From the view of a local business owner, it can be hard to see Pinterest as a viable marketing channel. At first glance, it seems as though it would be impossible to reach a local audience. Fortunately, the Pinterest algorithm takes care of this for us, but only if we tell it how to. Learn how you can tell Pinterest where to send your pins with these 5 expert tips for using Pinterest in local business marketing.
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5 Expert Tips for using Pinterest in local business marketing
Like Google, Pinterest uses an algorithm to determine which content to show to its users. When you successfully tap into the algorithm, you can essentially tell Pinterest exactly who you want to see your pins. Let’s talk about 5 ways you can reach your local audience on Pinterest.
ProTip: If you don’t already have a business account on Pinterest, get one! Find out how to get started here.
Location, Location, Location
Tell Pinterest, and pinners, where you are and don’t be shy about it! Make sure to list your location in your bio, your name, your board descriptions (and possibly some titles) and in every pin description. Treat it as your most valued keyword. Of course, this all needs to be done tastefully.
For example, let’s say you are a local doughnut shop in Phoenix, AZ and your business name is “Jessica’s Donuts”. Where should you put your location?
In your bio
Of course you should include your location as Phoenix, AZ in your settings, but you can also look for a way to insert it into your bio text. You could include something like “Stop by for a taste of the best donuts in Phoenix!” This is a call to action AND it includes your location keyword.
Many businesses assume that their name on Pinterest should only include their business name. What those businesses don’t realize is that your name is one of the places that Pinterest looks for keywords! So, while your business name should obviously be included, adding the location can make your profile even more SEO friendly. Try something like:
Jessica’s Donut Shop | The best donuts in Phoenix, Arizona
Did you know that for every pin you save, the keywords associate with the first board you pin it to will follow it forever?? Yep! That’s right. Where you pin matters! And not only do you need to make sure that you are pinning that first pin to the most relevant board, but that the board itself has a keyword optimized title and description.
For every board you have that caters to the locals (which should be most if not all of them) include “Phoenix, AZ” in your description at some point. If you can’t seem to add it into the description organically, you can always add “Jessica’s Donuts – Phoenix, AZ” at the end of your description, almost like a signature. If there is a way to include your location in the title, even better.
While the text overlay on your pins doesn’t apply to SEO (Pinterest can’t “read” it), it does attract local pinners. As more pinner’s in your area begin to click or save your pins, the algorithm will recognize this. I don’t know about you, but if a pin lists my specific location and is even remotely interesting I’m likely to click on it. Make pinners feel special, like this pin was created just for them on a massive global platform. If I live in Phoenix and I see a pin with the text “The Best Breakfast in Phoenix”, you better believe I’m going to check it out, even if it’s not what I was looking for!
The final, and most important, place to list your location, is in the pin description of every pin you create. Your pin descriptions are the primary place to put your keywords for SEO. Of course, this is also where you have the opportunuty to convince pinenrs to take action and click!
Just like the board descriptions, you should try to add it in organically, but should, at the very least, include it at the end. Again, Additionally, you can include it in your description through the use of hashtags. Hashtags are a relatively new concept on Pinterest, but a great local hashtag can go a long way.
Take some time to research your local hashtags and add some to each pin. The best way to do this is simply to use Pinterest search. If you type # followed by your city, you should find that Pinterest will start suggesting hashtags for you. Another great way to find them is to look at pins from other businesses in your location and see what hashtags they are using. Click on some of them to get a chronological listing of all pins listing that hashtag and see what other hashtags are being used with it. Go down the rabbit hole, clicking your way through the various hashtags your find, and make note of any that will work well for your business marketing strategy.
Create Local Boards
As a local business on Pinterest, your goal is always to promote your business products or services to your local audience. That means that all of your boards need to be about one of two things – your business, or your location (sometimes both!). Think about what your audience wants to know more about in your area and create boards about it.
Again, let’s use the example of Jessica’s Donuts in Phoenix. Here is a list of board ideas for this imaginary company. (No, I don’t plan to open a doughnut shop, but I do love them!)
