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How Jewelry Artists can get Marketing Mileage from Pinterest

Pinterest has proven to be a major boon for artists and online sellers - which is why artists who sell online should do everything they can to encourage pinning from their websites.


Most people interested in the visual arts knows about Pinterest, the photo sharing site where you can set up virtual pinboards by theme and “pin” images to it from sites you visit. Click on a pinned image on Pinterest and it takes you to the site where it was pinned. Because it’s so simple to use and so visual, Pinterest has proven to be a major boon for artists and online sellers – which is why artists who sell online should do everything they can to encourage pinning from their websites.


Pinterest launched in March 2010 and by January 2012 had become the fastest growing site in history, with nearly 12 million unique visitors. By then, Pinterest was driving more referral traffic to retailers than YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+. Pinterest is the perfect fit for artists and jewelry makers because it’s so visual. Most users are female and jewelry is extremely popular there. 


If you’ve experimented with it, you understand why Pinterest has caught on. It’s a fun way to share what grabs your visual interest and discover learn more about your friends’. While many people label or comment on images they pin, it’s all about the pictures here, not the text. (For more on how artists are using Pinterest, read this article on Artspan.)



Getting pinned on Pinterest


Unless you have a “no pin” notice or code on your website, images there will get pinned automatically, if they’re compelling enough. Set up your own account on Pinterest and you can play too – by “pinning” images you come across to various photo galleries you set up, or “repinning” someone else’s picks. If you have a pinboard titled “Art Jewelry,” for example, you can pin pictures of pieces you’ve made, ones friends have made, images you find in online galleries, museum or auction sites. 


Your pins link back to where you found them, so you end up with a visual collage of your idea of art jewelry and an archive of information behind them – because all you have to do is click on them to get back to the site where you found them. 


If you have a website on Artspan or Jewelspan, Pinterest is probably already sending traffic to your site. Only a year out of beta, Pinterest was sending more traffic to my site than Twitter where I had several hundred followers. When I plugged the name of my blog into the Pinterest search window, I found The Jewelry Loupe had its own Pinterest page with dozens of images from my posts – and I don’t even have an account set up there. 


Now I check in regularly to get a sense of what’s grabbing people’s interest – and, especially, repins. Someone recently pinned an image from my blog of a granulated gold heart brooch by a jewelry artist I profiled. Within three days that image had been repinned 13 times to various pinboards. Each time someone clicks on any of those images, they’ll land on my profile, which links back to the artist’s website. I bet she’s wondering where the sudden spike in her site traffic came from! (Note: that image does not have a watermark. Not a single piece people have pinned from my site does. If you want to get pinned, I suggest avoiding watermarks.)


Pendant of jasper, opal and turquoise by Patricia Reinking


How Artspan jewelers are getting pinned


Not surprisingly, images get pinned from Artspan on a daily basis – and Jewelspan sites will get just as many once the many jewelry mavens on Pinterest cotton on. This pendant by Jewelspan artist Patrica Reinking (pictured above) of hand-forged silver, Oregon Rocky Butte jasper, Peruvian opals, and turquoise has been pinned several times from her Artspan site. Each time it’s pinned, a live link appears beneath it: Click on the picture itself and it leads to this page on her site.


If you’re wondering which images people are pinning from your own domain, type in your site’s URL after and there it will be – an entire pinboard devoted to your jewelry. It’s fascinating to see what resonates with people. You will probably find a few of your pieces appearing multiple times – quickest and cheapest marketing analysis you could hope for.


Pinterest is now a major source of traffic for me, ranking just after the search engines and Facebook. You can enjoy this kind of passive gain when you sell jewelry here or blog with images, but you’ll get even more if you start your own pinboards and comment on others. Pinterest is not only fun, it’s an effective marketing tool – particularly if you’re already established on Facebook and/or Twitter. Pinterest is set up to link to accounts on both.


Join the fun and start pinning


It’s easy to set up on Pinterest, and then start pinning and organizing images into themed galleries. Others can then follow you – or just a specific board – and you can follow others. In fact, Artspan already has its own account on Pinterest, including a pinboard for Artspan jewelers


Be careful to link to the original source or blog of anything you pin, just as you would want others to do for your content. If the image you’re pinning has a photo credit, you should include it in your caption, and if you see a copyright (©) there, be aware that you could be violating someone’s copyright by reusing it without permission.


 If you want to shield an image on your site from Pinterest, the site offers a “no pin” code that allows websites to block images from being pinned. Pinterest also has a page explaining how to report a copyright infringement and have something removed.


A few ways to tap into the 11 million visitors (mostly by women) that Pinterest is attracting – and get your jewelry on their radar:


Add a Pinterest follow button – similar to those used for Facebook and Twitter – to your website so people who land on your website can find you on Pinterest. You can also add a "Pin It" button to the “share” widgets to your site to encourage people to pin images from your site.


Pin a tutorial. Pinterest is perfect for visual learners so it’s no wonder how-to projects are popular here. You can create a DIY jewelry pinboard and connect to a project on your site, showing how to do something you’re known for. This pinboard called Jewelry Tutorials & Inspiration features some jewelry by Artspan jewelers and will give you several good models for making effective tutorials. 


Hold a “pin to win” contest. Forward-thinking jewelers were doing this by holiday shopping season in 2011 and they’ve been popping up throughout the year ever since. The idea is to offer a piece of jewelry on your site for free to who ever wins your “pin to win” contest.


To enter, people have to pin jewelry from your site onto their Pinterest boards. If you promote your contest on Twitter and Facebook – they’re easy to integrate – this can get attention over three social media channels simultaneously. Choose a piece of jewelry that gets pinned often, pick a date, and let customers and followers know what you’re giving away with a link to that piece of jewelry on your site. Post simple instructions that let people know they have to pin to win. This a great way to get lots of free buzz for the price of a piece of jewelry – cheaper (and possibly more effective) than advertising.


Adapted with permission from an article written by CathleenMcCarthy, who writes about jewelry design and sales for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, Jewelry Making Daily, and her own site, The Jewelry Loupe.

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