Pinterest is a visually-oriented network, slightly social but really interactive in a more superficial manner. The “conversation” on Pinterest happens more through likes and repins and less through interacting with people.
Pinning, repinning and liking are quick actions that take less thought and no words. Still, these almost “mindless” Pinterest activities that seem more reflexive than reflective can draw attention to your brand and help you build an expanded following.
With the latest Repinly stats divides the percentage of what people are doing on Pinterest show that 84.2% are Pinning, 15.2% are Liking but only .6% are Commenting, you need to understand what “interactions” and “engagements” on Pinterest actually entails.
So how can you leverage this wildly popular “social” network for your brand when most people on Pinterest are not in actual “conversation?”
Here are five things to help you turn Pinterest into an asset for your business, not a burden, and to get tangible, positive results:
1. Plan for Pinterest.
Your use of Pinterest should not happen in a vacuum. Start with your business goals and look for how the visual aspect and limited interaction flow of Pinterest can benefit those goals. Are you pinning for traffic? Brand awareness? Community building? All of the above? Each of these goals dictates how you use Pinterest, what types of boards you create, and what pins you curate. Part of your planning should include internal guidelines for pinning, especially if you are working with team members to build up your Pinterest profile.
Take a look at how Middle Sister Wines creatively conveys the identities of their various wine brands to build brand awareness*:
2. Find and Serve Your Audience.
Is your target market even using Pinterest? Or is there a market you are trying to reach that you know is using Pinterest? Even though Pinterest is 98 percent women, it is not a given that the woman you want to reach is there. These statistics also do not preclude reaching men via Pinterest, but you have to know what people you want to reach are actually doing there. If you audience likes quote images and humor, look for ways to integrate those types of pins into your pinning routine. But if that is not a fit for your brand, rethink your plan.
Here’s an example of a male-centric Pinterest page for Men’s Health magazine:
3. Reciprocate with Repins and More.
As with any “social” network, using Pinterest should not be a one-way activity or if it is because of your company’s legal restrictions, understand that this confined use of Pinterest will limit the growth of your Pinterest following. Reciprocity on Pinterest isn’t required but is certainly a way to strengthen connections with other pinners and get onto the radars of new people. Keep in mind that when you Like a pin, your Pinterest avatar and name will appear in that pin’s history and viewable by anyone who clicks on that pin.
Note at the bottom of this Wine+ pin, the Wine Sisterhood* avatar and link to both Wine Sisterhood’s Pinterest page and the board where this pin that Wine Sisterhood repinned appears in the list of Repins.
4. Leverage Your Pins.
Pinning an image doesn’t have to stop at Pinterest. Link Pinterest to your Twitter account if you tweet and be strategic about which pins you tweet out as you pin and which you reserve for future Twitter conversations. Linking Pinterest to your Facebook profile is only effective from a marketing and branding standpoint if you are using your personal profile as part of your brand’s presence online. If you have a Page, try the Pinterest Page app from Woobox to integrate your Pinterest account with your brand’s Facebook Page. Import your pins to your blog or website with a widget like you may be doing with your Twitter or Facebook feeds. Don’t let Pinterest sit on the sidelines of your online marketing efforts.
Here’s an example of the WooBox Pinterest app on Wine Sisterhood’s Facebook Page.
5. Be Pinable and Repinable.
Want to get repins? Pin things that are aligned with what is popular on Pinterest and popular amongst your target market. It is easy to say “pin compelling images” but what does that mean on Pinterest and to your audience? What you pin depends on so many factors when you are using Pinterest in a more strategic fashion – your goals, the messages you want to convey, the destinations of your pins – but don’t get too bogged down in overanalyzing each pin. Use some overarching parameters for what and when you pin. Then keep an eye on the reactions your pins are getting and do more of the ones that work. And while you’re at it, check the images you have on your website or blog and make sure they are pin-worthy and easy to repin.
Also make sure your website is “pinable” – large, colorful images and “permission to pin” can help prompt others to pin directly from your website to their Pinterest accounts.
Note the Pin It button alongside this blog post (with other sharing buttons), a Pinterest-friendly topic (crafts) and a bright image:
Pinterest is and should be an enjoyable, creative and inspiring experience. Not being on Pinterest isn’t going to ruin your life or your business. Yes, you may miss out on some solid marketing opportunities and growth that having a well-used Pinterest account might proffer. But don’t make yourself crazy thinking you must be using Pinterest when you can’t yet think of the reason why.
Are you on Pinterest? Leave your Pinterest profile URL in the comments so I can check it out. Thanks!
*brand owned by a client.