Winter 2013
Surf the Boards By Andreea Ayers

Not sure what boards to set up on Pinterest? Here are some ideas.

In addition to offering another place to showcase your wares, Pinterest provides the opportunity to learn more about your customers by giving you a window into their lives. Dedicating even an hour each week to browsing your customers’ Pinterest boards will help you glean important insight into the trends your customers follow and the new products they love in real-time.

Key to succeeding on Pinterest is choosing the right images and arranging them into pinboards that encourage users to check for updates. As a retail storeowner, you’ve learned from experience how to create an eye-pleasing display, so Pinterest is just an opportunity to put those skills to use online.

To help you get started building pinboards that will draw customers to your retail store here are three Pinterest board ideas any retailer can use:

Best Sellers

Help your customers identify your most popular products easily by giving them their own pinboard. Shoot photos of these favorite products on display in your store or in action, being demonstrated by your staff. Use of your website images can make posting simple and quick.

Be sure to include a price tag in your pin description (for example, your description can look something like this: “This organic handmade soap is made from 80% organic ingredients – $6.50 each at yoursoapcompany.com). All pins with price tags show up in the Gift section of Pinterest, which allows users to search for pins based on a range of prices. Not only does this help customers with their holiday shopping, but it also helps you drive new sales.

Link each product pin to its corresponding webpage to help users learn more about a product that interests them. When a user clicks on a linked pin image, her browser will automatically open the webpage in a new tab. If you pin the product directly from your website, Pinterest will automatically link it to that specific page on your site. However, if you upload the image from your desktop, click on “edit” after you save it and make sure to add your product’s URL in the LINK field.

And remember to use the same keywords you use on your website in your pin descriptions. This will help users who have yet to visit your store discover it and add to your Google search results.

Behind the Scenes

Offer your customers an insider’s view of your store with a virtual tour. Pin photos of each section of your store, new products as they arrive and photos of your staff setting up new displays to get your customers excited about the up coming season.

Add photos of your team in action, and let each introduce herself with a short description mentioning her hobbies, favorite movies or books, or favorite item in the store. Remember that Pinterest is the most personal social network, so invite your staff to be creative and express themselves.

Take plenty of fun photos at each tradeshow and event you attend and share them with your followers to make them feel a part of your store’s extended family. You can even share photos in real time by downloading the Pinterest app to your smartphone and post each image as it’s taken. Don’t forget to invite your customers and staff to share their event photos too.

Collaborate with Customers

One of the biggest advantages of Pinterest is the ability to get your customers involved. Ask your regular customers to write a testimonial for your store and post it as the description of a photo of them with their favorite product, staff member or in front of their favorite section of the store.

Any time you host a store event or sale, snap some photos of happy customers in your store, and invite them to follow you on Pinterest and pin their own event photos.

Snap Kitchen, a takeout joint in Austin, TX, created a Snap Testimonials board (see snapshot above) where they posted photos of their clients, along with a testimonial. Invite your customers to share their favorite purchase from your store on a collaborative pinboard. Encourage customers to pin images of their favorite products in use, for example, the perfect lamp that highlights a room, and write a description about why they purchased this product.

You can also get customers involved in pinning theme boards centered on holiday themes like great stocking stuffers or beautiful Mother’s Day gifts. Before you ask your customers to be a part of your Pinterest projects, it’s important to note that you must invite users to contribute. To invite a new contributor, click “edit” on the pinboard you wish to collaborate on. Type the user’s name into the text box next to who can pin and Pinterest will search your contacts for matching names. You can’t invite a user to collaborate if you don’t follow at least one of her boards, which is a great reason to keep an eye on your new followers and follow each one back.

Pick a few of these boards to get started, try them all or create your own Pinterest board ideas to interest your customers. No matter which pinboard ideas you use remember to involve customers and engage wherever possible by inviting them to be an active part of your social network.

Andreea Ayers

Andreea Ayers is an entrepreneur who recently sold her 
eco-friendly inspirational t-shirt business. She is also the creator of Pinterest Advantage, a comprehensive book and training course on using Pinterest to grow your business. She currently works with entrepreneurs who have a product line by helping them get their products in stores and in the media, and provides free tips and advice at LaunchGrowJoy.com. Ayers lives in Boulder, CO, with her husband and three kids.




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