5 Steps For Increasing Sales With Pinterest

by Renee Warren on Mar 13, 2012

It’s all a buzz.

Millions are flocking to Pinterest (over 12 million monthly actives for that matter). Most are women (82%) pinning to boards for weddinginspiration, new fashion styles, and decor ideas for their homes and nurseries.

But men are also quickly jumping on board (pun intended), mostly from the UK, Japan and France.

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

The question is, does your brand belong on Pinterest?

Can you leverage this hot new network to get the most for your business? Find out exactly how Pinterest can help you grow sales.

1. Monitor

a)  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 Gartner senior research analyst, Jenny Sussin.

This is awesome information if you’re interested in sales and marketing. You get to have a clear look at what your target market loves and is passionate about, and you can help satisfy some of those wants.

b) Create relevant boards

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

For example, if you’re targeting young sneaker-heads, have a look at Hypebeast and see what they’re writing 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 applies just as appropriately 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 posting the work of a designer you really love, maybe you can relate with your own favorite piece or recommend similar work from another designer.

c) Watch your competitors

Your eyes on Pinterest should focus not only on your customers, but also on your competitors.

Are they as engaging as you are?

Or perhaps they’re more active?

Find out what their best practices are and figure out what you need to do to not only retain your clients, but to also get their clients’ attention.

2. Flaunt It

Got a big event coming up?

Launching a new promotion?

Use Pinterest to get the word out. But make sure you do this tastefully.

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

HelloBerry does this well. Recently, they did a one day sale on their bracelets, pricing them at two for $22. They updated their Pinterest account accordingly and linked the images of their bracelets to their Etsy page.

HelloBerry consistently updates their boards. Their travel, color inspiration, and style boards keep their users engaged by showing off their own tastes and preferences.

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?

A lot more than you may think. 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 of increasing brand awareness through Pinterest.

Manpacks, for example, is also doing a great (and hilarious) job of creating boards that both inspire (Extreme Humans) and poke fun at (Sh*t You Can’t Afford) their community.

And Mashable is inspiring their community with their Tips and Tricks board. It’s evident that Pinterest is about so much more than just posting images of your product.

It’s about allowing merchants to relate to the many aspects of their customers’ lives.

4. Share, Pin, Repin

Pinterest is not only about creating and updating your own boards. It’s more about repinning, sharing and commenting on others’.

Just like on Twitter and Facebook, you have to become an active part of your community and show interest in order to be found and followed.

The more you are involved in repinning and commenting (in addition to creating really interesting boards), the more people will follow you back and engage with your content.

5. Making the Sale

Imagine being completely anti-social media for years and then one day discovering a tool – in the social space – that increased your sales by over 50%.

Would that make you a believer? I think so. Well, it certainly worked out well for a fine art photographer in New Hope, PA.

Carl Christensen was kicking and screaming when forced, by his wife, to jump onto Pinterest. Little did he know, his work would quickly be discovered, shared and purchased by hundreds of people he would not have been able to connect with otherwise.

His images link directly to his Etsy storefront, making the transition from Pinterest discovery to checkout a breeze.

It doesn’t hurt to slap a price tag on the image being shared for the sake of promotion. Creating a call to action is a great way to get people clicking and buying.

All you have to do is add the ‘$’ and amount into the comment section when posting. The item will immediately be priced and categorized in the gift section.

Pinterest gives you a glimpse into your audience’s aspired future, which is priceless according to professionals like Paul Mullins.

Like Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest can be used to increase your sales AND brand awareness.

A few Pinterest keys:

  1. Quickly master the community etiquette
  2. Experiment with content combinations
  3. Build a community to support your business goals
  4. Have fun, posting awesome photos and interesting images
  5. Seek out what interests your community the most

Do you have any recommendations on using Pinterest to increase sales?

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Post Author

Geek in stilettos. Founder of Onboardly. Chocolate lover. Traveler. Tall. Canadian in San Francisco. www.onboardly.com...

  • Laura @MOMables @SuperGlueMom

    Thank you for this post! #2 is an EXCELLENT IDEA! Thanks for pointing it out. you just gave me a brilliant thought… with http://www.MOMables.com 

  • http://www.createagoodincome.com/ Pat Coldiron

    Excellent article Renee. I just signed up for Pinterest and still trying to understand it.

  • Dave

    Great article Renee. How often do you think we should be engaged on pinterest? Daily or every few days? With so much social media to choose from now and trying to brand accordingly as a Realtor its tough to figure out what works best and how often.
    Dave

  • http://twitter.com/Renee_Warren Renée Warren

    Awesome Laura!  Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

    Best of luck.

  • terisa huddleston

    Great article Ms.Geek in Stillettos! Great links and good insight. Thank you
    Terisa @ http://www.OurHandsForHope.com