Create A Winning Social Media Marketing Plan With This Easy Peasy Checklist ✔️

Developing a clear, concise and thorough social media marketing plan should be the first thing any business does when starting to use social media to market their business. Having a clear plan will make the difference between a social media presence that thrives and is effective and one that isn’t. Constructing your plan needn’t be a daunting task however, it is simple answering several key questions to ensure that you clearly know the direction to take to develop an effective presence that helps you achieve the results you want for your business. Start your marketing plan today by answering these several fundamental questions;


 

What Objectives do I want my Business to Achieve by Using Social Media?

Whether you want to use your social media presence to gain exposure for your brand, directly educate and interact with your customers, promote specific products and services or all of the above, clearly identifying your objectives is the critical first step towards a successful social media presence. Identifying your objectives in the beginning ensures you will be able to tailor your content and posting schedule to maximise effectiveness and provide value to your customers. Having clear objectives also ultimately helps you to accurately measure your success as you will be aware of the most appropriate metrics to track efficiently.

Common Social Media Objectives

  • Build Brand Awareness
  • Drive Traffic to Website
  • Providing Customer Service
  • Engage with Fans
  • Establish Thought Leadership
  • Launch New Products or Services
  • Generate Leads
  • Increase Sales
  • Research and Insight
  • Build your Community
  • Improve SEO
  • Competitive Analysis

 

What Platforms am I Going to use for my Business?

What you platforms you choose to use will ultimately depend on where your customers are and what are right for your business. Spend the time researching where your current customers are online and what platforms can be best utilized with your resources and business. The key is to not spread yourself too thinly across lots of social media platforms just because you think this will gain your business more exposure, rather it is much more effective to run a handful of platforms consistently and efficiently and to spend the time reviewing the platforms you are on to make sure they are as effective as they can be. You should also keep up to date with research into new technologies and platforms that your business could potentially utilise in the future.

Selecting the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Business

The key to choosing the right social media platforms relies on you having a clear understanding of your objectives for social media, your target audience and what resources/ information you have to share as having a clear idea of these will inform you of which platforms are going to be the most effective for you. Ultimately ask yourself these three questions;

Purpose – What information do you want to share with and communicate to your audience?
Format – In what format is the best way to present this information? Videos, Podcasts, extended pieces of writing etc.
Platform – Which social media platform will allow me to share this message best and which platform has the correct audience that I want to reach?

 


Have I Done my Research?

A successful social media presence is always aided by a good, solid foundation of prior research. You should look to do initial research into key areas such as your competitor’s social media, your target audience demographics, the latest trends and news in social media, marketing and business as well as many others. Conducting research and paying attention to changes in your industry and audience for example should also be a regular and active occurrence as things, especially social media, evolve and change so you need to keep up to date to ensure your strategy is as relevant and effective as possible.

Market Research – Who is your target audience? How do they behave on social media? Where are they online?

Your Competitors – Which platforms your competitors are using? Are they directly engaging with prospects online? What are they good at online? In which areas could they improve? Can you get case studies? (both successful and unsuccessful examples?

Latest business and social media news, trends and techniques – Do you know the latest techniques on your social media platforms that are effective? What is changing in social media and/or business that could affect your marketing?

 


Who are My Target Audience?

Determining the audience that you want to reach and engage with on social media is fundamental to your strategy. Whether your target audience is your current or potential clients or customers, affiliate businesses, thought leaders or all four, your aim is to create a successful social media strategy that matches and is tailored towards understanding and acting on your target audience’s behaviors online. What are your target audience’s interests? Where do they spend their time online? In what format do they like to digest their content online? These are a few of many questions that you need to know the answers to in order to develop a successful and targeted social media strategy that will bring real results for your business.

 


Who is Going to Set up and Maintain My Business Social Media Platforms?

In the beginning you will need to decide who will implement and maintain your social media accounts. Whether you want to run them in-house or hire a social-media marketing manager or firm, you need to ensure that the person who is in charge of your platforms can effectively represent your brand and know how to create and maintain a successful social media presence. That person is going to ultimately control how your business is presented to others in the online world so you need to be absolutely confident that they are the right person for you and your business.

 


What is my Publishing Schedule?

Your publishing schedule is going to be ultimately dictated by three things, your business capabilities, the platform you’re using and your audience needs. In the beginning you will need to experiment to find a publishing schedule that works best for your business, goals and readers and is the perfect balance of what you want and what your audience wants. Part of this consideration is also understanding the nature of the platform you’re using to publish and whether it is one such as Twitter that favours several short updates per day or Facebook where posting 3 – 5 times a week is effective. Ultimately, how often you post is different for everyone and personal to your business so you when you are creating a publishing schedule you need to ask yourself, Can you keep this schedule consistently?, Can you always publish high-quality content at this rate? And will you have enough content for this schedule? Once you’ve discovered the most effective schedule for you, being consistent with your publishing schedule has the benefit of increasing SEO value, maximising value and engagement from readers and encourages readers to come back regularly for more.

 


 

How am I Going to Ensure my Business Branding is Representative and Consistent?

Having a social media presence is a great way to show a wider audience who you are, what you stand for and ultimately why they should love you. From this, it is important that you know clearly what your brand stands for and how this is going to be conveyed consistently and accurately across your platforms. This consideration needs to be applied to everything from the voice you want for your brand that can be consistently applied across all your posts to the creative aspects of your platforms- that is the overall presentation including the colour scheme and typography. By setting consistent guidelines over the presentation and integration of your branding into your social media platforms it ensures that all these factors support and are in line with your overall branding and help reinforce your message and brand.


 

What Resources/ Content do I have at my Disposal?

