How to Sell on Pinterest Without Being Pushy or Salesy – The Art of Selling Without Being an Obnoxious Salesperson
Okay, so you must have heard this like a million times by now!
Social media is all about being social. And what does “being social” entail? Quite a few things. Let’s take a quick look at them.
In no particular order, making connections, engaging with your followers and your target audience, listening to their needs and wants, sharing genuine helpful resources for free which your audience can directly benefit from (the famous 80/20 rule for sharing content on social) and so on and so forth.
The number one DON’T for businesses when it comes to marketing on social – don’t hard sell.
Say for example, your business sells beautiful jewelry via an online store, here is an example of what you shouldn’t do on social.
Share an image of the product from your store and include a caption which says,
Click here to buy these silver earrings NOW!
Nope, not gonna work!
All that talk which you’ve heard or read about being social on social media, yes, this is a perfect example of what the above type of post isn’t. Even though your product may be beautiful, which in the above case, it is.
On the other hand, consider the same scenario as above, BUT you share a different version of an aesthetically pleasing image of your product (the rings as pictured below) and include the following in your post caption,
You talk about how you made it, what elements the product contains, where did you source your raw materials from and so on.
You are still talking about your product but you are not asking anyone to directly buy it, you are creating a relationship with your audience by encouraging them to have a conversation with you about your product.
And that is the true essence of social media!
So without further adieu, we’ll jump into the essence of this blog post which is how you can achieve this via Pinterest – how to sell your products or services on Pinterest without being pushy or salesy, also known as, the art of selling on Pinterest without being an obnoxious salesperson!
1. Use high quality images
Okay, so maybe I should say, you absolutely NEED to use high quality images!
If your business is already on Pinterest, you obviously know about how visual Pinterest is, right? If not, then, yes you got it right, the key to achieving success via Pinterest is making sure your images are top notch!
And let me tell you, the bar is pretty high on this one. If you share a non-appealing image of your product or a low quality background image to talk about your services, the chances of people clicking on your pinned image is next to null. And obviously it goes without saying that if people don’t click on your pins, they don’t visit your website and you don’t end up selling anything.
So, first things first.
The key to successful selling on Pinterest without being salesy is to concentrate on creating high quality images. Because that is the very first thing a casual browser (who could may very well be your next customer) will notice when he/she is scrolling down his/her Pinterest feed. If your pin succeeds in standing out amongst the crowd, the chances of getting that click is much higher!
On that note, here’s another very important reason why this should be your number one priority if you are marketing your business on Pinterest – the Pinterest smart feed.
Simply put, Pinterest no longer displays pins from the people you follow in a chronological order.
Rather it uses an algorithmic logic (based on some ranking factors one of which is the image quality) to display their highest quality pins at the top of your feed.
And that’s not all! Pinterest also displays pins from the people you don’t follow based on the pins you’ve saved (your interests).
In short (without getting into all the tech details of the smart feed algorithm), image quality is one of the important factors which will enable your pin to go higher up in your target audience’s home page feed. If you do want to learn about all the tech stuff going on behind the scenes, head over to Pinterest’s engineering blog.
So, how do you make sure your images are high quality?
If your business sells products, take high quality photos of your products, use aesthetically pleasing backdrops or if you have the budget, hire a photographer to do it for you.
Another way of doing this is by using product mockups. If you have zero idea of what I am talking about, check out this simple guide by Chaitra from PinkPot.
Below is an example of a product mockup.
Granted you will need to invest some time into learning Photoshop for this purpose but mockups are an excellent way to display a product without going into the hassle of hiring a photographer or taking your own photos for that matter! Creative Market is a great resource for buying high quality, relatively inexpensive mockups.
If you run a service based business, make sure you include ONLY high quality, Pinterest friendly images to your blog posts which in turn will bring back traffic to your website. Use an online graphic creation and design tool such as Easil, Canva or PicMonkey (or Photoshop, of course) to create high quality images.
In fact, mockups are an excellent choice for service based businesses as well to display their e-creations such as e-courses and ebooks or even something as simple as a pdf download. Here’s an example pin of an opt-in resource I created using a mockup (the book cover).
You can view the full pin here. And you can read the complete blog post here.
Snag your FREE copy of “The Graphic Design Toolkit for Non-Designers”
Further reading: Six surefire ways to make your website more Pinterest friendly
2. Use lifestyle photography
This tip is particularly focused towards businesses who sell physical products. Take a look at these stats below.
