If your business is not utilizing Pinterest– the site where users can create virtual inspiration boards of images they find on the web– then you’re missing a prime opportunity to gain “eyeballs” on your website and promote your brand and/or products. If you have signed up your business on Pinterest but aren’t sure what to do next, here are some tips to optimize the benefits of one of the fastest growing social media sites.
But first, if you haven’t already signed up for a Pinterest business account, you can do so HERE.
Understand How Pinners Think
Just like with any approach to social media, you need to plan your strategy. Spend a little time scrolling through other Pinterest users’ boards. Click through the various subject categories and get a feel for the kinds of images that users are pinning. Look up some of your competitors and see what they’re pinning and what kind of boards they’re creating (How-to? Travel? Favorite products?)
Then consider what your business has to offer that will make your Pinterest boards unique, authentic, and compelling (hint: like with Facebook and Twitter, unless your plan is to annoy your followers, you don’t want to rely on sales speak. Subtlety is key). What bulletin boards will you create that speak to your expertise or products without going in for the hard sell? For instance, the book publisher Random House does a nice job of mixing promotion of their titles and authors with witty and interesting themed boards like “Killer Coffee Tables” (on which you can display their coffee table books), “New York” (beautiful images of the city where the publisher is located), and “Bookshelf” (artfully displayed books that may or may not include their titles).
Regularly check your Pinterest analytics and/or your influence score (offered on the site and on social media tools like Piqora). Check what pinners are pinning from your website. See which of your pins and boards are attracting the most repins. Like with any other technology, there is a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it you’ll find it comes easy to you.
Mix It Up
Many businesses have had success running Pinterest contests. Ask your followers to create a unique pinboard based on a predetermined theme. For example, clothing designer Elie Tahari created a Pinterest contest where they asked pinners to to create a pinboard inspired by an image from their latest campaign. The pinner with the best board wins a $500 gift card (if you’re a small business you can scale the prize to fit your budget). The Pinterest contest achieves a few things: it increases traffic to your website, promotes your brand, and creates buzz that will help you attract more Pinterest followers (and presumably more customers).
Another popular Pinterest practice is inviting your followers to a Group Board. Create a board that speaks to your brand and allows other pinners to pin to it using the images that the board topic inspires in them. If you’re a cosmetic brand, for example, you could create a Group Board called “Best Evening Looks” with pins showing evening make-up applications, as well as beautiful clothing and glamorous nightspots. Invite followers to join in. This helps create a sense of community that is essential if you want your business to be successful on Pinterest.
Do you have creatively-inclined employees or hired talent who you want to pin for you? Add them as guest pinners. Analogous to a guest blogger, guest pinners pin their own images based on their interests and experience. Guest pinning is a great way to offer more interest and variety on your pinboards.
Engage With Other Pinners By Sharing Their Content
Don’t forget that Pinterest is a social media site and not merely a bullhorn for your business. Engage with your followers by mutually following their boards and repinning their pins that are relevant to your business. Remember, you want to create authentic relationships with your followers, not just pitch to them.
Experiment and Have Fun
Try switching up your pinboard themes seasonally, while maintaining the themed boards that work best for you. Unlike a traditional advertising campaign, you’re free to experiment without worry that you’re potentially blowing your marketing budget. If an idea falls flat, you can easily move on. Also try boards with pictures from your blog, company events, or interesting images from inside your office. Pinners who like your business love to get an insider’s view.
Using Pinterest to promote your business can be both functional and fun, so enjoy it!