Each social media platform has a certain type of content that is best suited towards it, for example Pinterest and Instagram are both inherently visual and as such require good-quality and memorable images to be effective. From this, you need to understand what type of content that the platforms you are using are most effective and importantly what content resonates best with your audience. Once you are clear on both these aspects, you will be able to form an effective content strategy with maximised effectiveness. It is important that you share with your audience a diverse and interesting mix of content types that encourages engagement so you need to think about the types of questions you will ask, updates you will share and ultimately what resources do you have that you can utilise and repurpose for your social media platforms.

 


 

How am I Going to Measure the Success of my Social Media Marketing Efforts?

Tracking your social-media marketing metrics is fundamental as it helps gauge which tactics are successful and which areas are in need of improvement. From this, you need to have a clear vision of what your business objectives are for your social media presence and subsequently what are the most effective metrics you should therefore be analysing to ensure you are reaching those objectives. So whether you want to boost your personal brand through LinkedIn or use Facebook to drive traffic to your site, ensure you have clear objectives with your platforms and routinely assess whether you are successfully meeting those objectives and they are still relevant to you, and if they’re not then you will need to reevaluate.

 


Am I Going to Have to Create a Written Social Media Policy for my Employees?

If there are going to be several different administrators of your platforms or you run a business with staff members who have personal and/or business social media accounts, it is well worth creating a social media policy for your staff to sign so everyone is clear on their responsibilities and what is deemed appropriate and inappropriate behaviour when they are representing or discussing your business online.

 


Ultimately, Have I got a Clear Strategy?

Having a clear idea on every aspect of your social media marketing strategy is key to its success. Ultimately, you should easily be able to answer confidently and with clarity the below questions that form a basic marketing strategy. Part of maintaining a strong, successful presence is also to regularly assess whether certain aspects of your original strategy have changed (For example are your objectives still the same? Is there a new social media platform that your audience is using?) and then adjust your efforts accordingly. As you become a regular participant on social media you will find ways in which you need to improve certain areas and areas in which you excel in, so never stop learning and listening to what your audience and your analytics tell you.

  • Why do I need social media?
  • Who will be responsible for social networking?
  • Who are my audience?
  • What do I want to tell them?
  • How am I going to tell them?
  • What content am I going to create?
  • How often am I going to post?
  • Which social media sites will I use?
  • What tools will I use to measure my success?

 


 

New eBook! The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses [Advanced Version, Updated for 2018]

Shameless plug alert! My new eBook “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses [Advanced Edition, Updated for 2018]” is now available to buy over on Amazon!

Perfect for beginners to social media, this 300+ page guide is packed full of straight-forward and effective advice and guidance, cutting through the jargon and giving you all the essential social media know-how to confidently grow your social presence, generate leads and sales on social media and make your mark on the online world.

This eBook is packed full of useful social media stuff, yet the handy bite-sized paragraphs and bulleted checklists makes it a light read for you and your business. Throughout the book we look into key areas such as;

  • An Introduction to Social Media
  • How to Create a Social Media Strategy
  • Best Practices for Social Media Marketing Success
  • Important UK Internet Usage and Social Media Statistics
  • A Comprehensive Look at all the Major Platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Pinterest, Instagram and many more.
  • Social Media Monthly Clean Up and Refresh Checklist
  • 83 Engaging Ideas for Your Social Media Content
  • Useful Tools and Apps to Help You Market Smart

 

PREVIEW THE EBOOK HERE!

 


Don’t worry, you can still download the free version off my website. No sign-ups or long forms – just download your free PDF and away you go! http://www.scarlettdarbyshireuk.com


 

How to Build a Large Following and Amplify Your Impact on Pinterest

 

Pinning images is only the beginning. The next challenge is to promote your Pinterest page in order to get maximum exposure and attract attention. Rather than relying solely on search engines, there are several other key techniques you can employ to help get your content noticed.

Engage with Other Pinners

One of the key elements of building a community on any social media network is engaging with your audience. On Pinterest following other users, especially influencers, is a great way to get your content noticed and spread across a much larger network of people. By following other users and engaging with their content, you increase the chances that they will follow you back, repin, like, and comment on your images, and give you greater exposure to their large followings. Once you start to build your network, don’t forget to be social and remember to continue interacting with and engaging your existing fans.

Promote your Pinterest Page

Anywhere your customers interact with your brand is an opportunity to encourage them to find you on Pinterest. Once you begin pinning, remember to promote it across all your other social media platforms and that includes mentioning it on your e-newsletter, your email signature, business card, product packaging and anywhere else your customers will see it. Adding a Pinterest “Follow” and “Pin It” Button on your website is also a great way to drive traffic to your page and encourages your customers and readers to pin your products.

Create and Inspire With Interesting Boards

The key to a successful Pinterest presence is to create and showcase a range of boards that enhance your brand, engage your audience and host a range of varied content that inspires and interests your audience. Your boards need to be a reflection of your business values and interests so be creative and remember that people can pick and choose which boards they follow, so not every board has to appeal to everyone. It is important that you also consider the overall look of the board taking care to give your board’ s names and descriptions ensuring they are keyword rich and clear. Choosing an eye-catching cover pin for each board is also important as you want to compel your audience to click on and see your board and you will also need to ensure that each board is filled with enough quality pins to make it feel substantial. Utilise seasons and special observances with your boards also by putting your most relevant boards at the top of your profile to coincide with the seasons and other national events.

Host Competitions

Competitions on Pinterest can help drive a lot of attention to your profile. “Pin It to Win It”competitions are very popular with businesses and if done well can really boost sales and traffic. You can generate attention and engagement with competitions that get your fans involved by pinning images from your website onto their own boards, just make the competition interesting and gets others talking about your brand with a great prize also.

Pin Your Deals and Offers

Creating a board that houses your latest deals and offers is a great way to attract attention. If you want really utilise the community you can create an exclusive board for Pinterest members only and encourage them to share them with other users that will potentially get your offers seen by a wider audience.

