If you want to put together a comprehensive social media marketing strategy for your business, Pinterest is a site that you'll definitely want to consider including in your plans. This unique site has the potential to have a significant positive impact on bottom-line marketing results for many businesses.
What Is Pinterest?
Pinterest is both a social networking site and a social curation site that can be a powerful resource for generating traffic and cultivating a highly engaged following, particularly for companies that market heavily to females. People who use the site tend to be highly engaged, using it as an online resource for saving and organizing information found online via virtual pinboards. A 2012 NPR story illustrates the site's quickly rising popularity and appeal to women.
- Pin: An image added to/shared via Pinterest (typically tied to content)
- Pinboard: A collection of pins, centered around a theme
- Pinning: The act of posting content to Pinterest
- Pinner: Pinterest user who pins content
- Re-pinning: Adding content that someone else has pinned to your own pinboard
- Pin It Button: Button to install on your site so people can easily pin content
Pinterest as a Marketing Tool
People use "pinboards" for everything from collecting recipes and craft ideas to planning weddings and dream vacations - and much more. It's easy for "pinners" to discover and "re-pin" content that others have pinned, which results in the equivalent of viral marketing specific to the Pinterest site.
When you create content with pinning in mind, make it easy for website visitors to pin your content via the "Pin It" button, and create pinboards yourself - on behalf of your business - you have an opportunity to benefit greatly from this popular social site.
15 Tips for Effective Pinterest Marketing
1. Install the Pin It button: Install the Pin-It button on your website so that it's easy for visitors to pin your content to their own pinboards.
2. Consider image quality: Make sure the images on your website are high quality and that the visuals provided are truly representative of content.
3. Pinnable content: When updating your site or adding content to it, consider whether or not it is the type of information that people are likely to want to save via pinning. Consider that content needs to be visually appealing, as well as have information that people will want to save for future reference.
4. Create a Pinterest profile: Create a Pinterest account for your business, setting it up so that you login via your company's Twitter profile. If you do not already have a Twitter profile for your business, set one up before opening your Pinterest account; doing so will make it easy for you to share content through both sites at the same time. Note that pinterest accounts are invitation-only, so you'll either need to visit the site and request an account or have someone you know who already participates send an invitation to the email address you want to use for your company profile.
5. Set up strategic pinboards: Set up pinboards organized around topics and content likely to interest your ideal customers. For example, if your company markets gourmet spices, set up separate boards for popular spices, and then pin recipes to each board. If your company sells athletic shoes, set up boards for different sports and pin relevant content and products.
6. Avoid a direct sales focus: As with all social media marketing, do not engage in blatant self-promotion. Instead promote the lifestyle associated with your brand and/or the personality associated with your business. You can include product-specific information, but show how the products can be used in support of customer interests rather than trying to use the site as if it were a catalog.
7. Select appropriate content to pin: When choosing pins to post on your company's pinboards, focus on two things: (a) appealing images and (b) content people want to save for later review. Come up with a general content plan based on seasonal topics, new product introductions and special offers.
8. Consider pin timing: Consider when the customers you are targeting are likely to be using Pinterest and try to time your pins accordingly. Large volumes of content are being pinned to the site on an ongoing basis, so your pins are likely to do much better if interested parties have the potential to see them as they go up.
9. Utilize search terms: When you pin content, add blurbs that include relevant search terms, used conversationally, so as to increase the chances that users searching Pinterest for specific types of content will be able to find your pins.
10. Use hashtags (#): Pinterest uses hashtags in the same manner as Twitter, so mark your pins with relevant hashtag terms as you make them. Get in the habit, for example, of putting #recipe in the text included with any recipe pins so that your content will be included in hashtag searches.
11. Use the gift feature: When users go to Pinterest, they can choose to view pins in several different ways (those they are following, everything, popular, pinners, categories and gifts). For your content to be included in the "gifts" view, all you need to do is include a price in the description area when you pin new content. This is a powerful resource for any product-related businesses, particularly those that offer e-commerce purchase options.
12. Encourage user engagement: Consider setting up a pinboard that you allow anyone to pin items to and use it as a resource to encourage customer sharing. For example, restaurants that market private events can encourage customers to share images from their own celebrations on a "Recent Events" pinboard.
13. Engage in the community: To help build a loyal following and to become seen as an engaged presence within the Pinterest ecosystem, it's important to do more than just put your own content out there. Become an active participant via your company account by liking and commenting on others' pins as appropriate and following users who follow you, as well as looking for other users to follow.
14. Track pinned site content: To see what is being pinned from your site- and who is doing the pinning- go to http://pinterest.com/source/website.com/ (fill in the name of your website and extension where this example shows website.com).
15. Install the Pinterest app on Facebook: Assuming that your company has a business Facebook page, it's easy to install a Pinterest tab on the page. Simply go to apps.facebook.com/iframehost-pin/ while logged in to Facebook to set it up. Note that you'll need to know your Pinterest username to do this. Also, if you to link to a specific pinboard rather than to your overall Pinterest profile, you'll also need the URL of the specific board you want to link to.
Enjoy the Benefits of Pinterest Marketing
Pinterest has the potential to be a powerful social media marketing resource for most businesses. Use these tips to being incorporating this unique - and free! - marketing resource into your company's overall marketing plan.