Question: How many references to Coconut Oil are on Pinterest?

Answer: Who cares? The point is that you’re wondering and probably now looking – and even buying – coconut oil because you learned from various pins that it has tons of everyday uses PLUS is great as a massage oil or for use in a facial scrub!

And you know a good part of that thanks to Pinterest, where consumers “pin” ideas, recipes, projects – and products – to an online bulletin board that they share with thousands of followers.  (just in case you have been living in a cave the last three years and are just learning of Pinterest – or figured there was not much reason to look into it – check out Pinning 101.)

The picture-on-a-bulletin-board-style social medium remains one of the fastest-growing social media networks, ranking third in size among its peers and standing behind only Facebook and Twitter for number of active users.

And besides its huge following (a good percentage of whom are probably your clients since the primary demographics on Pinterest include women, people ages 20-45 and parents), here are a few other reasons you better take a “pinterest”:

  • The visually oriented social network recently made it even easier for businesses to incorporate Pinterest for product/service sales.
  • 69 percent of consumers on Pinterest have found an item to buy, compared to 40 percent of consumers on Facebook. Pinterest drove more traffic to retailers last year than Google, LinkedIn or YouTube!
  • Since women do most of the shopping in the family and since most of Pinterest’s followers are women, it only stands to reason that you would want your products on it. And, men, don’t think this one isn’t for you. Now 20 percent of users on Pinterest are men, which is up basically 20 percent from the network’s launching three years ago. But regardless of those demographics, if you want to sell your products to women, this is the place to be.

So the question is not, “Should I do this?” but rather, “When can I start building my business board?”

Here are 5 easy steps for pinning with the pros and making your boards “pinteresting”:

• Keep it professional

Set up a separate business account! If you own a massage business, this is a no-brainer. You want clients to know your business, so create a  Pinterest account under that name.

If you are an individual MT working at one or several locations, you can still build an audience through Pinterest, so even if you have a personal Pinterest page now, I still recommend separate professional and personal accounts (ie, “Massage Therapy by Susanna Price, LMT”)

• Choose “boards” that resonate with your clients

Remember who your audience is and create categories that will both interest them and promote your business. Here are a few we would suggest as you get started:

  • Benefits of massage
  • Our services
  • Special promotions (holiday promos and other special rates)
  • Good stretches to do at home
  • Healthy lifestyle (good board for exercise, eating, cooking tips)
  • Just for fun (good board for inspirational quotes, funny quotes, DIY projects)
  • Blog (great idea if you write a blog on your website!)

• Pin often

Try to “pin” new ideas to your boards every day or at least several times a week. That way your business name will show up to your followers more often so you’ll gain more followers in general, and a more dedicated following too!

And if you really want to have a strong Pinterest presence, don’t always just repin, create your own pins! This requires more effort and a little bit of know-how (uploading photos and adding text) but nothing that a few extra minutes won’t take care of!

Also, keep pin descriptions to 15 words or less. This is a great time to practice your advertising and marketing skills by rewriting whatever was included with the image/content you are pinning. Think of your favorite slogan for a product and aim for a phrase that would attract someone to your photo, business promotion or product sale.

• Be creative

There are a lot of things to do, so it’s good to find and emulate some of the best general ideas out there.

For some good massage business boards to follow, check out these: Massage Solutions of Wilmington; Carrie Massagetherapist; Heeling Sole, Massage Magazine, Charleston Spa, and MassageBook.

• Eyes on the prize  

Always keep in mind that the ultimate goal with your posts is to encourage clients to book your services (and maybe even buy some products!) This doesn’t need to be a hard sell, but while you are pinning massage-related quotes and info, remind clients that a massage will be good for a gift, to fix their sore muscles and relieve tension headaches or just help them relax so they can be better parents, bosses and friends!

And then – just like the social network itself says – happy Pinning!