Are you familiar with Pinterest? Chances are you probably heard of it but aren’t actually a member or know much about it. Pinterest in a nutshell is a social network with an ecosystem that revolves around virtual bulletin boards. Users that find interesting items on the internet can then post it on their personal bulletin board which then can get reshared by other users. Why does all this matter? Pinterest is now the #1 referral traffic source for retailers worldwide. Here’s how you can use it for your business.
Before we begin, let’s look at the history and numbers of how big Pinterest truly is. It was officially launched in 2010 and within the first few months it reached 10,000 users. By the end of 2011 it surpassed LinkedIn and Tagged as the 3rd largest social network. As of today, it drives more traffic to retailers than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Now why does this all matter again? Besides the almost 500% growth since inception, nearly 90% of all the users are women ages 35-44. Just ask your wife or your girlfriend and we’re pretty sure they’re a member. 🙂
Here are several companies and their tips for utilizing Pinterest for marketing.
1) Infographs are great, but Instructographs (an infograph that walks the reader through specific how-to steps to achieve a goal) are better. Pinterest is based on pinning images. The more useful and compelling you can make your image, the more likely it will be shared, repined, and clicked-through to your website. Think of a creative way to integrate your product or service into a useful Instructograph and you’re golden!
If you are selling a product, pin a great image of the product and if you write the cost of the item in the text box (i.e. Purple pumps $25 at Etsy) a banner will appear across the top of the image with the price automatically. Really useful for convincing people to click through to your site and buy. – Heather @ TheeDesign Studio
2) Aside from carefully reading Pinterest’s terms and conditions, which is a must, we suggest that businesses take time to consider how they can translate their product or service offering into a visually appealing Pin. Pinterest is all about the visual wow factor, and original content presented creatively gets more attention. For example, if you are a health food company consider adding an intriguing headline below your product picture such as, “Five brain foods you should be eating but aren’t”.
The goal of posting your Pins is to get users to both click on your product and Re-pin it so it spreads to other Pinterest users, and, to get users to click-through your Pin and visit your website directly. You may attach your website address to each Pin you create. Make a comment below your Pin to provide details. Don’t forget to include a hash tag before keywords in your comment so that more Pinterest users will find your products and enhance your brand awareness. For example, if you are promoting a protein powder, post a comment that includes #protein powder. – Clare @ Daisy Brains
3) Our company, which sells embroidered patches, is a little unique, allowing us to have an interesting Pinterest strategy. By pinning the images of these embroidered patches, we can generate massive amounts of interest. The key is that individuals don’t have to have an interest in embroidered patches, but rather, what is depicted on the patch. If we pin a patch that showcases a well-known phrase or quote, for instance, most people who see it that relate to it will re-pin it. If we make an entire board full of animal patches, animal loves will follow us—not because they love patches, but because they love animals. This expands our reach and increases the chances we’ll get seen by individuals who actually are interested in embroidered patches, thus driving more traffic to our site. So, both types of pinners are valuable. The pinners who are not interested in our products are valuable because they increase exposure to those who are. It’s not often that an uninterested person will click the link to our site, but those who want patches will; therefore most of the traffic is high-quality. – Marisa @ Stadri Emblems
4) To have a strong presence on any social media platform requires providing high quality, interesting content and responding to the wants and needs of the audience. Just yesterday I recommended that a client who makes fitness equipment should add Pinterest to their marketing mix. They already have a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest will allow them to extend their brand awareness and provide a new vehicle – *visual marketing*. I recommended that they connect with females in the target audience (female fitness fanatics) by cultivating a curated collection of health & fitness-related pins and boards. Rather than pinning just their products, I recommended pinning a mix of products, workouts, attire, etc. and be the go-to fitness brand to follow on Pinterest. Their boards would include: “Motivational Quotes,” “Workouts,” “Fitness Gear,” “My Gym Bag,” etc, that appeal to workout junkies. Women on pinterest love to follow and re-pin health and fitness photos, products and anything motivational, so the platform could help connect with brand ambassadors and spread brand awareness.
I think the fact that Pinterest has such a high female demographic definitely influences the strategy and makes the platform extremely strong in tandem with marketing campaigns that bring in mommy bloggers OR coupons/giveaways/contests/ daily deals, etc. – Martha @ The Social Lights
5) I would recommend a company starting out with Pinterest treat it less like a place for self-promotion and more like a platform to celebrate the culture of what your company does. In our non-profit’s case, we use Pinterest to celebrate socially-conscious documentaries, other nonprofits and resources that might help them. In addition to this, since the films we produce are focused around environmental, fair trade and Jewish issues, we have boards celebrating those areas as well. In the case of our corporate video production company, we have camera equipment reviews, photography tips as well as a board for the latest in video marketing and social video. It’s not about blasting your own content (although I’d recommend sprinkling a little of that in there), but about being a resource for any industry you might service and a place for your peers to engage with relevant and interesting content. – Lea @ Voices and Visions
6) What I’ve noticed the most about Pinterest is it’s easier for your content to get attention from users with 100+ followers than on Twitter or Google+. Since Pinterest is newer, there is obviously less “noise” – less spam, less irrelevant content, less people posting. If I had posted the same content on Twitter, it never would have gotten picked up by an account with that many followers who didn’t even follow us (and we did not follow them).
