Most online retailers focus their social media efforts on the must-have sites: Twitter and Facebook, but there is one relative newcomer that all retailers need to be aware of: Pinterest.

In just two years since its launch, Pinterest has become one of the most popular sites on the internet, reaching over 56 million people in the U.S. each month (currently #12, according to Quantcast). It’s likely that many of your current customers already on Pinterest, pinning and repining their favorite things.

So, what’s “pinning” you ask? Pinning, could the key to bringing followers to your boards and ultimately driving up your sales.

Understanding Pinterest

Like Facebook, Pinterest is a social network built on sharing and uses the power of “the wisdom of the crowds” in order to uncover new and interesting things. Pinterest users share images and videos (called “pinning”) in organized folders (called “pinboards”). Content for new pins can either be uploaded directly to Pinterest or shared from other websites and bookmarklets.

Users can look through the curated boards of others and optionally “like” or comment on them. Users can also “repin” another user’s original pin. This is where successful pins can go viral. Repins keep the original source link intact so the more people that find your pin interesting and repin it, the more your link is circulated resulting in more traffic to your website.

It’s all about eye candy

While businesses are discouraged from blatant self-promotion, savvy companies can tap into the marketing power of Pinterest by understanding that in this community, content is king. Creating content that others in the community find sharable is the primary driver behind Pinterest…and the key to generating meaningful interactions.

Sevenly, a custom t-shirt shop uses lively lifestyle images of people in their products and uses other social networks to showcase their images and bring people over to their Pinterest Boards.

Creative Kidstuff shows off their product line by products available for sale but show those products being worn or used by kids themselves so users can see them in their applicable use.

Cakestyle goes one step further in posting news, tips and products of other companies to encourage engagement and not appear heavy in self-promotions.

5 steps to building a visual following on Pinterest

  1. Make sure all of your product pages have easy one-click sharing options for Pinterest.
  2. Upload original images. This is your best chance for the pin to go viral.
  3. Be descriptive in the filename and the title of the pin, but keep it short. If you have more to say, say it in the comments instead.
  4. Use editorial product imagery, not just your product on a simple, white background. Show images of people using your product in real-world scenarios, ideally in creative, fun ways.
  5. Be sure to include a link back to your product so users can get to your store.

ShopPad has you covered

We’ve baked Pinterest sharing (as well as Facebook, Twitter and Email) into ShopPad. Shoppers will have all the tools needed to share your wonderful products with their social networks right at their fingertips – literally!

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