Pinterest has grown at a rapid pace since its introduction in March 2010, with 47 million active users. Facebook may be the king in the social media marketing world due to its user base, but Pinterest is a useful resource for grabbing the attention of your audience through visual content. Additionally, many pinboards are themed around shopping ideas, so Pinterest users are already warm leads when it comes to product marketing. So how do you engage with your Pinterest audience and make this channel a valuable part of your marketing campaigns?
Plan Your Pinning
Pinboards are your primary tool for interacting with your Pinterest audience. You aren’t limited to a single board, so you can get as broad or specific as you’d like on the items you pin. Avoid pinning your own products or sourcing everything from your own website. While Pinterest users are more amicable to direct brand marketing than other social media channels, a mix of your own content and others creates a healthier mix. Plus, when you interact with other users on Pinterest, you reach an audience that may have never heard of your company before.
Content Types to Share
Every company has valuable content for Pinterest, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first. While many brands on Pinterest are lifestyle, crafts, and cooking companies, there’s an entire range of businesses who make this a major marketing channel. Pinterest users love well-constructed visual content, even if it’s not directly related to a product in these niches. For example, infographics are huge on the platform and are relatively simple to construct from resources your business has on hand. Look at data from your company and determine how it would relate to your audience.
When to Share Content
Like other content marketing channels, you don’t want to dump all your content on Pinterest at once. Not only do you oversaturate the site in one shot when you do that, you also only reach the audience that happens to be online at that time. Use analytics tools and spread your pinning throughout the month. Track the content that gets the most responses and determine how much of an influence the post time had on its success. Sometimes your target demographic is online at very specific times of day, so try to understand your buyer personas to know when they are likely to get online. Are they checking their phones throughout the day at work, or waiting until they get home from a 9-5 to check in on Pinterest. Regardless of the time of day you’re posting, make sure you consistently post new content to build interest.
Connecting with Influencers
Like every other social media site, you have power users who help elevate your visibility well above what you can do on your own. Look at popular Pinterest accounts relevant to your audience and see how they handle their pinning. Are they focusing on specific color schemes, types of products, or unique content? Reach out to these influencers by sharing their content on your pinboards so you begin building a connection. It may take some time to build up influencers who are passionate about your brand, but when you get their backing, you’re going to get plenty of Pinterest attention.
Network with Companies
Influential users aren’t the only people you should connect with on Pinterest. Don’t forget your fellow brands as well, even your competitors. While you don’t want to drive your audience into the arms of your closest competitors, it’s not a bad idea to pin products when you have the superior selection in the space. You also want to seek out vendors and other companies to do business with. Giving them a helping hand with their social media promotion by repinning their Pinterest content helps you get off on the right foot with these companies.
Comment on Relevant Content
Be engaged throughout Pinterest by commenting on relevant content your audience may be visiting. You don’t want to spam your brand information, since interested users can follow your profile and find out more information about your company. However, becoming a visible and active member on Pinterest increases your reach and makes your company more personable and relatable to the average Pinterest user.
As a team of community managers here at SocialKNX, we are presented with loads of new tools and apps to enhance the social media role in marketing for our customers. We each learn of something new and pass it along to the team. Always eager to improve productivity, quality, and deliverables, I test the waters.
This is a brilliant “read it later” tool (and it used to be called “Read It Later”). How many times do you see an article you know you’ll want to read, or a video you want to watch, but don’t have the time at the moment? Simply install the Pocket extension, and with a click, it’s organized in one tidy place. I also use the app on my iPad and smartphone. Browsing Twitter and see a link you want to save? Copy the link, open the app and it instantly asks if you want to add the link. Simply click “add” and it’s saved. So quick and easy! During your weekly content curation time, this hand-selected-by-you information is in one place at your fingertips.
Aside from loads of stunning travel destinations, gorgeous home decor, and endless birthday party ideas, Pinterest is a treasure for social media managers.
My favorite uses for clients:
Create a general private-to-you board. Any time I see any tips, photos, etc. for a client, I pin it here. Add notes in the description area to remind myself if there is something in the article I need to click or if it is client specific.
Create a private board and share with my client – I will see quotes or ideas and pin to my shared client board, with a note to my client in the description area (i.e. use with quote from your book Chapter 5 on Time Management). Some clients may wish to comment back, i.e. “excellent tip – let’s use for XYZ promotion”. Your clients will also be able to pin things they see here as well if they are so inclined.
Create a collaborative board with your internal team. Here at SocialKNX, we share a board and pin quotes and other content that could be used on a variety of accounts.
Increase your brand awareness by adding a watermark to your photos. Choose your website or company name. When your posts are shared, not only is your content spread, but your company name or website is visible to all who see the post. Consider it the cherry on top of your shared content sundae.
What tools do you find most useful for managing your daily social media activities? Please do share in the comments – we are always learning!
Pinterest is kind of like sitting in a room with a group of friends, each of us with a stack of our favorite magazines, thumbing through them and showing everyone the dream kitchen photo, a wonderful vacation spot or bacon bandaids, that we all agree “must be purchased immediately.”Some warrant a nod of approval and a statement of “I could never wear those,” while others ignite the “oh my gosh, what is the website, I am going on and ordering those right now. This is exactly why most men join Pinterest, scroll a few pages and scratch their heads, asking….”Huh?”
I started wondering if these beautiful photos have enticed anyone to actually click the purchase button (aside from me). After seeing a pair of Kurt Geiger beaut’s I went to the website, discovered they could only be ordered if I lived in the UK, and then sent an email and called the customer service number to find out how I could get them sent to me. I WORKED for them! I have also ordered an iPad case and planned a vacation based on “pins” I have seen.I threw the question out to the Twitterverse…
I once suggested that hotels share photos of their beautiful gardens, bridal staircases, workout rooms, menu items, drinks and more, and a follower on Twitter asked, “Why can’t they just share these on their Facebook page instead of duplicating their efforts?” Well if you knew you could get everyone to come to your Facebook page, that would be great, but with Pinterest you are gaining exposure to another group of people…people who just might yell to their girlfriends, “Oh my gosh, I love that space for my wedding!”
Is Pinterest JUST for women? NO! There are more and more men joining each day and for those that “get it” there is big business to be had, but for many it is just filled with too many recipes, dresses, and “how to make a flower lamp shade” crafts for their comfort zone. For those men, there is another site that popped up recently…. GentleMint. This site has lots of manly car pictures, musky cologne, and sports team memorbilia. No is sharing or commenting, but that’s probably just how they like it! I do love their little mustache icon though.
So for businesses that are already overwhelmed by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube, yes Pinterest is another tool in your already over-stuffed tool belt, but it is worth checking out. Who knows, your next customer might be sitting right now scrolling through looking for you!
If you are on Pinterest- leave your user name in the comments so we can check out your boards. If this leaves you scratching your head and wondering if it even makes sense for your business, give me a hollar, I’d love to help.