Social Media has become an important part of most e-commerce players’ marketing mix. Companies started focusing firstly on Facebook, but the attention has been shifting towards Instagram in recent years. A lot of companies are active on Pinterest as well: however, this is often not in the center of the social media strategy. Pinterest is the fastest growing social media network today and is second only to Google Search when it comes to determining purchase intent (source: Pinterest 2018 via DMEXCO 19). With Pinterest user numbers increasing and the platform allowing more and more countries to sponsor pins in order to acquire potential new customers, it is about time to have a look at how to promote content on Pinterest organically in an efficient way.
One challenge there: being a small marketing team, it can be challenging to make it up to each and every social media channel and respective follower base. This was also the case with Stylight. But since here we’re used to thinking outside of the box, we came up with 7 time-saving hacks of how to use Pinterest in the most efficient way and still getting great results for followers, brand, and performance.
Hack #1: Structure!
This hack is especially important for everyone who is just starting out with Pinterest: you don’t have to reinvent the wheel! At the beginning, we at Stylight thought we had to do so and create specific content for Pinterest, that didn’t have much to do with us as a product. A classic example: food topics. Food might be an interesting topic to increase your reach, but if it’s not connected to your brand, traffic quality and returning users won’t happen. Our advice for you would be to focus on the content you already have, and to only use content if it fits your brand and product. Hence the recommendations for everyone who wants to get started:
- Make an inventory analysis: what is already there in terms of content?
- What content do you have on your blog or magazine?
- View figures: what is the most clicked on your website? What sells best right now?
Afterward, derive boards and pins from this analysis. That way, you can make sure to get the most relevant topics for yourself and your audience to Pinterest – with minimal effort!
Hack #2: Timing!
No matter if you are active on Pinterest or not – especially if you are a lifestyle brand, traffic from Pinterest will probably already come to your website. This means Pinterest can be a great channel not only for owned, but also for earned social media reach and conversions. For example, 40% of Stylight’s traffic comes through pins that were not pinned by our social media managers.
Therefore the important question for you to ask is: when do these users typically get to your website? According to that, deduce your pinning slots. At Stylight for example, we see a peak on Sundays and have therefore planned more pins for Sunday than for Tuesday.
Hack #3: Automate!
So we just said that Pinterest followers might be mostly active on Sundays – how do you manage to be most active on that day as well? Glad you ask: automation is the key! At Stylight, we have our magazine set up in WordPress and created an RSS feed out of that. We connected the RSS feed to Zapier, which is then connected to Buffer. In Buffer, we set the slots according to hack #2 and then – let it pin!
Hack #4: Repin!
We’ve talked about your own pins now, but there’s another type of pin that are super important: external content is king on Pinterest! Only having your own brand’s content on Pinterest can easily look very commercial. At Stylight, about 11% of the pins are external content, so repins of other users. These repins must of course make sense and fit the topic – and at best not be from your direct competitors.
Hack #5: Go creative!
Automation, as described in hack #3, might be a great idea for most pins. Nevertheless, some manual work will be highly appreciated by your Pinterest audience as well. In order to keep the manual effort on an efficient level, it is crucial to evaluate the performance on a monthly or quarterly basis. Take a look at which pins perform best according to your company’s social media goals and improve this content even more by creating new pins based on your well-performing ones. Here are a few extra tips for you:
- Diversify by changing the pin’s headline
- Adapt the pin’s description by adding keywords
- Change the pin’s visual format
- And/or optimize these well-performing landing pages on conversions.
Hack #6: Repurpose!
As most social media managers know, social media platforms show very different behaviors when it comes to what type of content works best. Since our time was limited, we decided to recycle content from other channels and used some of the visuals we originally prepared for our Instagram stories for Pinterest – and turns out: they also worked for Pinterest!
Another advantage here: there’s quite some Instagram story creation apps available for free, such as Unfold or StoryArt. By using these, you don’t need Photoshop or support from your visual design team, but can create multi-channel visuals by yourself easy and fast.
Hack #7: SEO!
Synergies cannot only be found between social media platforms. Organic Pinterest marketing has quite some things in common with SEO:
- Both channels usually take some time before you see the first results.
- Optimizing for keywords sounds like a great idea for Google as well as for Pinterest.
- Topics with a high search volume might also be often searched for on Pinterest.
If you’re not an SEO expert, it’s for sure a great idea to sit together with your SEO colleagues and learn from them. What we learned: people don’t only google how to wash sneakers in the washing machine, but they also like to save this lifehack on their boards.
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NB: This content was originally presented by Astrid Linser at the #AFBMC conference in Berlin.