In October last year Pinterest had an estimated 3.3-million unique monthly visitors. Today that number is over 10-million. While there may be no direct link for potential customers to buy products directly from the site, the platform does offer massive marketing potential. Think of it as virtual marketing 101. Users post images with links back to the original source. Those images then get repinned on hundreds of other users’ boards, which get repined again, and again and so on.
So with that in mind, how do brands go about using this platform from a business point of view? Here are some tips and tricks to improve your click-throughs, create a viral spin-off and help your brand get pinning successfully.
1. Invest time and build relationships
Like any social network, and maybe even more so within the Pinterest demographic, this platform requires a fair amount of time investment.
A key part of optimising this platform is to build relationships with users who are known for quality pins. Once these movers and shakers get to know and like your brand they will be more likely to post, talk and pin your product.
Each “repin”, “like”, “share” and “comment” triggers interaction with your brand which makes it easier to extend conversations onto Twitter or Facebook platforms to further relationships. They key to building solid relationships on Pinterest is to be real – authenticity is hugely important.
A great example of an influencer moving and shaking in Pinterest is Kim Gray, a South African stylist and blogger. As a key influencer within the fashion, décor, beauty and lifestyle markets in her country, it would make sense for brands within the industry to connect and follow her and give her a reason to talk about their products.
Looking at Gray’s Pinterest account it seems the idea has caught on and quite a few brands are already featuring prominently on her various pin boards.
2. Short and sweet
Keeping things simple and to the point is a fool-proof way to encourage interaction. Making it obvious from the pin board title what the theme of the images are all about is what will entice users to engage with your brand in this space.
Take Wedding Republic for example. The titles of its board give an overview of the theme covered in that space. This makes it easy for users to decide whether or not it is something they’re interested in.
It’s also important to ensure that each pinned photo includes a link back to your site as integrating Pinterest into your online strategy can dramatically boost page views and lead to massive increases in site traffic.
3. Make it easy for consumers to make a purchase
It’s all very well to have images of you products being pinned all over the place but if people don’t know where to find you, or where to buy your products, they’re not going to convert into sales.
It’s important to connect the dots between a physical location and your Pinterest page. Maybe you have an ecommerce function on your site – directing traffic there is even better as people can then purchase items within seconds of pinning them.
Creative Kidstuff is a good example. Every product or image pinned links directly back to the online store, meaning that users can immediately purchase the selected item.
4. Make sure you’re relevant
This tip might seem obvious, but Pinterest caters to those looking for all sorts of things ranging from recipes, home décor, do-it-yourself crafts, art, fashion, weddings – you name it.
Companies selling cement might not cut it on this platform, so make sure Pinterest is relevant to your brand and industry before taking the plunge.
5. Use other social networks to feed Pinterest
The new kid on the block may be getting all of the hype, but existing social networks have an advantage in that they already have an established user base.
Justin Palmer, the online awareness director at Sevenly, a custom T-Shirt shop, says to boost the number of eyeballs on Pinterest, his company uses the likes of Tumblr and Facebook to point people to its Pinterest platform.
6. Launch a daily pin theme
Continuing to use Sevenly as an example, it has created a “daily pin” to promote the brand.
Its idea was to come up with a catchy slogan that is linked to the organisation’s charity work and make it memorable enough so that the images get re-pinned.
The beauty of this is that the daily themed pins generate repeat visitors. Sevenly also posts a weekly custom-designed t-shirt, which is often re-pinned by other Pinterest users, creating a regular following where users come to see what’s new that week.
7. Promote more than products
The biggest challenge for many brands is to branch out and not fall into the trap of just posting pins only of products they sell.
Cakestyle is a company that makes wardrobe suggestions for women, and uses Pinterest to post interesting news tidbits, tips, and products from other companies to increase its relevance and added value to its customers.
Pinterest users are savvy when it comes to spotting a board that is too self-serving and only posts product related images, so watch out.
8. Follow the big hitters
One of the best ways to raise awareness about your company is to start following the big names on Pinterest. This is the proven method on Twitter – when you follow popular figures, and they follow you back, other Twitter users get the message and follow the leader.
It’s important to find out who is “pinning” your products and to follow them to see if they follow you back. In most cases they do.
9. Sharing the love
Pinterest caters to those who like to show support for good causes and weed out the good from the bad.
Using key phrases like “Proudly South African” is a good way to cultivate a following and build good will towards your brand. Linking your brand with phases can also help define the brand values and give consumers an idea of what the brand stands for.
Pulling on people’s heart strings also encourages sharing and engagement and your pins are more likely to be repined and shared within their communities.