» How To Stop Using Pinterest the Wrong Way

This article was written by WeddingWire Education Guru, Alan Berg. Alan has over 20 years experience in wedding related sales and marketing, and is a member of the National Speakers Association, an author, and founder of The Wedding Industry Leaders Conference, an organization dedicated to the educating and consulting of highly motivated individuals and businesses. Learn more at http://alanberg.com/.

When Pinterest first started to get some traction, and wedding and event Pros began using it, I was torn. I love that it shows us to be more visual on our own websites, but it’s yet another social media platform to take our time and attention. So, I signed up (to make sure that no one would get my name before I could – as happened on Facebook) and then sat back and thought about what I might pin. And that’s when I had two epiphanies.

My first thought was “What am I going to pin?” I’m not in a visual business, as are most of you, so I don’t really have anything to pin except my book covers, DVD and CD covers, etc. And who really cares if I pin them.

My second thought was “Who would want to follow my pins?” But hundreds and hundreds of you did. I thought that it’s kind of self-serving for me to pin my own products, as those are all about me. Your products and services involve your customer in a way that mine don’t. And that led me to realize how to stop using Pinterest the wrong way for my business.

Stop chasing them away

Many of you are in visual businesses: flowers, decorating, photography, lighting, dresses, favors, invitations… However, a lot of what I see on Pinterest is wedding and event pros pinning other people’s images. What happens when you click on those other images? It takes you to someone else’s website, instead of yours.

The goal of Pinterest, for most wedding and event pros, is to connect with your customers, and prospects, through great visuals. Then, get them to want to connect with you so you can do that for them. So, why would you send them to anywhere else except your own website?

Tell me the story

The next big missed opportunity I see on Pinterest is that too many people pin an image and then give very little, if any caption. Stories sell. Here are some real captions on wedding related images that I pulled as I was writing this article:

  • “Black lace looks beautiful” – under a pretty wedding cake
  • “Silver luncheon” – under a montage of images of a gorgeous table setting and details from the event
  • “Blush, blush” – under a montage of images from a beautiful wedding

So, what’s wrong with those captions? They don’t tell the story. The miss the chance to engage the audience with more details… and to draw them to want to see more images like that and to contact YOU!

Let them hear the narration

A better caption is the narration that you would naturally do, if the customer were sitting next to you, looking at that photo. What would you say to them? Write it! Yes, in a conversational way, write the narration.

For example, under the beautiful cake photo that cake artist might have written:
“Doesn’t the black lace look beautiful on Susan & Tom’s wedding cake? It matches the lace on her wedding dress and the detail on their centerpieces. Click to read more about this delicious, and beautiful cake.”

If that photo linked to more photos from that wedding, or more images of cakes like that, it would be doing more to drive traffic to their site.

For the Silver Luncheon photo they could have said:
“Silver, silver everywhere at this amazing luncheon for Debbie & Phil’s wedding at the East Lake Country Club in Houston. Who says an afternoon wedding can’t be luxurious and classy? This one was all that and more. Click the photo to see more beautiful photos from their wedding.”

Engage the engaged

Wouldn’t that be more engaging? Don’t you think that would get more people to want to click through to their site? I do, and I know that it works. Using a call to action and linking to more relevant content is the way to use Pinterest to drive conversion. You don’t want them to just look at your photos. You want them to take action and be moved by them.

So stop pinning other people’s images and start pinning your own, the right way. Use relevant, narrative stories to engage them and make them pause from scanning the page. Tell them what to do next. Get them to click through to your site where, if you did it correctly, you can get them to contact you.

For other tips in getting started with Pinterest, check out this recent post, and be sure to follow WeddingWireEDU and Alan Berg’s boards on Pinterst. Happy Pinning!