It doesn’t matter if you sell popular high-fashion clothing and accessories or niche items like flip-flops, cupcakes, antiques, or even tiki décor, you can sell your wares on Pinterest. However, the process is not as simple as uploading a photo of your product while kicking back and waiting for customers to bite. There are best-practices that need to be followed. Thankfully, these are fairly easy to follow. Read further to learn how your brand can take full advantage of Pinterest as an online sales tool.
Ten Basic Steps to Successfully Selling Your Products Using Pinterest
1. Use Tall Yet Boxy Images of Your Product
Leave the landscapes to the painters when it comes to sizing your product photos for posting on Pinterest. Images should focus more on height over girth. The Pinterest layout is not conducive to optimal viewing of landscape imagery, instead giving way to top-down scrolling. This Pinterest board offers a great guide to best image sizes for Pinterest, including a 735 (pixel width) x 1102 (pixel height) recommendation that I concur with.
2. Edit the Product Images Until They Are Eye-Catching Enough to Get Noticed
Unless your offering is so visually engaging on its own (e.g. cupcakes topped-high with rich and creamy frosting) or you have a professional photographer snapping your product-line portfolio you may need to enhance your images before posting. You’re competing against a slew of other businesses posting like-imagery on Pinterest, you want to make sure that yours stands out from theirs to grab the attention of consumers. When going at it alone (sans photographer) use these top 5 photo-editing apps to add pizzazz to your product photos, then post them on Pinterest.
3. Ensure that the Images Have a Home on Your Website to Pin From
Your main goal here is to sell the products depicted in the pictures. You will need to make sure that each product photo is represented (via a high-resolution photo) on a landing page back on your website where users can learn more (product-description, price), “add to shopping cart”, and purchase the items.
4. Always Be Linking (ABL)
Take a cue from Glengarry Glen Ross when it comes to promoting your products on Pinterest, by altering the expression of “Always be selling”, replacing selling with linking (which will lead to those all-important sales). Once you have product landing pages on your website in place (item #3 above) you will want to pin images directly from these high-conversion landing pages (creating the link) so that when Pinterest users click-through the pin they arrive on your website, where the magic happens.
5. Post Using Keywords in Your Pin Description AND Your Website’s Product Landing Page
Many pinners overvalue the use of hashtags in Pinterest. Hashtags do not function the same on this platform as they do in Instagram. They can only be added in pin descriptions (vs. boards and bios) and do not have much more of an impact than if you simply use keywords alone (sans hashtag) in the product description. In fact, keyword optimization that works in getting your product found within Pinterest search occurs back on the product landing page on your website. If your product page (where you are pinning from) uses the appropriate keywords in the title tag, and within the title/alt-description of the image, you will have a better shot at getting your pin found by those searching for the associated keyword in Pinterest.
6. Fully Accommodate the Female Consumer
This recent social media IQ test details that women account for 80% of Pinterest users and 92% of pins made. Your product posts should consider this. That means even if you exclusively sell male-oriented products you will need to tailor the message (pin description) to the dominant audience and decision maker of purchases found on Pinterest. For example, instead of “Stand out from the crowd with our line of polka-dotted ties” you may post “Make sure that the guy in your life stands out from the crowd with our line of polka-dotted ties“.
7. Season Your Product Pitch
Pinterest is a seasonal beast. Users respond very well brands that stay current and relevant, which means that your business must adapt to each passing season with appropriate and engaging imagery. You will want to follow these social media content marketing guidelines for the key seasons as they apply to Pinterest. This involves customizing your profile photo (e.g. using a fun “snow-capped” logo in the winter), creating holiday-themed Pinterest boards (e.g. Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids, etc…), and launching Pinterest offers and promotions unique to the season at hand.
8. Use Rich Pins’ Product Pins
Product pins are a category of Pinterest’s rich pins. Rich pins attach additional product information to the photo of your product, without requiring extra effort from users to view it (i.e. having to click to “learn more”, which they may not do). This information can include items such as price, brand/retailer name, and where exactly it can be purchased. Product pins deliver users further towards the purchase decision. If after viewing a product pin the follower/user decides to click-through the image to the product landing page you as a brand know that they are more qualified and more likely to make a purchase. Product pins on Pinterest are a very effective conversion tool.
9. Engage Your Existing & Prospective Pinterest Followers
Try not to get so caught up in promoting your product on Pinterest that you forget that you are using a social network, keyword social. All of your above efforts will be in vain if you do not proactively identify, follow, and engage your target demographic by commenting on, liking, and re-pinning their own pins when these pins directly relate to your offering. Do so and they will return the favor for yours.
10. Track Progress and Make Adjustments Using Pinterest Analytics
Pinterest made major improvements to its analytics offering at the end of the summer of 2014, making the lives of brands selling products on their platform much easier. If you’ve been quite active on Pinterest over the past year then use the analytics provided to you to identify what is and is not working. Either way, as you move forward in your new mandate to optimize your product sales on Pinterest you will want to use their valuable analytical offering to monitor current activity so that you can make adjustments as needed.
You are now armed with enough knowledge to start using this visually attractive social network to sell your product/s on Pinterest with fervor. Happy Pinning!
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