A few months ago, we told you how much we are loving the new social network, Pinterest. We still think it’s the coolest – so this month we’ve decided to give you some insight on how to use it for your brand.
Pinterest has become the fastest growing social network ever. In fact, Pinterest currently has over 11 million visitors who are actively in engaging on the site. Reports say that the average Pinterest user spends about 89 minutes interacting, sharing, and posting on the site. It is easy to see why having your brand available on Pinterest is beneficial. Let’s take a look at how to get started with Pinterest and how to use it to leverage your brand.
Here’s how Pinterest works: Users (a.k.a. Pinners) post “pins” (usually photos) to boards that they organize by topic or theme. Users can create boards about anything and fill them with photos from around the web using a special bookmark. They can follow other users or just browse topics and “repin” specific items. You don’t need an account to browse Pinterest, but you do need it to interact and “pin” items.
Despite the success of Pinterest, getting a login for the site is still invite-only. Luckily, it usually only takes a day or two to get your invite to create an account. Once you receive it, you have the option to create a standalone login or to connect using Facebook or Twitter. If you don’t want to connect via Facebook or Twitter just yet, that’s okay. You can connect the to your account later.
Tip #1: When setting up your account, add descriptive, keyword-rich text to the About section. This will help your account show up in search engine results. Be sure to add your company’s URL.
Next you’ll want to create a board. This is where it all begins for your brand. Rather than just pinning photos of your products, you really want to use these boards to show off you values and culture. At it’s heart, Pinterest is about promoting lifestyles and personalities. People are inspired to pin items based on how they think it reflects them. So you want your presence on Pinterest to be less about your products and services, and more about the life your products promote. For example, let’s say your company is an Austin-based retail clothing company. You may want to create boards like: Austin Style, Fair Trade Fabrics, Going Local, etc. You’ll want to make sure that the names of your boards are creative, compelling, and accurately describe the pins contained within.
Tip #2: Name your boards after your business type, products, and services. For instance, if you sell products for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, create pin boards for such topics as best running shoes or favorite workouts.
Pinning Your Assets
Regardless of whether you are in a product-based business or a services based business, you likely have som visual assets that will work great on Pinterest. You may have a video that you can take stills from, or visuals from a recent blog post, or even images of customers using your products. You need to make sure that you are using these visuals on your website, on other social media outlets, and in your newsletter so that users have the ability to pin them.
Tip #3: Develop an infographic related to your industry or area of expertise and distribute it on Pinterest. Infographics are extremely popular these days and creative ones tend to get reposted and shared widely.
Build Your Followers
On Pinterest, like on Twitter, the best way to get followers is to be a follower. Or more specifically, an engaged user. Start pinning and re-pinning content, create boards, post comments, and follow other users. If you have good content, users will start to follow you back. You can also visit: http://www.pinterest.com/source/yoursite.com to see what has been pinned from your site and who has pinned it – make sure to follow these users back in order to build up your audience.
You’ll also want to add a Follow button to your website so that users can easily pin material from your site. This is the easiest way to encourage users to pin your content. You can also encourage others to follow your Pinterest feed via newsletters or other social media sites.
Tip #4: Post pictures on your own website and then pin those pictures on Pinterest. The pinned images will link back to your site, which helps drive traffic and increase your search engine results.
Tip #5: Follow other Pinterest users in your local area and/or field of expertise. Comment on and share their pins; they’ll often return the favor.
Other Creative Ways to Engage Users
#1. Create a guest board and allow visitors to add videos and photos that fit in with your niche. You can also use a board to run a contest for the most interesting, unique, useful, etc. pins on a topic. Offer a prize to really drive traffic.
#2. Have you recently given a presentation or webinar? Maybe you got some publicity recently? These are great items to pin on Pinterest!
#3. Allow your employees or team to contribute. They likely have some similar interests in your industry with a view uniquely different than yours. These boards can further promote the culture of your company.
#4: Create a coupon graphic and give potential clients a promotional discount on Pinterest. Use the description to further the goods/services being offered.