Comment on Popular Pins

Take advantage of the popular pins section of Pinterest and use this opportunity to add your thoughts and comments on popular pins to generate conversation. Always leave a thoughtful and meaningful comment and this will encourage others to check out your profile and opens up the potential for new interactions with potential new customers.

Highlight Your Individual Boards

If you have boards that are particularly popular then place them highly on your profile to promote them and gain more followers. You can also tailor your board layouts to coincide with seasons and events and promote them to gather attention.

Add a Pin It Button to Your Website

You can easily drive referral traffic from your website to Pinterest by utilising hover buttons that are effective calls to action. Install the hover Pin It button on images on your website and this will act as a visual reminder to your visitors that you have a Pinterest profile and it also makes it easy for users to pin images from your site onto their own boards.

Invite Others to a Group Board

A great way to collaborate with clients and prospects on Pinterest is to create a group board and invite others to pin onto the board. As the creator only you can moderate the board and remove inappropriate pinners and pins leaving a great canvas for others to contribute and add their pins and comments. This helps create a social and engaging group that will attract more attention to your profile.

Follow and Interact With Other Businesses

Connecting with other businesses on Pinterest is a great way to build your following and increase attention to you and your profile. Look to see if businesses you have dealt with in the past have profiles and also businesses that are similar to you in industry and location. If you follow other businesses on their other social networking sites such as their Twitter or blog then look to see if they are on Pinterest and connect with them also. By connecting with and interacting with other businesses you have the potential to be seen by their audiences which can open up the opportunity for potential new customers and visitors to your profile.

Refine Your Boards

Successful boards on Pinterest are often crafted by users who put great efforts in making their boards as niche as possible so that they stand a better chance of being found and subsequently followed by a target audience. Look to see if any boards that you have are labelled with a generic title that covers a broad area and actively look to refine it, seeing if you can split that broad board into several more refined ones. For example if you have a board called ‘ Weddings’ that contains lots of different wedding related pins look to refine it and create several different boards such as ‘ Wedding Dresses’ ‘ Wedding Invites’ etc. By refining your boards you not only organise your page better, you always ensure they become more relevant to the people who are the most interested in those specific topics likely increasing your chances of getting more of the right followers.

Utilise Trends

Ensure that you actively pay attention to relevant trends and act when you can see an opportunity that you can utilise. Things that are popular at a certain time make for a great opportunity for attracting new followers so whether it’ s a person or event that is trending and relates to your business jump on board and share a pin that fits in as you will stand a good chance of gaining some of the traffic and attention that comes with a trending topic.

Ensure You Tag Users

If you are following at least one of a user’ s boards, you have the ability to tag them. By placing an @ symbol in front of the users name within a pin description or comment the pin will then feature their name and also link to their profile page. Tagging other users is a great opportunity to grab their attention and encourage engagement and interaction, both of which can go a long way in attracting new followers.

Ensure Every Pin is Perfectly Optimised

One of the fundamental factors for a successful Pinterest presence is to ensure that every pin you share is optimised in 4 key areas;

  • High Quality Image : Great pins at the very basic level need to start with a high quality image. Look to ensure your image has no pixilation, is large, high resolution and generally good quality. It is also advisable to avoid pinning cheesy generic stock photos as Pinterest users want to be inspired with your beautiful and informative images so ensure every image you share is tailored towards providing value and is beneficial to the viewer in some way. Part of choosing a good quality image is also ensuring that your image supports the accompanying text and links and is reflective of the link you are sharing. Essentially, make sure that people know what’s inside the pin so they feel compelled to click it. If you feel that your image isn’ t doing so on its own then add text to it as this can make the difference between the viewer clicking on your pin or not.
  • Succinct, Snappy SEO-Rich Description : A pin’s description is a prime example of an SEO opportunity. When trying to build your presence on Pinterest you mustn’ t forget and overlook this commonly neglected area as your description has a big impact on your results. Ensure that your image description is clear, concise and enticing to the viewer, all with a consideration of using key SEO-friendly words to describe the content behind the pin so your pins can successfully rank highly in search engines.
  • Call-to-Action: Call to actions are a very powerful tool that you need to include on your pins, whether you place it on the image itself or within your pins description it is fundamental that you have included one. Whether your call to action is to encourage someone to comment, repin the image or move onto view a product on your website you need to make it clear to your followers what you want them to do so make your call to action clear and concise.
  • Attribution: Lastly you should always consider both protecting yourself from content theft on Pinterest but also on the other hand correctly attributing others credit for their own content. It is easy to get content stolen on Pinterest, so you need to ensure you always credit the work of others that you use and also protect yourself from others who will not do the same for your content. Giving credit to others is easy and involves a simple acknowledgement to them in the pin description. In regards to protecting your original pins there are several key elements to utilise, from adding your logo or website URL in the photo to using your key branding elements in the image design or even consider using a watermark on all of your images. Whatever elements you use ensure they are applied consistently as not only will it protect you from content theft it, having your logo or other brand elements on your pins is beneficial for your brand recognition.

Ensure Your Page is Optimised

The best way to convince visitors to follow you is to optimize your Pinterest page. Here are some key areas to focus on.

  • Profile: For the business name, use your company‘ s name or your name if it’ s for your personal brand. Upload a relevant, high quality profile image, such as your company logo, a professionally taken headshot or an image with your company’ s name. Match your username with your business name. If the username is already taken or is too long, choose something similar to it or use an abbreviation. Take the time to write a convincing and compelling bio in the 160 characters you are given. Help attract local followers by adding your town or city and other location details. Don’ t forget to add your website and social media accounts. This information will be displayed right below your profile image. You can add your Facebook account only if it‘ s a personal page as the option to add a Facebook business page isn’ t available yet.
  • Boards: Make sure that your page has at least 10 boards. Place your most important or popular boards in the top row. That way they’ re displayed prominently above the fold, and people will see them immediately when they visit your brand page. Optimise your boards by adding good and keyword rich board names, descriptions and cover images. Top Tip: Create a few secret boards so you can save images to pin publicly later on.

