One of the great things about Pinterest is the way you can filter what you follow. When you follow someone on Twitter, you subscribe to every tweet. On Facebook you can select what updates you want to see for each friend or person you subscribe to. With Pinterest you can choose to ‘follow all’ boards a person creates or be selective and only follow the ‘boards’ they create that are of interest to you.
Your focus on Pinterest as a direct selling business owner needs to be on connecting with those who have similar interests to you both personally and related to your product. The key to doing this starts with creating Pinterest boards that are going to attract followers.
Avoid Starting With Self-Promotion
One of the mistakes I see direct sellers making is starting with boards about their products. Pinterest Etiquette guidelines ask users to ‘avoid self-promotion’, in other words, Pinterest is about sharing other people’s content more than it is about promoting yourself. So, before you get started, switch your thinking from what you want to promote, to what you can share that is of value to others.
I recommend starting with some boards that reflect a little about who you are as a person and what you are interested in. Here are some examples…
Places I Have Been; Bucket List; Vision Board; Clothes I Love; Wish List; Ideas for the Home, Garden, Home Office; People I Admire; Eating Out; Our Trip to…; Planning Our Holiday etc
The list really is endless. Once you have decided on some topics you would like to share, you will need to visit some of your favourite websites that have images you can Pin. Make sure you have added the Pin It Button to your Firefox Browser as many websites have not yet added Pinterest Buttons and Widgets.
Once you have created some personal boards you can then think about the topics your followers may be interested in that relate to your product. Again, this is not when you start to upload and share your product. This is about attracting followers who are interested in topics that relate to your product. Here are some examples…
Cookware / Kitchenware – create boards to share recipes; kitchen gadgets; seasonal or local produce; ways to organise your kitchen; and home decor ideas for the kitchen.
Skincare / Makeup – create boards to share make up tips; seasonal looks; how the skin works; and ways to pamper yourself.
Crafts – create boards on ‘how to’ topics; ways for storing crafts; or craft projects you are working on.
Clothing / Fashion – create boards on seasonal colours; current looks; body shapes; or fashion accessories.
Health / Wellness – create boards on healthy recipes; exercise; nutrition; or things to avoid.
And then you need to do the same as above. Go to some of your favourite websites that share great connect and use the Pin It Button to pin onto your boards.
Be Specific with Board Titles
Another mistake I have noticed people making, is creating boards that are way to general, like ‘Food’ or ‘Crafts’ or even just ‘Stuff I Love’. Whilst this may have some meaning for you, the more specific and creative your board titles are, the more likely people will be to follow them. Remember, the object of Pinterest is to attract followers who are genuinely interested in the content you are sharing. If they are genuinely interested, they will then repin, like or comment on your boards.
Here are some examples…
Instead of calling a board ‘Food’, create some boards that are more specific. Eg Favourite Recipes; Gluten-Free Cooking; Vegetarian Recipes; Eating Out; Delicious Desserts etc
Instead of calling a board ‘Crafts’ create more specific boards like Scrapbooking your Wedding; Cardmaking with Kids; Jewellery Making etc
Instead of calling a board ‘Stuff I Love’, get creative and group items into categories people will follow like Things for the Garden; Beautiful Bling; Ideas for Home; or Shoe-a-holic
The more specific your board titles are the more interested the people will be who follow them.
Share Great Quality Content
One thing to remember is Pinterest is not like Twitter in that the information you share does not disappear through the feed quickly. People can and will take the time to go to your profile and browse through the boards that are of interest to them, before deciding to follow them and repin your content. The better the quality of the content you are sharing the more likely they are to follow. They have to like what they see!
I would recommend you are pinning quality images from websites offering only the best information, so you build a reputation for providing quality content on your board topic. This can help position you as an expert who knows where to find everything on that board topic and your followers will remember you.
Maximise Your Boards for Search
Pinterest users can search for imgaes based on Categories or they can type what they are looking for into the search box and then chose between pins, boards or people using those keywords.
Categories – When pinning or repinning, you can create a new board instead of selecting one of your existing boards, but doing this does not allow you to add that board to one of Pinterests Categories. Be sure to edit each board and select a Category that best describes what your are pinning. This way when people select a Category your pins and boards may come up in their search.
Keywords – It is also important to add a Description to your boards using keywords people may be searching for. If for example I was searching for Vegetarian Recipes I can type it into the search box and then select if I would like to see pins, boards or people who have used the words ‘vegetarian recipes’. So, put some thought into what people may be searching for and use those words in your board descriptions.
Fill Your Boards
Take the time to fill your boards with images so your profile looks visual. Busy boards will get more followers. Boards that have one or two images and sit basically empty will not inspire anyone to follow them.
Sharing Your Product
Now that you are familiar with Pinterest and you have some creative board topics that are generating interest and followers, you can start to think about including your product.
I recommend dispersing your product amongst the board topics you have created, rather than creating a board that is ‘Your Company Name Products’. Having a board exclusively for promoting your products will not inspire people to follow it. So, if your business is skin care and makeup, perhaps share eyeshadow colours on a board that is called ‘Makeup Looks Winter 2012′ or share your anti-aging products on a board called “Why Skin Ages”. Be sure to be sharing other content that supports the topic so it is not all about you and your products.
You can then link your products to your consultant website and add a price so people can click through to find out more.
It is important to spread pinning your products over a period of time. If you sit and pin product after product, even if they are shared across multiple board topics, you may annoy your followers with ‘self-promotion’ and they may unfollow you. So use your discretion and put yourself in the place of those who are following your posts.
Feel free to share your Pinterest profile link in the comments below so we can follow you and your boards on Pinterest. We welcome any questions you may have or any additional tips you can offer on how to make use of Pinterest in your Direct Sales business.