I have to admit that I've been hooked, hopelessly and shamelessly hooked, on pinning incredible exotic destination photos, delicious sweet treats, elegant interior design ideas and fabulous personal style ideas on Pinterest for over 2 years now. I think, at this point, it's safe to say that I am addicted to Pinterest (here's a good way to identify a Pinterest addict). What I love about Pinterest is the fact that I have a whole new world at my nimble fingertips that I can explore without leaving the comfort of my home or office.
In that I am not alone. The user base of Pinterest has grown tremendously, "from 7 million uses in 2011, to over 30 million active users now" (per comScore), with the largest percent actually comprised of women.
What's even more fascinating is that, when it comes to social media marketing, Pinterest, the darling network of brides-to-be, fashionistas and budding home decorators, "tends to drive more referral traffic to sites than Google+, Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn and all other social sites out there combined", according to Mashable.com. Now that's revolutionary!
So how do you make your brand and products more discoverable in an environment where consumers are looking to capture and curate inspiration of all forms? As the site continues to evolve and become more brand-friendly, we've established a handful of core best practices for helping brands connect with potential clients on Pinterest.
1. Verify Your Account
This is really easy and it creates an opportunity to attract your Pinterest visitors to your website. Also, you get the added benefit of being granted permission to acess the Pinterest analytics. Verification makes your website URL more visible on your Pinterest page by creating a red clickable link and placing a check mark beside it. This boosts engagement, SEO, and traffic to your site. After that, you just have to make sure that your website is converting the right visitors into customers.
2. Use SEO Keywords to Describe Your Business
Pinterest allows you to describe your business and communicate who you are and what you can do for your audience in 200 characters. Take advantage of descriptive copy and use keywords that you would like to rank for in search engines in your "About" section. Search engines do index this page, which is really great. Make also sure you connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts to Pinterest so you can share your Pins across all of your social networks.
3. Include Rich Descriptions Along With Your Pins
When looking for ideas, I've been using the Pinterest search feature more and more frequently — and so are many of your potential clients. While it's not clear which factors matter most when it comes to Pinterest's search algorithm, one thing is sure: descriptions matter. A lot. When pinning content, keep discoverability in mind and include the most searched keywords (you can identify them by using the Google Keywords Tool) in your description. You should also be sure to mention your brand name. "But what about hashtags?" you might ask. While a popular practice on Twitter and Instagram, hashtag use has not become mainstream yet on Pinterest. To quote the Pinterest best practices guide: "You shouldn't write a novel; a couple of well-crafted phrases can more convincingly encourage a repin than a hashtag."
4. Keep Google In Mind When Naming Your Images
Remember that the pinned images of your products don't just live within Pinterest - they are indexed by Google and other search engines too. To maximize discoverability in these search engines, make sure you name your images with a descriptive file name, preferably containing terms for which you want your content to rank, before pinning them. Search engines will index your image based on its name, so make sure it is specific and relevant. Search success will require close collaboration between the content and SEO teams for your brand, as is the case with your content marketing across other social networks as well.
5. Sharing Is Part of Caring - Don't Forget to be Social!
Don't forget: Pinterest is a social community. Remember to interact and engage with others. Repin, follow, like, and comment on other people's pins. Being social is the name of the game. You also have the choice to add contributors to your Board by editing a selected Board and then adding a Pinterest account. These interactions will generate greater interest in your own content, build relationships, and increase your following.
Do you have additional tips for optimizing a company Pinterest account? Let us know in the comments below!