The Ecommerce Brand's Guide To Pinterest

by Julie Bee on May 06, 2014

pinterest ecomm starter kit

Pinterest first launched in March 2010 and while many critics then and now have labeled it a flash in the pan, the site never looked back.

Pinterest is now a major business driver for many brands, especially ecommerce brands.

Pinterest quickly took notice of how businesses used and got use out of the social network and began creating ways to serve those brands. Some of the most successful companies on Pinterest include eComm brands.

If your business gets a significant portion of revenue from ecommerce, you should look closely at Pinterest if you have not already.

Please Note: this blog post makes two assumptions.

First, it assumes your eComm brand has setup a Pinterest Business Page.

Second, it also assumes your brand verified its website through Pinterest’s verification process. Not verified? Check out these instructions on how to verify your website on Pinterest.

So, how do you effectively market your eComm brand on Pinterest? Read on!

Better Pinterest Content

Women Centric

Women make up the majority of Pinterest active users. As a brand, you should consider tailoring your Pinterest content to women.

This does not mean you should rely on pink and purple colors. Focus instead on directing the context and tone of your content to appeal to women.

Plan Content With Categories

To overcome creative block, use categories to guide your Pinterest content production. Category for content for your eComm brand should include “Content Categories” which highlights photos of your product, and the “Brand Story Category”, where you share photos that tell the story of your brand.

These two categories help your audience understand what your company does, and why your company does it.

Another popular category includes the “Behind the Scenes Category”, where you show the people behind the brand, doing what they do to make the brand awesome. Other category ideas include cause marketing efforts, community involvement, and Throw Back Thursday.

Photos drive Pinterest, Period

Professionally shot and edited photos tend to create more repins and comments than do unedited photos. However, not all brands have a professional photographer on speed dial.

If your eComm brand finds itself lacking of professionally edited photos — slightly edited, self-produced photos can be just as successful. Take photos with the camera of your choice, and then use a free photo editing software, like PicMonkey, to edit the photos.

You may also want to check out a free graphic design tool like Canva to create quote images – these create engagement on Pinterest.

Begin Anywhere, TASTEdaily

Source: TASTEdaily

Website Pins

The true power of Pinterest for eComm brands lies in its ability to drive traffic to your website. Pin from your website and blog to encourage click-throughs to your site.

Your website product pages likely display photos of your products, but what about your blog posts? Add photos to your blog posts, using the tools mentioned above, and you will gain the ability to pin your blog posts as well. To make pinning from your site a snap, download the Pinterest widget for your internet browser , which enables you to pin directly from any website.

When you pin your products, use Pinterest Product Pins. Product Pins show up in the Pinterest Gifts feed. The Gifts feed was created exclusively for people shopping on Pinterest.

Product Pins also allow you to add prices, and more detail, about a product. This enables consumers on Pinterest to view more information about your brand’s products, which increases the chances of gaining a click-through to your brand’s website.

Pinterest Board Strategy

With the content strategy in place, now take a look at your brand’s boards.

Setting up your business Pinterest profile may be overwhelming – you have a lot of options.

Product Boards

For product boards, board titles should mimic website navigation to ensure consistency across platforms.

Non-Product Boards

However, you brand should also setup boards that show there is more to your brand than products. Refer back to the categories we discussed in the content section; you may set up a board titled “Behind the Scenes”, and post photos showing what happens in the office, and in manufacturing areas, on a daily or weekly basis.

Showing your brand as a diversified organization, as opposed to just another business trying to sell a product, will go a long way. Consumers like to know the companies from which they make purchases.

Other profile tips include: clearly titling each board, so people know what to expect when they click on it. Also, give each board a description with several keywords, so that consumers can easily find your boards when searching on Pinterest.

A final tip on Pinterest boards: regularly change their display order. Depending on what your eComm brand offers, you may change the order based on season, color, age, size, style, and day of the week.

To change the order of your boards, drag and drop them on your main profile page.

Bottom line, your board setup and arrangement should make it easy for consumers to shop your products (just like your website). While engagement remains important, ultimately you want to drive traffic to your brand’s website, encouraging those Pinterest consumers to turn into loyal customers.

Pinterest Engagement Ideas

One of the most underutilized areas of Pinterest gives a brand the ability to see who has pinned photos from the brand’s website. To see this information, follow this path on Pinterest:  go to Analytics, then to Most Recent, and then view the screen.

