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By Andreea Ayers, Author of Pinterest Advantage

As a small business owner, you can sometime feel like you're being pulled in every direction while trying to drive traffic to your ecommerce shop. When it comes to social media, you’ve got to post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, your blog, and somewhere in there, maintain your online store. While it may seem daunting to take on yet another social network, Pinterest is well worth the effort, especially if you sell a product – which most of you do!

Here are 10 ways you can use Pinterest to drive traffic to your ecommerce online store:

10 Ways to Increase Ecommerce Sales Using Pinterest

1. Pull Back the Curtain

People want to see how things are made, from Kickstarter backers watching a product evolve from prototype to product, to behind the scenes clips from your favorite TV show.

Whether it’s just you working away at your home based business or your employees working together to get your latest shipments out, show your Pinterest followers what’s happening inside your business and the people who make it tick.

2. Reuse Content

Save time by pinning photos and videos you already have. The images you've used on your blog, or that you took at your latest craft fair, are sitting on your hard drive waiting to be shared.

Create a brand history board that showcases your business as it grew from hobby to shop and share photos of your past products to illustrate just how much you’ve grown.

3. Get Your Fans Involved 

Use your mailing list, customer lists, and social networks to drum up activity on your Pinterest board. If you’re new to social media, remember that you have a personal network of friends and family who would love to support you.

Ask your fans to share photos of your product in action to provide a wider variety of engaging images for your pinboards. Let non-Pinterest using fans know you’d love to highlight their support and if they’ll send you their pictures, you’ll pin them.

4. Create Thematic Boards 

If you did #3 already, your fans know where to find you on Pinterest. Now you’ve got to engage. Build thematic boards to help spark new interest.

If your product is jewelry or apparel, ask fans to share photos of them wearing your design in front of notable landmarks. For home décor and design shops, ask fans to share their design savvy and show off the room they used your product in.

5. It’s Not All About You 

Even if you have a thousand products, you and your fans will eventually run out of pictures. Let your fans express their personal style by building boards that are all about them. These could be photos highlighting their techy sides, the fashionista inside or anything else that links back to the idea of your brand. The goal is to keep content fresh and keep your followers coming back to see what’s new.

6. Get Personal 

Pinterest is the most personal of the social networks, so introduce the person behind the pins. Share some details like the poster’s name, job title, and what they like best about working at your company. If it's just you - tell them a bit about yourself. 

If you’re brand gives back to a charity or you only chose eco-friendly products and materials, highlight it to remind your followers that there’s more to your shop than just selling a product.  

7. Watch your Metrics 

Tracking follower engagement on Pinterest isn’t as easy as on Facebook or Twitter, but with a careful eye you can see what kinds of pins and boards your followers get excited about. When you know what works (and just as importantly, what doesn’t) it’s easier to get the most out of your time on Pinterest. 

8. Link, Link, Link, Link 

Yes, that’s a lot of links, but it’s the number one thing businesses on Pinterest forget. If someone is browsing your boards and sees a must-have product, make it one-click easy for them to find it on your Shopify shop, and buy by adding a link to that product in the pin description.

9. The Long Sell 

People want to chose a product, not have it sold to them.

You want to engage your followers and show them what you have to offer. Once they’re hooked, send them to your ecommerce store. And don’t forget to post your products’ prices with your pins. This will make the more likely to be discovered by new customers who are searching the Gifts section on Pinterest.

10. Collaborate 

Double your results, but not your efforts, by teaming up with other Shopify shops to highlight each other’s products on Pinterest. Find like-minded businesses that share your target market, but not your product and offer them the opportunity to be showcased on your Pinterest boards in return for a space on theirs. You can use Shopify's Marketplace to search categories and products.

Build boards around a theme like home décor, or keep it broad as a board of independent business you support.

Conclusion

If traditional social media sources are like advertising, then Pinterest is like the helpful sales clerk who helps clients find what they really want.

Small and medium sized businesses can get lost in the noise of millions of voices on Twitter and pushed to the bottom of the Facebook newsfeed. On Pinterest you can build something special that the big companies can’t do as easily: shape your social media strategy to express your brand’s personal style. 

Pinterest was built for businesses like yours, because of it's heavy focus on the visual. When you let your creativity (and that of your Pinterest followers) run free, you’ll earn new interest, buzz and the sales that go along with it.

I’d love to hear how these tips worked for you or any ideas that aren’t on the list that have worked for you. Share your thoughts in the comments.     

For more info on Pinterest check out:


This is a guest post by Andreea Ayers. Andreea started her own t-shirt business a few years ago and sold over 20,000 t-shirts and got in over 200 magazines and media outlets before selling her company. She is also the author of Pinterest Advantage, an ebook and an online course about growing using Pinterest. You can find her at Launch Grow Joy