Participate in Pinterest Group Boards

Pinterest group boards are a great collaborative tool to utilise in order to get your pins seen in front of a larger, targeted audience. Essentially a group board is where a select group of pinners pin items and collaborate towards creating a large pin board that is focused around a subject that the board’ s creator has chosen. You can be invited by another user to pin onto a group board which if it is a relevant theme to you, can be a great tool for getting your pins seen by a large and relevant audience. If you can’t find a group that matches your interest or chosen theme then you can by all means start one of your own and then invite any pinners you follow and who also follow you to become part of the group. This is also a great way to collaborate with the community and get yourself established towards being a thought leader in your industry.

Partner With Influencers and Power Pinners

One of the best ways to advertise and promote your product is to get someone who is already established and is a well-known industry specialist with a large following to give you a helping hand. Word of mouth marketing and getting social proof from others goes a long way towards attracting attention and brand awareness therefore actively look to find those in your industry on Pinterest who are seen as power users and look to partner with them or at the very least interact with them and comment and share their pins in the hope that they will reciprocate and pin some of your content to their own following.

Design Content to Support Goals

Before you can determine what to pin, think about your goals. They might be to drive engagement, build an audience or to drive traffic. Once you choose your goals, you can determine what to pin by reviewing your Pinterest analytics. To access this data, click the gear icon and choose Analytics from the drop-down menu. Look at your Pinterest analytics to see what content resonates with your target audience. Your analytics page has three sections: Your Pinterest Profile, Your Audience and Activity from Your Website. In the Your Pinterest Profile section, find out how your pins are performing. Your pins are categorized depending on the impressions, clicks, repins and likes they’ ve received. Depending on your goal, choose the category you want to view. If you want to drive engagement, for example, look for pins that have been repinned and liked most. If you want to drive more traffic, take a look at clicks. It is also recommended that you visit the Your Audience section to look at your followers demographics and interests. Click the Interests tab to find out about their interests, the boards where most of your pins are being pinned and businesses that your audience engages with. Write down all this information and use it brainstorm ideas about what to pin.

Design Skinny Images

A Research by Curalate found that tall images with aspect ratios between 2:3 and 4:5 get 60% more repins than very tall images. You can get photos for free from sites like Pixabay, Pexels and Unsplash or you’ ll find affordable illustrations and icons on sites like Creative Market. It is highly recommended however that where possible you try to create your own images. You can do this easily with free tools like PicMonkey and Canva.

Test Various Pin Times

The best times to pin, according to Social Marketing Writing is from 2 pm to 4 pm and 8 pm to 1 am with the best day to pin being Saturday. This is only a general guideline however and you may come to find your optimal posting times are different. The important thing is the test various pins times to work out what is most effective for your
business. To save you time, there are many online tools you can use to schedule pins. Use Viraltag, for example, to simplify the process of creating and importing images; it integrates with Canva, Flickr, Facebook, Picasa and Instagram. The tool’s Image Enhancer makes it easy to edit your images. When you’re scheduling pins, use a combination of your content and content from others. Where possible, include the handle of the creator of the image or content in your description.

Always Serve Complementary Content

Followers look to you and your business for be informed with valuable content. Show you know your industry and develop powerful relationships with loyal clients by providing your audience with Pinterest boards filled with helpful and engaging content. Always seek to know what your clients want and need, and create and serve them complementary content that helps them view you as a trusted resource.

Create Multiple Boards

A way to strengthen your brand presence is to vary the types of boards you create. Create multiple boards to give your followers a variety of topics covering a huge selection of relevant content. That way, you speak to multiple facets of your audience thereby increasing your appeal and reach. Remember when pinning to only include content that remains relevant to and strengthens your brand. More boards and topics will lead to an increase in followers.

Experiment With Promoted Pins

Promoted pins offer the option to pay for additional exposure for your content. As with all advertising, its best practise to experiment with different options. Test different images, copy and even categories, and then choose the ones that work best for you.

Collaborate With Popular Pinners

Group boards allow you to invite contributors to add their own pins to a common board. When contributors are chosen carefully, these group boards greatly benefit marketers by leveraging the contributors’ influence and following. In the end it all boils down to an understanding that to be successful on Pinterest you need to create and foster a genuine and involved community and recognise the power of collaboration by inviting others into the conversation.

Design a Recognisable Style

The average Pinterest user follows nine brands, which means not only are you competing with individuals for attention, you’re also competing with other companies. Even once someone follows you, there’ s no guarantee they’ll notice your pins. One way to set your pins apart from the rest is to develop a recognisable style. Your signature style can be as bold as adding your logo or other identifying mark to all of your pins, or as subtle as sticking to certain aesthetic markers like lighting, angles or typography. All of these considerations work towards one central aim: to make it easy for users to recognise your pins as they scroll through their feeds.

Optimise Pins for Mobile Devices

According to the latest usage data from Pinterest, 75% of all users access the platform from a mobile device. That means it’ s absolutely necessary to optimize your images for mobile and any deficiency in your images is going to cost you dearly. To optimize your images for mobile devices, make sure they’ re large enough to view on a small screen. This is particularly important for images that include text. The most effective way to know whether your post is a fit for mobile is to simply preview all of your images on a smartphone and see how they look before you post them.

33 Top Tips For Pinterest Success!

 

Add Your Logo/Website to Your Images

When pinning original content, consider adding a watermark of your website or logo to your image this is to preserve pin integrity and ensure that the image will always stay connected to your website and will continue to promote your brand. Verify your Account When you create a business account make sure to have it verified. This can add authority and trust to a profile and can also make it stand out from other profiles within a search.

 

Engaging Board Cover Photos

One of the important things to consider when you begin creating boards is to select an engaging cover photo for each board. When a visitor lands on your Pinterest profile, you want the content to stand out and you can do this very easily by carefully selecting the cover photo for each board.

