5 ways Pinterest can increase sales

You already know Pinterest can help build brand awareness, but did you know it can boost your bottom line? Here’s how.

Millions of people are flocking to Pinterest. The site already has more than 12 million monthly active users. Eighty-two percent are women who pin photos of wedding inspiration, fashion, and home décor, but men are also jumping on board, mostly from the U.K., Japan and France.

More importantly, small businesses and big brands have widely adopted Pinterest as a way to show some personality, flaunt new products, and make a few extra sales.

The question is, does your brand belong on Pinterest? And can it help you grow sales? Here’s a look:

1. Monitor

Discover what your customers want

“A lot of what gets pinned on Pinterest is aspirational—what could be, what I’m going to have, where I’m going to go,” says Jenny Sussin, a Gartner senior research analyst.

This is good information if you’re interested in sales and marketing. Pinterest gives you a clear look at what your target market loves and is passionate about. See how you can help satisfy some of those wants.

Create relevant boards

Once you know what your customers are interested in, you can create boards for related topics. How? Stumble through online magazines, websites or blogs that appeal to your target market.

For example, if you want to target young sneaker heads, look at Hypebeast to see what they write about. Then create boards that relate to those categories: snapback hats, street-style photos, high-top sneakers, concept designs, sports cars, and so on.

Entrepreneur Kelly Azevedo explains, “If your target audience is using Pinterest as a resource to share their content, then you can connect by following, commenting and linking to their pins. Just like Twitter and other social media platforms, you want to balance promoting your own business with engaging with customers.”

The rule of engagement for all content marketing also applies to Pinterest: Start a conversation and create a relationship with your potential customer. Repin the posts you like. Comment on the ones that stand out to you.

But remember, “This doesn’t entail kissing up to the [account] owner (most of us hate strategic-sounding praise). What it means is creating a network that provides the payoff for all the effort you’ve put into your content,” says Brian Clark of Copyblogger.

Don’t just compliment—share related visuals, ideas and insights. If you see someone posted the work of a designer you love, maybe you can relate with your favorite piece or recommend similar work from another designer.

Watch your competitors

Focus not only on your customers, but also on your competitors.

Are they as engaging as you are? Are they more active?

Discover their best practices and figure out what you need to do to not only retain your clients, but get their clients’ attention as well.

2. Flaunt it

Have a big event coming up? Want to launch a new promotion? Use Pinterest to get the word out, but make sure you do it tastefully.

Pinterest is not the place to openly talk about your business all the time. Make sure most of your boards are for your community’s enjoyment.

HelloBerry does this well. It recently held a one-day sale on bracelets. It updated its Pinterest account accordingly, and linked images of the bracelets to its Etsy page.

HelloBerry consistently updates its boards. By showing off its own tastes and preferences on travel, color inspiration, and style boards, it keeps users engaged.

3. Inspire your customers

“I strongly believe that consumption is less about reflecting who we are—even though that’s clearly a fundamental dimension of it—as much as it’s about who we wish to be,” says Paul Mullins, a professor at Indiana University—Purdue University and president of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

What does this have to do with Pinterest? Creating really good content, posting engaging images, and providing tips and advice to help customers become who they dream of being is a simple way to increase brand awareness on Pinterest.

Manpacks, for example, does a great—and hilarious—job of creating boards that both inspire and poke fun at its community. Mashable inspires its community with its Tips and Tricks board.

It’s evident that Pinterest is about so much more than just images of products. Pinterest allows merchants to relate to many aspects of their customers’ lives.

4. Share, pin, repin

Pinterest is not only about creating and updating your boards. It’s about repinning, sharing and commenting on other people’s boards.

Just like on Twitter and Facebook, you have to be an active part of your community and show interest in order for people to find and follow you.

The more you repin and comment—in addition to creating interesting boards—the more people will follow you back and engage with your content.

5. Make the sale

Imagine being completely anti-social media for years, and then one day discovering a social tool that increased your sales by more than 50 percent. Would that make you a believer?

It certainly worked out well for a fine art photographer in New Hope, PA. Carl Christensen‘s wife forced him to join Pinterest. Little did he know hundreds of people would quickly discover, share and purchase his work. These were people he probably wouldn’t have connected with otherwise.

Christensen’s images link directly to his Etsy storefront. This makes the transition from Pinterest to checkout a breeze.

It doesn’t hurt to slap a price tag on an image for the sake of promotion. A call-to-action is a great way to get people to click and buy. To do this, add the price to the comment section when you post an image. Pinterest will immediately price and categorize the item in the gift section.

Like Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest can increase your sales and brand awareness.

A few Pinterest keys:

  1. Quickly master the community etiquette.
  2. Experiment with content.
  3. Build a community to support your business goals.
  4. Post interesting images.
  5. Find what interests your community.

What other ways Pinterest can increase sales?

Renee Warren is the founder of Onboardly. A version of this article originally appeared on Social Fresh.

(Image via)


Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.