How to Use Pinterest to Market Your Business

Posted by Heidi Strom Moon under Interactive Marketing , Social Media

Pinterest-growth-metrics-2011
With a phenomenal growth rate in the last 6 months to 3.3 million users and counting—and a mostly female user base—the young photo-based social network Pinterest has suddenly grabbed a lot of attention.

As a result, brands and businesses are wondering how (and whether) they can use Pinterest for marketing. Some initial case studies are showing the way.

But first: what the heck is Pinterest, anyway?

How Pinterest Works

An online version of a pinboard or wall corkboard, Pinterest allows users to organize photos into collections called boards, each of which can be categorized by type of image.

Photos are added to Pinterest either by uploading them or “pinning” them from a website using a browser bookmarklet (snippet of code).

As on all social networks, users on Pinterest can follow other users. The main page of Pinterest presents a feed of all of the images that have been pinned by users you follow, which you can then “like” or easily repin to one of your own boards. (This activity may feel familiar to users of Tumblr which has a similar ease-of-use for resharing content.)

Individual “pins” can also be commented on. When they’ve been pinned from an originating source, there’s a link from the image back to that website.

How to Use Pinterest to Market Your Business

There are a variety of specific ways to use Pinterest, from holding contests to conducting market research and creating boards of photos from a property for sale. (See the articles in the Further Reading section, below, to read some great case studies.)

No matter what specific use is best for your business, a few principles apply when marketing via Pinterest.

  • Don’t just promote yourself. This is a best practice for all social media, but it pays to remember it here. Pinterest provides a unique opportunity to build an image around your brand or business, so look for complementary pins that connote the same ideas as your business. Bergdorf Goodman’s pins both product images to trend boards and book covers to a board called “The Books on Our Shelves.”
  • Showcase your image content. Seems obvious right? But it’s not just about beautiful photography you took or of your products. NBC’s Today Show, for example, pins photos of travel destinations it has featured on the show.
  • Be strategic with your boards. Group pins in ways that appeal to your audience(s). Reaching moms? Have boards for kids’ items, parenting advice, mommy quotes or any other subject matter relevant to them, and to you.
  • Engage with users. Keep in mind that people on Pinterest may already be pinning images from your business. When you find them, comment on them, repin them to your own boards, and follow the users.
  • Show your process. Use Pinterest to brainstorm ideas with internal teams, letting followers (and potential customers) in on the process. They’ll be more invested in the final product you create at the end.

Further Reading About Pinterest

These articles provide a wealth of specific uses, individual use cases, and companies to follow on Pinterest once you join.

Your Turn

  • Are you on Pinterest yet?
  • How are you using it, and why?

Wondering if Pinterest is right for your business? CDG Interactive helps companies like yours choose the best social media channels to support their marketing strategies. Contact us today to get started.

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