 

Make your Website Pinterest Friendly

To motivate your customers to share your content you need to optimise your business website to make it easy and compelling for them to do so. The Pinterest Goodies page found on Pinterest plays host to several widgets that you can download and utilise on your website to make pinning your products and following your profile simple for fans to do. From a follow us widget, to a Pin it widget and even a widget that’s lets you showcase a specific board or your pins right inside on your site. Whatever widgets you choose to use, ensure you clearly display them on your site so that you can help turn your website traffic into potential new followers for your Pinterest profile.

 

Pin Consistently

Pinning consistently will come naturally if you have a well-developed pinning strategy. Consistently with your pinning goes a long way towards helping people discover your pins and increasing the number of followers you gain. As a basis look to pin/repin at least 5 – 10 images daily and stick to that routine, don’ t pin aggressively for several days straight and then neglect your profile for a week as this will not keep you in followers home pages which will not help you grow your following.

 

Pin at Optimal and Different Times of the Day

There are users all over the world on Pinterest all pinning and viewing at different times throughout the day. Therefore to help you potentially get seen by a new and global audience you should look to use response data to determine the best times to pin on your boards.

 

Convert Your Pinterest Personal Page to a Business Page Although there’ s no visual difference in a personal and business page, if you are using Pinterest as your business you should convert to using a business page as this allows you to access certain features such as analytics that personal pages don’t which is key to measuring your business success on Pinterest.

 

Bias Business Specific Boards and Not Get Carried Away With Casual It is very easy, especially without a clear strategy, to get carried away with the casual aspect of Pinterest and eventually lose sight of the opportunity to create boards that are representative of your business. So just remember to be clear you’re your strategy and stick to creating boards that both interest your audience and are representative or related to your business and industry.

 

Utilise Your Brand Assets and Create a Board For Them

Whilst some industries are more visual than others, there is a need nowadays for all industries to embrace the visual and utilise the many business resources that can be easily repurposed for use on Pinterest. From brand videos, to corporate literature such as white papers, e-books and photos of corporate events there may be a lot more assets available to you than you realise that together will make a strong Pinterest board collection.

 

Use Keywords Strategically

By strategically using keywords across your profile you are helping to make you profile more discoverable via search and therefore open to traffic and new interactions. Take the time to optimise all aspects of your profile with strategically place keywords from your business description, board name to your description for Pinterest search and you’ ll get higher placement in results.

 

Share Different Types of Content

Many have the perception that Pinterest only allows the use of images and therefore one of the greatest features and one of the most underutilised by many Pinterest users is posting varying types of content. From audio from Sound Cloud to videos from YouTube and slideshows from SlideShare Pinterest allows users to share a whole range of rich and varied content so utilise this feature and help your business stand out from the crowd.

 

Vary Your Board Positions with the Seasons & Special Observances

As national observances are celebrated and seasons change so too must your boards and their positions. These special events are a great time for your business to place your seasonal boards at the top of your profile to attract more attention and followers. As you plan new Pinterest boards, look for widely celebrated events and plan your board display accordingly placing an emphasis on encouraging interaction from your audience that will drive traffic at these crucial times of year for sales.

 

Don’t Neglect Your Business Description

You have up to 200 characters to describe your business in the about section and it is important to craft them wisely. Have your keywords in mind and make it easy to read with a clear, interesting and relevant description to take advantage of SEO on Pinterest.

 

Optimise Your Page for SEO

As with any other social media platform you need to consider your SEO efforts when marketing on Pinterest. There are many ways to optimise your page for SEO including, optimising your about section and pin descriptions with descriptive keywords, including links back to your website and ensuring the images you pin have descriptive file names and relevant hashtags you can also include a reference link back to your website to drive traffic.

 

Stay Informed of Pinterest’s Business News

As Pinterest evolves it is likely to make important changes that you as a business need to be aware of. Remember to follow the official Pinterest business page and subscribe to their blog to make sure you stay on top of Pinterest’ s business updates. Take Note of Your Pinterest Followers It is important for you to look at your Pinterest followers to find out important information such as who is looking, commenting and sharing your pins. Finding out this information can help you gain vital feedback about when your followers repin, the comments you gain and if you see the same people frequently repinning and interacting with you it shows you your potential brand ambassadors. Additionally the information about who is interacting with you can also shed light on important potential opportunities to engage with individuals and businesses that may not have been an intended target in your Pinterest strategy.

 

Keep Your Pinterest Boards Fresh

Updating your followers Pinterest feed with fresh content regularly is key to a successful presence. Pinterest users love fresh content as it’ s something new and they get a first look especially before it becomes spread across Pinterest. From this you should actively look to pin original content from a variety of sites and sources as this will attract attention from other users and gives them a reason to follow your boards as they know you will provide them with regular, fresh and interesting content.

 

Keep Your Boards Organised

Organised boards are fundamental for not only your own general ease of use of Pinterest but also go a long way in gathering followers. Your organisational skills need to be applied to everything from your board names, what boards you generate, how many boards you generate, to ensuring your pins are always placed in the appropriately named board. In addition you will also need to ensure each board cover has the best pin and that your boards are arranged in an order that best represents you or your brand. Whilst it may seem a lot of effort, you will be rewarded greatly in the long term as organising your boards keeps them user-friendly, easily searchable for your audience and will ensure your Pinterest presence is as fully optimised as it can be for attracting followers and building your brand awareness positively.

 

Include Price Tags

Users on Pinterest are not only there for creative inspiration, but are also there to find new things to buy. Whilst it is great to have a profile filled with value and inspiration, you as a business and marketer are ultimately on Pinterest to drive traffic to your website and inspire purchases by others. Therefore it is up to you on your profile to influence and compel buyer behaviour and one of the most important ways to drive traffic and increase revenue is to include a price tag and information on the pins that you create as research has found Pinterest pins with prices get 36 percent more likes than those without. It is important to remember however that your Pinterest profile isn’ t simple seen as purely a sales driven platform where you simply broadcast your products, rather you need to provide value to your community with a mix of rich, quality pins that inspire, inform and excite your audience.

