7 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Products on Pinterest

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Jawad Khan is a digital marketing consultant, a certified inbound marketer and a professional freelance blogger. Follow him on his blog, Writing My Destiny, Google+ and Twitter.

When it comes to using social media for businesses, Pinterest is probably the most underutilized platform out of all the major social networks. However, with more than 70 million registered users, Pinterest is not only a social media powerhouse, but also a highly effective platform to increase your online product sales. It has a very different kind of audience as compared to Facebook and Twitter since almost 80 percent of its users are women who love to share and discuss high-quality images.

But while the business use of Pinterest is gradually rising, there are certain mistakes that every Pinterest user should look to avoid, especially when using the platform for selling products. Here are a few of them.

Not Using Pinterest for Businesses
If you happen to be one of the early adopters of Pinterest, you might still be using your personal Pinterest profile, even for your business. But things have changed on Pinterest over the years. Pinterest for Businesses is specifically designed for business users and profiles that wish to use Pinterest for branding or selling purposes. Pinterest business accounts not only add credibility to your brand’s image, but also give you access to several options that are not available to individual users.

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But even when companies do use Pinterest business accounts, many of them are unverified and do not add profile descriptions. Both these mistakes could hurt your brand’s image, which can ultimately impact your customers’ purchase decisions.

Not Adding Descriptions To Pins, Boards and Repins
Apart from being an effective social network, Pinterest can be a powerful source of SEO and backlinks for your website and blog. But by failing to add descriptions to your pins, boards and repins, you’re wasting the SEO and engagement potential of Pinterest.

By descriptions, I’m not referring to detailed keyword-rich passages for each pin. Even a clearly written one- to two-line description with a call to action and a relevant backlink should be enough. The same goes for repins as well. If someone else has not taken the time to add a few words about a pin, you should do it when repinning it. These small descriptions can make a lot of difference in the engagement levels of your pins and increase your chances of being found in Pinterest’s search results.

Pinning Inconsistently and at the Wrong Time
Any form of marketing requires consistency, and Pinterest marketing is no different. You cannot hope to develop a loyal following on your page if you don’t pin consistently. Social media users usually have small attention spans, and if you don’t post regularly, they won’t remember you.

An equally critical mistake is pinning at the wrong times of the day. You need to identify the peak hours of your followers and make sure that your best content reaches them when they’re online and looking for it. In general, studies indicate that the best times to pin are between 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET. But this may vary slightly depending on your target audience.

Ignoring Pinterest Analytics

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Decisions that are not based on research and data often lead to undesirable results. This is why Pinterest provides analytics to all its business pages. You can identify the pins that are attracting the highest engagement, the regions that most of your followers are coming from and many other insights about your page.

Many Pinterest business users don’t utilize these analytics, and as a result, use pure guesswork and gut feeling to develop their content. This, obviously, is not a practical and long-term strategy.

Not Curating Enough Content
Pinterest is not about just posting images of your own products and ignoring everything else completely. In order to succeed here, you need to be a smart curator as well. The mistake that many businesses make is that they create one board for their own products and several other boards for curated images. This, in my experience, is not the right strategy. It immediately feels like your product board is meant for sales only.

Instead, you should create boards based on the benefits of your products and the needs of your customers. Use a combination of pins of your own images and curated images. This can attract much higher user engagement and does not send out sales-y look either.

Not Engaging With Your Followers
Don’t forget that despite having an unconventional look and feel, Pinterest is still a social network. The reason I say this is because many businesses use it more like a broadcasting channel than a social network. Just sharing images, adding pins and creating boards isn’t enough. You need to engage your followers as well and build a relationship with them. Failing to do this leads to disengaged followers that have no sense of association with your brand or your products.

The best way to engage your followers is by sharing interactive content that includes memes, videos (yes Pinterest allows videos as well!), questions, contests etc. If someone repins or likes your pins, thank them. Proactively look for engagement opportunities by searching for pins of your competitors and looking for any unanswered user comments or questions that you can answer.

If your followers remain disengaged, you have little chance of making a sale to them.

Complicating the Buying Process
Even if a business manages to avoid all the mistakes I’ve listed above, this one mistake alone can cost them the sale. No matter how engaged a social media user is, if you pass him through a complex buying process, he’s likely to go away without making the purchase.

You need to make it as easy as possible for your buyers to make their final move. For this, make use of the Rich Pins feature of Pinterest that allows additional content on every pin, including updated product prices and images.

Similarly, you can use Selz for selling directly on Pinterest and simplifying the payment process. Selz takes your customers directly to the checkout page, where they can make the purchase in a single step without any redirections. It accepts payments with Master Card, Credit Card, Visa and PayPal.

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The speed of your buying process is crucial for successfully selling products on Pinterest. So you need to make sure that your buyers receive a memorable buying experience, since a large number of customers bounce away from sales pages simply because of the number of steps involved in the purchase process.

Conclusion
Pinterest is a powerful way to get your products in front of millions of users around the world. But in order to succeed here, you need to avoid the mistakes I’ve discussed in this post. In short, the key to success on Pinterest lies in creating an engaged audience, creating and publishing high quality content at the right times of the day and ultimately making it easy for your followers to make the purchase.

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