20 Embarrassing Pinterest Marketing FAILS You May Be Making

By on March 28, 2013

Pinterest marketing is fast becoming one of the most lucrative forms of marketing for small businesses online. In a matter of days you can collect thousands of fans, and be selling your products or services directly from your page. Plus, it’s an incredible way to drive more traffic to your online business. Today I’m examining which top 20, most hideously embarrassing mistakes small business owners make on the platform.

#1: Bad Photography Fail: For some unknown reason, a few small business owners (more than a few) think that they can put shoddy, B grade product photos on Pinterest. Marketing on this platform is all about beauty, elegance and sophistication – not fuzzy, dark images.

#2: Your Images are 1 Dimensional: If your Pinterest marketing photos have no purpose, organization or strategy – and they are all standard product pics – don’t expect a ton of fans.

#3: Poor Linking Practices: Curalate discovered that 48% of popular pins on Pinterest link to non-existent pages. That’s a lot of traffic and sales. Track your links using Bit.ly!

#4: Out of Stock Fail: If your amazing Pinterest images link to product pages, and there is no stock available – what’s the point? Sort out your inventory and stock processes.

#5: No Suggested Products: All URL’s that you use for Pinterest marketing need to suggest other products on your business website – how else are you going to upsell?

#6: The Reason To Click To Your Page: It’s nice that you have 30 images of a candle. But putting them ALL on Pinterest isn’t wise. People need a reason to click to your business page. Place 3-5 images on Pinterest, and host the rest on your sales pages.

#7: Lack of Product Review Strategy: As a small business owner, you’ll need to check that all of your Pinterest marketing images are functional and working every 3 months, or you’ll lose money. Broken links, products that aren’t available and wrong product listing will harm your sales potential.

#8: The Missing Promo Board: Having lots of discounts and promos is great – but not if they’re spread over 15 boards. Host all of your Pinterest marketing promotions on 1 board.

#9: No Action Shots: Prove that your products work by going the extra mile and demonstrating them – either in video or an image tutorial. They sell products!

#10: Your Brand has No Personality: Having a personality means running some boards that are curated from other people’s products and images. Develop your brand with Pinterest marketing by associating yourself with other great brands.

#11: Rubbish or No Infographics: Yes, infographics are tricky to make and they can be expensive to commission. But they get lots of views, likes and interactions. Sometimes in Pinterest marketing you have to spend a little to make a lot. Don’t be cheap!

#12: No Stats, Data, Inside Scoops: People love to know the inside scoop about your brand. Give it to them! Share image stats, charts, graphs and progress on Pinterest.

#13: Ignoring Your Customer Base: Every sale should attempt to collect a testimonial. In Pinterest marketing, you’ll want to have a board for testimonials and endorsements.

#14: Not Being a Credible Seller: To be credible you need authority. To get authority, you have to have a great opinion on expert topics in your niche. How are you proving this?

#15: Expose or Bust: Not allowing your customers to see your operation is not good for business. Pinterest marketing demands that you include behind the scenes shots.

#16: Pinning Like a Crazy Person: There is such a thing as pinning too much, too often. Every pin needs a solid sales reason to exist. If you don’t have one, don’t pin it.

#17: Ignoring the Sunday Pin: Evidence suggests that pinning on Sunday mornings can result in more sales than any other time of day. Pinterest marketing is about leveraging the best opportunities, so pin on a Sunday!

#18: Being Too Shy To Boast About Your Brand: If you’re going to be at an event, show, workshop or conference, post some pins about it. Flyers that are simplified to work on Pinterest are way more effective than you think. Don’t be shy, be sly!

#19: Marketing Like an Amateur: There is nothing worse than stumbling on a Pinterest page that employs old-school marketing tactics. Bad graphics, bad images, horrible sales pitches and that’s it. There is nothing but tacky, cheap selling. Pinterest marketing isn’t about direct sales and hardcore pitches. It’s about community, repeat sales and entertainment.

#20: Not Using The Gifts Section: The gifts section on Pinterest will list your product price along with the image. It’s a secondary sales tool that many people simply don’t use. But it’s a great place to go to find interesting gifts for people – so use it!

BONUS: There are many embarrassing Pinterest marketing tactics that float around the network. That’s why an entire FAIL culture has sprung up. These images show the ‘ideal’ photo and then a Pinterest user attempting to copy it, with no success. They are very funny, and very popular. You can use this final technique to get more shares and sales.

Pinterest has come a long way in a very short space of time. The best advice I can give you is to sit down with a piece of paper, and describe the different kinds of image posts you see on the various category areas. Try to create a 3 dimensional, complex and intriguing Pinterest marketing strategy that will grab potential customer’s attention.

Have you spotted any of these mistakes in your own Pinterest marketing strategy? Tell me which ones, and I’ll help!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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