 

Create a Board for Your Blog

Cross promoting your content across your social media platforms is a vital task that you can utilise to increase your brand awareness and drive traffic to your sites. If you have a blog, ensure that you create a board on your Pinterest profile that is solely a place for your followers to find all your blog posts and place it in a prominent position. You also need to consider your SEO efforts by naming your boards and pins using relevant keywords, making it easier for followers to find them in search engine results. On every new blog post you publish, you then need to add it to your blog board on Pinterest and look to include a clear, concise and key word rich summary of the article, a relevant high-quality image (ideally not a generic stock photo) and a link back to the blog post itself.

 

Think of Pinterest as a Search Engine

Despite Pinterest being a visual platform, text plays a very important role and as such, you need to approach Pinterest in the mind set of it being a visual search engine. From your board’ s names to pin descriptions and what you name your image files, you need to consider your keyword research and strategically place those words throughout your pins and profile to ensure you attract your target audience and increase your visibility in Pinterest search results.

 

Regularly Explore your Analytics

Pinterest Analytics shows you a wealth of important data that you can and should regularly analyse. From your pin impressions, the quantity of repins to clicks, what content resonates best with your audience and much more, you should regularly keep track of what your analytics tell you as it will help you make informed choices for future content creation and distribution. A monthly check of your analytics is enough to show you a wealth of important information that will inform and help you adapt your Pinterest strategy to ensure it is as effective as it can be moving forward.

 

Optimise for Mobile

With ever increasing numbers of people accessing Pinterest from their mobile devices, it is vital that you optimise your profile for mobile users and give them a mobile friendly experience. Therefore you should test and experiment with your images to see how they look on both your desktop and a variety of other mobile devices to ensure you provide a seamless experience for those visiting your Pinterest page no matter what device they are viewing it from. When assessing your site from different devices, you should check for several key areas such as; are your images pinnable? Are the social media sharing buttons clearly positioned and working properly? If text is used, it is readable on a small screen? And importantly, do the images appear on the mobile version of your website? The time you spend too perfect your profile from your desktop should also be spent on making your site work for mobile too, if you fail to do so then you could lose not your pins but crucially, traffic and sales also.

 

Like Other People’ s Pins

If you come across pins that you like but aren’ t necessarily useful to your audience or be something that you want to pin to one of your boards, you may want to consider liking them rather than repining them. Anytime you like someone’ s pin, it will show up in their activity feed. This may grab their attention and get them to follow you.

 

Use Keywords For Search Results

Hashtags are no longer necessary on Pinterest as the search functionality looks for keywords in pin descriptions. When writing your pin descriptions, make sure you are using the keywords most people would use to find your content. For example, if you want to be found under the keyword ‘ Golf’ , you would obviously use the word “Golf”somewhere in your description. This makes it easier to be found and will create more followers leading to more exposure.

 

Use Pinterest’s Browser Extensions for Easier Pinning

Pinterest offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. Downloading the extension gives you a pin it button right in your browser’ s toolbar. This is a great way to seamlessly pin interesting things you see whilst surfing the Internet. Once you the extension is installed, you will be able to simply right click, choose Pin this Image from the drop down and be able to choose the board that you want to pin it to. Not only will it pin the graphic but it will link back to the originating source.

 

Pin Videos

Pinterest doesn’t just allow you to pin images…you can also pin videos! Pinterest allows you to pin videos from sites like Dailymotion, TED, YouTube and Vimeo. In order to pin a video, you have to make sure you have the ‘ share’ URL of the video; not the URL where you watched the video, or the embed code. On YouTube, for instance, you’ ll find this link under the video under ‘ Share.’

 

Use Pinterest’s Mobile App

It is recommended you download Pinterest’ s mobile app. It will allow you to easily browse, pin, repin and even take photos to pin right from your phone which is perfect for growing your page and interacting on the go.

 

Repin for a Few Minutes Each Day

To get noticed on Pinterest, you need to pin and repin regularly. Even taking around three minutes each day to curate and repin to your Pinterest boards can have a profound effect on your profile. To find relevant content to repin simply enter keywords for your niche or industry in Pinterest search. Remember to check the links on any pins to make sure they’ re active and relevant before you share them.

 

Follow Relevant Pinners

For successful Pinterest marketing, you must actively follow pinners in your niche. Find pinners relevant to your niche through a Pinterest search and look to follow three to five new pinners every day, being careful not to follow just anyone. Once you find potential pinners to follow, review their profiles and check their Pinterest activities to see if they’ ll add value to your Pinterest marketing.

 

Comment on a Pin a Day

Keep your eyes open for relevant pins on which you can offer input. If a pin inspires you, add something to the conversation, aiming for one comment at least a day. Your comments can be as short or as long as you’ d like, just make sure it is relevant, pertinent and not self-promotional.

 

Create Pinterest Images in Batches

Save yourself a lot of time by getting a good image creation tool such as Canva and creating images of your own to pin to your Pinterest boards. A pro tip is to do this task all in one sitting. If you aim to create a fresh image to pin each weekday, that means 7 images a week. One image should take about 5 minutes minimum, so this should only take around 35-minutes. The Ideal size for a pin is 735 x 1102 pixels, however on Canva you can choose the default Pinterest graphics layout that is already optimised for size so all you need to do is focus on creating your design.

 

Follow Analytics to Generate Content Ideas

To find inspiration for original pins, review Pinterest Analytics each week. Evaluate your repin, impression and click progress over a period of time, as well as individual pin performance. Jot down the best pins and boards and this will help you understand which boards and images are getting the most attention from your followers. Then apply what you’ve learned when you create pins for the next week.

