Pinterest has fast become a force to be reckoned with in the world of social media, and its influence is still growing, not just in bringing products to the attention of consumers in a visual marketplace but in resulting sales and business growth.
According to Wishpond, referrals that come from Pinterest spend a staggering 70% more than referrals from any other form of social media. Added to that, ComScore reports that Pinterest buyers “spend more money, more often and on more items than any of the other top five social media sites”. That should add up to some pretty strong motivation for you to be part of this social media community.
Why does Pinterest have this effect? Essentially it has to do with the fact that people are visually stimulated to buy. We like to see how something looks, whether it’s in situ in our home or while it’s being worn, how it works and how we can use it. More than that, we like to know the things we like are things other people find appealing and attractive, and by seeing what others are looking at, we can spot the latest trends, and see what is going to be the next big thing to do/wear/drive/watch/use in our lives.
Pinterest is perfectly designed to fill all those needs, and as a small business owner, you can take advantage of what is essentially a huge selection of people’s “Wishlists” to generate the desire in consumers for products and services. Here is a checklist of how to sign up for and get the most out of a Pinterest Business Account.
[note_box]According to ComScore reports, Pinterest buyers “spend more money, more often and on more items than any of the other top five social media sites”. This is because they are visually stimulated to buy. Use this to your advantage to generate the desire in consumers for products and services.[/note_box]
Getting Started: Setting Up A Pinterest Business Account
- Go to http://business.pinterest.com and click on the “Join as a business” button.
- Choose to set up a business account or convert your current personal account into a business account (business accounts have more tools available and there are other benefits which are outlined later in this article).
- Select a username. This is a unique name between 3-15 characters in length that appears at the end of your personal Pinterest URL (http://www.pinterest.com/USERNAME) (try to include Keywords that link in to your practice. This will help optimize your position in Search Engines results).
- Fill out all the profile information
- Basic information section
- Email notification
- Link up to all your other social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- Add profile picture for your Pinterest home page (Profile images on Pinterest are square. Pinterest will choose the center square of any image regardless of the content. So if you use a portrait picture as a headshot, you may find only part of your face is visible in the Pinterest profile, so try to crop your image down into a square format before you upload it. Remember this is your BUSINESS Pinterest. While you may pin images that are fun, your profile image should be professional, so use either your company logo or a decent headshot).
- Add a profile name
- Complete the “About Description” section (You only have 200 characters, but make sure to include keywords that relate to your practice to maximize your SEO opportunities).
- Install the ‘Pin It’ button onto your bookmark toolbar.
It is important that you verify your e-mail address in order to be able to use the Pinterest website (Pinterest allows business users to have their website address in their public profile. Verified websites have a red check mark, which tells others that your site is safe to visit. This immediately builds confidence in you.)
Start To Build Your Boards
- Click on “Create A Board”.
- Name your Board (To maximize your Pinterest appeal to others, name your boards with interesting, appealing titles and have a good mix of business and social boards. Good social boards to create include Inspiration, Cute, Travel, Pets, Themed Holiday Boards (Christmas, Easter etc), Food, Tutorials, Tips & Tricks, as well as creating boards to showcase some of the treatments and services your practice offers, as well as professional tips and advice for patients).
- Fill in the ‘Board Description’ (Remember to research and use keywords here too as this description is also searchable).
- Put the Board in a category (Once you do this, it will become visible to people who are not followers of you when they are browsing through that particular category. Otherwise you will limit the amount of people who see your images to those people who are a follower of either you or your board).
- Choose to make your board secret or public. (Secret boards are only visible to people you invite and are not searchable. You can make a Secret board public but you cannot make a public board Secret).
- Create five boards minimum with a good range of varied themes, ideally, each board should end up with at least 10-20 images.
Adding Images: “Pinning”
Ideally, you should be looking to add between 5-10 images per day. Not only will this keep your profile fresh and current, it will offer incentives for your fans and followers to keep revisiting you, especially if your content is entertaining and informative. (There are websites like PinGraphy.com that offer a paid services which in return allows you to schedule and pin images automatically at chosen days and times, which means you only have to upload in one bulk lot and the system takes care of the rest automatically)
You can add an image (known as a ‘PIN’) to one of your boards from a number of different sources:
- From Pinterest Search
- Find an image to pin.
- Click ‘Pin It’.
- Choose one of your boards from the ‘Board’ dropdown.
- Add description.
- Click red ‘Pin It’ button.
- From Inside Your Pinterest Board
- Click ‘Add A Pin’ placeholder.
- Choose to add an image from your computer, from a website or from Pinterest (When pinning your own image, make sure it has a file name that has been customized to a snappy title, because on Pinterest the file name becomes the title of your image).
- Select board to pin image to from dropdown (when pinning an image to one of your business-related boards, always remember to take full advantage of keywording the description box and title).
- From An Online Source
- Find an image you wish to pin.
