How to Promote Your Brand with Pinterest
By Tannette Johnson-Elie
As it marks its fourth birthday this month, Pinterest is fast becoming the premier destination for marketers looking to promote their brands. But there’s an art to this interactive, virtual scrapbook that goes beyond what meets the eye.
With 70-million users, Pinterest is a visual, social media site where users, known as pinners, share their interests through a series of pin boards similar to bulletin boards. Through these virtual bulletin boards, users can search, view, save and share everything from recipes to clothes to inspiring quotes and photography.
“Think of Pinterest as a virtual pinboard where you can organize images that inspire you, save links to things you want to buy and create an online bucket list for everything from foods you plan on making to places you want to visit,” says Zoe Waldron, social media manager for HelloSociety, a Pinterest marketing and tech firm in Santa Monica, Calif.
Pinterest has a rapidly growing base of retailers, restaurants, designers, style/fashion editors, chefs, bloggers, creative agencies and celebrities and a small percentage of Fortune 500 brands among others. Increasingly, small businesses ranging from flower shops to roofing contractors – are realizing the power of Pinterest for creating brand awareness, building community and ultimately, driving sales.
While Pinterest enables marketers to better understand their customers by revealing consumers likes and wants, you won’t reach your target audience if you don’t approach it with a clearly defined strategy, like any other form of marketing.
So how do you make your brand stand out among the many spellbinding pictures, delightful crafts and dazzling products for purchase? Here are some helpful tips from HelloSociety’s Waldron.
Learn Pinterest etiquette:
While there are no rules that specifically require you to be a polite pinner as you can pin what you want, there definitely is a polite way to pin, says Waldron. Etiquette she suggests for brands: Pin 15-25 pins throughout each day; comment back and answer questions; repin others’ pins; never edit a pin’s URL, unless you’re uploading your own content pin and adding the correct site; and provide good descriptions (one-to-two sentences work best).
Ask for followers
The best way to get more followers on Pinterest is to simply ask for them. Waldron suggests asking your existing followers on other social networks to follow your company or brand on Pinterest.
“Promoting your Pinterest on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and all emails, as well as providing quick and well-placed Pinterest follow buttons on your website and on emails, makes it convenient for people to follow you,” she said.
Don’t make your content self-centered
While your content may be relevant to your industry or niche, only promoting your content may become stale with your audience.
“The most common issue I see is when a brand only pins its own content,” said Waldron. “Although that can work, I don’t advise it. By repining other content, your brand will engage more people and will provide its followers with a variety of relevant and interesting content.”
Inject some humor
Humor can be a creative way to engage your fans and your company’s lighter side, which can help your Pinterest community grow quicker. Serious gets boring and for some reason, on social media, funny images and videos go viral faster. Waldron cited a few examples of brands that have successfully incorporated humor into their Pinterest profiles:
“Marketo’s meme board combines sharing their product with comedy. It’s very creative and well done. Hootsuite’s Pinterest has integrated its mascot, Owly, into its Pinterest strategy, which is fun, unique and memorable as well,” she said.
Measure your success
How do you know if you’re successful? If you’re receiving “high interaction” such as comments, repins and likes, a steadily increasing following and lots of traffic and click-throughs, then you’re a success, says Waldron.
“For some brands, it may be one goal more than the other, but all of these aspects are important for Pinterest success,” she said.
Another good way to measure your success is by tracking your Pinterest analytics to determine what pins, pin descriptions and boards do better than others.
“Also keep an eye on your competition, what are they doing that you aren’t,” said Waldron.
Finally, whether you’re using Pinterest to promote your business or your clients or to showcase your employees, take the time to learn these helpful tips and you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful Pinterest campaign that can help you reach new, potential markets.
What do you think? Are you using Pinterest to build your brand? If so, how is it working for you?