Pinterest puts the fun back into social networking, both for business owners and the followers who love them. By simply following a few best practices, you can use your Pinterest boards to win new followers and convert them into customers.
When used right, Pinterest can bring you new business, but when used incorrectly, Pinterest can hurt your brand’s reputation.
As a busy entrepreneur, you want to ensure that every minute you spend on Pinterest pays off. What you pin (and how you pin it) reflects on you, your product, and your brand, so make sure every pin you share reflects the message you want to send.
To help you make the most of this growing social media network, here are the top five mistakes that I see brands make on Pinterest-and how to fix them:
1. Missing optimization opportunities
The mistake: Many users search Pinterest for new products and ideas. The keywords they search could be those you’re already using online, but if you’re not using them on Pinterest, you won’t be discovered.
The fix: Make your keywords work double duty by using your highest-performing keywords in your Pinterest profile, pinboard, and pin descriptions.
2. Letting the pins fall where they may
The mistake: Newly created pinboards fall into place after those you created first. As time passes, the boards you most want your followers to see may be lowest on the page.
The fix: “Above the fold” is an old newspaper term. Editors place the most interesting content above the fold in a broadsheet newspaper to catch readers’ attention at newsstands. You want your most important boards, like your new product board or your press mentions board, in the top row of pinboards.
To rearrange your boards, visit your profile and click the board icon next to the “Edit Profile” button, just above your top row of boards. Drag your boards to reorder them, and click the red arrow when you’re finished.
3. Too much or not enough text
The mistake: Many pinners treat Pinterest like a mini-blog and include several paragraphs of text with each pin. Others write a one-word description like “Cute!” and call it a day.
The fix: Pinterest is all about the images, so chose images that speak for themselves. Help them along with a catchy description that drives the users to click the link and learn more.
Challenge yourself to keep your pin text over 10 and under 40 words. And don’t forget to work in your keywords.
4. Low-quality images
The mistake: In fear of under-pinning, many pinners will share any image, regardless of its size, level of pixilation, or composition. Pinning low-quality images implies that you don’t understand the importance of images or, worse, don’t care.
The fix: There are so many ways to create engaging images that you should never be without a pin. Here are three:
- Create an image for each blog post you write. Chose images you have the authority to edit and overlay them with a quick nugget of text that entices readers to click. Pin the image to a board dedicated to your blog posts.
- Ask customers to share images of them using your product to highlight how much people love it.
- Turn customer testimonials into catchy images by using fun tools such as www.quozio.com or www.pinstamatic.com. You’ll have some great images in less than 30 seconds.
5. Straying off topic
The mistake: You’re bound to have interests outside of your business that you want to share, but frequently straying off topic can make users wonder why they follow you.
The fix: Craft a mix of boards that will appeal to your followers sharing brand and niche-related items and a few boards that drift off topic. Ensure that every pin you post is assigned to a board that fits it best so everyone can find and follow what they want.
Avoiding those five Pinterest mistakes will help you look like the social media savvy business owner you are and remind your followers why they chose your boards and your brand. Happy pinning.
Andreea Ayers works with product-based entrepreneurs to help them grow their product line. A version of this article first appeared on LKR social media.