If you are like me and Pinterest has been somewhat of a mystery you to hopefully this article helps shed a bit of light on the situation.

Last year Pinterest launched their business page offering. These pages offer you the chance to promote your business on Pinterest in much the same way you do with Facebook pages and Google+ profiles.

It therefore becomes just another channel to promote your products and generate leads and sales. But it’s not just another channel. As of March 2013 Pinterest had 48.7 million users and importantly as a marketer 80% of Pinterest pins are repins (similar to Facebook share). This means that there is a huge appetite to share great content and ideas.

The way Pinterest works is that you create ‘boards’ and you then ‘pin’ images etc to these boards. To make the most of Pinterest from a business perspective and to get people following your boards and re-pinning your content a great idea is to create boards around themes that might be of interest to potential customers.

After you have finalised the boards that you wish to start with the next thing you need to do is create the board based on your themes and give them a board name, description and category. You’re then ready to start pinning

Examples of ideas for creating themes that I have seen are:

  • Holiday themes – create boards for Christmas, Halloween, Easter etc. You can then pin all of your products that relate to the holidays you are targeting;
  • Popular products – here you can highlight the products that are your main sellers. People like popular products as it creates a bit of a ‘keeping up with the Jones’ mentality’ i.e. if everyone else has it I want it.
  • Specific suppliers – if you happen to have suppliers that create their own interest you might like to exploit this. For example if you were a fashion boutique you could have boards dedicated to your individual designers. If you were a restaurant specialising in local produce you could have boards featuring your local suppliers and there goods.

The thing about themes (and by extension boards) is that they can be whatever you like. The list above is by no means exhaustive and you are only limited by your imagination. Just keep the content consistent with the original theme/idea otherwise followers might lose interest.

An idea that I found and thought was very good comes from Mitt Ray of Social Marketing Writing*. His idea is as follows:

Another way to use your Pinterest page is to generate leads. First, create some quality content (such as ebooks, white papers, reports, case studies, etc.) that is gated with an opt-in form on a landing page.

Then add a short description about the content on the landing page along with an attractive image that is also the cover image of your file. After that, pin this image onto a board where you share your premium content. Write a brief description about it with a call to action that asks people to visit your website to sign up.

This will increase your landing page traffic and will help generate more leads, which can be used to increase website and blog traffic and drive sales later.

Using your brand page to generate leads can be easier than trying to push sales.

An example is the Free Marketing Resources board on Team MarketingProfs’ brand page, where you will find pins of their free marketing resources. Here, instead of directly marketing their services, MarketingProfs asks its followers to download their marketing materials for free. Many of these resources can only be accessed by providing an email address.

This is a great way to generate leads from potential customers who can be marketed to later. It’s a lot easier than trying to get them to buy your products or use your services right away.

Finally, two last pieces of advice:

1. make sure that when you pin images they are set up to direct users back to the relevant page on your website so that you can capture as many sales opportunities as possible; and

2. Never pin your products more than once is it will appear as this could be considered by followers as over-promoting

Happy pinning everyone

* This idea was originally part of a blog posted by Mitt on Social Media Examner