I love Pinterest, and you should too. It’s a great place to build a social media following that benefits your food and beverage business. Pinterest users are voracious consumers of food-related content so there is ample opportunity to build a following.
If you want more clients from Pinterest, treat your account like you would any aspect of your business — put in quality time and effort. In my experience, the businesses that utilize Pinterest effectively (meaning, they develop a following and convert their followers into paid customers) all share one thing in common — they take Pinterest seriously. As with any social media platform (or any part of your business), those that take action in a professional manner are the ones who succeed.
To get more followers on Pinterest you can employ smart business techniques that build your brand and attract the right customer base. You can do this by writing captions with your buyer persona in mind, positioning yourself as an expert, and posting quality pictures consistently. We will expand on each of these concepts within this article.
Write Captions for Your Buyer Persona
A buyer persona is your ideal Pinterest follower. In other words, he or she is the person that you want to attract to your business. I highly recommend keeping this ideal person in mind whenever you post content. Remember, you are using Pinterest as a business marketing tool. Accordingly, you don’t just want to get followers, but rather get the right followers — the people that you can convert into paying customers.
Let me explain the concept of a buyer persona further through an example. Let's say that you have a casual, hip restaurant. Your goal is to be a hangout for young people, most of whom don’t have a huge budget. Accordingly, every post on your Pinterest should reflect this demographic. You don’t want to spend time, attracting older or middle-aged people that are looking for a more professional, high-class experience; you want targeted followers you can turn into customers.
So, in this example, your buyer persona could be a young college student that wants to take out his girlfriend/boyfriend and friends out to eat occasionally. Delineate this persona to include more specific characteristics such as what type of music he or she would like and what menu you think he or she would enjoy. Then, target your Pinterest posts according to what this person would find interesting.
It can be helpful, during the process of targeting a buyer persona, to print out an image of someone who looks like a person you’re targeting. Then, before posting, look at that image and think “would this person like this post?”
Also consider, when creating a buyer persona, why the person is on Pinterest. Pinterest has a certain demographic, and it’s wise to cater specifically towards a piece of that demographic in order to maximize your following. For example, consider what categories in Pinterest your buyer persona would browse. Maybe, for instance, your buyer persona is a foodie and thus is interested in related content on Pinterest. Specialization in this manner won’t get you as big of a following as a more general account, but it will help you stand out from the crowd and garner targeted followers that you can convert into customers.
I know this topic can seem a little complex, but getting it right will pay big dividends. So, spend some extra time researching Pinterest and really think about who you want to target.
Be the Helpful Expert
To get Pinterest clients and followers it’s key that you position yourself as an expert. What type of expert depends on your position within the food and beverage industry. Are you a chief that owns his own restaurant? Then position yourself as one of the best chefs in your area that is extremely knowledgable about your craft. Are you the owner of an upscale restaurant? Then post content that shows how well you treat your clientele.
Positioning yourself as an expert on Pinterest is easier than you think. You are already in a place of authority if you are in the food and beverage industry. Potential followers already have a baseline of trust in you and your company so you only need to “fan the flames” so to speak.
You do this by publishing posts that you know are interesting and helpful. Your posts should clearly show that you and your business are experts in your chosen area. Providing “social proof” in the form of satisfied customers is also helpful.
When you position yourself as a leader in the food and beverage industry, people will be much more likely to check out your restaurant. People want to visit places ran by professionals that know how to provide a great atmosphere and even better food. Show this to your followers and they will become repeat customers.
Using Pictures for Your Benefit
To get more clients from Pinterest, post pictures that drive traffic to your website and showcase the quality of your business. On the surface, this sounds obvious — Pinterest is a picture-based platform so of course, you need to use images properly. But, in my experience, most food and beverage Pinterest accounts don’t post pictures that provide tangible benefits.
The key to success is to use pictures that generate a buzz. Pinterest is a platform designed around pinning interesting things, so if your photos are generic, you won’t get very far. I get it, you want to craft a tightly constructed, professional image for you and your business, but the content that does the best on Pinterest isn’t afraid to be bold and unique. Pinterest users tend to enjoy content that is a little “off-the-wall” so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Typically, the most successful Pinterest accounts within the food and beverage industry use a combination of original photos and stock photos. Each photo is selected with care to be on-brand while still being compelling.
Selecting the right photos definitely has a learning curve. You need to do some experimentation to determine what works best. If this sounds like too much of a commitment, consider choosing one of our social media kits. Our experts will run the account for you so you can get the great benefits of Pinterest while putting all of your efforts towards running your business.
Timing and Consistency Are Everything
Building a following on Pinterest takes consistency. In my experience, you need to publish a minimum of 5 pins a day in order to get tangible benefits from the social media platform.
Success on Pinterest also requires the proper timing of posts. When is the best time to post on Pinterest? This varies based on the category and your demographic. Generally, however, the best time tends to be between 8 and 11 PM on the weekends. However, we highly encourage you to experiment to find the best time for user engagement. You may find a surprising amount of engagement during certain days and hours. You can use this knowledge to optimize your Pinterest.
The most important aspect of “post timing” is that you space posts out accordingly. You can use an application such as Buffer to schedule posts throughout the day.
How to Convert Followers to Clients
Whether you want to book more weddings through Pinterest or get more clients from Pinterest for your food and beverage business, you need to convert your followers into paying customers.
The key to converting followers into customers is to direct them to your website where you can capture their email with a freebie or convert them directly. Followers on Pinterest actually tend to be easier to convert as compared to other social media platforms because they are often looking for places to get food. Plus, they’re already salivating with pictures from your restaurant.
One tip is to add text to your pictures. For instance, you can add text to a picture of your favorite cuisine that says “get this dish today only, 15% off with coupon X.” Also, consider adding your website URL to every post as this can drive traffic to your business.
Perhaps the best way to convert followers to clients on Pinterest is to get out of the way. If you provide quality content that relates to your business, followers will be interested in visiting your restaurant. This is an important concept to grasp because Pinterest users are turned off when you market towards them too aggressively. It’s important to direct users to your place of business, but don’t go overboard. Instead, focus mainly on providing high-quality branded content. In this case the old adage “build it and they will come” applies.
Pinterest is a truly great platform for food and beverage businesses. If you don’t use it, you’re missing out on a gigantic customer base. So, put in the effort. Make developing a Pinterest following a priority. You’ll be happy you did.