How to make it big on Pinterest
Pinterest, the newest social network to suck up people’s time, is way past being an upstart. Since I wrote about it a couple of months ago Pinterest has opened its doors wider to businesses and become the third most heavily used social network after Facebook and Twitter. Its success has spawned dozens of Pinterest clones. Pinning, the act of grabbing an image from one place and adding it to your page, has joined tweeting and “liking”as a verb for our times. And at least one company, Pinerly, is launching a set of management tools that lets you track how well your page is doing and schedule your pins in advance – just like the many social media tools available for Facebook and Twitter.
Businesses are falling all over themselves to get on their own boards – as of February there were 250 but there are no doubt many more by now. Here’s why: Buyers referred from Pinterest are 10% more likely to buy something than people arriving from other networks and they spend 10% more on average. Activity on Pinterest also lets businesses track which products are most popular and who are the most enthusiastic consumers.
Pinterest may be well-established as a force to reckon with but there’s still a Wild West feeling about how to use it – it started in March 2010 but only just got big. A few businesses are leading the way and among the top brands is Whole Foods Markets, with 28k followers and almost 70k repins – respectable but, I feel compelled to point out, nowhere close to Perfect Palate, a wedding blog “exploring color possibilities” which has 250k followers(!).
So what is Whole Foods doing right?
Writing good headlines. It’s no surprise that magazines are among the brands enjoying the greatest success. Why? They’re selling their boards the same way they sell their stories – with catchy headlines, interesting captions, and an appeal to why you should care. Whole Foods does the same thing. Consider its board names: What wants dinner!? (the most popular with 52k followers), Eat your veggies, How does your garden grow?, and, of course, because home decor rules on Pinterest, Super HOT Kitchens. “Pinterest provides a new way of thinking about products and selling them as a lifestyle rather than just an item,” said Rick Kats, CEO and founder of Pinerly, in a recent interview with My Beak Social Media.
Making the captions interesting. We know this because Whole Foods’ most popular board is We’re used to reusing!, which is basically a set of useful tips on how to save money and get more out of household and gardening items.
Leaving off the prices. Here’s one way personal and business pages are different: Pins of images that include prices are 5.5 times more likely to be shared by individuals. But when it comes to brands, pins without prices are more than twice as likely to be repinned as those with prices.
Opening it up to everyone: Whole Foods boards are busy with many of the images contributed by other people. (Scroll this page to find out how to let others contribute to your board.) It’s a great way to get your boards noticed – the more pins they have the more likely others will see them and repin your images.
Posting pictures of mouthwatering food: Pity the poor tech companies with their cloud computing and gigabytes. Whole Foods – and every other food business – has it made when it comes to subject matter. Photos of food are hugely popular on just about every social network and the more beautiful the better. But here’s some not-so-great news for all you healthy food people. Check out the most popular food & drink images – see much kale? Yeah, me neither. Cupcakes rule here, too.