Over the past few months, I have been sharing helpful social media and business tips from my book Secrets to the Art World that will help you grow your audience. We’ve touched on a lot of the social media platforms, but we purposely left one out Pinterest. For a good reason. Many people have lumped Pinterest in with other social media apps like Instagram and Facebook, but Pinterest is so MUCH MORE than that. In reality, Pinterest is actually a search engine. And it’s a powerful one. Use Pinterest to promote your business and drive traffic to your website. And if used correctly, you’ll even experience more art sales.
Being on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, is a great way to connect and interact with your audience, but Pinterest is a phenomenal tool that will let you showcase the work you do, sell it to interested buyers, and most importantly, help people who otherwise wouldn’t discover you find the work you do.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest users create “boards” that organize their interests, passions, ideas, or you guessed it, their interests. People pin recipes, pet care tips, design ideas, fashion ideas, exercise tips, and yes, even art. If people have an interest or a passion, there is a pin for it.
The way the algorithms work now is that Pinterest knows what you’re interested in. So if you pin a lot of art and home design, you will be “recommended” pins based on your interests. This is a huge benefit to businesses like mine and artists like you. If you’ve tagged and titled your pins appropriately, they will most likely be recommended to other pinners. In other words: people will discover you and your art. Still not convinced?
Why You Need a Pinterest Account for Your Business
Don’t take my word for it then. Let the stats speak for themselves. What if I told you Pinterest users, more than Facebook or YouTube users, are more like to:
- Click through pins/posts to retail sites and websites. Actually, Pinterest it is twice as effective as Facebook in this one area. (Pinterest sends visitors to business websites at a rate of 10.9%, while Facebook only averages around 5.3%.)
- Buy from pins and spend more. According to Shopify, users referred by Pinterest spend an average of $80 compared to Facebook referral of $40 per visit.
- Share more. Users share more than 14 million new articles or blogs per day!
You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to be where your audience is. And I know this takes a lot of time and effort, so I want to make it as easy on you as possible, so I broke it down and want to share How to Use Pinterest to Build Your Audience in 5 Easy Steps:
1. Set up an account with a high-quality profile picture and accurate description of your business (your art).
Be sure to use the best image of you possible. Also, include your artist name and a description of the work you do. Make sure the description is succinct and clearly matches all other descriptions of your work (on your other social media sites and your websites). Also include your website in the description. Tip: By putting what you specialize in directly on your display name, you can show up in search results when somebody is search for someone (or art) like you. Bonus Tip: The eye is drawn to colors that pop. Search for the term you’re adding to your display name and see what color palette is the most common. If you can, choose an image that will stand out from the other users so people are more drawn to you and are more likely to click!
2. Create 4-5 featured Pinterest boards that will appear at the top of the page.
The first board you create has to be something like My Latest Work or My Blogs. If you blog regularly pin every single blog that is relevant to that board. If you have a featured art work, pin it! Your other boards need to be about you and your art work as well but should be organized by subject. Remember these are the boards that your audience is going to see first, so you want to make sure the pictures are outstanding, and that they are the best representation of what the work you do.
3. Keep your private and business boards separate.
Most people use Pinterest to get fashion inspiration, recipes, decorating ideas, as well as exercise and health tips. However, artists, entrepreneurs, and business owners need to be a bit more focused. If you want to have a pin board of adorable kittens, you can either make the board private (only you can see it), or set up an alternate account where you pin your memes, recipes, and favorite shoes. It's like I always say: Artists are entrepreneurs. Everything you do online needs to reflect that.
4. Create high quality, shareable pins that are data rich.
This sound difficult, but it’s not. Since you’re an artist, your pins are ready made in most cases. Your pins will be photos of your artwork, or photos of your artwork in gorgeous environments. Some tips that a go a long way are:
- Use vertical images—the highest quality you can.
- Be sure to have water mark or brand mark somewhere on the image (a small one in the corner of the photo.)
- Be sure you fill out the meta description of the images you’re uploading. Just as you would choose to tag words for SEO on your website you want to do that on Pinterest: Bold Green Acrylic Painting on Canvas, Black and White Photography, etc.
- There is no need to use hashtags on Pinterest. So don't.
- Longer descriptions aren't necessarily better on Pinterest. All you need to do is: Describe the image, give the specification (size, dimensions, and title of the work), and then a clear call to action: Click through to read the full post! Or Click to see more art like this!
5. Follow other pinners, engage, and have fun!
If you want followers, you have to follow too. It works both ways. Search for other artists and inspiration. Create some “inspo” boards and then search for pins to populate those boards. Do you paint flowers? Follow some artists who also paint flowers or designers who decorate with flowers. Follow a handful of leaders or “influencers” in your niche so that your home feed will be constantly populated by high-quality pins. Just like Facebook, your “Home” feed on Pinterest shows you all the pins by pinners you followed that day. If you like what you see, you can pin to one of your boards. If you follow us, for example, you see the latest collections or art work, and some of what inspires us as well.
Just A Couple More Things
Once you’re up and running, and each one of your boards has about twenty or more pins each, let your friends on Instagram and Facebook know that you’re on Pinterest. You also might want to add the Pinterest widget to your website, too, so people can pin your images directly to their boards—and spread the word about you and your art. And as I recommend doing on social media sites, you’ll want to track your growth on Pinterest too. Look at your analytics regularly to see how you’re doing. Are you gaining followers? Selling work? Look at your Google Analytics linked to your website to see how many visitors are coming from Pinterest to your website each month.
This can all be time consuming and overwhelming, I know. That’s why scheduling time for these activities is so important. Start small. Just do a little bit every day—give yourself a half hour a day to work and play on Pinterest. It all adds up. If I can do it, you can do it!