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Gloria Rand

How to Drive Traffic & Generate Leads with Pinterest

Gloria Rand

Pinterest made great strides in 2012 – boasting the largest increase in unique visitors and time spent on-site over any other social network. And it’s now the fourth largest traffic driver worldwide – sending more referral traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ combined.

If you’d like to start leveraging the power of this social networking site for your business, here are a few tips on how you can drive traffic to your site, and generate leads:

1. Create boards - When you first get started on Pinterest, spend some time setting up a few basic boards to give your followers a clue about what your business is all about. Don’t be afraid to be creative with the board titles either. A catchy title can help grab someone’s attention. Here are a few boards to get started with:

  • Blog Posts
  • About Me
  • Behind the scenes
  • Video/TV
  • How to
  • Recommended products & services
  • Inspiring quotes/stats

2. Share stunning content – This may be obvious, but it’s still an important point. The more visually interesting your images are, the more likely it is that they will get repinned by other Pinterest users. Ideally, you should create your own content, but that’s not always possible. Be on the lookout for images that you can repin to your boards. Pinterest has a wonderful bookmarklet that you can install, to make it easy to pin items. Just don’t go crazy pinning 20 images at once. Like other social networking sites, you’ll be seen as annoying by some, and a spammer by others!

3. Create taller images – When it comes to what size images to use on Pinterest, bigger is better! Social media scientist Dan Zarella studied image sizes and found that images that are at least 800 pixels tall get the most pins and repins, since they tend to stand out more on the site.

One type of tall pin that gets a lot of repinning is an infographic. These images are a great way to share your text content in a visual way. Plus, infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than text. What’s more, publishers who feature infographics grow traffic 12% faster than those who don’t. Every time you pin an infographic that relates to your industry, you’re attracting the right followers and establishing your brand as a thought leader.

4. Add images to every blog post – Every time you create a blog article, or add new content to your website, add an image to it. This way you’re giving your readers and web visitors an opportunity to pin that image to their boards.

5. Add default images to entire blog – If you don’t include an image in one of your articles, add a default image to the blog’s header, sidebar or footer. This way you can be sure that at least one image will be available to be pinned. Just make sure that the image is relevant to your brand’s message.

6. Customize blog post images – Compelling blog images can get people to click your pin and read the article. But why not let them know right away that the image links to an article? Do this by adding the blog’s title over the image, and then upload the image to your blog or another web site so it can be pinned to your Pinterest board.

7. Write a pin description – Always include a description underneath the pin of your blog post image. The description should clue people in to what the post is about, but in a way that entices them to click through. If you’re not feeling especially creative, here’s a neat trick: Highlight a sentence in your blog article that describes the content and then click on the “pin it” bookmarklet. The highlighted content will automatically appear in the description. Make sure you include appropriate search terms in the description. You can also use a hashtag (# sign) with a keyword, like you would on Twitter to help people find the content easier during a search. Ex. #SocialMedia

8. Add “pin it” button to blog post - Make sure you add the “Pin it” button to your blog posts to make it easier for people to pin your content onto their own boards. WordPress offers plugins that you can add to your blog, but you can also get the button directly from Pinterest under their “About/Pin it Button” section.

9. Comment on pins – Few Pinterest users take the time to comment on pins. This is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd. When you see a pin you like, compliment the pinner and/or add value in the comments. The goal is to engage the pinner. Tip: Comment on pins that belong to accounts with at least 1,000 followers. That comment will show in everyone else’s news feed who follows that pinner. You now have an opportunity for more people to see your brand, check out your pins and become your new followers.

10. Start a contributor board – Getting other people to pin content to one of your boards is a powerful Pinterest strategy. When someone accepts an invitation to pin to your board, the board displays on their account. If you can find someone with a large following to contribute to your board, the potential or exposure across multiple accounts is big. That’s because when someone follows all of a person’s Pinterest boards, including your contributor board, they are now following your board.

Retailers have hopped on the Pinterest bandwagon in a big way, since pinners frequently buy the products they pin. But it can also be an excellent lead generating source for B2B marketers. The key is creating boards with visuals that appeal to your target audience, and help create brand awareness.

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