forget to direct your audience’s attention to your new Pinterest page by announcing it on the other social media platforms that you use. Also, don’t forget to make your website pinnable by embedding a Pinterest pin on the first page with your other social media icons.

5. Don’t self promote – Just like any other social media platform, the object is not to make your content come across as spam inducing. The best way to avoid being a telemarketer on Pinterest is to pin a mix of brand content and repined content.
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media platforms to date. The average American Pinterest user spends 1 hour and 17 minutes on the platform.

If your business puts these tips into practice when launching your Pinterest strategy, this social site can be a powerful force and will surely grow your brand awareness, drive traffic to your website and turn sales leads and warm prospects into loyal customers.