Add Pinterest to Your Marketing Strategies

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As a savvy business owner, you’re probably already using multiple marketing channels — such as printed media, ads, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter — to get the word out about all that your company has to offer. But you may be overlooking one of the most popular and fastest-growing social sites of all: Pinterest. 

If you think of Pinterest as simply a place to “pin” cute pictures of your dog or the handmade decorations from your kid’s latest birthday party, think again. A 2014 consumer trends report from ShareThis shares a few (very) interesting Pinterest trends that should make any business owner who wants to take advantage of all possible marketing channels stand up and take careful notice, such as:

 

  • Pinterest users grew by 58 percent in 2013, making it the fastest-growing sharing site, even beating out Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Pinterest is the third-largest social sharing platform.
  • Sharing on Pinterest has outpaced sharing through e-mail, an especially notable development given that the platform has only been around since 2008.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, consider a 2013 study from Piquora that found that:

  • Pins are 100 times more likely to go “viral” than tweets.
  • The average pin drives $.78 in sales, a number that’s on the rise.
  • Pins continue to drive sales for 3.5 months, much longer than Facebook posts or tweets.

Piqued your interest yet? Here’s how you can incorporate Pinterest into your print and digital marketing strategies and use this up-and-coming platform to drive traffic to your website, enhance your brand’s online image, and boost sales.
Get Verified
First step: Verify your business. Not only does Pinterest’s simple verification process prove that you are, indeed, who you say you are (i.e., adds to your trustworthiness), but it also allows you to take full advantage of Pinterest’s on-site analytics features. Analytics provide an easy way to track what your customers are looking at and repinning, as well as what’s getting repinned from your website. These metrics help your marketing team determine what’s working and what needs improvement.
Visual Marketing
Using the right images is key to Pinterest success, so choose your pins carefully. Choose visually striking images that grabs viewers’ attention and inspire them to repin. And think twice before using images that include faces; studies find that users are almost 25% more likely to repin a brand-related image if it doesn’t include a face. Also of note, users tend to prefer images that are:

  • Colorful
  • Predominantly red, brown, or orange, rather than blue
  • Of medium lightness, rather than very dark or mostly black

On a similar note, keep your pins focused on images you know will appeal to your target audience. One way to figure this out? Use analytics!
Targeting the Audience
Speaking of target audiences, another easy way to figure out exactly who’s out there is by doing a bit of sleuthing on those who follow your business. What else are they pinning? What types of content are generating comments and conversation? These trends make it easier to pinpoint your ideal audience.
Another great tool: Following other boards with the same images. Pinterest allows you to “follow” other users that pin the same images on their boards — and prompt them to follow you, too. Remember, the more you pin, the greater the chances of this happening.
User Friendly
Focus pin content on information that’s useful to your target audience. Whether this is an industry infographic, a well-done video presentation, or even a great marketing book that you just finished, providing your audience with content that offers a solution or helps your customers will keep them coming back for more.
Finally, provide easy ways for your users to interact with you. Adding questions to your descriptions fields, such as “What could this be?” or “Have you ever used one of these?” opens up a conversation with your potential clients and helps build brand recognition and loyalty.

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Honest Abe, A Cherry Tree, and Running a Successful Business

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Quick: Name two of the most popular historic U.S. presidents. The first names that come to mind for most people are George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. These two presidents are well known for their leadership during tumultuous times in American history. But they’re also known for their place in American folklore. Specifically, they have both gained reputations for being exceptionally honest.

George Washington and the cherry tree

According to the popular story, young George Washington was playing with his new hatchet when he killed his father’s favorite cherry tree. When his father confronted the household about who had hurt the tree, young George quickly confessed, telling his father that he could not tell a lie. His father forgave him, reinforcing the importance of his son’s honesty. George Washington carried this lesson about the importance of telling the truth with him the rest of his life.

Honest Abe

Before Abraham Lincoln became involved in politics, he was involved in a number of businesses. He bought a small store, was a lawyer, and served in Congress. In each of these positions, he became known as ‘Honest Abe.’ Stories abound about young Abe returning a few cents of change or tracking down customers to complete their orders if their requests were mis-measured. He carried this reputation as a reputable businessman with him to the White House. 

What these two men can teach us today

Many people couldn’t tell you the date the American Civil War ended, when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, or when George Washington died. Despite these gaps of knowledge, most people would be able to tell you that these men were known for their honesty. Why is that? Because people value honesty in their leaders. They want to be able to trust the people they elect. 

This also applies to their business leaders. When customers are looking for companies they want to work with or buy products from, they need to be able to trust that the company will provide them with the quality service they’re expecting. They want to trust that the advertising they see is accurate and that if they have any kind of problem, they’ll be able to get the situation addressed by a quality customer service team.

How you can show your honesty to potential customers

Since we all know customers are looking for honest businesses, it’s important to display this characteristic in all our dealings with customers, especially online. Social media and websites make customer service and customer opinions very public, for all potential customers to see. This makes honesty and quality customer service even more critical. 

As a business leader, it’s important to monitor the web for discussions about your company to see what people are saying. If customers have legitimate complaints about the quality of service they received, make sure you do everything you can to make it right. This may include issuing refunds, providing coupons, and addressing other concerns.

Similarly, when you come across positive reviews, it’s a good idea to send notes of appreciation or coupons to encourage repeat business and as a sign of thanks. Above all, you should strive to be above reproach when it comes to honesty.

People like knowing they can trust their leaders, whether presidents or business owners. Stories abound in the collective consciousness about the honesty of some presidents in particular. When you (and your company) gain the same reputation for honesty, you can also live in the public consciousness as someone worth following; and that’s how customers are gained.