- Click the ‘Pin It’ button you installed on your Bookmark toolbar.
- Select the image.
- Click the Pin It button that appears inside the image when you hover over it.
- Choose the board to pin it to from the dropdown.
- Add a description.
- Click ‘Pin It’.
Finding Images To Pin
Pin images from a wide range of sources.
Don’t be afraid to jump on the bandwagon and re-pin a really popular or trending image. (You should be trying to connect with as many people as possible. Having popular images that attract people’s attention is a good tactic to use).
Search out images that have been re-pinned a lot of times and re-pin a number of these at regular intervals to your own boards.
Look for images that are out of the ordinary, astonishing, unique or funny. These are the pins that tend to go viral (every time someone re-pins an image, the board it comes from is shown to the re-pinner, as well as being given the option of following the board or the Pinterest profile. This opens your practice’s Pinterest profile up to many more people, and the more re-pins you get, the more people will visit this profile or your website)
Search and pin images from trending topics to add interest to your overall profile and to keep your content fresh.
Keep in touch with other social media sites to see what people are interested in.
Pin a range of images of treatments and services offered by your practice, along with useful infographics of helpful tips, guidance and ‘How-To’ information.
Search on Pinterest for images around the theme of the board you wish to pin to (Enter your theme keywords into the ‘Search’ box at the top of the Pinterest page. This will give you a starting point to begin exploring).
Online newspapers and magazines often have special “The Top 10…” features, which could be things like the top 10 places to visit, top 5 romantic gifts, 7 worst car parking examples, etc. These are ready-made image stores, but only pin one or two examples.
[note_box]Add between 5 and 10 images per day by pinning new images of your own and repining really popular or trending images that are relevant to your practice and treatment methods. Popular images attract people’s attention, which will help your Pinterest page get noticed. But, be a polite contributor. Do not just repin other people’s photos. And, don’t forget to thank people who repin your photos.[/note_box]
Build Up Traffic On Pinterest
Add Keywords to the following:
- Your User Name
- Your ‘About’ Profile Section
- Board Names
- Board Descriptions
- Image File Names
- Image descriptions
Here are a number of additional tips to help build traffic for your practice:
- Add links to the captions and information of your Pinterest posts. These links remain live, no matter how many times the image is re-pinned, so they will all lead back to your site.
- Edit uploaded images to include a link in your pin.
- Use a contest to increase engagement, such as ‘Pin It to Win It’.
- Link your Pinterest to your other social media accounts.
- Add the “Follow me on Pinterest” button to your Facebook and Twitter accounts (It makes it easier to share pins between Social media sites).
- Add the Pinterest tab to your Facebook page (You can use the Facebook Developer Application to do this or you can go to www.woobox.com and get a free app there).
- Add a ‘Pin It’ button on to your website.
- Invite friends via email, Facebook, Twitter, or search Pinterest.
- Follow other Pinterest boards or users that have high numbers of followers.
- Follow back those who have re-pinned one of your images or who are following you.
- Don’t just pin or re-pin content. Be a polite user and a contributor to the social fabric of Pinterest by using the ‘Like’, ‘Comment’ and ‘Share’ features too, as well as thanking those who re-pin from your board.
- Tweet or share on Facebook some special or interesting images.
Monitor Your Stats
Use Google Analytics and Pinterest Analytics to scrutinize your Pinterest performance. Find out useful things like: which days and times that you pin bring you the biggest results, and which boards have the most followers, and then pin to these boards more often.
Maximize Visual Interest
Place your most important, popular and related boards in the center of the page, at both the top and middle of the page. (A study by Mashable gave valuable insight into how people peruse the boards of an individual Pinterest user. Most people will tend to focus on the center of the screen, so they start top center and move their eyes straight down the middle of the page and boards here get the most views.)
- Choose the most engaging image for the cover of each board.
- Ensure all your important boards are positioned above the fold (the top part of any page when viewed on screen).
- Change the Board covers and arrangement at regular monthly intervals to keep your profile looking fresh.
- Make sure to position any seasonal boards you may have in the top row.
Attract New Patients With Pinterest
By creating a well-run Pinterest business account, you will massively improve your web presence, which will strengthen relationships with many potential patients and eventually lead to more business. The visual nature of Pinterest has given it a proven track record of inspiring a viewer to progress to becoming a purchaser. By getting involved on Pinterest, your private practice can take advantage of this, which will bring you more traffic to your website and more business.
[colored_box variation=”steelblue”]The time spent creating and maintaining a well-run Pinterest business account is well worth it. The potential rewards for your practice are huge, but we know many private practice owners have their hands full running their businesses on a day-to-day basis, or they find the whole process very daunting. We can help you make the most of Pinterest and our knowledge of social media marketing can help you take full advantage of the platform. Give us a call for some guidance with Pinterest or to hear some of the ways we can help your practice grow.[/colored_box]