The internet is evolving to be more and more social, and as different social networks mature and grow in size, you have more and more opportunities to get your business out there. But in the painting industry, you have a relatively unique advantage – you’re situated in a highly-visual industry. Why not promote your business on one of the most visual social networks?
For those who are unfamiliar, Pinterest is the new kid on the social media block, but they’re quite established; although they launched more than three years ago in March 2010, they’ve gained a following about 50 million users strong. It is essentially an image-sharing website. Each user can create boards, or collections of images, and they can “pin” images they like off the internet, or “repin” them from other users. Repinning can give images a viral effect, spreading them rapidly across hundreds or even thousands of accounts in a relatively short amount of time. And images link back to the site where they originated, so they’re a great tool for advertising your business!
1. Get Started
Sure, this sounds pretty obvious, but starting is half the battle: you can’t gain a Pinterest following unless you try! If you’re unfamiliar with Pinterest, spend about a week to create an account and to get used the usability and the different features that are offered. Read through Pinterest’s own tutorials, Pinning 101, to get a better grasp on the basics.
If your business has them, connect your Twitter and Facebook pages to your Pinterest account in the settings. Then, verify your website – this is required to take advantage of Pinterest’s free built-in analytics!
2. Build Some Boards
Boards are the collection buckets of Pinterest: your fans can choose to follow you (and by extension all of your boards) or they can pick and choose boards to subscribe to based on their interests.
It is better to create too few boards than too many; the best balance to strike is a theme general enough that you’ll always have more you could pin, and specific enough that most things will immediately fit into one of your boards. If you do projects both for businesses and for individuals in their homes, you might opt to simply create two boards, one for business and one for home. Or, you might choose to elaborate on each, grouping images together in categories like “Modern Office Spaces,” “Dramatic Befores & Afters,” and “Peaceful Workspaces.” There is a big following for images of beautiful interiors and “inspiration” shots for people who want to renovate, so tap into it all you can!
3. Don’t Be Selfish
You’re doing this Pinterest thing to promote your business, so you obviously want to promote your stuff. But an account that is 100% promotion just screams “me, me, me!” – especially if your photography isn’t always studio quality. (See my next point.) Pin or repin anything you come across that your followers would enjoy. Think of yourself as a content curator instead of an advertiser, and this will make more sense – you want your followers to rely on you to find the kinds of things they want to see.
4. Quality is (Really, REALLY) Important
Pinterest is an image-based social network. If you want your images to get repinned (and repinned, and repinned, and repinned…) they have to look good. Plain and simple. Hire a professional photographer to get great shots of your best work. If you can’t afford one or just don’t have time, use the best possible camera you have available, and remember to get good lighting. The images that go viral on Pinterest look really awesome, but many of them are not professionally-shot and can be replicated with a fairly low-end camera.
5. Play Nice and Follow Others
A great way to build up your following when you’re first getting started is to follow others; a lot of the time, if they like what they see amidst your boards, they’ll follow you back. Follow your favorite bloggers, the brands of paint you use, and any non-competitive related businesses you can think of, from interior designers to companies who make squirrel deterrents. If they don’t follow you back and aren’t providing repinnable content, unfollow them and look for someone new!
If you want to get started on Pinterest, what are you waiting for? Follow these five steps and you’ll be building your following in no time! Have another great tip? Share it in the comments below! And you can find me on Pinterest right here – I’ll be looking for you!