My best advice is pinning at least 2 things a day to steadily build up your boards and your followers – and get your pins recognized by larger, usually branded, accounts (All it takes is one good pin!). Make sure that your pin descriptions have keywords that people are likely to search and are on boards that are correctly categorized. The amount of times I’ve seen a great pin that is not getting the recognition it should because of a poor description is disheartening – for example, being the first to pin a picture of the new Google glasses with the description, “Wish I had these,” is getting your boards nowhere. – Yvonne @ Baroan Technologies
7) Set up a strong profile and make sure you include a link to your RSS feed. Create several great boards that relate to your business and industry. We’ve added in several general boards for the demographics that include cute things, food, actors saying / quotes. Be sure to add pins to your boards, a minimum of 5 pins to each board so that the thumbnail of the board will appear full. Adding 7 to 10 pins is much better. All social media channels have etiquette that needs to be understood and followed, you should read Pin Etiquette. You have to engage other users, start by following, re-pinning, liking, commenting on others pins and boards this will spread the word about your brand organically.
Be sure you add the Pin-It button to your website. At Free-eBooks.net we’ve added it all of our eBooks. As you’re browsing our ebrary and you find a title you want to pin, you can Pin-It. Using Pinterest in a contest is another excellent way to create awareness. We had a very successful contest in March using Pinterest. We asked our Facebook Fans to create a board and pin 10 of their favorite eBook titles to win a Kindle and other prizes. It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed a great deal of fan engagement from it and we are still getting some residual attention from it. – Nicolas @ Paradise Publishers
8) I am having great success with Pinterest. I set up my account as a personal account under my name instead of a business account under Glitzee Glee. I have many boards about my interests and one board about my business. I think people connect with me on a more personal level. They don’t skip over my boards because I have a variety of boards not just a board with the products I sell. It allows me to attract followers to pins that aren’t related to my business but the added bonus is that they see the board about my store when they check out my other pins. By expanding your pins you attract people that weren’t looking for what you sell but can become interested. – Jamie @ Glitzee Glee
9) First and foremost, when using Pinterest to promote your company or brand, make sure that you are using relevant imagery in relation to what your company is all about. This does not mean just posting image of your companies products, but images of topics that your potential customers will click on and then ultimately learn about your brand.
When you are ready to start Pinning, instead of “repinning” or uploading images from you computer, first create a blog post on your company blog first utilizing the image(s) you want to post onto Pinterest. After the blog post is created then simply use the Pinterest “Pin It” bookmarklet from your web browser bar and “Pin” the image from your blog. This will ensure that the image is linked back to your website, not Google or some other site. A link of your website will appear next to your “Pinned” image. In addition, copy the the link of your blog post and put it in the text section of your “Pin”. – Jib @ The Tailored Scholar
10) Use Pinterest to create a mood or vision for your products, with which your followers and fans can interact. Rather than simply posting all of your products and adding their prices, create mood boards, trend boards, just-for-fun boards, contest boards and other engaging content from which readers can draw inspiration and experience your products in concert with others. Whisk them away to another place; launch a product in Venice; take them to the beaches of LA; ask them to finish one of your boards. Your company does not exist in a vacuum and neither should your pins. Readers feel most engaged on Pinterest when visually perusing cohesive and intriguing content. And remember: when pulling together different boards do not forget to source accurately. – Aubrie @ Zoora Fashion
11) 80% of our employees are under the age of 35. Needless to say, we use social media, videos, pictures, and Pinterest to convey to our demographic what type of business we are. I call it building your “creative culture.” Our Creative Culture has helped us brand our company to becoming one of the leading icons in Dallas and Waco Texas. Pinterest has been a huge aid in this b/c we post interior design pictures, homes, recipes, books, etc. – things that are interesting inside the home. This subconsciously says to the viewer, “Can you see yourself in this home? We can help get you into your dream home.”
Our Facebook fan page jumped up several hundred followers when we leveraged our Pinterest account. And of course you have to have an eye for what to post. We even threaded local restaurants and retail stores through our Pinterest as “our clients favorite places to visit.” We would talk to the restaurants and retail stores about getting a 10% of code from them to give to our fans to try them out. We post images on Pinterest and an “OAK CODE” to our Facebook, allowing our followers to check out hot spots in Dallas and Waco (where our 2 offices are located). – Merrick @ Oak Mortgage Group
12) First of all, it has become an incredible venue for increased referral traffic for brand’s websites (currently beating Google+), as well as a way to visually share useful content with consumers. We currently use the creative platform to showcase interesting, helpful, and insightful boards like, “Social Media Infographics,” to less informal boards like, “We Heart Creativity.” It’s important to stress that Pinterest is not a place to pin your brand’s products and services, but to pin for the sake of your consumers genuine interest and needs. *
– Limit 5-6 pins at a time per each board to keep content varied and interesting for your audience
– Pinterest is new and exciting, but it’s not right for everyone. If you can’t devote the time to keep it up, stick to the Social Media platforms you’ve already established. An unkempt presence will only damage your brand image.
– Make sure you have a concrete strategy before you start pinning. Are you in this for more brand awareness? Do you want to build a following and get as many re-pins as possible? Establish a direction and keep yourself accountable for it.
– Be discriminating when creating new boards. Try to create boards that can be built upon easily. Lots of boards with a low amount of pins on them will make for a less an optimum presence.
– Apply Social Media listening and devote some time to analyzing what type of content is getting the most likes & repins.
– Use hashtags and keywords where its possible to make certain content easier for your audience to find. – Ashley @ /excelamktg