Pinterest provides a huge marketing platform for many brands: More than 70 million people use the site to gawk at “pinboards” featuring pictures of food, clothing, home decor, and other goods. These browsers often do more than just look, too. According to a 2013 survey by Harvard Business Review, 21 percent of Pinterest users said that they bought an item after pinning, repinning, or liking it on the site.
Here’s how to use Pinterest to maximize your seasonal sales.
- Create holiday-themed pinboards that include your products. Build various pinboards around themes that fit your brand values. Tout your products, but avoid promoting them too heavily; Pinterest viewers don’t want to feel like they’re viewing an advertisement whenever they peruse one of your boards. For an example of a balanced approach, check out home-improvement retailer Lowe’s “Build it!” board, which features bloggers’ do-it-yourself endeavors alongside occasional links to DIY projects on the company’s website (that, of course, use products sold by Lowe’s). For the holidays, small-business owners could put together a series of gift guides sprinkled with a few of their own wares.
- Use “product pins” to provide purchasing information. Pinterest has a feature called Rich Pins that may be used to provide product details, such as price, where to buy online or in-store, and website links. In order to add Rich Pins, you’ll need to add custom metatags to your website and apply for approval with Pinterest. This page shows you how it’s done (although you may need help from your website developer).
- Promote your Pinterest boards through your other marketing channels. In addition to the organic traffic that you’ll get from avid Pinterest users, it’s also important to promote your holiday-themed pinboards to your existing customer base. Use your email newsletter and social media accounts to share links to your Pinterest holiday gift guides and other boards, encouraging your followers to comment on your pins and choose their favorites.
- Create a giveaway contest. The holiday season is an ideal time to host a giveaway, and many brands have found that Pinterest is a great place to do it. One strategy: Ask fans to comment on your pins in order to enter, as Gilt Home has done. Another: Invite fans to create their own pinboards that incorporate your products, as ModCloth did to promote its wedding campaign. Before launching your holiday competition, make sure that your rules are in line with Pinterest’s regulations.