Everyone’s talking about 'Pinterest'…

Move over Facebook, Twitter, Google+, et al, another social media is stepping into the game, and providing a valuable marketing tool to businesses.

So what is Pinterest? 
Pinterest is essentially a virtual pin-board where you can collect and share images.  It first launched in 2010 and has experienced rapid growth in more recent months.  In contrast to its social media counterparts such as, YouTube, Google+ and Linkedin, Pinterest is also proving a valuable aid in drawing traffic to external websites and blogs. 

How can it benefit your business? 

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, where you attract followers, the Pinterest platform is completely visual and focuses on collective interests i.e. Architecture, Cars, DIY, Film, Gardening, Beauty, Outdoors, etc.  Users are eager to find and share amongst the entire population, rather than purely between friends.  It’s a place to make discoveries which can then be organised onto boards.  For example, on a personal page, you may choose to categorise your finds and ‘repin’ them onto boards which you have named: "For my daughter", "For my wife", "Things I Like", and so on.  A pin is an image you have chosen to share, paired with a short caption, which can all then be linked back to the original source, such as your website or blog in order to drive traffic; great for Search Engine Optimisation. It’s a relatively simple but very effective concept to follow.  In a similar way that a comment or link may go viral on the more established social networks, so too can Pinterest pins, and it’s a perfect forum to study trends amongst the population.

Like any form of social media, it’s a two-way conversation, all about building connections and forging stronger bonds with your audience.

For businesses with products targeting the family market, the advantages are obvious: create a board linked to the appropriate category i.e. Kids, pin photos of your products, include a brief description and price (if desired), ensure that there’s a link where users can follow it to your website and/or blog and let the Pinterest population do the rest; view, like, share, comment and re-pin!

Here are some top tips on using Pinterest:

  • First, get invited by a friend, or simply request an invite online
  • If you choose to operate a purely business associated page, it may be wise to link it with your business Twitter account, as Facebook tends to link it to your personal account.
  • Invest in good quality photographs and images (lifestyle images can be more effective than basic product images).
  • Back-link each pin to your source website.  People will click once on the picture to see the full pin, and can click a second time to be directed outside of Pinterest to your website.
  • Include a price in the description to automatically add an overlaying banner on the picture featuring the price.
  • Pin alternate uses for your product.  For example, if you make children’s clothing, pin images onto a board that form a "From start to finish" guide, for one or more of your best-selling products.
  • Add the “Pin It” social media button to your website to allow for and encourage pinning
  • Connect your physical and online presence.  Try running a promotion that drives customers to your Pinterest board
  • Try to avoid being too self-promotional. It’s easy to spot a self-serving board and it’s also an official Pin Etiquette rule.  Be relevant to your target market and post other content they would find interesting to keep people coming back for more.  Pin your own products, Show uses for your products, as well as inspiration for the lifestyle they advocate.
  • Follow big names – this is proven on Twitter. If they follow you back, this boosts your own visibility to others.
  • Tag your pin using key phrases that define the brand and inspire, since Pinterest is all about inspiration.  Get in the mind of your ideal consumer and think about what search terms they’d use.
  • Use other social media platforms (that have the advantage of a more established user base) to direct people towards Pinterest.  A status update like this one will inform your customers you’re active on Pinterest: “Follow our pins for new products and great ideas!"

If you feel swamped by social media and don't know which way to turn, or simply need to off-load your social media effort, please get in touch with us... we're on hand to assist!