When’s the last time you just went to a store and bought a big-ticket item without doing any online research?

If you’re anything like the 93 percent of Pinterest users who use the social media platform to plan purchases, you can’t really remember.

Pinterest is the number one shopping destination for millenials, which also makes it a go-to network for top social media influencers. As a leading driver of website traffic, an online shopping hub, and a powerful search engine, these influencers know that Pinterest is much more than a fun social network—it’s an unbeatable business tool.

Continue reading to find out:

  • Successful Pinterest strategies from leading social media influencers
  • How you can boost website traffic with a smart Pinterest approach
  • Expert tips for optimizing Pinterest as a search engine for your brand

Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to make money on Pinterest in six easy steps using the tools you already have.

Justina Blakeney

Today’s popular bohemian aesthetic owes a lot to designer and artist Justina Blakeney. As the creator of interiors blog TheJungalow.com and author of bestselling book The New Bohemians, Blakeney’s 1.5 million social media followers count her word as gospel when it comes to the more-is-more approach to design.

Part of her success has come with creating an approachable and immediately recognizable brand. The rest is just savvy analytics strategy.

“I allow myself the freedom to have fun with [social], try new things and experiment. This allows me to pivot easily when things on the platform change,” Blakeney explains to Forbes. “I do, however, tend to watch my stats pretty carefully. If a photo performs particularly well (or particularly poorly), I try and determine why that is. I notice patterns over time and use those patterns to help me grow.”

When it comes to your Pinterest strategy, you can’t ignore your analytics. With your Pinterest business account, use the native analytics tools available to see which Pins perform best, how much traffic your website gets through Pinterest, key metrics about your audience, and actionable insights to help refine your strategy.

Pay attention to your Pinterest analytics like Justina Blakeney by:

  • Knowing which metrics to track. Important Pinterest metrics include impressions (the number of times your Pin showed up in the Home Feed, search results, and category areas), clicks (the number of times someone clicks through to your website via a Pin), and saves (the number of times someone saved your content.) Learn more with our post Pinterest Analytics Tools and Tips for Measuring Success.
  • Using results to guide your strategy. Tracking metrics is useless if you aren’t actually doing anything with this data. As Blakeney mentions above, it’s important to use noticeable patterns in your followers’ activity to influence your content strategy. If your audience isn’t saving or clicking-through on your recipes but loves your DIY content, it might be time to slow down on the food-centric posts.

Hand Luggage Only

With 4.4-million monthly visitors to their Pinterest profile, it’s fair to say that Lloyd and Yaya of the travel blog Hand Luggage Only are doing something right.

With Pinterest now reaching two times more travelers than top online travel agency sites, creating a strategy for the network was a no-brainer.

“Travelers continue to build trips around key holidays, despite the surge in stopovers and long-weekend trips,” Pinterest’s Talia Parnass explains. “Our Possibilities Planner reveals that people on Pinterest start looking for your travel ideas much earlier than on other platforms.”

In addition to planning in advance, Yaya and Lloyd ensure their website content is optimized for Pinterest. Every post they share is equipped with the Save button, which helps website visitors easily post content from the site to their own Pinterest profiles.

As Pinterest explains, “The Save button is the best way for your business to get discovered on Pinterest. When you add the Save button to your site’s pages, your customers can save things they like to Pinterest, which means even more people can find those things.” Learn how to add the Save button to your own website with Pinterest’s help article.

With the Save button on their site, Yaya and Lloyd also make sure their visual content works for Pinterest. Each blog post they share includes an image specifically meant for sharing on Pinterest. Usually, it’s a scenic travel shot with the name of the country or geographic region and a brief description. Thanks to this, their audience is able to save the website page and travel guide to their Pinterest boards with a clear and aesthetically-pleasing cover included.

secrets pinterest influencers

  • Plan your content in advance. Whether you’re a travel-oriented business or not, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re aware of relevant holidays, or any other events you can post content around. Pinterest Pins have a half-life of 151,200 minutes (compared to a Facebook post’s 90 minutes), so the earlier you share your content the better.

    Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to make money on Pinterest in six easy steps using the tools you already have.

    Get the free guide right now!
  • Optimize your website for Pinterest. Add the Save button and always have a Pinterest-worthy cover image that your audience can use for their boards. You want to make it as easy as possible for your website visitors to share your content to Pinterest—and in turn drive traffic back to your site.
  • Consider every stage of your audience’s journey. Yaya and Lloyd create content that appeals to the planning phase of their audience’s research process, as well as the dreaming and booking phase. Pinterest shares helpful guidelines to help travel brands stay relevant at every stage of the customer journey, but these tips can be applied to most businesses.

Lauren Toyota

Increased awareness of health issues, the environment, and sustainability has meant vegan bloggers like Lauren Toyota of Hot for Food are seeing their popularity soar.

Pinterest is the perfect platform for recipe sharing thanks to the network’s visual emphasis and prime discoverability functions.

“Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social network,” Pinterest’s Head of Vertical Strategy Brian Monahan stated. The network has seen a 40 percent increase in mobile searches year over year—growth that shows no sign of slowing down.

Pinterest’s visual discovery tools have also played a big part in this evolution of search. The Lens search feature lets Pinterest app users search objects they take pictures of in the real world. For example, you could take a photo of a tomato or other food item and Pinterest will show you recipe ideas featuring the ingredient. Learn more about the new visual search features on Pinterest’s news release here.

When it comes to Lauren Toyota’s Pinterest strategy, it’s clear that search and discoverability play a huge part. Since users are searching Pinterest the same way they search on Google, brands can’t ignore SEO.

Toyota’s Pinterest account is a testament to the importance of smart keywords and content descriptions. Her target audience is searching for vegan recipes, as well as more specific content like vegan comfort food, vegan desserts, and vegan brunch. Toyota’s Pinterest boards are labeled with the relevant key search terms, and each Pin—whether her own original content or shared from another influencer—includes a clear and keyword-inclusive description.

To make sure your content is as discoverable and search-friendly as Lauren Toyota’s:

  • Make sure you’re using the right keywords. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner for ideas, and pay attention to keywords that other influencers in your the industry are using. Optimizing your profile with your business’ name, website, and a descriptor of what you do will also indicate to Pinterest’s search functions that you’re a trusted resource.
  • Think about the visuals. With Pinterest’s focus on visual search tools, it’s important to make sure you’re sharing high-quality photos and images. If somebody is searching for a recipe or product using a visual search feature, you want to make sure your Pin is showing up in the results.
  • Use hashtags. Hashtags are a relatively new development for Pinterest, but can prove very helpful when it comes to discovering content. Use one or two relevant hashtags in post descriptions to help your target audience find your content easier.

For more on Lauren Toyota’s social media strategy, check out the latest Hootcast episode.

Pinterest is a dynamic marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. With these tips from top influencers, you should have no trouble keeping your boards beautiful—and helping your customers discover products they love.

Save time managing your Pinterest presence using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can compose, schedule, and publish Pins, create new boards, Pin to multiple boards at once, and run all your other social media profiles. Try it free today.

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