Pinterest is a fast, free and effective way to engage your audience and educate them about your brand. While it is a social network, few know that it can also be a very effective marketing tool. When people hear that, usually the first question is, how?
What is Pinterest and How Does it Work?
Quite simply Pinterest is a social network that allows people to visually share what interests them. You can easily share, curate and find new interests that you want to share (called pinning). Sounds easy and actually it is, the emphasis is on the visual, which doesn’t mean it can’t be used for marketing, just that it needs to be done in a low key manner.
Just like on the big one (Facebook) users can like, comment, share or post (termed PIN) pictures on their own boards. These can then be shared on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter (you can also send PINs via email or embed them on your website).
Proper Pinterest Posting (or Etiquette)
And while Pinterest does not shun marketers, neither do they endorse them, stating that one should avoid self promotion. That’s not saying, “No”, simply that one needs to think out of the box, and there is nothing wrong with doing that, anytime and anywhere.
A picture of a shoe wouldn’t cut it would it? But take those same shoes, put them on an attractive person and have that person doing something exciting, and WOW, then you have something. Nike should certainly be credited for being among the first to brand that thought and they’ve done it well, both on Pinterest and worldwide.
For the sake of this article, we’ll assume you already have, or understand how to create a Pinterest account, if not then a simple internet search can easily teach you. Once your account is created then…
Use Pinterest Marketing To Build Your Following
Go ahead and post some interesting pictures (remembering to think outside the box), once you have some PINS, begin to share your PINS on your Facebook and Twitter. Don’t be overt, just post the ones you believe will be interesting to others and do so consistently. You’ll want to place a Pinterest follow button on your website, but you’ll also want to mention the fact you (or your business) is now on Pinterest on other social accounts. (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter).
As people begin to follow you, follow them back or follow others you believe would find your PINS interesting. It’s not rocket science, but here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing…
1. Feature Your Best Visual Content
2. Start a User Generated Pinboard (ask people on your other networks to share their pins)
3. Everyone loves a contest, so host one. Be sure to check the TOS on Pinterest so you don’t fall outside their guidelines
4. As mentioned earlier, add a Pin-It Button to Your Website
5. Learn about your customers by seeing their interests
6. Re-Pin what your followers are interested in
7. Become an expert at Pinterest curation
8. Make a video gallery. Since you’re not limited to images, find and PIN videos of interest
9. Use #hashtags (but don’t overuse them)
10. If you host any offline activities, PIN the pictures, people love it
11. Showcase your personality (it’s okay to have fun)
12. Drive Pinterest users back to your website, and then track the results
Pinterest marketing is a ripe and rich environment, use it consistently with thought and creativity and you’ll begin to find your traffic increasing with each PIN you make. We are confident these tips will get you off to a great start!