June 10, 2014

How to use Pinterest to grow your Retail Sales

Pinterest defines itself as a 'visual discovery tool'. 

It's fast becoming THE visual search method for finding that perfect chair, packing lists, new fashions and recipe ideas.

According to Digital Marketing Ramblings, Pinterest has over 70 million users, of which 80% of female. 

For most of us entrepreneurs who have a female 'muse', this represents a massive opportunity to reach a new, and ready-to-buy audience. 

So, how are you leveraging Pinterest in your business?

When I first started Encircled, I created a load of boards based on things I liked, and put forth with a content strategy focused on pinnable quotes. I created #soulnotes to drive inspiration, and hosted them on Encircled.ca. Quickly, Pinterest became my #1 traffic driver.

But guess what?

It generated NO sales.


Well, for starters, I was pinning things that I LIKED, not that my 'muse' (target customer) was looking for and as such my boards were setup for me personally.  {Mistake #1}

Secondly, I'd created content that drove traffic but drove THE WRONG TYPE of traffic (my inspirational content). {Mistake #2}

Thirdly, I over hashtagged photos which made me look desperado. {Mistake #3}

Fourth, I focused on ME ME ME. My boards had way too much corporate brand stuff (i.e. Retailers I'd like to sell at, Encircled Press, Encircled Designs, Encircled this that and the other thing) {Mistake #4}

Lastly, I didn't engage. I posted and rarely re-pinned others pins. {Mistake #5}.

I'd taken an e-course on Pinterest, and pretty much verbatim implemented every suggested tactic. None of which were right for my brand.

So, how did I pivot?

I started with my Customer and asked myself one simple question, "What are the common interests of those buying my products?".

I knew that my customer loved Made in Canada/Ethically made apparel, they appreciate eco-consciousness, doing more with less and love to travel. I have a ton of customers who are Yoga and Pilates instructors, so this was a must-have board. 

I re-arranged my boards (and even deleted some old ones that didn't suit my target customer), and began a regular cadence of pinning popular pins that fit my boards, adding new pins of product, re-pinning followers pins, and commenting on pins. 

It's still a work in progress but I'm finally starting to see sales from Pinterest.

Less traffic but more sales. A win in my books!

A couple of good tools to help you optimize your Pinterest account:

Pinalyzer - will show you people to follow, and pins that you might like based on your activity

Pinstamatic - help make some pretty pins

Woobox Pinterest tab - add a tab to promote your pinterest page to your Facebook page

Tailwind - Pinterest analytics (Free option!)

If you want to check out my Pinterest board for Encircled, click here. My Retail Bliss boards are here. Feel free to follow me, I'll follow you back :-)


Wishing you blissful retail!

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