Pinterest just doesn’t work like other social networks, and that’s both a good and a bad thing. The bad part is that it doesn’t facilitate much activity that can realistically be categorized as “social”. It’s much more like “hanging out”, meaning you’re in the same space as other people but doing your own thing, with the ability to pass a note to someone.

First of All, Why?

“We’re already on Facebook and Twitter, we really don’t need any more social media exposure.” Yeah, okay, let me go explain to over 30 million moms that you don’t want their business enough to meet them on Pinterest for free. Yeah, moms. I hear they do a lot of shopping, those moms.

Businesses should make the most of Pinterest because it is made for buying and selling. Facebook is made more for socializing, and the “buy” button doesn’t fit as seamlessly into the mix. But Pinterest was built from the beginning as a kind of showcase, where it’s nothing just to hang a price tag on each item.

Pinterest works like a catalog, it’s about buying and selling. To better explain, Pinterest is like an art show, most of which are ultimately about buying and selling. Pinterest doesn’t charge sellers or buyers anything extra in transactions. They let sellers post for free with a “buy” button, then a buyer pays $100 for a product and the seller receives $100. Then Pinterest nudges the seller and says, “Hey, if you spend a little of that $100 on Promoted Pins, you’d have even more sales like that!”

That’s about as win-win as it gets, so not taking advantage of a Pinterest strategy seems to be a fairly unwise business decision. Pinterest is also the second fastest growing social network right now behind Tumblr, but if 70 million people with a track record for social purchases can’t turn your head then neither will 150 million or even a billion.

The Mechanics of the Thing

Like I said in the beginning, the logic of Pinterest works differently. Forget what you know about likes, favorites, shares, and retweets. New rules. For instance, 80% of the pins on users boards are re-pins. That seems to me like it would leave a whole lot of room for more original content. I wonder who could provide such content? Hmmm…

That also means that people love to repin. There is so much interesting stuff on Pinterest that curating pins to your boards could almost be a never-ending task, which is good for Pinterest and good for the businesses there. First, make sure you upload your images from your website or wherever you’d like to take them if they click, not from your computer. Then start repinning others’ pins onto your boards while creating and posting original images at the same time. The easiest way to create your images is using Canva, which is fully and conveniently integrated into Sendible’s social media dashboard, allowing you to create and post your images from the same interface.

The more people you repin, the greater the chance that some of them will return the favor, which exposes your brand to more potential customers. For all of your image-based material, make Pinterest your home base and share links with your other social outlets.

Go ahead and apply for Rich Pins as soon as possible. Using rich pins allows you to add extra information to your pins, such as price, availability, and outlets to buy from. They also allow for the newly released “buy” button, which is a must if you sell products there.

Plan on paying for some promoted pins as well. You’ll never know how successful they’ll be for your business until you’ve tried them with a few different campaigns, tweaking your strategy along the way. Analytics are your best friend, especially in the beginning.

This post from OhSoPinteresting.com suggests that you also begin vetting your pinners before you repin. In other words, ask yourself four questions before you repin something for your followers:

1. Will my followers find this pin valuable?
2. Are my followers likely to repin this?
3. Who am I repinning from? Could they have an interest in my business and be a potential follower?
4. When pinning from an account with a large following, how many times has it been repinned?

The desirable answers of the first three should be obvious, but the last point is an interesting strategy where the logic of Pinterest is explained for brands. You find an ideal pinner with an ideal following for your business, so you want to repin one of their pins. Before you do, go to the board it was pinned on originally and see if the repin numbers are in the same ballpark as the higher numbers on the board. If not, pick a different pin with higher numbers. If their audience liked it more, yours probably will too.

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Vishal Pindoriya

Vishal Pindoriya is a social media enthusiast, strategist and writer. He lives in London, England and is particularly interested in the proliferation of social media around the world.

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  • Sabrina Kizzie

    Great information! Thank you for sharing.