Here is an example of what that screen looks like:

You must verify your website to take advantage of this feature. Check out this Social Fresh post on how to get your website Pinterest verified.

So how does an eComm brand use this information? Get into conversations with those who pinned something from your website. Thank them for sharing your products; let them know you appreciate it. Like the post.

If you have not already pinned the product to your brand’s boards, repin it. These actions draw attention to a pin that sends people to your brand’s website. It will also likely gain you a follower on Pinterest – the person you thank for sharing the website image.

eComm brands should also integrate a “Pin It” function on their websites. If your brand has not done so already, get to it!

Why?

You want to subtly remind website visitors to share things they like from your site. This will increase the likelihood of receiving pins from others as well. Pinterest provides easy to follow instructions on how to add social share icons to your website.

bluefly.com

Source: bluefly.com

Pinterest Analytics

Pinterest does a great job at keeping analytics simple – much easier to understand when compared to Facebook. While the analytics on pins, repins, and followers prove helpful, impressions and reach analytics show the real power for eComm brands on Pinterest.

According to Pinterest, reach counts the daily average number of people who saw your pins on Pinterest.

Impressions count the daily average number of times your pins appeared on Pinterest in the main feed, in search results, or on boards. These two numbers help eComm brands identify their level of exposure on Pinterest.

A higher level of exposure on Pinterest correlates to a higher number of consumers seeing your posts and your brand.

To view reach and impressions, go to your analytics page on Pinterest.

First, select the dates for which you would like to view data. This selection area resides on the left side of your analytics screen.

Pinterest Analytics Date

 

Next, select export. This button lies on the right side of your analytics screen.

Pinterst Analytics Export

 

A dialogue box will open, asking you to export to Excel. Select save or open, and then review the document.

Pinterst Analytics Export 2

Once in Excel, you can sum the total of impressions and reach to see how your eComm brand stacks up. Track these analytics over time, and take note of spikes in performance. If you see a spike in either number, review your brand’s Pinterest history to identify why the spike happened. This will help you single out what works best for your brand.

Are click-throughs and website visitors important? Yes. However, use your website analytics program to track them. We have noticed some discrepancies between Pinterest Analytics and Google Analytics for our clients. Therefore, we recommend relying on website analytic programs to report website activity from Pinterest.

Pinterest Ecomm Strategy Takewaways

If you already use Pinterest for your eComm brand, making slight changes to your strategy may improve your results.

Integrating Product Pins to show up in Pinterest’s Gifts feed should be a top priority, and knowing which analytics are most important to your brand will help you measure Pinterest’s effectiveness.

If you do not use Pinterest for your eComm brand, what are you waiting for? It may seem like a major undertaking, but Pinterest is fairly easy to use. Get started, and integrate the tips above into your eComm Pinterest strategy as you go.

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Post Author

Julie Bee is the founder of BeeSmart Social Media, a social media marketing agency. She helps brands create, implement, produce, and measure social media marketing campaigns. She specializes in Ecommerce social media, B2B social media marketing, and affordable...

  • http://socialfresh.com/blog Jason Keath

    Great writeup Julie. This is a super smart guide for a lot of those businesses who are thinking about Pinterest for more ecommerce business but have no idea where to start.

  • http://socialsagepr.com/ Donna Cravotta

    Love this post Julie – so many great strategies for really using Pinterest. I have loved this platform from the beginning so simple and fun.

  • http://beesmartsocialmedia.com Julie Bee

    Thanks for reading and commenting Donna! I agree…Pinterest is simple and fun. It can also be a powerhouse for Ecomm brands.

  • http://beesmartsocialmedia.com Julie Bee

    Thanks Jason! I think a lot of people believe Pinterest is overwhelming, but I find it easier to use (for myself and for clients) than some of the other social giants.

  • Dave Nordella

    I am bookmarking this post for some deep study, Julie. I created my Pinterest business page and verified it. Right afterwards, I felt like the dog that has been barking behind a moving car when the car pulls over.

    Now what do I do?

    You post is full of ideas that are show how to use Pinterest effectively. I installed the Pin It button for Chrome. I was able to pin a guest post that I wrote to two of my group boards!

    I’m eager to read more of your posts. Thanks for your help!