In the ever changing world of small business, it’s challenging to keep up with all the different digital marketing channels that are out there. It seems that as soon as you start to master one, like inbound marketing or blogging, you then have to worry about Facebook. Now with the visual social media revolution taking place, Pinterest is becoming a powerhouse.
While it’s easy to look at all the glorious case studies of companies that are doing it right, like Petplan insurance who was able to increase requested quotes by 12.5% using Pinterest, it’s just as valuable to look at the mistakes that businesses are making so you don’t fall into the same trap.
Why? Because your time to your business is valuable, and if I can prevent future headaches, then I know I’ve done my job.
As you read this article, you’re going to know five deadly mistakes that businesses make with Pinterest.
Deadly Mistake #1: Not Linking Your Uploaded Pins
Honestly, this is the DEADLIEST tactical mistake that businesses make when starting off Pinterest. Once you’ve uploaded a pin onto your Pinterest account, it automatically becomes a media file. This means that if potential customers click on the picture twice, it loads up as a picture.
In order to have an uploaded pin link back to your website, you need to go back to the pin and click on the edit button on the top right hand corner of that pin. This can be done using the desktop version of Pinterest.
One entertainment conglomerate that had over 700,000 fans made this mistake. I imagine they probably lost hundreds of thousands of visitors to their site, considering they hand thousands of repins with no links. The good news is that they no longer make that mistake, and are now happily driving traffic to their e-commerce store.
Deadly Mistake #2: Not Investing Enough Quality Time
If you’re familiar with SEO and inbound marketing, you will realize that these types of marketing take time to build. And if there’s anything that Google’s updates have told us, it’s this – you will eventually get caught for shoddy and sneaky work.
To get your business to see amazing results on Pinterest, you need to stick with it, and be patient. When Pinterest is done right, and no short cuts are taken, as in buying followers, and any other sneaky business, you’re going to see a point where results start to exponentiate.
You notice that getting followers comes more easily, and getting repins in the double digits more normal. And, not uncommonly, you start to find that Pinterest becomes your second best social traffic referral, just like BuzzFeed did.
But you can’t expect success within a month or two, you have to be consistent and you have to set time aside quality time for Pinterest.
If you don’t have time to do it, then consider having an agency like Scalable Social Media help you set up a quality account and do the monthly management.
The beauty of consistently posting with Pinterest is that you will receive traffic, not only from your direct pins, but most likely from repins that other people have shared.
Don’t abandon the social network after 3 weeks if you don’t see 100 followers. Stick with it for at least 6 months and if possible, post daily to get the best results.
Deadly Mistake #3: Making Your First Two Boards Irrelevant to Your Audience
Approximately 75% of the daily usage on Pinterest happens on mobile devices. That’s astounding. Yet one of the biggest mistakes is having the first two boards be something that is completely irrelevant your business.
If you’re in the business of selling surf boards, don’t have the first two Pinterest boards be about recipes and diy projects. This is because for smartphone users the first two boards are what they see first.
And if there’s too much of a contradiction from the name of your account and your first two boards, then potential customers are going to leave your Pinterest account.
Customers like things to be interesting, but not confusing. Keep your first two boards about topics that would attract your ideal business audience.
Deadly Mistake #4: Not Having a Mobile Friendly Site
You can have all the traffic in the world coming from Pinterest, but if 75% of usage on Pinterest is mobile, it’s vital to ensure that you have a mobile friendly site. I’m going to say it’s important…let me rephrase that…YOU BETTER HAVE a mobile friendly site.
If that sounded like a threat, it was. It’s the quiet threat of your customers going to a competitor, and they didn’t even tell you.
I want your business to thrive and succeed in this competitive world. And you need to be able to take care of the basics first.
Ensure you have a mobile friendly site ready go for your business so that you’re noticing a lot of visitors coming, but also noticing a lot of visitors leaving soon.
Deadly Mistake #5: Pinning what’s Popular Versus What’s On Strategy
It’s so easy and addictive. You create Pinterest boards around the most popular topics on Pinterest like food, weddings and fashion, and you notice the follower count increasing and repins are also moving towards the sky. But *GASP* that’s not what your business is even about.
Many small and large businesses fall into this trap. They post what’s popular in the hopes that it will attract followers. The problem is they’re the wrong followers anyway.
However, incorporating those popular themes in a way that makes sense for your business, and is able to be a resource for you ideal customer is the right thing to do.
Lululemon, which focuses on yoga wear, understands their ideal customer intimately. They know she enjoys natural beauty products, enjoys eating quinoa and avocadoes. Their Pinterest account not just a business account. it’s an “enhance your own lifestyle” Pinterest account.
Decide on who you ideal customer is, and start pinning content for her.
Those are five deadly mistakes that businesses make on Pinterest. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section and let me know what other common deadly mistakes you see businesses make on Pinterest.
Vincent Ng is the founder of MCNG Marketing and the author of Pinterest to Profits with Pintalysis. He will be launching the Pinatlysis Academy on August 31st, an online Pinterest class with lifetime access. Sign up to get the early bird rate for the Pintalysis Academy.
Thanks so much for contributing to the blog, Vincent!