Creating Your Pinterest Account and Getting to Grips With The Basic Lingo

To use Pinterest, you first have to sign up for an account. Importantly, using the main sign-up page creates a personal account and for businesses, it’s really important that you make sure you specifically sign up for a business account. It’s important to make this distinction because business accounts, whilst remaining free like personal Pinterest accounts, give you access to great features to help your business thrive on the platform, one example is the analytics tools.

To sign up for a business account, you need to sign up at specific business sign up page and enter your email address, a password, the name of your business and your website (though this last one is optional). You also need to select what type of business you run from a drop-down menu. From there, you will then be directed to set up your profile. When you log in to your Pinterest account, you’re taken to your home feed. This is where the most recent pins from the other Pinterest accounts you follow are displayed and features endless scrolling for seamless browsing. Across the top of each page you visit on Pinterest, there is a large search bar. To the left, you’ll see the Pinterest logo (clicking this will take you back to the home page), as well as menu options for Ads and Analytics. To the right, there is a drop-down menu, which displays links to all of the categories you can browse through on the platform. Alongside that, you’ll see a “+” button and a chat bubble button. The + allows you to quick-add a new pin or create a new ad, and the chat button pulls up a drop-down menu with three options: News, You and Messages.

  • News: displays trending pins and other information such as updates
  • You: shows your notifications from when other users interact with your pins
  • Messages: displays your messages with other Pinterest users.

Clicking on your profile picture will show a drop-down menu with options to go to your profile to see all your boards and pins, access your settings, billing, ads support, the platform’s Help page, and to log out of your account. Pinterest is all about pins and boards… so what exactly are they? Simply put, Pins are the content you share on Pinterest, and Boards are how you organise and categorise that content. Before you can start pinning anything, you need to create your boards.

Creating Your Boards

To create your first Pinterest board, go to your profile and you’ll see a red Create Board button. Once you click, a box will pop up with the information you need to fill in. You can enter a name for your board and a description of what your board is about (these are optional, but by no means leave them blank), and select a category for it (also optional, but again do not ignore this). In addition, you can choose to keep your board secret, so that only you (and any others user(s) you choose, if any) have access to it. At the bottom of the box, you’ll also see an option entitled “Collaborators,” with a text box where you can invite other Pinterest users by username or email to contribute pins to the board. Adding other users to your board creates a group board, which will show up on both your profile and the other users’ profiles. Once you’re done filling out your board’s information, click Create and you’re done. From there, you can start adding pins. To create subsequent boards, simply go to your profile page and in the space to the left of your existing boards, you’ll see a rectangular grey space with a Create a Board button. From there, simply follow the same steps. Adding Pins You can add pins to your Pinterest boards in several different ways. To add your own content to Pinterest, go to the board you want to pin to (or use the + button from the top of the page) and click the Add a Pin button. A box will pop up with the options to add a pin from the Web or from your computer. If you decide to add a pin from the Web, Pinterest will prompt you to enter a link to the page you’re wanting to pin from. Once you enter the link, you’ll be taken to a page that shows all of the images from that website, as well as existing pins that were created by others from that website’s domain. You can then select the picture you want to pin by hovering over the image and clicking the Pin it button. This will open a box that allows you to enter a description and choose a board for your pin. You can also create a new board to pin it to, and choosing this option will let you name your new board, and select whether or not you’d like to add collaborators or keep the board secret. You’ll have to go back into this board later to edit it if you’d like to add a description and choose a category. When you’re done perfecting your pin, click the Create button. Pinning content from the Web will ensure that your pin links back to the website it came from. If you choose to add a pin from your computer, Pinterest will prompt you to select and upload an image file. From there, the process of adding a pin is the same as above. Regardless of the way you choose to add your pins, you can always go back to specific pins at a later date to edit their descriptions, move them to different boards or delete them altogether. To pin from the mobile app, go to your profile tab and click the + button. This gives you the option to create a new board or pin from your phone’s photos, the Web, your clipboard or to pin your location if you use the maps feature (part of Pinterest’s “Rich Pins”). All pins must include an image or a video in order to be added to Pinterest. You can also “re-pin” content from other Pinterest users, in addition to adding your own content, and it’s good to do a mix of both. Re-pinning is an easy way to be more active on Pinterest when you don’t have your own content to share, plus it can get other Pinterest users to notice your brand. To find content to re-pin, you can browse through your home feed, look in specific categories or search certain keywords in the search bar. When you want to re-pin an existing pin, hover over the image and click the red Pin It button. You’ll then be prompted to select or create a board, and you can either leave the previous user’s description or write your own. Rich Pins Rich Pins are a specialised type of Pinterest pin that make using the platform more straightforward and seamless. These pins include extra information beyond just the image, click-through link and the pinner’s description. Currently, there are six types of Rich Pins:

  • Place Pins: Allow users to create a map with the content they share. To enable place pins, you simply check off the “add a map” option when you create or edit a pinboard. Selecting the map option overlays your pins onto an actual interactive map. You can then add places to your existing pins and pin new places as well. Place pins include important details like addresses and phone numbers — this feature is perfect for mapping out restaurants and other attractions when you’re planning a trip.
  • Article Pins: Pinterest is highly visual in nature, but written content also performs well. So long as an article features an image, it can be pinned to Pinterest.
  • Product pins: Product pins make shopping via Pinterest a lot more seamless. These Rich Pins show where the product you’re pinning can be purchased, the current price and a direct link to the product page. An added benefit is that product pins prices’ are updated in real time, and if a user pins a product pin to one of his or her boards, that user will be notified when the product’s price is lowered. Since many Pinterest users create boards that serve as wish lists for things they want, product pins are a great way to convert pins into purchases.
  • Recipe pins: Pinterest a hugely popular hub for foodies. Recipe pins take sharing food on Pinterest to a whole new level. Unlike a regular pin, which would show an image and a description that is manually entered in by the pinner, these recipe-specific Rich Pins show users important information like the necessary ingredients and their amounts, cooking times and serving info. Recipe pins also display details about whether a recipe is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, etc., making searching for – and determining which recipes you can make – a lot richer and simpler. Users can still click-through to the website from which the recipe came to see detailed instructions and more photos of the recipes they’re pinning.
  • Movie Pins: Great for film fans, these Rich Pins show more details about the movies you pin. Information includes, the year a film was released, its rating, the director and the main stars of the film. When pinning from different movie websites like Netflix, Flixter and Rotten Tomatoes, pinners will also see how those websites’ users ranked films as well.
  • App Pins: Allows you to share and download apps directly from the platform. Currently, app pins only work in the United States, and with iOS apps but they will be rolled out to more countries in the near future.

