Merry pinterest christmasPinterest is a busy platform during the holidays and it provides a large opportunity for small businesses to boost holiday sales. In the months leading up to the holidays, the platform generates a 25% increase in gift-related boards, according to the company. Among its top 25 search terms is “Christmas gifts.”

This is evidence of consumer intent, and it bodes well for businesses. In a Harvard Business Review study, it was found that 21% of pinners have discovered products on Pinterest that they later purchased in-store. 

Here are seven ways businesses can capitalize on the popularity of Pinterest at this time of year: 

1. Provide extra information by using Rich Pins. Make price, availability and store locations available on your pins. When users pin products with this information they can get notifications of price drops, which could lead them to making the purchase. Target has seen a 70% increase in website visits referred by Pinterest since it starting using Rich Pins, the company states in it's blog. Target even focused its holiday campaign on Pinterest in 2013.

2. Add a Pin It button. This will make it easy for people to pin from your website, making your products visible to millions of people on the platform. Pinterest also has a new "on hover" Pin It button which becomes visible when a user mouses over an image on your website. It is easy to add to your website with just one line of code. Adding a one-sentence description to images make them more impactful when they are pinned.

3. Update Pin and board descriptions. According to the Harvard Business Review Pinterest study, 10% of items pinners come across are from searches. The descriptions for your pins and boards should include search-friendly words to ensure they show up in search results.

4. Be creative. Try something other than the usual wish list and gift guides for your boards. Lowe’s is a great example, according to Pinterest. The company launched a Black Friday Deal Reveal campaign, posting silhouettes of products and inviting Pinterest users to guess the items. Director of Social Media Brad Walters said the company wanted to use the platform to allow customers to discover the deals without competing with the innumerable messages flooding customers’ social media feeds, Pinterest said in its blog. Strategies like that one can increase engagement exponentially.

5. Include Pinterest in email marketing. Add Pin It buttons to your emails so recipients can save items they are interested in. This saves potential customers an extra step and increases your audience.

6. Curate gift lists and holiday guides. Create different gift boards to organize your products and who would find them useful. This can take some of the work out of the planning process for your customers.

7. Create original content. Make the most out of your articles, videos and images. Make them stand out on Pinterest. Make your content easy to share on Pinterest, and format it so that it appears perfectly on the platform with an appropriate description.