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Incorporating Pinterest Into Your Marketing Strategy

For many content based sites, Pinterest has become a key source of referral traffic

As with other social media sites, Pinterest gives you the opportunity to really humanize and personalize your brand, perhaps more so than other social networks. You can use stunning images to visually display what your company is about and showcase your most attractive assets to the world.

So, rather than simply telling people what you offer, Pinterest makes it possible to actually showcase your products and services. This makes it much easier for potential customers to relate to your brand.

Pinterest also provides the opportunity for businesses to establish thought leadership and credibility in their area of expertise. For example, when an interior designer puts together a pinboard featuring a large range of stunning home designs, potential customers will often be inspired by such a board and will not only trust that brand, but will also likely refer to it for ideas and advice. A picture tells a thousand words, and you can use the power of inspiring visual imagery on Pinterest to attract new customers and increase your appeal to existing customers.

The majority of businesses currently using Pinterest are B2C companies, because the overall layout and function of Pinterest lends itself to a consumer-friendly atmosphere.

Some of the industries actively using Pinterest include:

  • Retail stores
  • Online retailers
  • Craft stores
  • Grocery stores
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Travel agencies
  • Resorts

Pinterest can be a massive marketing tool for your business, especially if you cater to the platform’s demographics. If you believe Pinterest is a viable social media marketing platform for your business, Pinterest should be an integral part of your B2B or B2C social media marketing strategy.

In her article Small Business America, Karen Leland’s  revealed:

“Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, Reddit, Google+ and LinkedIn — combined.”.

Pinterest hit 13 million users in just 10 short months, making it one of the fastest growing standalone websites in history. In February 2012, ComScore released data that Pinterest has over 10 million monthly unique visitors. This made it the third most popular social network behind Facebook and Twitter. By July, ComScore increased that unique visitor number to 23 million with 1.7 billion page views.

Pinterest Users Spend More

According to research, Pinterest users spend more money and shop more frequently than Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network. Pinterest is also recognized as a key driver of retail sales with studies that indicate that its users are highly likely to purchase items from the social network:

PriceGrabber reports that 21 percent of respondents have purchased items found on Pinterest boards. According to a study by Bizrate Insights, it is estimated that 70% of Pinterest Pinners are inspired to buy compared to only 17% of Facebook users. The study also found that the average Pinterest user will spend $179.36 when making a purchase from this social media site compared to $80.22 for Facebook users and $68.78 for Twitter followers.

According to a social shopping survey, 59 percent of Pinterest users have purchased an item they saw on the site, whereas only 33 percent of Facebook users purchase items they find on brand pages. In addition, Pinterest has proved to be a particularly “sticky” website, and is very effective at retaining the attention of its users. According to data from QuickSprout, the average time spent by users on Pinterest is 77 minutes. Compare that to 12.1 minutes for Facebook and 36 minutes for Twitter.

Pinterest for Business Pages

Following in the footsteps of Facebook, Twitter and Google+, Pinterest has now unveiled pages exclusively for businesses. Its verified accounts and new Pinterest for Business marketing resource page, which includes case studies and marketing advice for brands, are clear evidence of the social network’s deliberate effort to make the platform more business friendly.

Any business can create a business account, and you are free to promote your products and services, generate web traffic and leads, and utilize it for other commercial purposes. Businesses like the Wall Street Journal, General Electric Co., and Staples have all built up boards that reflect both product offerings and personality.
As a social media platform for businesses and professionals, Pinterest is particularly powerful in its ability to establish credibility and forge relationships with prospective customers. Pinterest allows search engines to crawl the site and index the results. Pinterest will not only provide you with powerful backlinks, but it will also significantly increase your visibility. There are a number of ways you can market a business on Pinterest.

For businesses that sell a specific product, you have the option of putting your product directly into a pin. You can then include a direct link in the post to the URL of the site where the product is being sold. This allows you to direct interested buyers specifically to where they could buy it from.

If you are considering marketing your brand on Pinterest, there are a number of important elements to consider:

Is Your content pinnable?

Pinterest is an extremely visual medium, so it is essential that you pin the highest quality and most appealing images that your website has. This is crucial for marketing on the platform, and this is one of the main reasons why clothing retailers, shoe stores, greeting card retailers, jewelry, and the like appear to be the most successful types of sites on Pinterest. However other businesses can effectively market on Pinterest as well.

