Faster than a speeding bullet for lead generation, able to leap traffic generation records in a single bound! Yes, Pinterest, when done right, can be the Superman of inbound marketing. But, is it a good investment for a local business? It just might be!
The Challenge of Pinterest for Local Businesses
The beauty of Pinterest is that it allows us to dream. We collect dream boards that let us believe that one day we will be the sort of fit, beautifully-dressed, perfect parents with the coolest car and most perfectly-decorated house (or three). We’ll cook the most gorgeous meals and throw the best parties. We’ll learn to make a home out of corn cobs and live on nothing but bean sprouts and swamp water in case of an emergency.
The challenge for local businesses is that, when you post lovely images, people from anywhere can pin. They can click through to your site. They can even download some free content from your site and become a lead. But if you have a produce market in Wilmington, NC and your lead lives in Tennessee, that lead is not very helpful to you. Unless they know someone in Wilmington, or unless they’re moving – you get the point.
How To Use Pinterest For Your Local Business
All this is not to say you shouldn’t give Pinterest some serious consideration when planning your social media strategy. There are ways to make it work (if you’re a veterinarian, we have some specific ideas here). You’ll just have to be a little more creative, a little better at networking, and very focused on all things local. You’ll also want to be aware of promoted pin options.
Are your customers, your business partners, the salon down the street on Pinterest? Look for them (you can use Pinterest’s search or just go to their websites and look for a link). Follow some or all of their boards. Like, repin and comment on their pins. Promote their businesses on your local boards. You’ll likely find that they will return the favor!
Place pins were created by Pinterest as a way to help users plan trips, but there’s no reason you can’t create a board with your favorite local places! These pins work with Foursquare, so you might find it limits the places you can include (unless you want to add them to Foursquare yourself). When you add another business as a place pin, you’re doing them a big favor – when people click on the pin, they can see the phone number and a map for the business location.
To create a board for place pins, just click on “Add a map” when you create a new board or edit an existing board and add a map. To add a place, click on “Add a place”! Then you can select an existing image (Foursquare uploads) or add your own.
Become a Local Resource
Pinterest is really more of a search engine than a social network. Take advantage of the adventurous nature of Pinterest users by becoming a go-to resource for all things local. Create a board for local restaurants (you can pin reviews, menus, your own photos), current events, fun things to do, news. The possibilities are endless!
Don’t Forget SEO
Have you noticed Pinterest pins showing up in Google Alerts? I have! This means (as we knew) that Google is finding Pinterest images – and boards are showing up in search engine results. They may also soon start using social signals (such as likes and repins) as a ranking factor. Bing is already including Pinterest boards in image search results. Look!
Even though links from pins to your site are “no-follow” (meaning they probably don’t pass any link juice), more of your links out there means more click-throughs to your site – and isn’t THAT the purpose of SEO? It also means that we all need to remember to use descriptive keywords (which for us will mean including our location) in our:
- Account Names
- Board Titles
- Board Descriptions
- Pin Descriptions, and even
- Image titles and alternate text
Also, remember when pinning your own content to include a link back to your website in the pin description – it makes it easier and more likely that people will click.
Target Promoted Pins By Geographical Area
The ability to use promoted pins is rolling out to all users. A proposal received by an agency from Pinterest and published on Digiday revealed that,
The geo-targeting capabilities include “US only,” “user location” and “metro-city level,” thus allowing Pinterest
to attract local merchants — like a boutique clothing shop — in addition to national chains.
This is GREAT news for local businesses. When you share your own content as a pin, you’ll be able to pay to reach local users who aren’t already following you. To get started, you’ll need a business Pinterest account, verify your website, and you’ll need to enable rich pins. Get started now (or let us help), so you’ll be ready when the rollout is complete.
- Pinterest Group Boards Directory – Finally! (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- Pinterest Group Board Tips & Why You Should Join (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- How to Get Started on Pinterest as a Small Business Owner (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- How to Run an Effective Pinterest Contest for Your Business (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- Why Content Marketers Love Pinterest (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- How to Sell Your Agency Clients on Pinterest (tailwindapp.com)
- 10 Things You Need to Do When Getting Started on Pinterest (blogs.constantcontact.com)