7 Ways to Increase Pinterest Influence and Direct Traffic to Your Website

By Michelle Tang, Wedding Snap/Eversnap, Sunnyvale, Calif.

To say the least, I’m hooked on Pinterest. Today’s consumers are increasingly inundated with ads and content everywhere they turn, so it’s tough to capture their attention. Pinterest has taken advantage of one of our core senses—sight—to hold our attention. It’s an effective channel of marketing without necessarily seeming that way. Why? Because it’s a community of pinners from around the world who are simply sharing what they like.

Pinterest influencers are like successful bloggers. You can have one or two pins here and there that go viral, but a true influencer has a voice in the Pinterest community and has a concept or expertise that comes across when they pin. So, the question is, “How do I make my content ‘Pinteresting’ for other users?” Here’s how to be Pinteresting:

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1. Be Relevant and Timely.
Determine whom you are trying to attract. It doesn’t always have to be about your brand or product, specifically, but it should be about what other pins your audience wants to see. Your brand or product pins should be seamlessly integrated into a relevant topic or concept within each board. Also, if it’s summer, pinning images of a winter-themed wedding may not go as viral as you would hope, even if they are breathtaking images. People just aren’t thinking about it, and in the five minutes they spend looking at Pinterest images, those images would simply distract them from focusing on something else that might be an easy repin. It’s all about knowing your audience.

2. Be Original.
According to www.Curalate.com, about 85 percent of pins are repins, so creating original content and pins may help you stand out. However, there are quite a number of successful accounts with few original images that have still done fairly well just because they have an original voice. What does this mean? They are catering to a specific audience with specific needs. They don’t just pin randomly, and they always have something to “say” visually.
TIP: If it’s your own content or images, link the pin back to your site so that you’re actually directing traffic.

3. Be Consistent.
Try to pin regularly, even if it’s only a couple pins a day initially. Try to “block” or pin similar images together, so they don’t just appear to be random repins. Help pinners imagine an idea in context by posting a number of related images.

4. Don’t Give Everything Away.
Don’t try to say too much in one pin. Otherwise, there’s nothing to be curious about and hold your audience’s interest. Some ways to maintain a little mystery are to include a “title hook” or teaser statement with your image. For example, the title “7 Things Every Bride Needs to Know Before Her Wedding Day” makes users wonder. It’s the curiosity factor that makes them venture past the image.

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5. Look at Your Metrics.
Numbers are extremely revealing. See what’s already popular with your audience right now. If you have linked Pinterest to your website through a Pinterest business account, you can use it to increase traffic to your site if you know what’s working—and what’s not. With Pinterest’s new analytics tool, you can see exactly what’s being pinned from your site. For sales and driving traffic, you’ll want to focus on the tabs for “Most Repinned” and “Most Clicked.” This will provide insight into what your consumers find most important or interesting so you can highlight them on your site.

6. Get People to Take Action.
Create carefully crafted text to accompany your images. The text is just as important as the image selection. People love dreamy images, but they also love useful information. Guide your Pinterest followers by using a call-to-action phrase, such as, “Click here to…” This will give pinners more of a reason to repin your images.

TIP: Don’t forget to do this on your website or blog, too. You can add a “Pin It” button to your WordPress blog or to images on your website. There are a number of tools that even allow you to create a custom “Pin It” button. This will help your images move to Pinterest with the help of readers already familiar with your site. Customer testimonials posted on Pinterest are very effective, as well, if they go viral.

Pinterest is not just a passive viewing of your pins, which is why most pins are repins. Take advantage of the community aspect and work with other influential pinners. Do you have content or ideas that are relevant to their followers? While they may not all agree, it’s worth finding out if your friends will help you pin a few images. Pinterest also offers the ability to create Community Boards via which you invite other pinners to join a collaborative board. That way, there is a mutual sharing of traffic and exchanging of content on a regular basis.

Of course, at the end of the day, it’s all about trying different techniques and seeing what works for you. What are some of your own favorite Pinterest strategies?

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