- Jessica’s Donuts | The best donuts in Phoenix
- Sweet Treats in Phoenix
- Best Breakfast in Phoenix
- Things to do in Phoenix
- Visiting Arizona
- AZ summer tips to beat the heat
- And the list goes on…
Depending on your marketing strategy, there are so many opportunities for other boards here. If you host any local events, make a board about it and include images from past events. If your business has a blog, absolutely create a board for that as well. Any way that you can think to include your community on your Pinterest profile is a winner.
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Feature your audience and your work
Remember how I said catering to the locals makes them feel special? Well let’s take that up a notch. How about featuring actual customers or clients on your Pinterest profile??
Snap photos of happy customers (with their permission, of course) and create a board full of smiles. Show your examples of your product in use, the results of your services, or donut lovers gobbling up your latest seasonal offering! Feature happy customers or clients with genuine images to showcase their satisfaction.
For many industries, before and after photos can be extremely effective on Pinterest. If you are a fitness instructor, ask some happy clients if you can share their results and create a great pin highlighting their transformation. If you work in construction or remodeling, show off the before and after images of your projects (along with the satisfied customer if possible!)
Behind the scenes
People love to see the inner workings of a company. It builds trust and loyalty when they feel like they know what’s really going on behind the scenes. When they see happy employees, they can rest assured that you aren’t a greedy corporate entity, but rather a caring, local business.
Show them how you make your product. Give them a sneak peak of your big wig meeting where you are discussing the future of the company. If your business is involved in the community in any way, then you should definitely share this with them as well.
Create a “behind the scenes” board, or a staff board where you feature your team. If your company is well established and has a rich history, by all means make a board to feature this. Show images of the first storefront, or the original CEO in their prime. Craft a timeline of the evolution of your company and feature it in an infographic pin. Infographics are another knockout Pinterest marketing tactic. Pinners simply adore the fact that they can gather so much information from one pin.
Love thy neighbor
One of the best ways to increase your brand awareness on Pinterest is through collaboration! Partner up with other local businesses to help each other grow. If you own a donut shop downtown, collaborate with the cupcake shop down the street to promote each other on your boards about local sweets. Create group boards about local businesses and invite your peers to share their pins on the board as well.
If you collaborate with other businesses on community events or promotions, find a way to incorporate that on Pinterest and ask them to return the favor! The more popular your pins are on Pinterest, the higher they will rank in the search feed. When other businesses save your pins to their profile, not only will it help you to gain impressions, but it increases the chances of someone in their audience saving your pin or following your profile.
Collaborating with others on Pinterest has proven to be a great door opener for me and my business. Others in your niche or industry will love that you are helping them to grow their business and are likely to return the favor. Sometimes this comes in unexpected ways, like an off-platform collaboration that introduces your business to an entirely new market!
Bonus tip: promoted pins
If you are looking to bump up your Pinterest reach, promoted pins can be an excellent way to target your local audience. When you promote a pin, you can choose to target specific locations. While Pinterest is known for being a great source of free web traffic, promoted pins can have a big impact.
When you promote on other social media platforms, like Facebook or Twitter, the life of your ad is pretty short. You’ll either see instant results, or you won’t see any at all. The life of a pin can be months. Even after your paid campaign has ended you may continue to see results. It’s a beautiful thing.
One of the more challenging aspects of using Pinterest for business marketing is that pins can sometimes take a little while to gain traction. While the long game is a great strategy overall, it doesn’t work well for short-lived promotions. Promoted pins are a great way to get your latest promotion out to your audience right now.
Do you have a great idea for marketing to a local audience on Pinterest? I want to hear about it! Let me know in the comments below!
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Need more help with Pinterest?
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Hi, I’m Jessica and I’m a Stay at Home Mompreneur. The success I had with my mom blog through the use of Pinterest led me to a career in Pinterest Management where I help other bloggers, businesses, and entrepreneurs grow their business with Pinterest.