Who hasn’t heard about Pinterest? Well, according to Compete, unique visitors to the site increased by 155% just in one month, from December 2011 to January 2012 and according to Hitwise, Pinterest is now the third most popular social network in the USA in terms of visits (behind Facebook and Twitter).
What is Pinterest and how does it work?
Pinterest is an online pinboard that allows users to visually organize, share, collate and discover new interests by posting images or videos on their own or other people’s pinboards. Whether it’s an image of a delicious meal, your favourite recipe, home décor, clothing, furniture, or travel destinations, Pinterest is meant to ‘connect everyone in the world through the things they find interesting’, according to the company.
Why should you consider using Pinterest?
- 80% of visitors to the site are skewed towards females as of March 2012
- A user spends on average 16 minutes on the site per visit (compared to Facebook with 12.1 minutes)
- Pinterest is a leading referral traffic driver for women’s lifestyle, home décor and cooking magazines
- 80% of pins are ‘re-pins,’ which confirm the viral nature of the Pinterest community.
- Pinterest is good for SEO as it’s indexed frequently by search engines. You can use relevant keywords within the description of your pinboards and the content you pin and there are great backlink possibilities too – the easier you make it for people to pin your content, the better.
So how can your business use Pinterest to spread the word about your website and your products and services? Below are some tips on how to get started.
1. Create boards that help you tell your story
The trick to using Pinterest successfully isn’t necessarily about showing off your products and services directly. It’s about finding creative ways to show how your company, products and services can fit into the lifestyles of your target market. For example, if you were a cleaning company, images of cleaning products would not garner much interest. However, images of beautiful flooring styles, layouts or cute photos of furry pets which subtly point out how its products can help the consumer, would encourage them to engage with your company and re-pin those photos on their boards.
Use Pinterest to appeal to your target market by showing them that you understand them, you are like them and that you can offer things/solutions that will fill a gap in their lives. Share things that you like, things you know they will like and things that would be helpful to them.
2. Hire a photographer and/or a graphic designer
Pictures say a thousand words and if you want a Pinterest user to like your product/photo and re-pin it, you have to use an image that they will also want to share and love.
Get a professional photographer to take high quality photos of your products and services, create a board to showcase your staff members and company culture. Take photos of happy customers and create a positive sentiment around your brand, or encourage your customers to send you photos using your product.
3. Integrate Pinterest to your website
Make it easy for website visitors to share your images on Pinterest by adding a follow me/us on Pinterest or ‘pin it’ button prominently on your website.
4. Showcase your company’s personality
To your existing clients and prospective customers, your company is just a logo or a ‘stuffy’ corporation. But Pinterest now gives you the opportunity to humanise your brand that reflect your company culture, employees and values.
Create a pinboard to showcase your employees. Include staff photos, show them working together or include photos or videos of them attending events, company outings, parties or award ceremonies. If you support a charity, include photos of staff volunteering their time.
5. Include relevant text/logos on your pictures if appropriate
If you are putting up photos of a new product on your board, why not add an unobtrusive logo and price in the corner? Add a brief description and make sure you add a link back to your website so users can get more information if required.
The above tips should help you get started on Pinterest. However, like any other marketing channel, you need to first look at what you are trying to achieve before you can determine if Pinterest is right for your business. Make sure you have a social media strategy in place and the right content and images before you set up your Pinterest account.