From A Pinterest Lover: Five Tips For Brands
When I first joined Pinterest, I was like any other social media user. I was excited to try a new network, prepared to link my pins to my Twitter and Facebook, and to create content that would be shared. Though I was initially thrown off by the columns upon columns of wedding gifts, recipes, and fashion I saw on my first log-in, I now can easily find things that I'm interested in and spend a minumum of one hour per day on the website. Thanks to Pinterest, I click on images that link to pages I would have never seen from a Google search. I feel like the creators of Pinterest knew exactly how to keep my attention. Because pinning only take a couple of clicks and is the site's main encouraged behavior, one user can easily pin and re-pin a lot content in a matter of minutes.
(Easily one of my favorite pins. Don't lie, you tried to eat your screen)
One day while looking at my activity, I noticed that a brand that makes recipe books repinned the above picture onto their dessert board. After looking through the board that it was pinned on, I discovered a whole new world of food images that linked to new recipes I’d never seen before, and I immediately clicked the ‘Follow’ button. This certain brand got me. I fell into the strategy of a great marketer.
I've noticed that a few major brands have also joined the Pinterest ranks, and they have quickly set the trend for marketers to follow in order to receive engagement and increase their referrals, all while gaining likes and followers.
Some best practices that I’ve seen are:
1) Properly name boards and fill the description with appropriate keywords. Name your boards after the pins that it will represent. If the name of a board is "Ice Cream Creations," I’d expect to see images of large sundaes, shakes and floats. Babble’s board titles have names that clearly represent the pins that will be found within each. When a user clicks on their ‘Outdoor Play & Getaways’ board they’ll see a bunch of outside activities that users and their children will enjoy.
Pinterest’s search option is very specific. It won’t go out of it’s way to find corn by-products for a user. A search for corn recipes will return pins, boards and people that contain this keyword.
2) Don’t only self-promote. Pinterest is a social community, so the key to growing is to be social; in other words; make it a two-way conversation. Comment on and share other user’s pins that relate to your brand. Starbucks does a good job of this. They have entire boards dedicated to things that have nothing to do with Starbucks. This can give a level of transparency to the brand to show that a company is more than just the products it creates. This outreach can lead to a follow for that particular board or your entire page. A brand can search for their keywords to find users, boards, or pins to follow or re-pin.
(This is a Starbucks board)
3) Use good quality images that don’t directly promote. Pinning images that contain all your products with a white background that links to a page where a user can buy them is boring. People want to see how they will use your brand’s product in their everyday life so that they can see how they can benefit from it. Chobani pins images of mouth-watering food that link to recipes that use their products. Users don't want to see images of Chobani's different flavors, so the company became creative and displayed other ways to promote Greek yogurt. Additionally, Pinterest is an image-focused network, so the most aesthetically pleasing pictures will command attention.
4) Add contributors that share common interests. Brands can let users add pins to their boards. Of course, they should make sure that they are pinning images that relate to a particular board first before they're given this permission. Whole Foods has a number of boards that use several users. Brands can also use this tactic for contests as well.
5) Put a Pinterest link on your website. If a brand is serious about growing their Pinterest following, they should add a ‘Follow Me’ button to their website in a prominent position. You can find a button on Pinterest’s Goodies page. Adding social buttons creates exposure for the brand's presence on social networks, and gives users a more in-depth look into who you are as a brand. That's the true essence of all social media.
There’s no doubt that Pinterest has massive potential for reaching users of all demographics. It’s up to marketers to figure out how to use it best for their brand.
-- Sean Clark is a blogger and social media enthusiast. Follow him on Pinterest.