For example, interior designers can share before and after shots of room designs, auto repair shops can share before and after photos of cars they worked on, etc. The same applies to a variety of other service providers like plumbers, repairmen, etc. You can share before and after pictures of your most challenging jobs and offer insights into what it looks like when you’re running your day-to-day business.

Are you going to be social?

Pinterest is a social network, and like every other network out there, it provides the opportunity to build relationships with your target audience. Pinterest is all about engagement. If you create a brand page and do not engage with others on the platform, people will have a negative perception of you, and that will spell disaster for your brand on the platform. You’ll need to be interacting and engaging with other users on the platform by “liking and repinning pins that you like,” and making meaningful comments on other people’s pins.

When you engage with others, people will appreciate you, and they will be more likely to reciprocate. In addition, follow people you already know or whose pins you enjoy. If you are merely pinning your own products and services and not doing much else else, it means your conversation is completely one-sided. You will turn people off and they will tune you out. Not engaging or interacting with others is the fastest way to fail and damage your brand on any social media platform.

Is your pinning going to be consistent?

For social media to work for you, you need to be an active part of the community, and you need to be consistent. The more visible and consistent you are, the more successful your branding strategy will be on the platform. Your aim on Pinterest is to establish your brand in the minds of your target audience. Branding is all about mindshare.

You need to win people over to your brand. This means you’ll need to be pinning relevant content that is meaningful and valuable to your target audience, “frequently and regularly”. Pinterest is a great way to share your content, however, it is very important to connect with your audience on the platform. The only way you can do that is by being consistent.

Is your target market on Pinterest?

What percentage of your client base is actively using Pinterest? Before deciding to add Pinterest to social media strategy, it’s important to determine if their typical users align with your target market.

Here are a few facts about typical Pinterest users:

  1. Over 68% of Pinterest users are female.
  2. The most popular age range is 35-44 (29%) followed by ages 25-34 (27%).
  3. The average income of users is between $25,000-49,999 (37%) followed by $50,000-74,999 (33%).

If your target audience fits into this demographic, you’ll need to fit Pinterest into your marketing strategy.

Why are you on Pinterest?

What specifically are you seeking to accomplish by being on Pinterest? If you are going to dedicate time and resources to the platform, you’ll need to set some goals that align with your overall business goals. If you are unable to define your goals for using the social plaform, you will not be in a position to craft a clear and effective marketing plan, and will likely not accomplish anything meaningful on the platform.

Participating on Pinerest

In order to participate on Pinterest, you’ll need to download a toolbar that can be conveniently used to pin items from any website. The image and information will then appear on your Pinboard, and your followers will be able to see your collection of photos and re-pin them if they like and want to share them with their network. This makes it very convenient for subscribers to share their tastes and interests with others and discover likeminded people in the process.

Your site has to be optimized for pinning in order to be able to use the Pinterest pinboard. This simply means that your content has to be pinnable. The quickest way to test whether your content is pinnable, is to set up a Pinterest account, grab the bookmarklet tool, and try pinning a few of the things you would like to see pinned and review the results. This is also an opportunity to browse around the online pin board to see what type of images are being pinned by other brands in your industry.

Creating Your Boards

It’s easy to create your own boards, but there are some simple guidelines to follow. For each board, choose a specific topic. If you mix up a bunch of different topics on one board, the board will lack focus. When you make one board per topic, this also allows you to make several different boards, which get you more exposure.

Aim to make your boards unique. Approximately 80% of the activity on Pinterest is re-pinning, which is sharing someone else’s content on your own boards. Not nearly as many users are making brand new, original boards. You can stand out by offering something different that people don’t often see.

For the most exposure possible, make sure all text areas of your boards are keyword-optimized. This goes for your profile as well. Make sure that your content is visible in the search engines.

You should also write a description for each pin and board, which should be short and to the point. Don’t try to be too detailed or write something as bland as ‘I LOVE these!’ That’s fine for a personal project, but you want your descriptions to tell visitors in clear language what the images are about, and it is important to always remain professional.

When you first get started on Pinterest, spend some time looking at other users’ boards to get ideas. Think about how you can best represent your business in a visual way and how to make your Pinterest stand apart.

About Andre Hospidales

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