As we settle into colder weather this week, there’s no denying the holiday season has officially started. While it may seem too soon for some to discuss gifts and decorating ideas, if you run a business, it’s essential to get into the spirit with your social media. While many companies have the hang of Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is a major player for holiday exposure and sales. Here’s a two step guide to ensuring you’re getting the most out of your Pinterest account this holiday season.
Step One: Make Sure Your Pinterest Page Is Optimized
In order for your Pinterest page to be effective, it needs be simple and engaging. Pinterest users aren’t interested in reading long copy; they want to see beautiful images that catch their attention and stir their imagination. For example, mood boards, stylized photography and DIY projects have the longest life cycle on Pinterest. The key with Pinterest is to show people, not tell them.
An important aspect of “showing” your users is diversifying your page on Pinterest. Don’t focus exclusively on your brand or your specific product. Expand your impact by thinking about your audience – who are they? What are their interests and hobbies? What lifestyle does your brand speak to? Choose visually pleasing images, quotes and products that will resonate with your audience and encourage them to pin and re-pin. By creating an overarching page that speaks to your brand and the lifestyle it represents, you’ll gain more exposure, more pins and an increase in interactions.
A major benefit to a successfully designed page is the engagement of users outside of Pinterest. Ideally, users will be interested in visiting your other social media platforms and your website, based on what they’ve seen and pinned on your Pinterest page.
Step Two: Snagging Valuable Holiday Traffic
Now that your page is better optimized to reach people, how can you maximize the incredible traffic Pinterest enjoys during the holiday season?
One way is to create boards with broad but applicable holiday search terms, for instance, “Gifts for Her,” “Wish List,” or “Holiday Decorating.” Just as you built out your page to speak to the lifestyle of your users, think of what holiday items and topics will also pique their interest. These boards will keep your brand relevant and creative, and encourage users to interact with you as they search for holiday inspiration.
Another strategy for the holidays is “pin it to win it” contests, where users are encouraged to pin something from your page for a chance to win prizes. These contests are extremely popular, and a great chance for your brand to generate traffic and grab new users. You can create specific holiday themed contest boards, or invite participants to create their own boards and pin products they’d most like to win from your brand.
Finally, while analytics are key year round, during the holidays they can be extremely telling. It’s important to know what posts are bringing in the most traffic, what images are being re-pinned, and whether your holiday boards or contests are getting the response you want. Maximizing a popular trend, topic or image during the holidays can mean a huge increase in traffic and revenue. In addition, it’s worth checking out what other brands are doing. The best way to keep your strategy effective is to keep it relevant, fresh and competitive.
While the holidays can be exhausting, optimizing your Pinterest account doesn’t need to be. A few simple improvements will help ensure you’re getting the most out of the seasonal traffic. Cheers to more fruitful pinning!
 McMullen, Tim “Get Your Product Pinned for the Holidays” Social Media Today. November 4, 2013. Web. Novemer 6, 2013.