Pinning for Fun? Why Not Becoming a Pinterest Expert

Pinterest Best Practices for Beginners and Not Only

Pinterest is providing amazing results for small business owners who have jumped on the bandwagon. If you want to use Pinterest to gain influence then you need to be strategic in your actions. As you get started with Pinterest understand what you’re doing and do it with purpose. Pinterest can drive traffic to your website, products, services and more, but you need to go about it the right way.  

#1. Know Your Audience 

audienceIt’s not enough to simply know how to use Pinterest. You also need to learn how to conduct market research. It’s an imperative, if you want to understand your audience. If you don’t know who you want to influence, it’s hard to know how to proceed. Take the time to research your market so that you know who they are, what they like, and what they like to do on Pinterest. Your market is the group of people who are interested in the products or services that you want to promote. The products and services that you want to promote should be solutions to your niche market. If you can provide solutions to a group of people that really work you are bound to become influential.  

#2. Set Realistic and Specific Goals

set-goalsBefore you get started with creating even your first board, it’s important to understand what you hope to accomplish with the board. Do you want to get more followers, get more traffic, cause some other action? Know what it is so that you can create relevant boards. Once you know what your goal is, write it down in a very specific way. Remember that a goal should be possible and specific. Your goal in this case is to become an authority, or influential person to your niche using Pinterest as the catalyst. Write down what you are going to do on Pinterest to achieve those goals. How many boards are you going to create per week or month? What will the topics of the boards be? How will you create the boards? Will you hire someone, or will you do it yourself? What data will you use to create the boards? Be specific, and you will succeed.   

#3. Define Your Boards by Subject, Topic or Category 

boardsEach board should have its own topic or subject. That’s how you keep them organized and relevant to different segments of your audience. Every board should be relevant to your overall audience. Just like you have different categories on your blog, or pages on your website, so you should also have different boards on Pinterest. Start with four or five different boards covering the different categories that you have determined are important to your audience. Most people will not follow every board. They will choose a specific board to follow. Once you create a board, ensure that you keep it updated on a regular basis. Starting with more than four or five boards will be too much work because you want to keep boards updated so choose your categories and topics carefully.  

#4. Be Visually Creative with Your Boards 

creativeDepending on what type of business you have it can sometimes be hard to come up with creative ideas. In order to be super creative use mind maps and other brainstorming ideas to come up with ways to present your information graphically. The more original pins you can create the better. If your pins are created by you then it will show as you being the originator so when it’s shared people have the opportunity to find you. Your creativity will really matter when it comes to creating boards. Pinterest, as you know, is a very visual medium. You’ll have to think outside the box to create images that represent the message you want to send to your audience. If you want people to pin your blog posts, ensure that you’ve added a creative visual element to encourage pinning.  

#5. Engage and Be Engaging with Your Followers 

social_mediaPinterest is social media, and the idea of social media is to be, guess what? Social. Therefore, interaction is key getting people to re-pin your Pinterest content and to follow you. When you think about social media realize that it’s a conversation you’re having with your audience on a regular basis. You wouldn’t just ignore comments made to your face, don’t ignore them made on Pinterest. Don’t just communicate on your own boards either. Engage with others on their boards, and mention people by name when relevant. It’s a great way to keep the conversation going, and bring other people in. Sharing, commenting, and being social is what social media is all about so ensure that you are engaging, in more ways than one.  

#6. To Be Super Influential Seek To Be The Hub 

google-hangoutBeing seen as information nucleus of information that’s interesting to your audience should be one of your goals when seeking to influence others. To succeed, you need to study what they need to know and want to know. That may mean creating new boards, but it might also mean curating other boards of interest for your audience. You can not only curate other people’s information, but your own too. People are very visual and this lets you curate the information in a beautiful way. If you are super organized, and only allow the best quality information to be on your boards, you are creating an image for yourself too. The image of an someone who can influence others.  

#7. Give Credit Where Credit is Due 

When you use an image or idea from someone else, always be kind and credit the information. If they have a “pin it” button on their site you can assume they want you to pin it, but it’s nice to give credit where credit is due. When Pinterest started there was a lot of buzz about plagiarism and copyright infringement. You can avoid any problems with this by following a few simple rules. Only re-pin other people’s stuff, don’t down load it to your computer, then upload it back as an original board or pin. Try taking your own pictures, or using only legal images in the boards and pins that you create. Be sure to credit properly all images that you use. Don’t separate an image from the creator without express permission to do so. Even when given permission it’s a good idea to credit the source. (Note: Watermark your own creations with your name and website information to avoid being copied.)  

#8. Nothing’s Done until the Numbers are Evaluated 

computerIt’s kind of like the saying that “Nothing is complete until the paperwork is done.” Well, paperwork always involves numbers. As such, nothing can be deemed successful (or a failure) without studying the metrics. Look at how many followers you get for different actions. How many people re-pin something you’ve pinned. Can you figure out why they re-pin one thing over another? How many people pin a blog post with no images compared to an infographic? How many click-throughs you receive and any other factor that can help you determine the effectiveness of your boards is an important metric to understand. Pinterest has its own analytics tools today that are quite good at giving you the information you need. That combined with Google Analytics and there isn’t much you can’t determine by looking at the numbers. If you want to be a real influencer and an authority in your niche, it’s important to know what is working and what is not working. Getting started with a goal in mind, and developing your Pinterest presence over time will reap many more benefits than going in without a clue as to the direction you want to go. Having goals and understanding your topic and your audience will go far in helping you pin your way to influence. One way to become more influential is to build your following.