Recently we taught a workshop on how and why businesses should be using Pinterest and Instagram to promote and market their business. Here is a recap of that workshop:
Why should you use image sharing sites for your business?
Images are noticed more than other types of content shared on most social networks. Images grab attention and stimulate action faster and more often than text or video (outside of a video site), which means that you will get a greater reach with less effort.
Image sharing on outside networks can increase search engine placement, create backlinks for your website (which helps your website’s search engine optimization, and open you up to a wider audience.
Pinterest users are 79 percent more likely to purchase items they saw pinned to Pinterest boards versus what Facebook users see on their newsfeeds, according to a social commerce survey by SteelHouse.
While nearly all respondents answered ‘yes’ when asked if Facebook or Pinterest affected their online shopping habits, only 33 percent of Facebook users said they’ve purchased a product after seeing it on a Facebook ad, friend’s wall or newsfeed, while 59 percent of Pinterest users said they have purchased an item they saw on the corkboard-style site.
Image sharing can be done in the moment with just a smartphone. You do not need a fancy camera to share a fun image that will grab your target audiences attention.
How do you represent your business on Pinterest?
- Create a Pinterest account for your business and create boards that promote your company and industry – boards can be for staff, office, products, services, strategic partners, vendors, blog, industry, what’s hot, local, just for fun, and…..
- Have key employees create a Pinterest account and then a business board for your company. This will mean repinning some (not all) of the company’s Pinterest posts to bring more visibility to the organization while not losing their individual voice and appeal.
- Create boards that your target audience will like – these are not boards that are based around your company or brand, these are boards where the images are fun, informative, local, and appeal to the demographics you are trying to connect with.
- Create client boards, these can be used to show different projects that you have worked on or you can use them to communicate ideas to clients. Create a board and then share that link with your potential or existing clients. People tend to want friends and family to help with their decision making process and they may share the link with their online networks.
- Create collaborative boards. Have your prospective, current clients, business partners, vendors, etc. create boards to share with you. They can add your Pinterest account as a contributor and you can collaborate on the board together to help reach your goals faster.
- Embed your Pinterest boards into your website to give a different perspective to your products, services, clients, and company
- Add Pinterest sharing functionality to your website and blog, this will help people easily pin items from your site and it will show visitors that you want them to share your site’s content.
- You should have an Android or iPhone to use the Instagram app. It allows you to take pictures, edit them with some cool effects and share them on the spot. You do not HAVE to have a phone to use this app, Bluestacks allows you to download and use mobile apps on your computer
- Take photos that show your everyday world, these photos can be work related, local, scenic, event or just fun photos. Use the editing tools in the app to give a fun look to the photos that grab attention.
- Encourage people to take pictures at your business and share them on Instagram. Instagram connects with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, and Flickr. When people take Instagram images they are sharing it with more than one community.
- Search on Instagram for people that are sharing images of your business, events, local community, etc. to like and comment on. Engaging on this network will give you more visibility.
- Connect Instagram to Foursquare to take great photos while you check-in from business meetings, work events, business tasks, etc.
- Connect Pinterest and Instagram to Facebook, Twitter, and other networks to build a cohesive online community that collectively grows.
- Connect with people on the networks search for brands, companies, local keywords, topics, competitors and start following people.
- Be active, do not just post and run. These are networks that people spend time on, like and comment on their posts and they may do the same on your images.
- Use these networks for R&D, search, look & listen, and use what you find to fuel your marketing and or product/service development. People are sharing what they like, want, need, and don’t like on these networks. They are perfect focus groups platforms.
- Have fun or put someone in the organization on these accounts that can have fun. If you treat these networks like they are just something you have to do you will not be good at it.