How to Utilize Pinterest for Your Business

Note: If you are unfamiliar with Pinterest, please read my previous blog post, Pinterest is Piquing Interest, first.

Is Pinterest Right for Your Business? Like any social network, it is important to fully understand the network and its purpose, as well as have a plan of action before jumping right in. We have seen far too many companies see a new social media fad and want to jump in head first without doing initial research and figuring out if the network makes sense for their audience. And if it does, how are they going to utilize it to engage and interact with their target audience (hint, it’s called social media marketing for a reason! Creating a page and letting it go stagnant or only posting products is ONE-WAY communication).

While Pinterest is ideal for companies that are rich with imagery and sell “lifestyle” products, I believe that if used correctly, Pinterest can be successfully utilized by just about any company.  Pinterest’s core purpose is to allow people to share and connect with others that have similar interests. As a business, you must find creative ways to promote your brand in such a manner that your brand marketing efforts fit with Pinterest’s lifestyle vision and user base. A great way to utilize Pinterest would be to use the social network to highlight and showcase the lifestyle your brand promotes.

For instance, if you sell bikes then it would be neat to have a pinboard with some of your bikes intermingled with pictures of places those bikes can take you (or a pinboard where people post their own pictures of where “your” bike has taken them… remember to think “social”).  Hubspot’s Magdalena Georgieva (see link to her ebook below) gave a great example of how AARP’s Pinterest account features a pinboard called “Quotes to Live By,” this pinboard creatively promotes the lifestyle of their brand and currently has 1,128 followers.

The goal for businesses using Pinterest as a marketing tool is to gain brand recognition, drive traffic to their website and ultimately convert new visits into leads or sales.

Below are a few ideas that I pulled from Hubspot’s eBook, for using Pinterest as a marketing tool:

  • Feature Visual and Appealing Content– Pinterest is a visual social network, so creating a board that features your business’ best visual content is a must. Plus, as we all know, images elicit emotions, and getting people to emotionally connect with your brand is huge.
    • If you are a B2B company that is worried that you lack visual content, here are some ideas for you:
      • Create a board focused on your staff and include pictures and bios
      • Post images from events to showcase your company’s culture
      • Have staff post images of their hobbies
      • Incorporate strong/beautiful images into your blog or news articles
      • Create infographics and data charts
      • Post photos of your customers
  • Create a User-Generated Pinboard—this enables people to contribute their own pins to your pinboard, and allows you to socialize with fans and customers.
    • Example: Ask people to pin images showcasing the lifestyle they enjoy because of your brand.
  • Add the Pin-It Button to Your Site— this makes it very simple for site visitors to share your visual content.
  • Create a Video Gallery—Pin videos of company spokespeople at speaking engagements, or videos of how to creatively utilize your products.
  • Use Hashtags—Just like Twitter, Pinterest supports the usage of hashtags. Users can use hashtags to tag their pins and make their content more search-friendly.
  • Feature Offline Events—Create a pinboard and post photos and videos of the annual event to create a buzz and promote the next one.

So, what have we learned? Pinterest is not a place for you to directly show off your services and products, but rather a place for you to creatively show how your services and products fit your target market’s various lifestyles.

For more information on this topic, please visit Hubspot’s ebook,  here.

Laura Fowler About

Laura graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Advertising. She now serves Red Clay clients as an Interactive Marketing Executive.

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