The following marketing advice comes from Connie Jones Orman, a respected childcare provider in Kansas, my friend, and great marketer, as it originally appeared on our Childcare Marketing Masterminds closed group on Facebook. If you would like to join our group, and are in the profession of childcare, please join us!
Using Pinterest to market your childcare business isn't as hard as you think!
Pinterest is set up like pin boards. Each pin is a picture from a blog post or website that the person would like to retain for future reference. The boards are like file folders. When setting up a Pinterest account, never scrimp on folders. Dumping everything into one and then trying to sort it out later into more manageable labels is very frustrating and time consuming. Start out with a good idea of what categories you will want to reference.
The best advice I can give is to have a great first picture in every blog post and on every webpage you have. The picture is what gets pinned and is what grabs the attention of others.
Pinterest is like a pyramid scheme, in that if you pin something, then all your followers will see it. If you pin it into a folder that you have tagged with a category, such as EDUCATION, then it will be displayed on that board for anyone to see who is searching within that specific category. It can help focus your pins to a target audience. Your pin can then be found and pinned by others, for all of their followers to see and possibly pin. And on and on. If you are lucky enough, you'll get pinned by one of the masters, like Teach Preschool, Red Ted Art, etc. and get in front of all their followers. I recently posted my "Our 25 Activities of Circle Time" to a child care group, and it went pretty viral, for a modest blog.
What to pin:
Pinning is all about making information available to others, that others want to see, if you aren't just creating boards for yourself. If only your clients or family would be interested in your blog post, then don't waste yours or other people's time by pinning something most will find irrelevant. However, most of us have found things that do and don't work for us, that others would find valuable through pinning that blog post. Right now I have something I'm interested in, but don't have any idea about it, so I've invited someone in the know to do a guest post that I think will be a great one to pin, that will generate a lot of traffic to my blog.
If there are many pins regarding the craft you are blogging, then don't pin it. However, if you take a well-known craft and make it your own, provide better directions, provide a printable, discuss the educational aspects of it, etc. then it's often more pinnable and helpful than a unique craft that others aren't that interested in doing.
As with a blog post, key words in a pin will increase your SEO presence. Think about the many ways people may search for your pin and try to include as many key words as possible in the description, without making a tag word line, which is annoying on Pinterest. Keep the description to a few relevant lines.
If you have a following, often having a recognizable pin layout can increase traffic, as they instantly recognize the pin as from your blog.
Pinterest has easy tools to include in your HTML blog coding to automatically make your pictures easy to pin for anyone searching outside of Pinterest. If you aren't familiar with HTML changes, this takes about 2 minutes to add, and is very worth it to find some kid to plop it into your blog code.
People are drawn to different pictures. When creating a blog post, pin YOUR favorite or title picture, but have others within the post that are also relevant to the post. I've been surprised by the pictures other's have chosen to pin from my posts. All pinned pictures within a post will link to that post.
Remember that pins are forever.
So, even if a pinned post doesn't get much traffic immediately, I've found that even a year or two later it will suddenly become relevant and traffic will increase for an old post.
In addition to pinning your own blog posts, which will gain some traffic, the most traffic will be generated by having a good Pinterest presence. If people think that you are going to be sending them valuable web links through your Pinterest boards, then they will follow you and suggest you to others. Followers see everything you post, or if they follow only certain boards, then what you post to those.
Pinterest etiquette: don't pin multiple pictures for the same post at the same time, or to the same board. If you want to keep your post in front of your followers, pin it again in another week. The same people will initially see it, and if you post a ton of the same link, they will most likely stop following you for hijacking their feed.
If you aim your Pinterest boards towards your target blog or web audience and pin accordingly, then you can really broaden your audience. I keep a separate Pinterest board now for my non-child care related pins.
Hope this makes sense. Please feel free to ask questions. I was one of those people with dozens of binders full of magazine clippings before Pinterest came along, so it melded wonderfully with what I was already doing in gathering ideas and resources. For others, they have needed a push to see the value of it, but most do.
The majority of my blog traffic now comes from Pinterest. This is easy to track on your blog statistics page.
Here is an example of a great pin using my favorite curriculum, Mother Goose Time!!
Thank you, Connie, for a great tutorial on Pinterest!!
As always, I wish you well and I hope you get to play today! - L
It's my hope that the pages of this blog will inspire you, relax you, encourage you, reignite you, and help you remember why you entered this profession - the children.