And here’s the transcript of the podcast:
I’m excited to introduce to you a brand new feature on Clothed In Scarlet – PODCASTS! Today marks the very first audio podcast on our website, and I thank God for giving me the courage to take the plunge. In today’s episode we’ll be talking about the importance of Pinterest for online businesses and how you can create your own Pinterest strategy.
Pinterest, as you know is a social media network which was founded in March 2010. It has currently over 70 million users, which translates to 70 million prospective customers for your business. It is the third most popular networking site after Facebook and Twitter, so I can’t stress enough the importance of Pinterest for your online business.
One interesting fact I’ve noticed in my online research is that Pinterest drives a lot of traffic to your site. And experts agree that visitors from Pinterest tend to spend more time on your website when compared to visitors from other sources. This makes Pinterest a very significant player in social media marketing.
Honestly, it took me a while to incorporate Pinterest into Clothed In Scarlet’s social marketing strategy. When Clothed in Scarlet was founded 3 months back (in May 2013), with all the groundwork that had to be done, we decided to focus on only the blog, Facebook and Twitter for the time being. But when I recently looked at the website analytics, I realized that Pinterest was driving 30-40% of the traffic to my site and I couldn’t ignore it any longer.
If your audience is primarily women, Pinterest can drive significant traffic your way. As Pinterest visitors spend more time on your site, this translates to more prospects, more leads and more signups. I share with you below the steps we’re taking to set up our Pinterest strategy, and I hope it will be helpful for you as well.
Step 1: Set Goals
Start with the end in mind. Every social medium should have its own specific set of goals. Your goals for Facebook won’t be the same as that for Twitter; your goals for Twitter won’t be the same as that for Pinterest – they are all different mediums with different purposes. Having separate goals for each social media channel will help you plan and take focused action for that particular channel.
Our goals for Facebook include connecting with our audience, sharing valuable information, driving traffic to the site, and of course, branding. For Twitter, our goal is to interact with established influencers – bloggers, online businesses and social media experts. Now for Pinterest, I want to be more focussed on the followers and to get more traffic from it. I also intend to improve branding and establish my expertise through various boards and pins.
Take some time to set goals for each social media channel you want your business to be active on.
Step 2: Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
KPIs indicate that your social media channel is performing – that your efforts are bearing results and you’re going in the right direction. One social media KPI could be follower interaction. For Pinterest, this would be the number of likes, comments and repins I get for a particular pin, the follower count and the clickthrough rate (traffic generated from each pin, which can be tracked through Google Analytics). These are indicators that my efforts on Pinterest are working and are on the right track. The same applies to any other social media channel as well – you will have to identify your KPIs for each of them.
Step 3: Plan Content and Activities for Interaction
After you’ve set your social media specific goals and identified key performance indicators, you will then have to plan your social media content. For Pinterest, it is essential that your pins are pinworthy. It should be so good that those who view your image should want to pin or repin it onto their own boards. I am not an expert in graphic design, but I still try to create images that stand out.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your entire Pinterest profile should reflect what your business is all about. It should convey your expertise and give a clear picture of where you stand. Clothed in Scarlet exists to help women turn their talent into a profit online. We share a variety of content related to blogging, social media, and marketing that our followers would like to be aware of. So I make sure that my pins reflect these areas of my expertise.
I’ve created different boards for each category such as blogging tips, online marketing tips, social media tips, content marketing tips, infographics, turning talent into profit, my walk with God and spiritual growth. The last two boards are related to spirituality because our core vision is to equip women – not just financially but also spiritually.
When you’re setting up your Pinterest boards, first identify the content and then divide it into different categories. Create boards for each category and start pinning content from your site and from other sources that are related to that particular category. This way you will showcase your expertise in an attractive manner.
You can also plan activities to enhance user interaction on your Pinterest profile. Pinterest parties, contests and group boards that will connect us with other bloggers are a few things we’ve planned in the coming months to increase the number of followers and build up interaction through our Pinterest profile.
Step 4: Create a Monthly and Weekly Schedule
Having a monthly and weekly schedule is important because otherwise, life just happens. There are days that go by in a flash and we feel we haven’t accomplished anything at all. A working schedule will help you keep all that you need to get done in the forefront, so you can be intentional in working on it.
Once the content planning is done, I map out a schedule of when I will be pinning the content. I login to Pinterest in the morning and pin a few articles from my website and from external sources using the Pin It bookmarklet (which makes pinning a lot easier). I then visit the boards of my followers (that I follow back) and take time to like, comment, repin and generally interact with them. And all this takes just 15 to 20 minutes of my time!
I also take a little time in the evenings and weekends to do the same. I also handle the Pinterest boards for a travel company and I found that weekends were a great time to share travel related pins. It’s possible that most people plan their trips and browse travel related pins over the weekend. We are still in the testing phase for Clothed in Scarlet – we’re trying to figure out when we get the most number of likes/repins. You will have to work out an ideal time to interact with your followers on Pinterest as it may vary from business to business.
When you’re planning your schedule, you can also set a theme for each month, or for each day of the week. You can harness your creative potential and plan out themes that your followers can relate with.
Step 5: Analysis
The next step is to analyze and track your Pinterest statistics such as pins, repins, clicks and reach, which are important for a business. Pinterest has an inbuilt analytics tool that you can use to monitor the important statistics on your profile. You can use Google Analytics to track the traffic coming in to your website through Pinterest. And here are a few other analytics tools specific to Pinterest:
- PinLeague is a resource that helps you identify and analyze all Pinterest activity involving your company, products and competitors. You can also find and connect with influencers in your niche to broaden your reach and spread your message further.
- PinAlerts is another tool that allows you to find out in real time whether someone has pinned something from your website. You will receive real-time alerts which can be very helpful for your business.
These analytics will tell you if your Pinterest strategy, your networking plan is working. They will give you more information on how your KPIs are being met.
Step 6: Tools
These are additional tools that will help you enhance the Pinterest strategy for your business.
- Pin It Browser Extension – I use it extensively and find it very handy – I don’t have to leave a particular website and go to Pinterest in order to pin an intersting article. I can do it right from my browser. When pinning, set a timer so you don’t spend more time than what you’ve allocated, and use the Pin It button to pin relevant images onto your boards.
- ViralTag is a paid tool allows you to schedule your pins. The basic version costs $12 per month and the premium version will set you back $28 per month.
- Pinterest “Pin It” Button – This is plugin you can add to your WordPress website which adds a “Pin It” button to your site, making it easier for readers to share your content.
You can choose one of these tools based on your business plan and budget to help you make the best use of Pinterest.
With the 6 steps mentioned above, you will be well on your way to crafting a good Pinterst strategy. You’ll have to repeat the process a few times, refining it each time depending on the results you get.
Each of your social media channels should have these steps: Setting your goals, KPI’s, planning, action, analysis, and the tools to run the show. With this guide I hope you’ll make significant progress in setting up your Pinterest strategy.
I’m very happy to present you this step by step guide on our very first podcast. We will be doing more in the days to come explaining the different aspects of setting up an online business, online marketing, social media marketing and other topics relevant to turning your talents into profit using the online medium. Please stay tuned!