Did you know Pinterest can help your small business? Yes, you heard right. Pinterest isn’t just for pinning photos of your favorite recipes and cute, cuddly animals. It’s also an amazing tool for helping your small business reach more potential customers every day.

According to a study by Simply Measured, a social media analytics firm, 69 of the world’s top 100 brands are on Pinterest. This social media platform, which has only been around three years (as of this writing), is still driving more traffic to websites and blogs than Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube combined.

Interested in capitalizing on that action? Here are 5 ways this social media darling can help you grow your business:

Reach More People – 

According to Beth Hayden, the author of Pinfluence, the latest number of Pinterest users is about 11 million. I repeat – 11 million. That’s an amazing amount of people you can be marketing to if you’re on Pinterest. Hayden also states that up to 80% of Pinterest users are women between the ages of 25 and 55, but statistics show that more men are joining. Pinterest users are fairly wealthy with a yearly salary of 50,000+, making this social media platform one of the best ways to reach more people who can become some of your best customers.

Establish Yourself as an Expert – 

Create several Pinterest boards to provide your followers and potential customers with useful and educational information while promoting your products or services in fun ways. Post infographics, compelling photos and interesting facts about your business, include industry relevant pins as well, and be the one-stop resource page about your business.

Make Every Post Count – 

One definite way you can use Pinterest for your small business and drive more traffic to your website or blog is by optimizing your pins for search purposes. Create compelling descriptions which include your relevant keywords but remember there is a 500-character limit. Make your descriptions count by being short, concise and strategic in what you say.

Showcase Your Work – 

Many small businesses offer services that require a portfolio to showcase their work to potential clients. Create a Pinterest board for your portfolio and pin your work. Web designers can pin websites they’ve designed, Photographers can pin links to their photography online, or Graphic Designers can pin their creative works to a specific board.

Generate More Traffic – 

Remember it was mentioned that Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined? The best way to take advantage of this amazing benefit is to at least do these three things –

  1. Include a relevant image in each of your blog posts.
  2. Make sure your image file names or ALT tags are SEO optimized and include information about the blog post or your product. (When visitors pin your content some of the tools use this information, so it’s important to be as specific as possible.)
  3. This one should be a no-brainer; have a Pin It button on your website! Visitors can pin directly from your website so more of your content gets shared and encourages traffic back to your website.

So now that you know 5 ways Pinterest can help your small business, how do you find out if your efforts are working? Here are three Pinterest tools you can use to check your stats:

PinWootLast week’s article explained how this amazing tool can increase traffic to your blog.  This tool is definitely worth checking out.

Pinterest Pin Count tool – shows you the number of times a page or blog post from your site is pinned and repinned with Pinterest.

Pinterest’s Free Web Analytics Tool – helps you find out which one of your pins drive the most click-throughs to your site for more strategic pinning.

Additional Reading:

8 Pinterest Tips and Tricks: A Cheat Sheet for Newbies

How to Promote Your Pinterest Pins and Get More Repins