The Internet has brought us all a treasure trove of content. From a good Netflix binge to the free courses offered by Stanford University, there's a lot online to consume, more than one could in a lifetime. Much of it is indeed cat videos and pointless arguments, but the small business owner can find reliable gold mines if they know where to look...
With the rise of social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, it's increasingly important to extend your brand visually. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all, so this week we're sharing our top three tips that you can easily implement today to build your shop's visual mood online.
1. Use your brand's color scheme as a guide. This isn't to say, "My logo is red, so I'm only going to pin red things and take pictures of red things for Instagram." However, it can be very impactful to create a cohesive color palette on your boards and Instagram feed. San Diego home and gift boutique Pigment, for example, does an incredible job of pinning according to their palette. You'll see beautiful soft greens and neutrals and pastels, but you won't find many bright, in-your-face colors on any of their boards. They stick to their scheme.
2. Consider how your brand's message fits into each picture. What general feeling do you want to convey? If your aesthetic is rustic, mysterious, cheerful or playful, choose and curate images according.
3. Know what not to post. It's tempting to Instagram cool pictures whenever you take cool pictures or share funny cat photos when you come across them, but it's incredibly important to know when to bite your social media tongue, so to speak. If it doesn't fit your shop's mood, save it for your personal page!
Want to get started? We suggest creating a mood board like the ones pictured above — this'll give you a visual guide to reference for you or your employees.
You have a Facebook strategy and a Twitter strategy, but what about Pinterest? Pinterest's popularity has absolutely blown up since it was launched. And for retailers, it can be much more valuable than its social media counterparts. "Data shows that Pinterest users shop more when they follow links to retailers' web sites. When pinners buy, the average order value is $199.16, compared with $92.27 for Facebook and $58.02 for Twitter, according to data analytics company RichRelevance." In fact, 70% of Pinterest users actually cite "finding inspiration on what to buy" as one of the reasons they use the site in the first place.
The unique thing about Pinterest in comparison to other social media platforms is that it's really all about the products. In retail, your inventory is everything—so a social media that reflects that is pretty fantastic for your community.
To help you get started or explore further with Pinterest, here are a few simple tips and tricks of the trade!
1. Make sure your business is "Pinterest-worthy." That is, don't focus your energy on Pinterest marketing unless Pinterest is a good fit for your business. The most popular categories for users are food, DIY, health, fashion, humor and tech. If you're selling artisan jewelry or reclaimed wood cutting boards, Pinterest will eat that up like ice cream. If you are selling refurbished computer parts, you might not have a huge impact on Pinterest.
2. Sign up for a Pinterest for Business account. This works just like a regular account, but allows you to track analytics on your pins and gives you access to a lot of helpful resources for business owners. Already have a personal account set up that you use for your business? You can easily switch it over too, without losing your followers or pins.
3. Make sure your content is "Pinterest-worthy." People use Pinterest to connect with the latest trends and follow brands, friends and influencers they love. Not surprisingly, a successful pin must be visually appealing to gain attention—regardless of the content behind the picture. Anything you pin that leads a user back to your brand should be visually appealing and have the content to back it up. Your pins should be high-quality, professional images—whether they are your own product shots, event posters or simply the pins you are curating.
4. Don't just create, curate. On Pinterest, creating great content is important to drive people back to your page, but curating shouldn't be forgotten either. Curating non-promotional pins can go a long way to developing your brand on Pinterest and showing off your personality. Also, it's fun. :)
5. Check the time. The best times to pin are in the evenings. 9 p.m. is the peak pinning hour.
6. Take care with your descriptions for search optimization. Are you pinning a picture of your new organic ginger candy in it's pretty new wrapper? The description should not just say, "yum," despite how yummy it may be. Make your descriptions searchable, so that the next time someone is searching for "candy," they'll come across your gorgeous pin. This also goes for your curated boards—give your pins personality and take the time to change the original description.
Want to learn more? Check out some more stats about Pinterest this infographic below and explore Pinterest's resources for businesses.