As your business continues to move toward the social strategy of generating sales, you need to consider what methods are most effective. By now, everyone knows the power of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn—but are those necessarily the most effective ways to drive qualified traffic

According to recent studies, the social bookmarking site Pinterest is now driving more traffic to company websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined. And it’s not just generating traffic, but also conversions. 

The site features an attractive visual layout that captures the user’s attention for an average of 98 minutes a month. Each pin has a link back to its online origin where the user can read more. 

In order to take advantage of the fastest growing social media site and use it for your benefit, we’ve put together a few tips on how your business can be “pinned” to Pinterest. 

1. Interaction 

At its core, Pinterest is a social network, so interaction is its main purpose. Self-promotion is not the primary way businesses interact (it's also not allowed). By commenting on photos of your followers and pinning things that aren’t totally self-absorbed, your followers are much more likely to engage with you and feel as if they are a part of a genuine conversation, not simply targeted sales prospects. 

Generating the interaction by continuously posting relevant content and repinning the relevant content of your followers, will increase the number who follow your pins. Be sure to follow them back and comment on a few of their pins every so often so they know you’re ready and willing to interact. Pretty soon, your followers will be repinning your pins, thus increasing your traction and influence on Pinterest. 

To further the interaction, add contribution accessibility to your most active followers. This will allow them to pin content to your boards making your relationship truly interactive. They will earn a sense of pride being able to pin things to your board and encourage them to continue doing so by commenting and connecting with them. When done properly, your outside contributors will be generating free positive PR for you all over their social networks. Allowing your employees to generate your content helps as well, so be sure to make them contributors to your boards too. 

2. Pin relevant information

This should be pretty simple advice but as always, content is king. Pinterest is known for pictures of fancy recipes and apparel. Those pictures link back to the source, so if you’re in a B2C category post pictures of your product to boards marked accordingly. 

Certain businesses may have a harder time doing this because Pinterest is mostly about visual photos and pictures. If your business is in a service industry like a hospital, non-profit or a consulting firm, it is still very possible to post relevant and current information. Pinning pictures of relevant industry information from either a blog post or an infographic is a good way to show that your business is a thought leader. 

You don’t have to always pin things that directly correlate to your business. Pinning relevant photos of cool and creative ideas and then relating them to your industry is a great way to foster interaction. Perhaps pin a photo of a really great piece of furniture tagged in the board “potential office furniture,” recipes you’d like to feature in your cafeteria or places your employees are visiting. There is an endless supply of pictures you can tag and relate to your business somehow. Remember, the more active and relevant you are on any social network, the more influence you gain. 

3. Drive site traffic

If your business is B2C, posting eye-catching photos of a product is your best route for increasing sales and traffic. When you do this, be sure to add a price to the pin, ensuring it shows up in the gift board. The link brings visitors directly back to your site where they can then purchase whatever product you originally pinned. A realty company may be a little more discreet about prices—but regardless, posting houses for sale in a specific board is still a good idea. 

For B2B companies, price tags won’t necessarily fit your pins. However, you can always post interesting things about your services in unique ways, bringing visitors back to your site to capture their attention there. A good example of this is creating an image of one of your recent blog posts. Have a designer style the blog title in an eye-catching way and post it. Voila, you’ve just sent people to your blog where they can read about the latest trends you’re a part of. 

4. Increase SEO

By pinning relevant information, using keywords to describe it and sharing your pins on other social media networks, you are creating a web of valuable information for search engines to pick up. As always, the more content you provide, the higher you may appear on the results pages. Encourage employees and stakeholders to share to their networks each time you pin a new photo to increase the amount of links back to your site. 

For now, the majority of links on pins are do-follow links. This means your site will grab hold of Pinterest’s site rank which is currently one of the highest online and continuing to rise. Linking your pin to this type of quality back link authority will drive your results higher within the search engines, increasing traffic and sales overall. 

Pinterest is rapidly growing and so is our knowledge of the service. Let us know what other tips you have found helpful on Pinterest when it comes to your brand or business.