We have had good success with applying a small amount of our ad budget towards promoting our Facebook posts.  As long as the graphic meets Facebook’s criteria (including having less than 20% text), you can “boost” a post to those who like your page, their friends, or a target group you create. It’s fun to play around with these demographics — we recently created a “beer gift” list that included men and women between 25 and 45 in our area who have indicated that they are interested in craft beer and shopping.  Once you’ve created your list, you can select how long you want the promotion to run, and how much money you want to put towards the boost.

Pinterest is now getting into this game as well, at least in the US. The concept of Promoted Pins is a new one — it just became available to small businesses in 2015.  Once you have a business account that is approved you can buy Promoted Pins, although there is currently a wait list. If you are active on Pinterest, you might as well get on the list now so that you can decide later if you want to use this tool.

As the Social Media Examiner explains, “Promoted pins run on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. A campaign has a specified daily budget and duration. You pay only when someone clicks though the pin to your website. You can monitor and adjust your campaign as it runs.”

The key is to select an image that will draw a lot of attention when it appears in someone’s feed.  On Facebook it is helpful to use horizontal images, and the opposite is true on Pinterest — vertical is best, especially for those viewing the site on a smart phone. If you have an approved Promoted Pin account, when you hover over one of your pins you will be offered the opportunity to promote it by selecting the keywords that best describe the item, and then to refining your audience based on demographics such as gender and location.

Unlike Facebook, Pinterest asks you to set a maximum amount per click, a daily budget, and the duration of the promotion.  You don’t pay for each time the pin is viewed — only when there is a consumer action taken, such as repining or clicking through to your web site.  This is one advantage —- a second is that pins have a longer lifespan than other social media posts, because pinners will repin them indefinitely if they come across them and are interested. You don’t pay for those secondary hits, according to the Business2Community blog.

Pinterest users are predominantly women (85%), and there are some 100 million active users. If you aren’t currently using this social platform to reach your customers, you might want to consider doing so. And although pin promotion is still in its early days, it’s worth considering if you are trying to increase your reach to a mostly female target audience.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder