So you've jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon. Smart move: There are millions of users clicking on thumbnails of products (called pins), looking for specialty items, decorating tips, and more. But for many start-ups, turning Pinterest clicks into actual sales is still a challenge. Fortunately, a few new tools have cropped up to help you do exactly that.
Pitched as a Klout.com for Pinterest, Pinreach has one main goal: to show companies the correlation between what people are pinning and what they are buying. Baroan Technologies, a managed service provider in New Jersey, uses Pinreach to measure likes and repins. Interestingly, the company is not selling many of its pins, but it can see, given the activity of followers, what users actually repin and like, and can then adjust its marketing accordingly.
This image-recognition tool can track when someone pins (and repins) your product, on the basis of the picture itself. That can be invaluable for tracking sales, because often a pin may use the picture with a new (and potentially untraceable) description. Curalate can then track the entire repinning process back to an actual sale, so you can analyze the effectiveness of your pins.
For those using WordPress to sell products, WP Pinner is a must-use. It's a dashboard you install inside the WordPress admin. When you create a post, you can automatically create a pin. Like the rash of Twitter tools for scheduling posts, WP Pinner also lets you schedule when the WordPress post will appear on Pinterest--a great way to keep your pinboard active. You can also track likes, repins, etc.
Once again, there's a Twitter correlation here. Tools such as HootSuite and SproutSocial let you manage multiple Twitter accounts. Pintics is for managing multiple Pinterest accounts to track pins, repins, comments, and overall success on Pinterest. You can post pins to multiple accounts as well.
A bookmarklet you use as you browse the Web, ShareAsImage has one purpose in life: When you find captivating text that you want to share, you can use ShareAsImage to create a visual pin that will link back to the original source. In the Pro version, which costs $2.99, you can adjust the font, the size of the text, and the color treatments.
Similar to ShareAsImage, ShotPin is a Google Chrome browser extension that shows up as a pin next to the URL field. For any site you visit, you can click the pin and create a screen shot of the site and share the pin. You can drag around objects on a site to make a smaller pin. So, if you're generating interest in your pinboard and find a useful site, you can pin that site in a few quick clicks.
Most small companies will build a storefront and then create pins that link back to that store. But you might want to go the other way around: create pins for products, and then figure out how to sell them. If you do, Shopinterest makes this process quick and painless. You create an account, choose a layout for the store, add your PayPal account credentials, and choose your pins. The site then creates the store.