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How To Use Pinterest And Instagram To Grow Your E-Commerce Business

The best platforms to use if you run an e-commerce store are, by far, Pinterest and Instagram.

This post will give you a SNEAK PEEK into the social media marketing strategies you can use to make your business more profitable!

To create a social media marketing strategy, you must go through 4 phases:

  1. Build a foundation
  2. Create a brand

  3. Gain traffic

  4. Increase engagement

I’ll go through each of these phases for both Pinterest and Instagram, and then finish by giving you the #1 TIP you can use for BOTH!

How To Use Pinterest And Instagram To Grow Your E-Commerce Business

PINTEREST

The most important thing you need to realize about Pinterest marketing is that Pinterest is a SEARCH ENGINE.

STOP thinking of Pinterest as social media, and START thinking of it as a VISUAL GOOGLE.

Those SEO practices you use for your website? They need to be applied to Pinterest as well!

Meaning Keywords are KEY.

So let’s start with building your account to set it up for success. 

1. Foundation

The first thing you should do is optimize your bio.

  1. Business Name: Make your business name clearly states who you are or who you help and what you do.
  2. Picture: Your profile picture can be either a logo or a personal picture. Note: Faces establish trust.
  3. Username: Make sure your username matches your company name.
  4. About You: In your “about” section, use as many keywords as possible that match your content. 
  5. Location: Put one if possible, it helps people find you and further establishes trust.
  6. Claim Your Website: Claiming your site allows you access to Pinterest website analytics.

pinterest ladybossblogger elaine rau

You should also place “pin” buttons on every image, so that visitors can make move content straight from your site to Pinterest!

Download the Social Warefare plugin to help you do this.

The second step is to optimize your boards.

If you don’t have them already, create 10-12 boards with at least 9 pins each.

NEVER have empty boards on your page — it looks unprofessional!

If you have them, either add more content now or make them secret boards until you have 9 pins.

Make sure that the name of every board is a keyword that people would search for.

But what should your pins on these boards look like? Let’s move onto branding!

pinterest ladybossblogger elaine rau

2. Brand

You don’t need a graphic design degree, just a Canva account — it’s free!

Canva allows you to create the exact size optimized for Pinterest and has TONS of free (and premium) templates you can use to make amazing images for your business!

If you aren’t interested in using Canva, still make sure that your pin has a 2:3 ratio and is vertical.

According to Pinterest’s Head of Product Marketing Sarah Hoople Shere, “600 x 900 is best, 600 x 1260 at most. Any larger will get cut off.”

On every pin, include your signature color and your website name or logo at either the top or bottom center of your graphic.

Now let’s talk about how to get traffic on those amazing pins! 

3. Traffic

  1. Follow influencers. Also, follow other accounts you like as well as your competitors and RE-PIN THEIR CONTENT. More than likely they will return the favor if your content is good and relevant and you’ll be able to tap into their audience.
  2. Join group boards. Find relevant ones using pingroupie.com.
  3. Include 20 hashtags. Find the best hashtags using all-hashtags.com. Hashtags are another way that people are going to FIND YOU by searching for certain things.
  4. Use rich pins. Enabling rich pins for your business account allows more context about your brand to appear around the image when people see it.
  5. Use analytics like crazy! Create a few pin variations of the same product and see which one performs the best so you can start to learn what works and what doesn’t.

What about those pins that didn’t do well?

NEVER delete or edit old pins that don’t perform well.

ALWAYS create new content rather than recycling old content if you want to promote something again.

How To Get Traffic From Pinterest LadyBossBlogger.com

4. Engagement

This phase is the most important because Pinterest promotes content based on ENGAGEMENT WITH pins rather than TRAFFIC TO pins.

Another tip from Sarah Hoople Shere is to FOCUS ON THE FIRST 5 PINS OF THE DAY.

Quality > Quantity is essential here!

You want people not just to SEE your pins, but to INTERACT with them!

So, how do I get my followers to interact with my pins?

