Pinterest: 10 Marketing Tips For Your Business

Pinterest is the hot new social start-up everyone is talking about. With the exposure it is getting, it is quickly becoming the most exciting opportunity for businesses on a social platform I have ever seen. If your business has any way to share its product visually in an interesting way, than you need to seriously look at Pinterest. I covered yesterday the basics about Pinterest and what it’s all about. For today I thought I would dig a little deeper with some info and tips for using Pinterest to market your business. These are not the end all to be all tips, but some basic things I have noticed in using Pinterest and just spending time on the site. I also recommend you do your own research too, with a personal account, before you start with a business one with your brand.

But wait, before you start ask yourself two key questions:

  • Do you have the time and resources to take on another social media platform? There is really no point to join if you have no time to engage and keep your content fresh. Your page will look barren, and it could reflect badly on your brand.
  • Does your brand/business have a natural fit for Pinterest? Right now Pinterest, is mostly about lifestyle content and the main users are middle class 18-34 year olds women from the US. The latest data from Quantcast and Alexa can help you determine a bit more of there interests. With the amount of traffic these sites are generating, the demographic data tends to be more accurate.

So now that you have a market in mind here are the tips:

1-Yes, it’s all about Pinning, but it’s not all about you. If all you are going to do is pin stuff about your products and self-promote, you might be disappointed in the results you get from Pinterest. People don’t want to follow someone that is only pushing their business. You need to add personality to profile. One way is to show the human side of your business, for example creating a pinboard that showcases behind the secnes life around the office. Also re-pinning followers’ pins. By not only sharing your content, this will add a non-marketing dynamic to your pinboards. More importantly, it can help in promoting engagement with your followers. Make sure to read the rules of Pin Etiquette.

2- Make great visual content. Take time to think about how your products will be photographed. The shot of your products with a webcam and low quality lighting or that out-of-focus shot from your iPhone is not worth sharing. To get a feel for what your pictures should look like, spend time looking at what’s popular on Pinterest. This is best way to get some great ideas and a feel for what works.

3. Promote, Promote, Promote: Make sure you add the Pinterest follow button to your website and on all your product pages. Make sure you write a blog post and include it in your monthly newsletter. Promote your presence to your followers on other social networks. Most importantly integrate with Facebook. Pinterest makes sharing with/on Facebook so easy. The login option for Pinterest is Facebook. Users can invite friends from Facebook. To really integrate with Facebook add a Pinterest tab to your Facebook Page. This can help you better engage your current Facebook Fans to follow you to Pinterest as well.

4. Let your “fanvocates” promote/help your brand and business. Every person has brands they love, so make it easy to allow people to share pictures of them using your brand or business. On Pinterest you can create a fan Pinboard, where you can allow other users to contribute their own pins to your pinboards.

5. Engage Followers and Fans. When you first start out, follow the “big names” for your category on Pinterest. See what they share, and how they interact. Getting them engaged will be important so they will want to share the products of your business. When people start following you, follow them back. And if people place comments or questions on your content make sure you respond in a timely manner.

6. Don’t put everything on one board. Segment your business or products onto relevant boards. By keeping a narrow focus you can see what areas work better than others, but you also allow users to follow only what they want.

7. Lights! Camera! Action!: Pinterest is not limited to images. You can pin videos too! This opens an avenue to create a pinboard of How-To Video’s, Testimonial from customers, Videos from Events and more.

8. Everyone loves a contest. Before doing so, make sure to read Pinterest’s terms of use to make sure you don’t have any issues. Your contest idea can be as simple as creating a board on your account or asks users to create there own pinboard showing off what they love about your brand or products.

9. If you are launching a new product or need feedback, consider Pinterest as a social media focus group. It will make users feel involved in your product and business, but also help you gather first-hand opinions from potential future customers.

10. Make measurement easy. Add hastags to your content, especially if you plan a promotion across other social networks. Tell users where to find you. When you post content make sure you include a link to your website. If possible create specific landing pages. Make sure to tag those links. Once you make sure you content is tagged, crack open the Analytics. Look at what sends traffic back to your website. Make sure Pinterest is worth your time and effort. Focus more energy on what is working and tweak the areas that are not.

This list should get you on your way, or at least inspire some thought in how to use Pinterest for your business. If you are still looking for basic information on how to set up your account and get going, I highly recommend the Mashable Guide to Pinterest.

Now it’s your turn. How are you using Pinterest? What have you learnt? What are the tips you think are helpful to marketing businesses on Pinterest?

Adrian Speyer

About The Author: Adrian has over 12 years experience in Digital Marketing and Analytics. He currently works as a Marketing Manager at Vanilla Forums, a modern forum software platform that allows clients to connect and engage their communities and customers. He lives and works in Montreal.

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Sunday, February 19th, 2012 at 12:05
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