When it comes to social media, Facebook is typically the first move businesses make, followed by Twitter and Instagram. Meanwhile the powerful marketing tool, Pinterest, is often overlooked. If you think it is just for stay-at-home moms pinning recipes and brides-to-be making wedding plans, you are wrong. With more than 110 million monthly active Pinterest users, there’s a whole world of opportunity out there.

Small businesses can use Pinterest to build brand awareness, connect with customers, sell products and more. If you aren't already, it is time to get pinning. Here are eight Pinterest tips for small businesses that can get your business popping.

The Basics

When signing up for an account, make sure it’s a Pinterest business account, which offers special tools and features for businesses. Also, check out these Pinterest basics for help getting started. From adding boards to promoting pins, you will be talking the talk (and pinning the pins) in no time. 

Once You Post, Keep Posting

Make sure to post regularly to keep people engaged. While it is not an exact science as to when is the best time to post on Pinterest, research shows the highest traffic during the evenings, particularly Saturday from 8-11 p.m. Other high traffic times are between 2 a.m.-4 a.m. and 2 p.m.-4 p.m.

There are tools, such as Viraltag and Everypost, that allow you to schedule pins ahead of time. Many of them provide features that allow you to promote your pins and see statistics about your Pinterest traffic as well.

Make Your Pins Count

You do not want to pin just any old image, as there are tactics proven for more effective pins. For example, if you are pinning a blog post, it should include a vertical image with descriptive text overlay, so people know what they are going to get. You can also upload images with suggested copy that will appear if a customer pins a photo to their Pinterest board.

“Rich” pins are a kind of “super” pin that allows you to display extra information — like your website name and current pricing — about whatever it is you are pinning. They automatically update with your website and increase the visibility and effectiveness of your pins.

Integrate Pinterest With Your E-commerce Site

Make sure there is a “Pin It” button on the pages of all your online store’s pages to make sharing as easy as possible for your customers. Also be sure to include alt tags (which auto populate the description of the pin) for all of the pictures on your site.

Share the Love

Make sure that you follow the Pinterest boards of those who follow you and that you repin their pins as well. Keeping an ongoing conversation  between you and customers and potential customers is the goal.

To get more followers, follow others who will hopefully follow you back. To find those you want to follow use the “everything” search (if you search on your home feed, you will only be searching among those you already follow) and plug in key industry terms to find like-minded users.

Keep It Organized

Make sure to pin on appropriate boards (e.g., you do not want to pin a recipe on your quotes board), and make sure they are clearly defined. Both the titles of your boards and your pins should be as specific as possible to  help people find your pins when they are searching.

Make Your Profile Count

From your profile picture to the summary about your business, keep it on brand and clear about what you have to offer.

Get Creative

You do not want to post only sales-y pins of your products. Include blog posts, images quotes and other content that’s related to, but not necessarily about, your business to keep followers engaged.

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