Tip #1: Include helpful descriptions with a call to action (CTA).

Tell the reader in your pin description exactly what you’re about and encourage them to share, re-pin, or click on to your site!

Tip #2: Get into group boards.

Group boards are like little Pinterest communities where like-minded accounts share content.

These are AWESOME because people that are interested in the subject matter of your account have direct visibility to your pins!

Plus, you can see what they’re pinning too and get access to resources/content that will also help you!

To get started, go to pingroupie.com and search keywords to see what groups you could join.

You can also create your own group boards once you have enough of a following!

Tip #3: Pin only relevant content.

Seriously, don’t make your account both personal and business.

Pin ONLY things that are directly relevant to your topic/business.

It helps your followers stay on your profile longer. If your board has junk on it, I’m not gonna engage with your pins. I’m out of there.

How To Increase Engagement From Pinterest LadyBossBlogger.com

INSTAGRAM

Unlike Pinterest, Instagram is a classic social media platform, and will stubbornly act like one.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing about Instagram is AESTHETICS.

Pretty pictures are literally everything.

I am NOT a person who follows brands on social media, but I do follow several on Instagram because they post amazing pictures, so the advertising is worth it to me.

That’s the point you need to get to with Instagram.

Want to have a popular account? Pay attention to the aesthetics of your brand.

1. Foundations

As always, our first step is to optimize your name and bio.

  1. Username: Pretty simple – try to get your exact business name as your username.

Simple = better.

  1. Name: Tell your visitor what your business is called and what it is here.

Ex. LadyBossBlogger – Entrepreneur Tip+Quotes+Inspo

  1. About: There are a few different ways to use this space.

Here are the things you can include: hashtags, website links, another account link (@profile), call to action buttons (call, email, directions), and normal text.

I would recommend using all of these TASTEFULLY.

We don’t want your bio to look cluttered, but we do want to include all the information about your brand to make people follow and find you.

Shorten the description of your business to the simple WHO you are and WHAT you do. I would recommend keeping it down to one sentence.

Ex. Blog for female entrepreneurs

OR if you have a catchphrase, use that instead.

Ex. Ideas worth spreading (for TED talks)

If you have a branded hashtag (ex. KitKat’s is #HaveABreak), put it in your bio.

If you have a personal account or another business account, link that too.

Ex. Get to know me @_____

The bio is the ONLY place you can have a link, so use it wisely! Direct your readers EXACTLY where you most want them to go, and tell them where the link will take them.

Ex. Grab your free blogging resources: ________

As for the call to action buttons, I would recommend having them unless you don’t want people having your phone # or email.

It really helps your followers to be able to email you directly if they want to collaborate or have a question about your product.

If you’re uncomfortable with that, consider putting a line in your bio saying something like “Questions about our product? Feel free to DM us!”

Let’s move onto branding for your newly optimized profile →

instagram ladybossblogger

2. Brand

When someone clicks on your account, they should see a consistent, branded theme.

That means that all of your pictures should stand alone well, but they should also look like they fit with all the other photos you’ve posted.

For example, they should all be edited the same way, have a general color scheme, and not clash with any other photo around them.

On @ladybossblogger, we alternate a signature pink graphic with a post headline with black-and-white post graphics. On my personal page, @elainerau, every picture is clear and bright with text somewhere on the image.

It should look intentional and professional.

If you take a picture you love, but it doesn’t go with your content theme, don’t post it.

The most popular photos right now are artsy and minimalistic with lots of light. If that works for your brand do it; if not, then pick a different but consistent type of photo and stick to it.

Another tip is to diversify your content.

You can have photos, graphics, short videos, collages, and boomerangs as long as you don’t overdo it and you keep a consistent theme.

Instagram stories are also HIGHLY VALUABLE for creating your brand.

This type of medium — the video or image that remains for a short period of time — is REALLY popular right now, especially for generation Z.

You can also use the story feature to brand your business further by putting text of the different things your business offers or of your most recent blog posts/product offers.

