Launched in 2010, Pinterest is one of the newest internet firms on the block.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a force to reckon with. Consider this – in 2017, just 7 years after launch, Pinterest was valued at upwards of $12.3 billion.

So, what is Pinterest?

Even though Pinterest’s user base has grown exponentially, there’s a lot of people who’re unaware about it; this is a primer for them.

Think of Pinterest as Google meets Facebook, with a lot of masala added.

What is Google? It’s a search engine. You search for…anything you want…on it.

So, let’s say you’re searching for interior design firms in your neck of the woods.

And Google returns a whole lot of results for you, ranked in terms of popularity and so on.
And within them you see a result you like.

So now the question is, how do you store that result for later reference. And to tell your friend when he or she is looking for an interior design business?

You could

  1. Note the firm’s name and web address on a piece of paper (which you could lose).
  2. Bookmark the page…and then have to scroll down your list of bookmarks later when you want to revisit it.
  3. Copy the web page and paste it on a Word document which you’d paste on your desktop.

All of which are terribly clumsy options.

This is where the Facebook bit comes in.

On your Facebook profile there’s a newsfeed based on your preferences. You can also see the newest posts of any groups you’re a member of. In short, it’s a personalized space.

Just like that, you’d want to save your choice of interior design firm for later use.

And that’s Pinterest is all about.

Basically, you Pin your interests.

So, you have to create an account on Pinterest.

In your account, you can create ‘boards’, one of which could be ‘interior design firms’. And on that board you can ‘pin’ an image representing the firm you like.

If your friend wants to know which firm you used, all they need to do is go to your account and search for the interior design board.
If the friend likes the pinned firm, they can pin it to their own board, increasing the firm’s visibility across Pinterest.

How does this help me as a business owner?

With my own interior design business, I’m hardly likely to search for an interior design firm, am I?

That’s where I come in.

Drawing on my SEO experience, I’m going to design your firm’s Pinterest account based on the latest trends to keep it fresh and attractive to people.

The more people find it attractive, the more it gets pinned to various boards. As you can guess, your client pool expands exponentially.

What specific advantage does Pinterest give me?

Well, the biggest advantage is that Pinterest is visual.

Interior design is all about visuals. How good your design looks to people.

People can look at the pictures your account has and visualize it to see whether they like it or not.

And when they decide they like what they see, you’re on!

There’s no editing to stick to the 280 character limit (Twitter), no detailed research for relevant content (Facebook) all of which adds up to a lower marketing overhead.

Statistics tell us Pinterest is geared more towards e-commerce rather than a social media site.

Over 60% of all Pinterest is from businesses, shared across more than 750 million boards.

Referral traffic – which will lead to lead generation – can be either search-based (Google, Yahooo etc) or social-based (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc).

A study conducted by Shareaholic tells us that social-based referral traffic from Facebook has actually declined in recent years. Pinterest and Instagram are the natural beneficiaries.

Pinterest recently logged a 1.5% increase in number of visits year-on-year, which is more than any other social network.

If you’re a business, you can show your prices in your post captions, and it will show up as a header.
Pinterest has also revealed their intention of launching a ‘buy’ button which would make the conversion from lead to client easier.

What kinds of tips and tricks would you recommend to someone who wants to use Pinterest to grow their business?

Strong visuals

Pinterest is 95% visual. So make sure your pictures are bright and attractive. Click To Tweet

You can upload text too if you want but make it snappy.

Users will be surrounded with interesting pictures and they won’t hang around to read something unless it’s attractively presented and is brief and easy to understand.

1. Don’t ignore the caption

Pinterest is 95% visual but the captions are there for a reason. Don’t ignore them. Click To Tweet

Use the captions to explain clearly what the pin in question is. You can include pricing information in the caption.

2. Maintain relevant boards

Boards must be relevant to your business. Click To Tweet

Remember, drawing people to see your profile and your boards is only half the battle.

The other half – converting them from visitor to client – cannot be won with irrelevant boards, however nice they look.

3. Keep boards specific

Remember it’s better to have many but specific boards instead of few but vague boards.

Let me explain.

As you can guess, there will be two kinds of people visiting your Pinterest profile.

One, people just browsing around.

Two, people specifically looking for (continuing on the same thread) interior design solutions.

Now, people just looking around visited your profile because they liked what they saw. They’ll be willing to look around, browse through a few boards.

However people looking for interior design solutions will be less patient. They’ll want to see what you’re offering specifically in response to their problem.

For example, if they’re looking to redo their living room, they’ll want to know what kinds of living room designs you’ve worked on or can work on.

If they can access that information within one or two clicks (because you have a board titled ‘living room designs’) it goes a very long way towards converting them into clients.

So, boards should be specific and tuned towards possible client queries.

4. Engage with people related with your business

If your client has designed/redesigned their rooms there’s a good chance they’ll want to share photos online.

Use this.

Create a group board with your clients as collaborators, requesting them to upload pictures of their newly designed living rooms. Click To Tweet

It doesn’t have to be limited to clients.

You can ask your suppliers, other designers you’ve worked with….anybody relevant to your business can collaborate.

5. Switch to a business account

It’s completely free. More importantly, it gives you access to Pinterest Analytics.

And what does Pinterest Analytics do?

It provides you with a lot of useful information like which of your Pins are getting the most traffic, demographics of who visits your profile and so on.

You may even get some advice on your overall Pinterest strategy.

That isn’t just a mouthful of words.

Remember I said Pinterest is 95% visuals?

From analytics you can make out what kinds of colors are attracting the most traffic and you can set your background and so on accordingly.

6. Do your own analysis

Simply go through Pinterest.

See what your followers, fans and clients are Pinning. Try to find common patterns and post relevant content.

For example if you find many people Pinning content about baby care you could create a board about your ideas for designing a nursery for babies.

On certain occasions you can just re-Pin what your followers have Pinned. Not only do you get relevant content Pinned to your board; you have also created a one-to-one bond with him/her.

It doesn’t have to be one-way. You can also search for people interested in your field – other interior designers, people who frequently refurbish their homes – and follow them.

7. Adopt cross-platform symbols

This may seem trivial but many users don’t use it, to their own disadvantage.

If you want to catch the attention of a popular Pinner, use the ‘@’ symbol to tag them, just like Twitter. Click To Tweet

If you think something has a chance of going viral, precede it with a hash tag.

Pinterest is doing its bit to try to help you.

They recently revamped their search algorithm (Smart Feed) to try to ensure that posts can be arranged based on

  • The quality of the post
  • The utility of the post to others

But even with all that, your company profile and leads won’t grow overnight.

You may need to keep Pinning for a while before your profile gets significant traction.

While uploading content, remember to utilize the ‘Secret board’ feature to ensure regular uploads.

What do I mean?

As should be clear by now, appearance matters. Relevance matters.

If your content isn’t polished, it’ll get lost among the billions of other Pins and you will never be able to get the traction your firm needs to take off.

On the other hand if you keep editing your content people are going to lose interest and move on.

The way out is to create a ‘secret board’ (there’s a slider option for that) in which you can keep ‘rough drafts’ of posts.

That way, you can keep editing it based on analytics feedback, ask a few select people for their opinion and so on to improve the post.
And when you’re satisfied, shift it to a public board.

So, what’re you waiting for?

Sign up, log in and start Pinning!