10 Pinterest Marketing Strategies for Businesses
In Part I of this article series, we explored what Pinterest is and explored how this social sensation could fit your business. In Part II we’ll look at some creative ways to harness the power of Pinterest for your brand.
For those who haven’t read my last article, Pinterest is a highly visual, often beautiful, social medium where users create interest boards (“pin boards”) to post images of things they like from around the web. While the network has been around for almost two years, interest has exploded in the last few months.
Pinterest users can do many social things:
- Sign up via Facebook or Twitter
- Create themed pin boards
- Add a Pin it widget to their browser
- Follow Pinners
- Invite friends to join
- Like a Pin
- RePin an image to their own boards
Painting a Picture of Who you Are
The beauty of Pinterest is that it gives both individuals and brands a highly visual canvas to paint an image of who they are (or who they want us to see). The keys to a successful Pinterest strategy:
- Don’t Spam
For example, one of our clients took to this venue like a fish in water and combined images of the beautiful islands where she works with a montage of pin boards that convey her unique personality. She’s already seeing lots of Likes and Repins from her efforts, and starting to see new referral traffic to her website as well. While she has included images that link back to her website and relate directly to her travel business, she’s also pinned lots of other captivating visuals that encourage followers and sharing, while still remaining true to her tastes.
Pinning only images from your own site is a sure way to turn off potential followers. Visual variety keeps the interest flowing. A recent article on Hubspot talks about “Pinterest etiquette” and the importance of avoiding using this as “purely a tool for self-promotion.”
Pinterest can be used to display your products, convey your brand personality, learn more about your target audience’s interests, and showcase your expertise.
10 Pinterest Marketing Strategies for Businesses
- Create pin boards that reflect your brand and style. Coca Cola has created pin boards titled ‘Be Active’, ‘Be in the Moment’, and ‘Keep Discovering’ with images that reflect the company’s brand message.
- Avoid blatant self-promotion. Mix it up! As with any social network marketing effort, moderation in promotion is essential. Let’s say you’re a fashion designer with a new spring line coming out. It’s perfectly legit to create a pin board showcasing your new creations. But to balance this, you could add a board of great accessory ideas from other sites on the web. Then create a board that’s all about things that inspire you. This adds whole new layers of interest for your target audience.
- Add a ‘Pin it’ button to your galleries or key images. This strategy has significantly increased visits to our client’s site and propelled Pinterest to their number one referral traffic site.
- Add a ‘Follow me on Pinterest button’ to your website.
- DO follow other pinners with related interests. Following other pinners often results in them following back. More people to spread message, and often you’ll find something they’ve pinned that’s perfect for your boards, too.
- Engage: Repin, Like, and comment on others’ pins. The more you engage with other pinners, the more likely they are to engage with you, repin your images, and spread the message.
- Update your boards frequently. When you see something visually stimulating, especially if fits your brand image, pin it. Create new boards from time to time to keep it fresh. I felt inspired to create ‘Singing the Blues’ yesterday, just because.
- Invite Facebook friends and Twitter followers to join you. Pinterest membership is by invitation only. And yes, your friends are more likely to follow you and get things rolling.
- Get Creative with Contests, Guest Boards, and more.
Indie and retro clothing house Modcloth engages their target audience by asking for pin board submissions for their Guest Pinner Gallery. They post an email address to send to right in the board description above the gallery. In December Lands’ End created the ‘Land’s End Canvas Pin it to Win it’ campaign encouraging users to create Lands’ End Canvas pinboards for a chance to win apparel from the new clothing line. 10 winners received gift certificates for their boards. Lands End could have taken this to the next level by featuring the top winner’s board on their Pinterest brand page
- Check your analytics for Pinterest referral traffic trends. Is your traffic coming from one pin or many? What kind of images are generating the most interest? Is there a trend? How can you harvest this information for your future pinning strategy?
Bottom line…Pinterest is easy, fun and visually addictive. Membership and interest are soaring at the moment, so now’s the time to get your boards created and start engaging. Potential marketing strategies are only limited by your creative vision.