Poor Pinterest. Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, many people (business owners, marketers, entrepreneurs) still don’t take full advantage of it as a social media platform. Everyone is on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. But Pinterest still seems to be an afterthought (if thought of at all). And truthfully, it makes no sense. Study and research into how and where people are sharing and engaging online shows Pinterest to be firmly in the top three (and often first overall) across virtually every category - traffic, engagement, visitors, lead generation, sharing preference - placing it alongside Facebook and Twitter as an online platform you need to be on.
Pinterest can be used for any product, service, or business. You just need to be creative. Get visual. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Pinterest allows you to “pin” photos and images to virtual boards. You can organize and name them however you want, and visitors can re-pin and share your pins via any number of platforms. Used properly (linking, stunning and memorable images), Pinterest can help your business a lot. With a little time and effort, you can turn it into a profit-making source. Here’s how…
Each image on Pinterest can (and should) be linked back to somewhere else. One technique that has been put to great use is affiliate marketing. With it, you provide an image for a product or service that you believe in and think your audience would find helpful. It links back to the product vendor via an affiliate link, which means you get a certain percentage of the sale (sometimes up to 50%) if someone decides to buy it after arriving there from your Pinterest board. Affiliate links cost your visitors nothing extra, but they can quickly add up to serious income for you. Amazon has an affiliate program for any product on their website, and Clickbank is another major player. If you want to make money using Pinterest, this one is a must. Obviously, don’t flood your boards, as you’ll quickly get a reputation for that, but a well-placed affiliate link can be a gold mine.
Generate Traffic to Your Website
Likewise, you can use Pinterest to drive traffic back to your own business website. The images need to be unique, interesting, visually stunning. Each one can be linked back to a particular post or article on your site, providing they’re related in some way. Don’t link an image of a cool birthday cake idea back to an article you wrote about retirement planning. Irrelevant pictures do nothing but annoy your visitors.
If you actually sell products of some sort, Pinterest is a fantastic forum for posting images of those products, and then linking to the purchase funnel. Include prices on the image itself, as recent research suggests that this leads to higher conversion rates (people know the full cost before clicking).
Pinterest is popular with a wide range of people and ages, but it seems to be most popular amongst professional women with a high annual income (according to many sources, including Pinterest itself). Target that market, provide images and creative boards that appeal to them, and you could drive large amounts of traffic to either your website or affiliate accounts. Both could mean more income for you.
Every visitor to your website is one more potential customer. Pinterest can get them there.
Add a Pin It Button to Your Website
We all know the importance of sharing our content. Your website can not exist as an entity unto itself. It needs to be connected - via social media - to the rest of the web. You likely already have a Facebook share and/or like button, a Twitter button and a Google+ button. Maybe you also have StumbleUpon, Reddit, or tumblr button. But do you have a Pinterest button? You absolutely should.
Pinning the striking image you selected for your latest post to an appropriate board yourself, linking back to the original article, will probably drive some traffic to your website. And that’s good. But doing that and allowing people to quickly pin it to their boards will double, triple, quadruple (and more) the potential traffic windfall. Once traffic arrives at your site, if you’ve set it up correctly, those visitors will read older posts, check out your profile, and possibly consider purchasing your product or service. And that means more profit, more income and all because you added one more little button.
Pinterest, more so than any other social media platform, is designed for engagement and lightning fast sharing. It’s visual, without the need for text or having to read. You need to utilize that to make money. Visual sharing is on the rise. Both Pinterest and Instagram (a photo sharing app) are the two fastest growing platforms. Use them. Use them both.
Comment, Like, and Monitor
Once you have an account on Pinterest, you need to become an active member of the community. It works very similar to other platforms that you’re already familiar with, like Facebook. You can comment on pins, share them, re-pin them, and like them. Get out “there” and visit boards similar to yours. Become a visible member, and the likelihood that people will check out your new boards (with images linking back to your website or affiliate funnels) increases exponentially.
In Google Analytics, you can see how many people are ending up at your company website via Pinterest. If you’ve put some effort into it, it should quickly become sizeable. If it doesn’t, tweak your boards add new topics and categories. Think about the ideal client/customer that you want for your product or service, and design a Pinterest board around them. Check out the competition...what works for them?
Also, consider pinning between 2-4pm, or 8pm-1am, as these times seem to be best when posting new content on Pinterest.
Pinterest is gaining ground on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re not using it yet, you're missing the next big thing. Utilizing affiliate links for products your target audience would want and links back to your website, can bring in both money and traffic. You need both.
Photo by mkhmarketing
Creative Commons License