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How to Avoid Making the Biggest Mistakes on Pinterest (Part 3)

How to Avoid Making the Biggest Mistakes on Pinterest (Part 3)
If you’ve been following my work you know that I strongly advise people not to be on every social media network.  One of the biggest mistakes many businesses make is trying to be on every social network because they think they are supposed to. Heck, I unplugged from my Twitter account a long time ago because I simply don’t have time to have conversations there.

Unfortunately, you do not have an unlimited amount of time to invest in social media marketing for your business. You must decide about which social networks you will commit to fully. If you decide that Pinterest marketing is for you then make it your mission to master it.

Okay, let’s begin!

At this point you have learned that Pinterest is for businesses that want to sell their stuff – products and services.

However, many don’t realize that just pushing products is a sure way to fail on Pinterest. Just slapping pretty images on boards and filling them up as quickly as possible is NOT the key to leveraging Pinterest to increase your sales.

There has to be a mixture of two types of boards and information to win on Pinterest:

  1. Your products and services: call this direct selling
  2. Helpful tips and ideas & checklists: call this indirect selling

You need both in a 50 / 50 mix ratio.  No kidding.

How to Avoid Making the Biggest Mistakes on Pinterest (Part 3)

How to Avoid Making the Biggest Mistakes on Pinterest (Part 3)

On Pinterest, a Pinner’s (shopper’s) inspiration is typically checking out options and looking for ideas.  They have something in mind they want to buy, or an event they are planning or a project they want to complete and they are in the collection of ideas stage. This is the first step on their journey to purchase.

As yourself, do you want to be in their mind at this stage?  I know I do.

Pinning on Pinterest is how they collect ideas. So, while they are “looking around” if they come across information that is helpful and relevant to their life they read it, pin it and save it.  If they find it valuable they begin to build a bond with you and your brand.  One day when they are actually looking for something to buy you will be top of mind and your chances of making the sales go up.

The more helpful you are the more likeable you become. The more the market trusts you and the more they buy.

This is how Pinterest works.  Think of it as 2 types of selling. You must do both.

Direct selling: Showing off your stuff

Indirect selling: Helping people address and deal with the many issues they have to think about for the various holidays, events and occasions

If you want to win on Pinterest you must think helpfulness and selling in equal 50/ 50 amounts.

How to Avoid Making the Biggest Mistakes on Pinterest (Part 3)

Example:  imagine a company that sells make up.  They have a choice they can create dozens of boards and exclusively feature their products:

  1. Eye shadows
  2. Lipsticks
  3. Cleansers
  4. Mineral makeup
  5. Bronzers
  6. Eyeliners
  7. Sponges and brushes
  8. Foundations
  9. Concealers

Etc., etc. right?

Or they could do all that and add some boards that feature this kind of information:

  1. Skin care tips to look radiant
  2. How to eat to preserve your skin
  3. Tips to grow naturally long eyelashes
  4. Best color combinations for summer
  5. The best ways to exfoliate
  6. How to avoid clogged pores
  7. The right order to clean your face
  8. How to protect your skin from the sun
  9. How to repair damaged skin
  10. How to get rid of blackheads

People who buy make up would have these types of problems. Yes?

See the difference?  One company is in 100% sell mode.  The other is in sell and helpful mode.

On Pinterest, the sell + helpful mode produces the best sales results.

If all you do is pin your own content you will fail…guaranteed.

Your goal on Pinterest is to be helpful and to educate your audience on a wide variety of topics that they care about. That way they can get to know your brand, come to trust it, eventually like it and finally interact with it.

Ask yourself how will the info you share help them solve their pressing problems?

People say they want Pinterest to be useful (54%), helpful (50%) and inspiring (45%) of the time.

That means creating how to solve a problem boards and blogs, checklists, information about their issues and what the possible solutions might be.

Be friendly, be helpful, and amid your helpfulness spread out your product boards and as they come to like and trust you they will eventually click on your product pins.

They will then hopefully go to your website and buy something. This is how Pinterest works.  Lead with helpfulness not a hard sell product-only push. Get creative. 

How to Avoid Making the Biggest Mistakes on Pinterest (Part 3)

In summary, remember two things:

  1. Don’t be in every social network.
  2. On Pinterest, be helpful versus just trying to sell them your stuff. In that way, you become their trusted advisor and when they are ready to buy they will think about you, not your competition.

If managing Pinterest for your business seems overwhelming for you and you feel like you are going around and around in circles with Pinterest and not getting anywhere please contact me about my Pinterest account management services. Or to learn more about how you can be more effective on Pinterest check out my Pinterest Marketing for Business Course. Chapter one is FREE.

How to Avoid Making the Biggest Mistakes on Pinterest (Part 3)

This article was first published on Integrated Marketing Association.

Anna Bennett

Power influencer and social media strategist Anna Bennett is the owner of White Glove Social Media and co-founder of True North Marketing. As a Pinterest expert, she helps businesses supercharge traffic and sales growth with Pinterest. Anna is one of Pinterest’s Business Experts chosen by Pinterest themselves.

Her three decades of experience in retail operations and business coaching is the rock solid foundation for her dynamic marketing and training services. Anna is the author of Pinterest Marketing For Business Master Online Course and How To Become A Pinterest Account Manager and has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Investor’s Business Daily, American Marketing Association, and several other publications. She has quickly taken the lead in the competitive and rapidly changing world of social media marketing and in 2014, Sean Gardner, bestselling author and Forbes #1 Social Media Power Influencer, praised Anna as a well respected Pinterest expert and predicted that “as Pinterest grows and becomes a monster platform” audiences should “look to see her name even more.”

In 2012, Anna decided to combine her years of success as a business owner and coach with one of the fastest growing social media platforms: Pinterest. The result? White Glove Social Media Marketing. Under Anna’s scrupulous direction, business owners, marketers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs have learned to harness Pinterest’s phenomenal marketing potential. As a certified social media strategist and Pinterest Expert, Anna uses her superpowers–speed, attention to detail, delivering customer ROI, and a knack for finding humor in everything–to ensure every client receives white glove treatment.

Before bursting onto the social media scene, Anna dazzled as an international beauty pageant winner, instructed for John Casablancas International Modeling & Talent Agency, won the national retail president’s club sales award (twice!), owned and operated a best-in-class luxury day spa, offered consulting, and coaching to spa owners, and even developed her own line of cosmetics. In 2012, she obtained her certified social media marketing strategist designation through InstantETraining, based in Chicago.

It is her background as a personal development seminar leader for Brian Tracy’s network, however, that Anna credits as the secret sauce behind her energy and drive. That experience led to the development of her “white glove” business philosophy, which strives for precision, thoroughness, and attention to even the smallest detail.

In real life, Anna is a loving wife, lifelong learner, interior decorating aficionado, obsessive crafter, tennis and golf nut, unwilling angler (she will never go deep sea fishing again!), and enthusiastic NFL fan (go Seahawks!). Her goal is to help you create, improve or integrate the power of Pinterest to grow your business bigger, faster and to have some fun along the way.
Anna Bennett