Maybe you use Pinterest for business: for social media marketing, as a way to build greater product awareness, and to help build your brand. And maybe you use Pinterest to increase sales, generate more revenue, and make more money for your business.
Or maybe you think Twitter is sufficient.
Twitter should be a key component in your social media marketing strategy... but Pinterest drives significantly more content to publishers than Twitter.
So if you're not using Pinterest for business, you should be.
Yet you also might not be particularly excited by the thought of adding another social network to your social media marketing duties. Fortunately that's a problem the folks at Buffer tackled with their Buffer for Pinterest integration. (Buffer's tool lets you schedule, analyze, and share pins -- in short, think Buffer for Pinterest.) So I asked Buffer co-founder Leo Widrich for practical ways to use Pinterest for business.
1. Schedule pins.
The most important new feature now available for Pinterest is that you can schedule all your Pinterest pins with Buffer from one dashboard. As with Buffer for Twitter, now you can schedule pins to post consistently throughout the day.
You can share content to Pinterest from the Buffer dashboard or from the Buffer browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
2. Take advantage of smart weekly posting strategies.
When it comes to timing, there's not a bad day to post on Pinterest. But different topics definitely perform at varying levels on different days of the week.
Pinterest shared some great info on these correlations last year. Here's a look at what people are most like to focus on and pin on different days of the week:
- Monday: Good intentions spark interest in fitness and health
- Tuesday: Gadgets and technology tend to be all the rage
- Wednesday: When people look for a little something to get through the week, like inspirational quotes
- Thursday: Fashion, fashion, and more fashion
- Friday: Funny GIFs bring comic relief to the end of the week
- Saturday: Vacations and travel are top of mind
- Sunday: Food and craft ideas
Additionally, a bit.ly study found that Saturday is a great overall day for pinning. Maybe that's when users have extra time for projects, or just for dreaming.
3. Measure the performance of your pins.
Another most important feature for all businesses is the ability to effectively measure how well you're doing on Pinterest. Buffer's Pinterest integration lets you measure the performance of your pins to understand how your audience is growing and how your followers are engaging with your content.
You can also filter, export, and sort your data so you can make smarter decisions with your social media campaigns.
4. Take advantage of smart posting frequency strategies.
Visual marketing service Piqora interviewed 200 big-time brands like Whole Foods, Lowes, and LL Bean, and discovered that many had experienced the most consistent Pinterest growth somewhere between "a few pins a week" and "3 to 10 pins per day." (Note that this survey was pre-Smart Feed.)
On the higher end of the spectrum, the folks behind Ahalogy, a Pinterest marketing platform, say the sky is the limit when it comes to pins per day. Pinterest is different than other social media networks, says Ahalogy founder Bob Gilbreath, and requires re-thinking the "social media rules."
Ahalogy says its clients have seen the best results when they pin 15 to 30 items per day, with pins spread throughout the day.
Our best advice? Pin as much quality content as you have time for. You're unlikely to overwhelm your followers thanks to the Pinterest Smart Feed algorithm, and each pin is a chance to grow your exposure and audience.
5. Manage all your social media accounts from one dashboard.
Pinterest now lets marketers connect all their social accounts, including Pinterest, to their Buffer dashboard so they can post everywhere from one tool.
Save time by connecting as many Pinterest accounts as you like and you can easily publish content to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn as well.
6. Schedule pins directly from Pinterest.com.
With most of the sharing buttons all over the web, it's important for business to be able to schedule their pins not just from a dashboard, but from wherever they are. The Buffer browser extension makes it easy to schedule anything on Pinterest.com directly as a repin to your boards.
7. Take advantage of smart hourly timing strategies.
With so many different audiences and categories of content, Pinterest provides an interesting challenge when it comes to pinning down (ahem) the best times of day to post.
According to a study of nearly 10 million pins by Digitas and Curalate, the best times to pin vary by topic/industry.
- Friday at 3 p.m. ET is prime time for fashion pinning
- Electronics pins do best Mondays at 10 p.m. ET
- Automotive pins do well Fridays at 12 p.m. ET
Ahalogy found that between 8 p.m. E T and midnight any day is peak time for pinning recipes about chocolate, and discovered that food brands could see the highest repin potential at 8 a.m. and the highest traffic potential from 10 to 11 p.m.
8. Schedule any image you find on the web to Pinterest.
Now you can also schedule any image you find on the way directly as a pin for your Pinterest account.
If you install the Buffer browser extension you can instantly schedule any image you find as a pin by right-clicking it and hitting "share as image" or hitting the blue "share as image button."
9. Create a consistent sharing experience.
Like with other social media networks, a consistent sharing strategy is important on Pinterest to build your following.
Most marketing experts agree that spreading your pins throughout the day is a handy thing to do. Varying your timing exposes you to different segments of the Pinterest population and can lead to more exposure, repins, and followers.
And with Pinterest's recent change to a Smart Feed that personalizes what users see in their accounts, you can pin basically anytime, without overwhelming your audience.