Pinterest is one of the most popular and fastest growing social media sites today. It’s a simple concept – users “pin” and “repin” photos onto virtual bulletin boards. The site allows users to catalog interests, ideas, DIY tips and photos, making it a visual and exciting site that allows users to connect over shared passions and hobbies. Pinterest caters to mostly female users, and has more than 20 million individuals utilizing the social media site.
Pinterest isn’t just for browsing and sharing ideas, however. Increasingly it is being used as a powerful marketing strategy and is commonly included in social media marketing stragegies alongside sites like Facebook.com and Twitter.com. Like any social media site, Pinterest has strategies that make for successful (and free!) marketing, but with a little research and minimal maintenance you can utilize the power of sharing images and ideas on Pinterest.
Make sure your business is a match
Pinterest has a wide and diverse audience, but it isn’t entirely all-inclusive. The site draws users interested in arts, entertainment, home decor, and fashion, so industries that fall into that scope are a perfect fit. More technical or industrial fields, however, may find a Pinterest marketing campaign more challenging.
Spend the time
Make sure that you have a compelling Pinterest page with boards that reflect the image and brand of your company. Setting up a well-thought out page and making the time to maintain your posts and boards will assure that your core marketing message resonates, and that users are drawn to your pins.
Don’t just post what you sell
It is easy to fall into the trap of only posting your products. But this will turn off Pinterest users and prospective customers quickly. Pin images your customers would like, and items that complement your business. A diverse range of boards and pins will only draw more people to your page.
Brand your Pinterest account
Make sure your Pinterest account reflects your company brand. Use your logo as your profile picture, and create boards that target your customers’ tastes, and industry niches. Also make sure to integrate Pinterest with other social media platforms, and add a Pinterest page to your website.
Be a social pinner
Comment on other pins, repin images you like, and interact with users. The more people interact with your Pinterest board, the more likely they are to follow you, and click through pins to your site.
Use hashtags, links, categories, and keywords in the description of each pin. Make sure that you utilize SEO features and link back to your site as frequently as possible.
Pin a lot of images onto your boards
The more pins you have, the more visible you are. It’s a simple concept, so make sure you set aside time to pin and repin images on a regular basis. Spending 10 to 15 minutes a day pinning images will make sure your boards are relevant and up to date.
Pin content from your blog and other blogs on the same board
Having your own images and products mixed in with other blogs and products will make your Pinterest page seem less self-promotional and draw more customers to follow you.
Make sure all your blog posts have images
If each blog post has at least one catchy image, each blog post can be linked to Pinterest. Link each pin back to your blog or website through the images to drive followers to your site.
Add a default image to your blog
Make sure your logo or another image shows up when you post to social media sites. That way even posts without images can be repinned to Pinterest and shared with followers.
Plan what image you want to convey with your Pinterest page
Make sure your board and pins reflect the core message of your business. If you are a clothing boutique, have boards on fashion, DIY clothing, and other fashion-related items. A school or children’s program could focus on education, toys, and activities.
Connect with customers
Think about what your customers buy and how you can share that. Can you profile customers by having them upload their own pins? Ask customers to pin to your page as a guest pinner, add customer-uploaded images, or even feature contests to get traffic to your Pinterest page.
Pin compelling images
If you have a pin that is popular, it could be pinned hundreds of times. Since each pin links back to the source (in this case your website) this could drive hundreds of visitors to your site. Take the time to find compelling images for your blog or website to help drive traffic.
Do market research
Following and interacting with potential customers will allow you to stay abreast of their tastes, fashion trends, and popular topics. Repinning images and curating boards inspired by customer opinion will allow you to connect with customers and understand their areas of interest.
Keep it simple
Pin content relevant to your business and organization. Clean, well-curated boards that highlight your business will be successful. Keep it simple with a few well thought out boards and high quality, aesthetically engaging pins will create a strong presence that draws followers.
So start pinning today. Spend some time thinking about the message you want to convey, the type of Pinterest followers that would be interested in your products, and how to engage them using Pinterest. And of course, make sure to have fun! Once you start curating boards and pinning images, you will realize how interactive and dynamic Pinterest can be as a marketing tool.
Shannon Ryan is a writer, dog lover and Social Media enthusiast. She is the online community manager for the Nusite Group, a specialty trades company specializing in basement waterproofing and environmental contracting.