How to Turn Pinterest Fans into Customers

Many jewelry designers and retailers are turning Pinterest into their primary marketing tool, and using the Tailwind app can help. You can download a version for free and playing around with the dashboard will give

you a good head start. A $29/month subscription will buy you customized reports on what's trending in your kind of jewelry.

There are more expensive plans, but Tailwind founder and CEO Danny Maloney says the $29 plan is all most designers or jewelry sellers would ever need. "For that, they can get all they need to be much more effective on Pinterest," says.

Here are three ways you can use that intel:

Engage customers before they buy. With jewelry, a lot of purchases can be time-sensitive – a birthday, a holiday, a wedding anniversary – and there's a strong case for going after the sale as people are pinning the product. "They like your product. Engage them while you're top-of-mind because, for all you know, they're thinking of buying that item for someone's birthday this week," says Tailwind founder and CEO Danny Maloney. "Once the birthday passes, they might not be interested any more. If a wedding is coming up, they have to make that decision soon."

Look for pins with comments. Tailwind offers another report that shows activity across all of your pins and because the pins last forever. Someone might comment on a pin and you don't know this because the pin is three months old. "Comments are rare on Pinterest, in comparison to repins," Maloney says. "So when you get them, they're incredibly valuable."

Welcome new followers. When someone follows you on Pinterest and you get that email alert, reach out while you're fresh in their minds. "It may be as simple as going to their profile, following them, and leaving a comment on their most recent pin, something simple like, 'Hey, I noticed you followed me. I'm loving your boards, especially this one,'" Maloney says.

Many designers who have the most impressive following on Pinterest are, not surprisingly, primarily online sellers. A few notable examples are Jamie Skolnik, Camla, and Belle West.

Los Angeles jewelry designer Jamie Skolnik, who has a shop on Etsy called Simply Me Art had amassed 104,874 followers on Pinterest at press time. While she herself follows only 1,631 people on Pinterest, she is very active on the site with 140 different pinboards, many with hundreds of pins each. Her interests, along with jewelry, center primarily on fashion and home décor.

Camla of Boston sells her handmade jewelry at camla.etsy.com and has more than 32,000 followers and 200+ boards on Pinterest, where she goes by Camla Jewelry. Her boards have a strong fashion and interior design bent too, but she has many boards devoted to food, wedding, travel, and animals.

Colorado-based jewelry designer and gem dealer Belle West has around 30,000 Pinterest followers and more than 150 boards with similar themes. She sells her gem bead jewelry on Etsy too but her Pinterest account links to a blog on Blogspot which links to two separate Facebook pages for her jewelry and gems, both of which have around 1,000 followers.

Since their businesses are run primarily via ecommerce, all these women have a strong motivation to drive customer traffic online. All are active on other social media but have chosen to focus their energies primarily on Pinterest. Skolnik (of the 100,000+ Pinterest fans) has nearly 10,000 Facebook followers as well – impressive in itself – but only 153 followers on Twitter.

Obviously, the visual social media platforms work best for all three, and Pinterest is where they shines. Maloney says designers shouldn't lose sleep over a weak showing in other social media. "Content on Facebook and Twitter is basically dead within an hour," he points out. "You're not getting traffic from yesterday's tweets."  

NET PROFITS is a regular feature about using the Internet for jewelry selling of special interest to those with a home-based jewelry business that appears in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more in "Using Pinterest to Grow Your Business."

CATHLEEN MCCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories appear in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, Art & Antiques, and her own site, The Jewelry Loupe. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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