To use Rich Pins, you need to follow a simple two-step process. Add the appropriate metadata to your website content. This metadata is different for each type of Rich Pin, but you can add multiple types to your site, and Pinterest will prioritise them. Validate your Rich Pins and apply to get them on Pinterest. Once you’ve completed step one, you have to enter your site’s URL into Pinterest’s validator page to make sure there are no mistakes with the metadata. After everything is finalized, you can click Apply Now.

Interacting with other Pinterest users

Pinterest is, unlike other social networks, much more focused towards sharing content than it is about interacting with other users. Having said this, it is still a social network, and as such offers users ways to connect with other people.

Likes: Liking a pin is the easiest way to interact with another Pinterest user (and to save a pin for later, if you don’t have time to pin it right away). Simply hover over the pin you want to like and click the heart-shaped button. Doing so will notify that user, and you can access your liked posts from the “Likes” tab on your profile page.

Comments: To add comments to other users’ pins, click on the pin you want to comment on and this will pull up a larger window with the pin and more information about it, under the pin, you’ll see a comment box where you can type in and share what you want to say.

Sending Pins: You can also send pins you want to share with other users (or non-Pinterest users, even) by hovering over pins and clicking the send button. A box will pop up that allows you to search for other Pinterest users by username, or type in an email address to mail the pin to.

Tagging Users: Just like on Twitter, you can tag users using the @ symbol on Pinterest. When you’re writing a description for your pin or adding a comment to someone else’s pin, just type in the @ symbol and the username of the person you want to tag, and they’ll be notified.

Messages: You can send private messages to other Pinterest users by clicking the Messages option in the notifications box at the top of the page. Simply select “New message,” type in the user you want to talk to, and hit “Next.” This will open a small chat window at the bottom of your screen where you can drag and drop pins and send instant messages.

 

Hashtags on Pinterest

Pinterest users can use hashtags when sharing their pins, as with other social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. However it is worth noting that there is a lot less emphasis placed on the importance of Hashtags on Pinterest and they are really only to be seen as a bonus on Pinterest, rather than on Twitter for example where they can make or break how successful your posts are. Pinterest has its own unique search system and hashtags are not the most effective way to make your content searchable on this social network. Hashtags on Pinterest only work in pin descriptions, so if you put them elsewhere, you’ll only waste your time and look like you don’t know how to use the platform. Hashtags are more effective if you use your own, brand-specific hashtags, and less effective if you were to share a pin with the hashtag #recipes, for example. What’s more important on Pinterest is that you use proper keywords when describing your pins and boards, keep your boards organised and categorise your boards correctly.

 

Personalising your Pinterest Profile

Unlike other social networks, Pinterest does not give you many profile customisation options, allowing you only being able to upload a profile picture, use a custom username, and write a summary about you or your business. Whilst you can’t change the layout of your Pinterest page like you can on Tumblr or upload a banner image like on Facebook or Twitter, there are other ways to make your profile unique and to stand out from the crowd You can name your pinboards with clever phrases and keywords that are both searchable and relatable to your brand. You can also enter a short description of each board that explains what that board is about and how it aligns with your brand. Additionally, you can choose cover photos for each board that relate back to your brand and are visually stimulating. There may not be much you can customise about your Pinterest profile, but you can still successfully represent your brand with the options the platform gives you if you are clever enough and get creative.

 

Trending Topics on Pinterest

To see what’s trending on Pinterest, click on the drop-down menu in the search bar and select “Popular.’’ if you’re on mobile, go to the search tab and select the same category. The Popular page will show you a feed of the most popular pins on Pinterest at that time. Above the popular pins, you’ll see a banner of the top interests on Pinterest at that time. You can click these interests and see the popular pins in those topics in addition to related topics. Knowing what’s trending on Pinterest can help you decide what types of content to pin. Any time you can relate trending topics back to your brand, you make your business more discoverable on Pinterest.

Advertising on Pinterest

Promoted Pins are a paid advertising option for businesses. Promoted Pins are just like regular Pins, only you pay to have them seen by more people. In doing so, you can target specific audiences, choose to pay for either pin engagement or visits to your website, and track how your ads are performing. So far this feature is only available in the United States so for now, to access Promoted Pins, you’ll have to sign up for the wait list.

 

Pinterest Analytics

To access your account’s analytics page, simply click Analytics at the top of the page. This will pull up a drop-down menu with three options: Overview, Profile and Audience. Selecting Overview takes you to a dashboard where you can see several boxes containing statistics about your profile, audience and more. In one box, you can see data on your profile’s average daily impressions and viewers; and in another, you can see your average monthly viewers and average monthly engagements. You can click More in either of these boxes to see graphs of all your data. Selecting Profile or Audience will take you directly to this data as well. Below those boxes, you’ll see data on how many impressions your pins are receiving. Through Pinterest analytics you can learn valuable things about your audience demographics, like gender, location and other interests, what devices visitors to your page are using, along with what your most popular pins are. All of which will help you guide your future Pinterest strategy to maximise its effectiveness.