If you’ve been following my work you know that I strongly advise people not to be on every social media network. One of the biggest mistakes many businesses make is trying to be on every social network because they think they are supposed to. Heck, I unplugged from my Twitter account a long time ago because I simply don’t have time to have conversations there.
Unfortunately, you do not have an unlimited amount of time to invest in social media marketing for your business. You must decide about which social networks you will commit to fully. If you decide that Pinterest marketing is for you then make it your mission to master it.
Okay, let’s begin!
At this point you have learned that Pinterest is for businesses that want to sell their stuff – products and services.
However, many don’t realize that just pushing products is a sure way to fail on Pinterest. Just slapping pretty images on boards and filling them up as quickly as possible is NOT the key to leveraging Pinterest to increase your sales.
There has to be a mixture of two types of boards and information to win on Pinterest:
- Your products and services: call this direct selling
- Helpful tips and ideas & checklists: call this indirect selling
You need both in a 50 / 50 mix ratio. No kidding.
How to Avoid Making the Biggest Mistakes on Pinterest (Part 3)
On Pinterest, a Pinner’s (shopper’s) inspiration is typically checking out options and looking for ideas. They have something in mind they want to buy, or an event they are planning or a project they want to complete and they are in the collection of ideas stage. This is the first step on their journey to purchase.
As yourself, do you want to be in their mind at this stage? I know I do.
Pinning on Pinterest is how they collect ideas. So, while they are “looking around” if they come across information that is helpful and relevant to their life they read it, pin it and save it. If they find it valuable they begin to build a bond with you and your brand. One day when they are actually looking for something to buy you will be top of mind and your chances of making the sales go up.
The more helpful you are the more likeable you become. The more the market trusts you and the more they buy.
This is how Pinterest works. Think of it as 2 types of selling. You must do both.
Direct selling: Showing off your stuff
Indirect selling: Helping people address and deal with the many issues they have to think about for the various holidays, events and occasions
If you want to win on Pinterest you must think helpfulness and selling in equal 50/ 50 amounts.
Example: imagine a company that sells make up. They have a choice they can create dozens of boards and exclusively feature their products:
- Eye shadows
- Mineral makeup
- Sponges and brushes
Etc., etc. right?
Or they could do all that and add some boards that feature this kind of information:
- Skin care tips to look radiant
- How to eat to preserve your skin
- Tips to grow naturally long eyelashes
- Best color combinations for summer
- The best ways to exfoliate
- How to avoid clogged pores
- The right order to clean your face
- How to protect your skin from the sun
- How to repair damaged skin
- How to get rid of blackheads
People who buy make up would have these types of problems. Yes?
See the difference? One company is in 100% sell mode. The other is in sell and helpful mode.
On Pinterest, the sell + helpful mode produces the best sales results.
If all you do is pin your own content you will fail…guaranteed.
Your goal on Pinterest is to be helpful and to educate your audience on a wide variety of topics that they care about. That way they can get to know your brand, come to trust it, eventually like it and finally interact with it.
Ask yourself how will the info you share help them solve their pressing problems?
People say they want Pinterest to be useful (54%), helpful (50%) and inspiring (45%) of the time.
That means creating how to solve a problem boards and blogs, checklists, information about their issues and what the possible solutions might be.
Be friendly, be helpful, and amid your helpfulness spread out your product boards and as they come to like and trust you they will eventually click on your product pins.
They will then hopefully go to your website and buy something. This is how Pinterest works. Lead with helpfulness not a hard sell product-only push. Get creative.
In summary, remember two things:
- Don’t be in every social network.
- On Pinterest, be helpful versus just trying to sell them your stuff. In that way, you become their trusted advisor and when they are ready to buy they will think about you, not your competition.
If managing Pinterest for your business seems overwhelming for you and you feel like you are going around and around in circles with Pinterest and not getting anywhere please contact me about my Pinterest account management services. Or to learn more about how you can be more effective on Pinterest check out my Pinterest Marketing for Business Course. Chapter one is FREE.
This article was first published on Integrated Marketing Association.