Leanne Forshaw Jones
Are you ‘Pinterested’ yet? This great new social media platform leads on imagery and – to a lesser extent – video. It’s fairly new and, bar a few great examples from across the Pond, is fairly unchartered territory for businesses and brands.
Here we talk you through the ten best features of the site.
#1: What is Pinterest?
Given it’s more recent debut onto the social media agenda, we felt the best place to start in our Pinterest rundown was a little guide as to what it is. The site itself says it is: “a virtual pinboard”.
The site lets you “organize and share” all of the beautiful things you find on the web” and brands who start early can use it to demonstrate what their organization stands for, what it admires and help visually position itself to customers and peers.
#2: Do your research
The best place – and in our opinion ONLY place – to start on Pinterest is by researching other brands on the site. Look at major brands who are using it well, look at any competitors, suppliers or customers of your business who are using it and learn from their activity. Look at the frequency of their pins and the responses they’re attaining, this will help you determine how much time you need to invest in getting your own Pinterest strategy right.
Our top tips for good brand users of Pinterest are:
- IKEA UK (http://pinterest.com/IKEAUK/)
- ASOS (http://pinterest.com/asos/)
- Manchester Confidential (http://pinterest.com/mcrconfidential/)
- Fashion Union (http://pinterest.com/fashionunion/)
#3: Your Pinterest domain
Use the research from point 2 to help determine how to position yourself on Pinterest. Once you’ve done this you need to get your presence and profile right.
As with other social networks you have your own space to brand and make your own. Visually your branding is limited to your profile picture but ultimately you’ll use other tools on Pinterest – such as boards (more on those later…) – to get your branding across.
You should add your brand logo for the profile picture – just to help more users find you. Then use the ‘about’ section to add a short, concise and SEO friendly (ie: using keywords about your industry) profile. If you operate within a particular geographical area also be sure to add a location, it’s a handy filter for any customers looking to find you.
#4: Appoint a Pinterested manager
If you really want to commit to a Pinterest strategy you need to ensure that someone within your organisation can take responsibility and keep your Pinterest boards up to date. This person needs to monitor who is engaging with the brand and how, they also need to do the research and keep abreast of how brands and individuals are using the site. Don’t think that this person just has to be the marketing manager, people with an eye for design, or those who are good conversationalists may be strong candidates for this role.
#5: Develop a Board strategy
Once you have a Pinterest profile – and manager – in place you’ll need to develop a board strategy. Take a look around other Pinterest profiles and you’ll see that people set up boards which show a mix of things about their brand and industry, they then ‘pin’ interesting content to these boards.
Remember to go beyond the sales pitch, as great as it is to see a board showcasing your products and services, users don’t just want to see an advert, so be sure that there are boards relating to your industry too. If you’re a property developer or estate agent maybe you want to create a board illustrating your favourite types of architecture and interior design.
#6: Stay Pinteresting
If your board strategy in tip #5 is right then staying ‘Pinteresting’ should be fairly easy. By committing to pinning the right kind of content – content you’ll stumble across every day – then you’ll be able to keep your page relevant by finding new things.
#7: Attract followers
Again, tip #6 will help with this! The more interesting the content, the more likely you are to attract ‘repins’ and followers. People will engage with you if they like what you’re sharing. As we said in tip #5 if that’s purely product adverts then it’ll soon get boring. Make your pictures, links and videos interesting. Make me proud to share them and follow them. You can also even incentivise users to become followers of your brand too, rewarding them for spreading the word about your brand on Pinterest.
#8: Link it in:
On your Pinterest profile settings you have the option to link your activity up to other social networks. If you’re an individual you can link your actions up to Facebook so that anything you add or ‘like’ on the site will also come up on your Facebook page. This is a good way of attracting more people to your
#9: The “Pin It” button
Your starting point for Pinterest is installing the site’s “Pin It” button. This will be added to your web browser’s bookmarks and is a handy tool for adding things to your Pinterest boards. When you’re on a website and see something you like and feel relevant to your brand you simply opt to click the “Pin It” button and your chosen image or web page will be added to your Pinterest site.
#10: Do more research
Yes, we know we told you to do research in Point 2 but its imperative on a site as new as Pinterest that you continue to keep abreast of changes and new features that are added. Read articles like this (and more that will be added to this site in months to come) it will help you understand changes that the site will add as more and more users join it, so don’t miss out by sticking purely to your initial strategy. Social media platforms change as users change so be fluid in your approach.
Using a wide mix of the right social media channels helps broaden your organisation’s social footprint, creating more presence for you across the web. Successful brands have a well established social footprint through engaging on a mix of channels as part of a coherent campaign. Pinterest can contribute to your social media footprint and with the right language and use of brand and industry keywords can help maintain a presence online which is search engine optimised. Check each of our ‘Getting Started With…’ guides for further details.