Pinterest isn’t everything, but for some small businesses, it has been a real Godsend. For businesses relying on any sort of visuals or photography, to not be on Pinterest is simply to leave money on the table.It’s a great place to show off what you’re marketing, and it really does what a lot of novices think is done better on Google+ or Facebook. It simply shows off good-looking images, quickly and in a fun, snappy environment with no questions asked.
Trying that on Facebook can actually do more harm than good. But like on Facebook, any small business owner will want to show up fresh, with new ideas and original content.For that, getting good with some simple tricks for smartphone photography is going to help early on. Again, it doesn’t have to be complicated, but reviewing some tips and memorizing them before you start shooting, or planning for regular shoots, is going to go a long way.
But let’s look in a little more detail at everything you should be doing:
1) Let them know who you are
Being social means being upfront. Post portraits of your business team leaders and your social media people. Whoever is doing the interacting should be a real person. No cardboard cutouts or secret pinners. That kind of plan always backfires. Just post a good portrait and some key quotes from a brief interview and be as honest as you can.
2) Go for compelling imagery
But you don’t want a simple catalog-style outlay of everything you’re selling. For lots of business models, that retail style won’t work anyway. Look at it this way. Like all social media, Pinterest gives you a chance to “sponsor” a page or a series of pins that highlight who and what you are, as well as what you’re immediately making money from.
3) “Sponsor” imagery of the stuff closest to you
That’s to say, instead of just selling your stuff, sell the atmosphere where your stuff makes the most sense. Be personal and share your enthusiasm for the entire atmosphere, not just the sales atmosphere. And helping out a young photographer or similar creative is not going to make you look bad. Quite to the contrary
4) Branding is about Values!
So Pinning about the things that are important to your clients can – and arguably should – include plenty about the values you can define. Don’t think politics, think freedom, creativity, and expression. All of these things will help to set even completely unrelated small business apart from the competition. Being even a little bold is probably going to be worth more than sticking with the unclear albeit definite.
5) Branding includes the entire environment!
Your clients’ needs, wants, and aspirations are the name of the game. What is good for them is good for your business even if it’s not immediately apparent. Sales funnels have gotten a lot longer and connecting with someone on the outer edge can include just being friendly, understanding or interesting. Go for it.
As you get better with photography, you should also get better with video. Again, not commercials for your products, but stories and even crazy videos will work better and show your business off as better than lots of others. All the information relevant to your customer base is fair game here and this is no time to fall back on cheap gimmicks or sales tactics.
7) Pinning happens everywhere
Make sure at least some of your website is Pin-friendly. Widgets and buttons scattered liberally on your product pages and blog pages can do wonders for sharing your values and making them more shareable. Remember too, Re-Pinning is not about what your clients want, but about what they believe.
8) Data Works
Infographics! Tables! Charts! It’s almost crazy how much mileage you can get out of even simple number spreads. The same goes for visualizing just about anything you can come up. Work with a designer and a data person if necessary and you’re possibly working on a goldmine.
9) Book Covers
Small Businesses don’t have to be bookshops, though those can do it too. Book jackets and author photos and all the art related to selling books – or even just reading books – can all work wonders on Pinterest. Again, remember, values can go a long way and books are a great way to share deeper and more thoughtful insight into your values.
10) Pinterest for Business
A business account isn’t totally necessary for every business model, but if you really do plan to sell directly it’s not a bad idea at all. Still, consider all of the above, because, in the end, marketing, all marketing, is far more about creating and maintaining an environment in which sales or more likely, and not just about closing those sales. In social media, too much sales mentality is absolutely anathema to your broader business goals.