Ex. 12 Most Profitable Niches For Making Money Online – New Post

Ex. NEW Discount Code For Online Orders For The Next 24 Hours

So how do I get people to arrive at my newly branded page? →

instagram ladybossblogger

3. Traffic

The keys to getting more traffic on Instagram are creative content and purposeful posts.

#1: Your Caption: Make it useful to your followers and include a call to action.

For example, post a review or a story about your product in the caption and tell the reader to go to the link in your bio to buy the product!

That’s useful to your reader because it tells them that someone else has used the product and it fulfilled a need for them, and gives them a “next step” to engaging with you.

#2: Your Tags: Geotags, People Tags, Hashtags

Use your tags tastefully but abundantly.

Geotags = tagging your current location helps your post pop up to people in your area

People Tags = spreading your content to a wider audience

Hashtags = searchable keywords that help your target audience find your business

#3: Your Images: They must be high quality!

If your pictures are blurry, fuzzy, or dark, your page loses credibility.

Make sure the images you choose are clear, focused, and bright.

How To Get Traffic From Instagram LadyBossBlogger.com

4. Engagement

Ever experienced that frustration of having a bunch of followers, but only 2-3 likes per photo?

Yeah, I totally feel that!

Engagement is super important for any business wanting people to go from likes → link → shopping cart!

Here are a few tips to increase that follower engagement:

#1: Use branded hashtags to encourage user-generated content.

Once you get brand-recognition going, you can actually have your followers generate content for you!

By tagging their posts with your signature hashtag, you can see people using your product or engaging with your business/blog and share their pictures on your page.

The more it happens, the more people will want to do it!

#2: Use the story feature like crazy.

Not sure about a certain post, headline, or picture? Try it out with the story feature first, and see how it does!

Want to give special deals to super committed followers? Put special offers in your stories!

Want to keep popping up at the top of your follower’s page? Stories all the way!

#3: Reply to all DM’s and comments

If someone reaches out to you, reply!

This point is pretty simple, but it can often go overlooked.

Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations in private messages or say “thanks” and answer a question in the comment section.

Being personal with your followers will gain you loyalty and engagement.

#4: Use pictures with faces

Pictures with people’s faces in them have been shown to have a better engagement rate in Instagram.

Take pictures with employees, customers, or models to get more likes for your photos.

#5: Follow and reach out to influencers

Influencers make money by reviewing products and writing sponsored posts on Instagram.

Search #sponsored or #ad to find influencers that might be willing to collaborate with your company.

Usually, you have to give them a free product or pay per post, but it can really be worth it if they rave about your business to their follower base that trusts them!

BUT none of this hard work will matter if you don’t do one thing….. →

How To Get More Engagement From Instagram LadyBossBlogger.com

ON BOTH PLATFORMS

YOU MUST POST CONSISTENTLY.

This point is non-negotiable.

If you want to have traffic and engagement with your business’s Pins and Insta Posts, you need to have a regular schedule on when your posts come out.

No, you can’t post all your content for the week on the weekend (Sundays are actually the lowest day for engagement almost across the board for social media).

No, you can’t take long breaks from social media marketing and then come back with a lot of content at once.

Want to grow your social media marketing strategy? Schedule your posts.

How?

I 100% recommend Tailwind.

It’s the only platform that you can connect to Pinterest anyway, because it’s the only one they recommend!

Seriously, Tailwind will save your business life!

Tailwind is an automatic social media scheduler.

You can upload your posts to Tailwind, and they will post your content at prime times for traffic and engagement, all while keeping track of your post analytics!

You will never have to worry about forgetting to post again!

In my first 7 days of using Tailwind, I gained 105 Pinterest followers and got at least one pin on all my uploads!

Tailwind is the key to a great social media marketing strategy.

You can focus on the important stuff, and Tailwind will do the other 80% of the work for you!

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How to use pinterest and instagram to grow your e-commerce business

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