Update: in an earlier version of this post, we discussed Pinterest’s previous use of affiliate links through SkimLinks. As of recent, Pinterest is no longer using SkimLinks.
If you’re an inbound or online marketer, you undoubtedly know by now that over the last six months, Pinterest has established itself as the latest and greatest of the countless social media networking platforms.
However, Pinterest’s unique set-up and specifically targeted user market (read: young women) have stumped some small businesses as to how to best use Pinterest to market their products and services.
Thankfully for small businesses, Hubspot recently added a new eBook titled How to Use Pinterest for Business that teaches marketers how to drive traffic and leads using Pinterest. To make sure you’re not missing out on the most important parts of using Pinterest for business, I’ve summarized 4 things you need to know about Pinterest NOW if you’re a small business. Read on.
1. Pinterest links are no-follow. According to HubSpot’s eBook, using “Pin It” buttons on your website’s pages ensures that all of your pins will link back to their source. But keep in mind that these links are no-follow links, and won’t improve your SEO. What does this mean for small businesses? Despite the fact that Pinterest links are no-follow, the links are still driving traffic to your website, so make sure you’ve got an awesome landing page for Pinterest users who link through to your site.
2. You can’t connect Pinterest to your Facebook business Timeline. Although users can log in to Pinterest via Facebook, and thus automatically share their pins with their Facebook community, it’s important to note that you can’t connect Pinterest to a Facebook business page just yet. What does this mean for a small business marketing on Pinterest? If you haven’t already, focus on building a solid business following on Twitter. That way, when you log into your company’s Pinterest account via your company’s Twitter account (make sure to sign up with Pinterest using the same email you use for your company’s Twitter account), your Twitter following will see all your Pins. And here’s a Bonus Tip: Pinterest supports hashtags, so #tag your pins in the description section with tags you’re featuring on your Twitter account to really drive traffic
3. If you’re using an affiliate program, Pinterest is making money off of you. According to HubSpot, Pinterest uses SkimLinks, a program “which automatically scans through every link posted on the site to see if it goes to a retail site with an affiliate program. If it finds that kind of link, it secretly adds an affiliate code that ensures Pinterest will make some cash from sales that derive from that link.” If you’re not comfortable with this, consider whether your marketing efforts may be better spent on other social networking sites.
4. Default Pinterest settings hide your profile from search engines. If you don’t adjust this setting, a potential customer who searches for your company’s Pinboards will come up empty. You need to go to your user profile in the top right corner of the Pinterest home page, click Settings, and then switch your visibility to “On” under the “Hide” switch.
Hopefully, knowing these Pinterest secrets will help your small business optimize your social media marketing plan. How did learning these Pinterest secrets change the way you view Pinterest marketing?