While Facebook and Twitter garner a lot of attention when it comes to marketing through social networks, there are a variety of reasons why businesses should consider using Pinterest – the social networking platform that allows users to create image collages online, then share those “pinboards” with other users – and maybe even start placing a greater emphasis on the site overall. Consider these statistics:
- As of 2014, Pinterest currently features more than 70 million individual users, with thousands of new additional members signing up every day.
- Pinterest is responsible for driving more Internet traffic to various blogs and websites than LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and Twitter combined, according to Shareaholic.
For many, Pinterest carries the reputation as only being good for marketing to women or marketing physical products like clothes or jewelry. These preconceived notions are completely false. Pinterest ranks as a great way to market almost any type of service or product, no matter the target audience.
Your businesses should consider marketing through Pinterest if:
- You want to tell your story using videos and images. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that visually interesting or interactive marketing campaigns have a higher rate of success when compared to more static types of campaigns. Pinterest offers your business the opportunity to create dynamic visual campaigns that will help your business tell its story in a way that humanizes your brand and allows customers to get to know you better.
- You want to establish your business as an expert in a field. Pinterest offers a fantastic platform for curating content, and forward thinking companies are using it for just that purpose. If you routinely share content via Facebook posts or tweets, you can perform those same functions on Pinterest by using boards and pins as a social bookmarking tool.
- You want to work collaboratively with you clients in a visual way. If your business acts as a service provider and you have frequent opportunities to brainstorm and collaborate with clients, Pinterest will serve as a fantastic tool for your business.
It only takes a couple of minutes to create a business Pinterest account. Once you have an account created, you can begin creating collages, or “boards,” for any number of topics that interest your business, then add videos and images to your boards by “pinning” them. The interface is easy to pick up and fun to use.
The majority of content on Pinterest (an estimated 85 percent) is “repinned” by other users – so your business has the opportunity to stand out from the competition by consistently pinning interesting new content pulled from various blog and websites. Remember to always keep your target audience in mind when selecting what content to post – you want to consistently pin content your audience will find thoughtful, engaging and entertaining.
Once you get the basics down, you can start mastering the art of really connecting with your target audience through Pinterest. Here are a few tips on how:
Engage with other users. Any time you pin content to your board, you can tag other Pinterest users by inserting “@username” in your descriptions. This feature allows you to engage with industry vendors, strategic partners or customers. Pinterest doesn’t typically feature a lot of comments like Facebook, so by engaging in this way, you can help your business stand out and build a bigger following.
You can also “like” other users’ pins as a way to recognize engaging content. This is a great way to easily interact with people on Pinterest in a personal and approachable way.
Curate information in your niche. By collecting and displaying interesting content in your business’ niche, you automatically become an information curator. Curating on Pinterest means selecting the best images, then organizing them in interesting ways your target audience will benefit from. In other words, you find the best images that relate to your topic of interest and pins those to your board.
If you excel, you’ll start gaining authority, and other users will eventually start looking to you as the go-to source for engaging content and images in your niche. Once that starts happening, you can feel assured users will keep coming back for more, providing you with plenty of opportunities to tell them about your website or blog. Being an expert they like and trust will also make it easier for them to feel comfortable making a purchase from your business.
Highlight user-created content. You can create a lot of goodwill by highlighting user-created content by pinning it to your board. Create a “Guest Pinner” program for your account, and allow your best customers the opportunity to pin on specific boards.
Provide your guest pinners with guidelines for general content (make sure they understand who the target audience is and what type of content the enjoy), add them as contributors to the board and let them loose to pin videos and images for you. The type of fantastic content your pinners create will impress you, and they will also enjoy the extra attention they’ll receive.