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Why Every Pet Business Should Be on Pinterest — Now

You could be missing tremendous opportunities for driving that holy grail: online sales.

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HEY PETPRENEUR, ARE you pinning yet?

Here’s the deal: Now that people are spending more time at home, they are scrolling through their social feeds like you wouldn’t believe. And even if you have a presence on other channels such as Facebook and Instagram, you could be missing tremendous opportunities for driving that holy grail: online sales. Did you know that:

  • Pinterest is the No. 1 or 2 traffic driver for many pet brands these days.
  • The platform is seeing a huge surge in retail-related searches.
  • Most Pinterest searches are not for specific brands, making it easier for smaller businesses to be seen.
  • Over 25 percent of U.S. adults have a Pinterest account.
  • There are over 320 million users worldwide on Pinterest.

That’s a lot of people, many of whom are going to the platform to buy. Pet brands are seeing a lot of traffic, and you could be, too. Not sure where to start?

Pinterest is pretty unique among social media platforms. Here are some key differences you need to know about:

Pinterest is social media meets visual search engine. Pinners are looking for graphics and then copy that grabs their attention. This may make it seem a lot like Instagram, but it’s actually more like Google. Keywords and hashtags help pinners find your content. Using keywords — without overdoing it — in your content descriptions, boards and pin names is important.

Pinners aren’t there to be social. This isn’t to say there is no social activity there — people do comment on pins — but users are really there to be inspired. People use Pinterest to find new ideas. For pet businesses, Pinterest can be used to advertise and promote to potential customers and show them what their life or their pet’s life could be with your product or service.

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Pinterest content doesn’t age out. Unlike every other social channel, pins don’t get buried as time passes. Instead, they grow in traffic and accessibility. This means the more people who repin your content, the more likely it is to be seen over time — even years later.

Purchasing is easy with Pinterest. Unlike other visual social media like Instagram, Pinterest makes click-throughs and purchasing easy. Each pin can have a link to drive traffic to a landing page, a blog post, a product page, opt-in pages, e-commerce sites or wherever else you want the pinner to go. Recently, Pinterest announced that it is making it even easier for retailers on the platform by allowing shopping from boards, search results, pins and style guides.

Yeah, hashtags. People follow hashtags on Pinterest, which means you need to use relevant ones. Other platforms often use hashtags that add flair to the post but are virtually useless otherwise. Not on Pinterest. Keep the cute #whenyourpupdigsyourpottedplants #puppylyfe for Instagram and select keyword-rich hashtags for Pinterest.

Focusing your business account works. Remember my mantra: Don’t be everything to everyone! Keep your account and messaging to a few key points. Being all-things-pets isn’t a good idea because you’re likely to get buried in a sea of pet brands. You know your lane, your niche, so stick with it.

So, how does Pinterest work?

Pinterest runs on boards where your profile shares content. Folks can choose to follow you, or just one of your boards, meaning your audience can segment themselves to get only what they’re most interested in. This.Is.Marketing.Gold. Not only can you see what your audience wants most to see, you can use that insight to build new products and offerings they want.

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The catch? Pinterest works differently than other social platforms, and there’s a bit of website work you’ll need to do to get it singing. If this sounds scary, enlist the help of a digital marketing agency.

Jane Harrell is President of 'cause Digital Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focusing on delivering real ROI for pet businesses of all breeds and pedigrees. Jane is also co-owner of WorkingWithDog.com, the marketing club for petpreneurs and small pet businesses. In 2013, Jane won the Rising Star Award from Women in the Pet Industry for her work with Petfinder.com. She’s a regular contributor to many pet-industry publications, focusing on topics that bring tangible results with less work. Jane's enjoying a busy COVID-19 quarantine living with her partner, their six animals and their foster son in Maine.

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