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Are You Ready for the Buy? News from Pinterest

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by Terry Doherty

Earlier this month, Pinterest announced that it has launched Buyable Pins. The idea is that when Pinterest Users (aka “pinners”) find something they like, they can buy the item without leaving Pinterest.

Pinterest PhotoThis is just the initial rollout, so not every brand/company is represented. There is a select set of national brands (Macys, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus) and the online commerce platform Shopify. Last but not least, you need to use an Apple product to make the purchase because purchases are made via Apple Pay.

If you’re not a big name store or don’t use Shopify don’t fret! Now is the perfect time to start preparing your virtual storefront for YOUR big launch. In a post on the Forbes blog, Erika Alonso offered this insight:

“Communication is now a visually driven economy. People use images to create awareness, inspire action, express preference and proudly display loyalty. They want to explore and engage with the world in ways that are meaningful to them and make them their own.”

Erika’s insight is “spot on” not just on how to approach Pinterest, but ANY visual marketing activities. [If you have a few moments, I highly recommend reading Erika’s article Why Pinterest Buy Button Won’t Revolutionize Shopping.]

Keeping in mind Erika’s ideas and general principles of book promotion, here are three ways to make sure that you’re ready for Buyable Pins or any other visual marketplace *cough* Amazon.com *cough*).

1. Check your images for –

  • Quality. Not just on your desktop, but different screen sizes. What looks really “crisp” on your phone may be very grainy on a tablet or desktop.
  • Accuracy Have you recently changed your cover image? Did you spruce up your company logo? It is important that your brand look consistent across all platforms.
  • Celebration. Did your book win a Ben Franklin Award? Take a high-quality picture of your book with the Ben Franklin seal on the cover. That will help it stand out on the virtual bookshelf!

2. Review your product description.

On Pinterest, you’ll often see book pins that include just the book title and/or author information. Taking the time to add some more detail gives potential buyers more info for making that purchasing decision. Even if they’re not going to “buy” today, they’re more likely to pin your item to one of their boards.

I would recommend either a blurb about the book, an endorsement from the cover, or an excerpt from a review. Definitely not all three!

If the book has won an award, be sure to add “award-winning” in the product description, as well. Depending how much space you have in your description, you may be able to say “Ben Franklin Award winning.”

3. Consider #Hashtags

Pinterest ScreenshotI know. I can hear the moans from here! On visual networks like Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram, hashtags are VERY popular and heavily used.

Hashtags should be selected carefully and used judiciously. I would recommend no more than three for any product pin. Set your “norm” for two hashtags.

Whenever and wherever possible, you should always include the hashtag #IBPA. That not only helps people find you, but it demonstrates the power and connectivity of the Indie community.

The second hashtag should be a word (or short phrase) that most closely relates to your book. Answering this question can help you find that just-right Hashtag:

How would you characterize your book in ONE word?

If you’re not sure about whether or not your proposed hashtag has “value,” a tool like hashtagify.me is a great help. Here’s an example. Let’s say I wrote a children’s book that features Santa Claus. I went to Hashtagify.me to see if #Santa is the best hashtag to use. With this chart (below) I can see that there may be other, stronger hashtags.

hashtags data by hashtagify.me

With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, odds are that the folks at Pinterest [and other commerce platforms] are working overtime to roll out additional partner platforms and companies in the coming months.

Taking the time to polish your store window now can reap great rewards for you this coming holiday shopping season, no matter what point of purchase you use.

Have a question about using Pinterest or visual marketing? We’re happy to answer them … just add it in the Comments section.

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