The lazy summer months have not applied at Pinterest headquarters, where several new features, changes and tweaks have been announced.
Pinterest remains in the top 5 most popular social networks, with approximately 100 million monthly users, 80% of whom are women.
Here are 6 new Pinterest features that businesses should pay attention to:
1) Related Pins
Related Pins work a bit like “Suggested Pages” on Facebook, but are not paid advertisements.
Pinterest, like any savvy social network, wants to keep you on their site. To do that, they aim to regularly show you relevant, timely and useful content that you like (and content you may not know you like yet).
Related Pins are pulled from boards that you do not currently follow but that Pinterest thinks you may be interested in, as well as pins from users that you follow, but you may not follow all of their boards.
When you see a Related Pin, if you click on the icon in the bottom right, you will see the rationale that Pinterest used when choosing this pin for you. If you choose to do so, you can give the pin thumbs up or thumbs down, which will help Pinterest determine what content to show you in the future.
Business Tip: To make your Pinterest feed even more targeted and relevant to you, I suggest embracing this feature and regularly giving thumbs up or thumbs down to pins. Encourage your followers to do so. I agree with Melissa Megginson at TailWind when she writes: “Like Facebook before them, by collecting such detailed information on users’ interests and behaviors, Pinterest has the potential to offer incredibly well-targeted promotions, saving advertisers both time and money. Who doesn’t love that?”
2) Promoted Pins
Back in 2013, the Pinterest for Business blog announced that they would eventually be testing Promoted Pins in the search results or category feeds on Pinterest.
Promoted Pins = paid advertising, a first for Pinterest.
Here is what they might look like:
Pinterest will display the Promoted Pin labeled as such, with the pop-out box to let you know where it’s from and why it’s showing up in your Pinterest home feed.
Right now this feature is open to a select group of U.S. brands so that Pinterest can get feedback and tweak the service before rolling it out to everyone.
Business Tip: If you are a brand who wants to grow their audience on Pinterest, start thinking through ways in which you might use paid advertising. As with any social advertising campaign, the best paid promotions are eye-catching, timely and extremely targeted.
3) Guided Search
In April Pinterest introduced Guided Search on mobile, and in June announced that it would be available to everyone in just a few weeks. Guided Search is for all users, “whether you know exactly what you want, or you’re just starting to look around. ”
I love Guided Search, as it allows me to get more specific into what I’m looking for. Example – a mobile search for “summer cocktails” shows several categories of pins: Vodka, Frozen, Fun, etc.
This feature is not available on desktop yet but is expected to roll out by the end of this year.
Business Tip: Getting found in search results is one of the major keys to success on Pinterest. Make sure your brand name and profile are succinct and descriptive, that your Business Page is properly categorized and that each of your pins includes the appropriate key words in the caption.
4) Related Interests
When you visit a category on Pinterest (see Education example below) you now see a selection of other interests that you can click on and explore.
In Education, some of the related interests presented to me were Technology, Computer Science, and Writing. If I click on Technology, I can follow the larger category, or even drill down further, to Social Media Marketing or Social Media, and so on, getting more and more specific with every click.
If following a large category gets too overwhelming, you can always return to the topic and Unfollow.
Business Tip: As with Guided Search, this feature makes key words and proper categorization on Pinterest even more vital. Make sure your business is properly categorized so that it will show up in the right category. Follow categories in your industry to get ideas from your competitors.
5) Private Messaging
Have you used the Send Pin feature on Pinterest? I use it all the time to relay ideas to friends and colleagues.
Now Pinterest users can include a private message with each pin they send! You can use this to send a pin to multiple people, a very useful option.
The sent pins and conversations are all neatly categorized in your Notifications.
Business Tip: You can now connect personally with your followers! Unlike on Facebook, where you cannot send a private message through your page, Pinterest will let you send a pin to a connection. Create a group of your best customers and give them advance notice of a new product or sale, announce a contest or just share a special perk or idea that you think they would like.
6) Profile Image Refresh
This month Pinterest changed the way that profile images appear on Pinterest, and they have a guide to help you as you make the changes.
Their profile image tips:
- Upload a square, 200X200 px image (JPG or PNG)
- Keep your logo centered and inside the “safe area”
- Avoid images with pre-cut corners shapes and any artwork that stretches to the edge
Business Tip: Make sure your profile image looks great on Pinterest. If it’s your logo, make sure that the colors are vibrant and that it does not get cut off (those with long horizontal logos, I’m talking to you).
Which feature are you most excited about?
Each month, I will cover topics that include how businesses use Pinterest, how to create great pins, what types of Pinterest boards to create, and how to get more traffic to your website using this innovative social networking tool.