Eye-catching graphics and stunning visuals (aka creative) make a marketing campaign. Consumers are instantly drawn to the visual world, so it’s really no surprise that the popularity of social media platforms that focus on images has skyrocketed. Pinterest alone has more than 25 million U.S. pinners. Initially touted as a medium for sharing visual content, Pinterest has evolved into an effective marketing tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes that want to build, expand or enhance their brand. In fact, research has shown that traffic on Pinterest is more likely to convert more than traffic from other social sites. Clever marketers use Pinterest to direct traffic to their brands’ sites by engaging consumers in a whole new way (See 250+ Brands on Pinterest). Here are four things to think about when pushing your brand to Pinterest.
Build Community Boards, Not Sales Pitches. Pinners want to interact with other people, not be bombarded with sales pitches and promotions. Your challenge is to push your brand without making it overtly obvious. Use this particular social platform to show people what your brand is all about. Pinterest is virtual community and a very personal one at that. To gain viewers and be accepted, you must humanize your company and your brand. One way to do this is to create a “Company Community” pinboard that visually highlights your philosophy and depicts how your brand fits into your followers’ world.
Give Without Taking. Pinterest is about sharing. It’s mostly give and very little take. This is a tough concept for execs that are trained to keep their eyes on the bottom line. It takes time, effort and staff (read: Overhead Costs) to build a following on Pinterest. The lack of an immediate, tangible return keeps many companies from seeing this outlet as a viable marketing tool. Just like any other any other marketing medium, success on Pinterest is about building relationships first. It requires that you explore the interests of the people who follow you and make connections based on those interests. Finally, it requires interaction, which means creating and sharing relevant content, responding to questions and comments, and repinning other related content.
Integrate Your Efforts. Think of creative ways to tie your social media efforts together for more punch. For example, the other day I received an e-mail from GE Appliances asking me to check out its Big Game Day Snack Pinterest Board. The e-mail included minimal copy, a tantalizing image of juicy chicken wings, AND an option to share my game day creations with the company via an Instagram link. WOW!
Expand Your Purpose. If you spend enough time on Pinterest, you will develop an admiration for the creativity of pinners. They don’t always play by the rules when it comes to your products and services. For example, one user pinned an idea for using a brand-name laundry detergent to reenergize areas of dry grass in the yard. If consumers use your products in a unique way, a pin promoting these ideas could benefit your bottom line down the road.
Take some time to dig into the site and explore how you can optimize this emerging marketing platform. Pinterest offers a section for businesses, so be sure to check that out. Consider scoping out Pinterest’s main competition, The Fancy.com. This site has taken visual tagging to the next level by creating a mobile app that lets customers buy what they like with one click. For more inspiration, keep your eyes on Manteresting. It offers yet another perspective on visual pinning. We’d love to hear your Pinterest success stories! Please drop us a line in the comment section.
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