When it comes to e-commerce, 67% of the consumers say that the product image quality is “very important” for them to make purchasing decision. Customers think that the quality of a product’s image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%).
This brings us to the topic in question – “lifestyle photography”. If you’ve never heard of the term before, this is what it means.
Lifestyle photos are photographs of people in real life situations doing real life things, even something as simple as just walking, talking or sitting.
Say for example, you want to sell a coffee mug, instead of displaying just the mug, you showcase the product in a person’s hand while he/she is drinking coffee or two friends chatting with each other over coffee (focus – the coffee mug).
See the images below.
Do you notice how much more appealing the plain, white coffee mug looks when it is represented as a lifestyle photo rather than a simple product photo?
When people (a.k.a. your potential customers) view your product in a lifestyle photo, they look at it with a real life perspective and they are more likely to form an emotional connection with it. And as we mentioned above, Pinterest is all about making that visual connection!
You want to sell more without coming off as being salesy on Pinterest? Lifestyle photography should be your photography of choice!
Further reading: Pinterest SEO: 10 ways to optimize your Pinterest business page for social media marketing
3. Don’t use salesy words in your Board and Pin descriptions
Coming back to the smart feed, another factor which Pinterest takes into account while scoring your pin is it’s value. And this value can be determined by what keywords you use to describe your pin.
The better and more SEO rich your pin description (in terms of its content, I don’t mean you should stuff it with keywords), the higher the chances of your pin being towards the top of the feed.
Obviously we are talking about a non salesy description here.
Make sure you talk more about your product or services’ value in the description rather than saying something like “Moon and Star Necklace”. Yes, do use the keywords Moon and Star but also use the space to talk a little more about your product.
Take a look at this example below.
The description mentions the name of the product along with a short info on how it could be a great gift because it can be personalized and customized. The image is pleasing, shows details and the description doesn’t come off as looking salesy.
Or here’s another.
Further reading: How to represent your biz + blog (a. k. a. your brand) via Pinterest and Instagram
4. Use the “Buyable Pins” feature
Okay, so this tip is applies only after you follow all of the above.
Pinterest allows businesses to sell directly (without leaving the platform) to its 100 million active users using the Buyable Pins feature! Yes, this integration is available only with a few ecommerce platforms right now (Shopify being one of them), so if your online shop qualifies for this feature, by all means you should go ahead and set it up.
The reason why I said this tip applies only after you follow all of the above is because you still should have a high quality image, preferably a lifestyle photo if it is a product and a useful description to encourage people to click on the “Add to bag” button. Here is an example of a Buyable Pin.
Now, at first glance it may seem like if you don’t want to sound salesy on Pinterest, why would you use this feature, right?
Here’s my case. The beauty of this feature is that it displays all the key features about your product without saying anything about buying it right away.
So, it displays the price at first glance and then if you click on the pin, it displays more info such as the product availability, the store’s return policy, a direct link to more pins from the store AND the “Add to bag” button.
This makes sure that only a very interested customer who clicked through gets to see the “Add to bag” button to make a purchasing decision. Pretty neat!
Pinterest can be a sales powerhouse if used the right way! To conclude, here are some stats from the infographic, how Pinterest drives online commerce via Shopify.
- The average order value of sales coming from Pinterest is $50 which is higher than any other major social platform.
- Pinterest is the #2 overall source of all social media traffic to Shopify stores.
- 2 million people pin product pins per day.
- 93% of Pinterest users use the platform to plan purchases.
- Orders from Pinterest on mobile devices has increased by 140% in the last two years, and orders from non-US countries has increased 130% from 2013 to 2014.
Would you really want to miss out on connecting with the 2 million people who pin product pins each day? You’re a savvy business owner! No, you wouldn’t, right?
Use Pinterest to its maximum potential to make those sales for your business. But keep these four points in mind to make sure you are making that connection with your audience first.
If you liked this post, do share it via social! I have handcrafted the tweet for you. All you have to do is click on the image below to tweet it out.
For Pinterest, use the image below for the best results. Again, all the work has been done for you, all you gotta do is click on the Pinterest “Save” button. It will pop up on the top left corner when you hover over the image.
Do you use Pinterest for business? How do you use it for increase your sales?
Share your stories in the comments below.