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How to Leverage Pinterest For Leads

Pinterest is the hottest new social bookmarking and sharing site on the web, and any SEO company looking to expand into a new audience has likely already

English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

established themselves with the relatively new service. Launched in December of 2009, Pinterest has skyrocketed to the number three most-popular social network in the United States according to an April 2012 Experian Marketing Services report.

The popularity behind Pinterest defies typical web startup demographics. With most new apps and social startups, the first adopters are young men out of major cities with their fingers on the pulse of the latest tech. Pinterest is different: word of mouth and social sharing first drew women from central and Midwestern US regions, and similar demographics nationwide have picked it up in a flash. As of this April, Pinterest has exploded to 4 million unique visitors a day and 2.3 billion pageviews. Women account for 72% of all users, and the user demographic ranges from users aged 25 to 54. Consumers referred from Pinterest are 10% more likely to buy something, and spend 10% more on average per purchase.

The fundamentally unique site culture and its sleek, visual layout plays a major part in its prolific spread. Here are some ideas on how to enter into the lucrative social service as a business and start getting the results you want.

Make Different Pinboards With A Narrow Focus

“Pinboards” are at the heart of the site’s sharing facilities. Pinboards, simply put, are where all your content will be kept, and where it will be discovered by visitors. They can be specifically named, and can feature an outbound link in their description. Generally speaking, your pinboard collection should be easy to understand and interact with on first glance for your visitors. By providing an easily-identifiable space for specific products, users will be more willing to explore your brand’s Pinterest account, engage with your posted content, and share what they like with their friends. If this means you have multiple pinboards related to specific types of a product family, so be it: the sharper your pinboards are focused, the more discoverable they are.

Don’t Be a Business, Be a User

Actively participating in the service is a key to earning attention from other users and catching their attention. Businesses that join the site to promote themselves often make the beginner mistake of doing nothing more than promoting themselves. Brand exposure comes from liking, commenting on and repinning posts that are relevant to your products or your business, as well as posts that are relevant to your targeted demographics’ tastes. Developing courteous, genuine sharing behaviors with users will make potential customers trust your brand more, and they will be more willing to interact with your posts as a result. The key to success with repinning and liking is to be as approachable and inviting as possible, so users are interested in browsing your pins and feel welcome to do so.

Extend An Invitation, Not A Sales Point

Links back to your company’s website can be included in the text or image source link for Pinterest posts. Simply share products without direct purchase information, and instead link back to your website where a sale can be followed up on later. Pinterest’s own research shows that for individual users sharing products, if there is a price listed in response to user interest, the post is just as likely to be shared as a similar post without price information, and users will “like” posts that include prices more often. This does not stand true for businesses, however: “…for branded accounts, pins without prices were over twice as likely to be repinned than pins with prices!”

Avoid Spamming Your Guests At All Costs

“Spamming” your visitors and followers by posting too frequently is the quickest way to lose trust within the Pinterest community and lose valuable referrals. Pinterest has recently been plagued with a spate of devious spammers that hide malicious links in innocuous-seeming content. Providing valuable content and not posting too frequently will secure your visitors’ trust in your brand page.

Encourage Sharing On and Off-Site

The core of Pinterest’s interaction model revolves around sharing from user to user, so your business should make it as simple as possible to share your content on Pinterest. Share buttons are available both on-site and off, and it’s simple to add a Share on Pinterest icon directly to your business or product pages. Encouraging users to share your pins on the service will also increase exposure and engage users with your content.

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