When you mention Pinterest as a marketing media most clients look at you like a deer caught in the headlights. Pinterest is one of the most successful social media platforms of the last couple of decades but it has managed to get a reputation for being a ‘crafters’ medium. Many companies see it like quilting bee or knitting circle where ladies gather round, talk about food and support each other through their problems. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Being a media that heavily relies on images, Pinterest did originally appeal to stay at home mums and empty nesters for discovering new ideas that they could emulate and introducing new hobbies that they could try their hand at and for organizing them in a way that they could easily retrieve them. It very quickly became super popular. As Pinterest has evolved it has surpassed the ‘pretty picture’ repository and has become a serious marketing media, but you have to know how to use it.
In 2012 Pinterest drove more traffic to websites than GooglePlus, Reddit, LinkedIn and YouTube combined! It has the potential to become one of your biggest traffic generation tools and has a global reach that can take you into new countries quickly and with credibility.
Even though the platform has evolved from a women’s group meet and greet, the audience is still heavily biased toward women. You need to be sure that the demographic you are targeting plays to the strength of Pinterest.
The platform has a voracious appetite for food, craft, fashion and décor so if your industry falls in those categories, not doing Pinterest marketing is not an option. The curious thing is that the platform also works well for all other industries as long as you present it to a well segmented audience. It’ a win/win in most situations.
Creating content to satisfy your demographic is quite a time consuming job. There doesn’t appear to be a ‘too much posting’ syndrome on Pinterest so you can post as often as you have content for. The one thing that will increase the quality of the pins that you post and have a positive effect on your audience is the way that you organise them. The only way you can keep tabs on all the boards you are managing is to always create an effective content calendar. Whichever way works for you, whether you take one board at a time and work it or post something on every board every day, you need to be consistent in your posting. Pinterest is immediate. Once you post is up it joins the feed, then soon drops off the bottom. If your audience is at work or has joined a large number of groups you run the risk of falling off the bottom before you get seen. For success, regular updates are essential.
Although there is a big debate over which is more effective, whether you were post up other people content or create your own, on other platforms, it doesn’t seem to matter which it is on Pinterest. The audience just sucks up content as fast as you can put it in front of them. Being the first to put it up helps, but not essential. Just make sure it’s engaging.
One thing to be aware of is that it is easy to breach copyright if you choose to curate content. When pinning other people’s material you have to be sure that you have their permission to do so as Pinterest takes copyright infringement seriously. If you choose to pin something already on Pinterest you are not immune from pin removal for copyright infringement – the original pinner must have sought permission to pin it in the first place and many don’t. As a business people are much less lenient about their items being used for marketing than if they appear on a personal page, so be sure that what you pin you have the rights to do so.
Setting up an account is no harder than any other platform. Put in your details and you’re there.
Right from the beginning you need to set up foundation ‘boards’. These should be filled with items that express your core values. Think about the items you sell and make boards that display them like a luxury window display, but also set up boards that describe your company brand. If you’re a fashion house, also add a colour board that displays beautiful swatches of colour or a board filled with classic fashion icons. Pinterest is a place to share your passion about your product, as well as the products themselves.
If you post enough and are engaging enough, followers will come.
One of the easiest ways to get noticed by your demographic is to start commenting on other people’s pins that are similar to yours. Pinterest is after all a social media so get social! Your name, will appear on every comment so as long as you have set the account up as the company name which cannot be ignored. It may be an old tactic, but it still holds true. As an added bonus your name is a clickable hyperlink that will take them through to your boards and they are free to shop.
There is a little bit of science behind a successful pin and QuickSprout did a great infographic about it:
There’s a lot of information on there that is valuable to making a pin that people just can’t resist. It will help you make the most of your marketing.
Even though Pinterest isn’t the most popular social network in terms of numbers, the power it has to drive thousands of visitors and generate massive sales cannot be underestimated. It is not hard to master, it’ effective and can be run on shoestring budget. You really do not have anything to lose by trying.
Whatever your industry or audience, Pinterest can help boost your sales, your creditability and your brand. Make sure you practise and you will soon know what your audience wants and more importantly, how to give it to them.