When people go online to find answers to their questions, solutions for their problems or products to fulfill their wants, of course, it would be great if your business is represented where they’re searching for this information. Your website serves as the main area of content for their information safari, but with the advent of social media these sites provide a content extension to your website. Social media marketing is a way of spreading your business out across the web which allows for greater exposure and interaction with your would-be product or service seekers.
As a website marketer, have you ever had a conversation like this?
Marketer: “Hello webmaster. I have this great photo that a client sent over that shows how they used our part #56-C3 to integrate their production lines. Could this be put up on our site? This information will help many of our other clients and cause sales of our part to skyrocket!”
Webmaster: “You’ll need to complete the appropriate form and send it over and then the project will be put in the queue.”
Marketer: “How long is the wait in the queue?”
Webmaster: “About two weeks right now.”
Facebook has proven to be a great boon for marketers who want and need to get content out to their users quickly. It’s great for their Facebook fans to see their posts in their stream and engage with the company. But, when you go to a business Facebook page, the Timeline isn’t very visually helpful or pleasing when it comes to looking for content and images. Enter Pinterest.
So Why Consider Pinterest?
Pinterest is visual content of which women are the main demographic that uses it. For you women–how many of us can attest to make checklists? For you men–how many of you have fallen victim to them?
There are many reasons why users create boards (visual checklists) and engage with Pinterest. Here are a few:
- Looking for recipes
- Fashion ideas
- Looking for places to vacation
- Looking for decorating ideas
- How-to videos
- Looking for visual instructions
- Looking for things to virtually collect
- Make up ideas
- Looking for ways to keep the kids busy
- Looking for inspiration
- Looking for a laugh
- Cute dog and cat photos
- Looking for photography ideas
- Looking for party ideas
- Looking for DIY projects
- Gardening tips
- Cake decorating ideas
- Looking for cleaning tips
- Sharing what they like and find cool
- How to braid hair
- Fitness tips
- Holiday ideas
- Anything and everything to do with engagements and weddings
- Discovery, seeing things they’ve never seen before
- Enjoying art without having to go to a museum
Pinterest is a way to visually represent hopes, dreams and desires. Wouldn’t it be great if your business had real estate located amongst these little plots of content? In other words you would be a resource that pinners would go to on a regular basis to see what new ideas, answers, products or services you have to share.
Getting Started on Pinterest
Pinterest doesn’t differentiate between businesses or people. So you should claim your business name as soon as possible. Set up your profile and fill it out completely. Make sure to include your other social media sites and, of course, your website. Upload a profile image; which could be your logo.
Before starting to create your boards, a little planning is in order. Below are some things to keep in mind when coming up with your plan:
- Seduce Users with your Board Names: Steer clear of the default board names when you first register. Thank about your target audience and what appeals to them. Board names should be creative in order to seduce users, but have to be 23 characters or less; otherwise the title gets cut off which doesn’t look nice.
- Never Forget Google Search: Be creative, but also think about what users are searching for so they come up in search (for example, I had set up a Google Alert for “Canning and Preserving” and many times an email came through listing a Pinterest board called “Canning and Preserving”)-Be sure to fill out the category and description for your boards.
- Board Cover Photos: You’ll be adding pins to your boards and you’ll want to monitor which cover photo is showing for the board. If you don’t like the cover photo, you can simply hover over it and click “Edit Board Cover” and choose a different one until you get one that looks centered and is a good representation of what the board is about.
- Board Order: As you create boards, they appear first on your profile page. But don’t worry; the boards can be rearranged later by clicking on the box next to where it says “Edit Profile.” That way you can keep less important boards at the bottom of the page.
Imaginative Ideas for Pinterest Boards
Try to make your brand seem human on Pinterest. Create your boards as a person would. Lowe’s does a great job of this:
Here are more ideas for your boards to keep users coming back to check them out (be sure to review Pinterest’s Terms of Service as you do have to be careful about directly marketing your business):
- If your business were a human, what would you do in your spare time?
- Instructional videos
- Your new and exciting products
- Infographics (the taller the better)
- Ask an expert videos
- Display your good deeds and community involvement such as charity events
- A company story board of the history of your company
- Showcase your products or services, what they do, how they can be utilized (this one can be huge because the more ideas you show, the more desire you create)
- Make a board for your sales and coupons
- Public opinion board—post pins of ideas for new products or services or maybe advertising campaigns and packaging and ask for feedback
- Show human faces: showcase your staff
- Job postings for your business
- Showcase your manufacturing process (if applicable; this could prove to be very interesting to your audience)
- An employee pin board—stuff they think is cool (this could even be done as a contest with prizes)
- A board featuring your free guides, white papers or research
- Feature images of your fans and followers
- Display what happens behind the scenes at your business, office happenings or your “work culture”
- Do your clients or customers represent a specific niche? Then go ahead and create boards dedicated to these lifestyles.
- Be sure to have a board where you display images sent to you by clients, customers and followers. Hurray for user generated content!
- Do you use an image with each new blog post (you should)? Have a board where you display these blog images.
The Art of Pinning
There are three ways of adding pins to your boards: uploading, pinning from the web and repinning. It’s a good idea to have a nice mix of all of these. With uploading you’re adding your own content. Pinning from the web is easy with the “Pin it” button on your browser. Just make sure that the website you’re pinning from is okay with you sharing their images (a sure sign is that they have Pin It buttons on their pages) and make sure you aren’t pinning your competition. Repinning gets your company involved with Pinterest users as users see on their Pinterest page who has repinned any of their pins.
Emotion rules on Pinterest. Images that stir emotion tend to have a higher incidence of sharing. Pins need to stand out. Bright colors, creative design and large titles get attention when users are looking at their feed of hundreds of images.
Please, I beg of you, fill in the description for your pin. Don’t type a “.” or a “/” for the description just to get the pin out there. Again, be creative and even a bit of humor is a good thing. Using keywords in the description will help the pins come up in search as well as using #hashtags like with Twitter. Pinterest adds the link for the image when you pin it and you can add links in the description, though I don’t see this done very often. Also be sure to choose the best category for the pin.
Of course you want users to go to your boards and look for pins, but it’s also great when they see the pins as you pin them and have them show up in their feed. The best time for this is before work and after work time (because no one looks at Pinterest while they’re at work, right?).
Seek out other Pinterest profiles that are pinning content that you like and want to share and follow them. Usually they will follow you back. Just as with Twitter this is how you build your following.
Pinterest encourages comments and “likes” on the pins. Go ahead and ask for them just as you would on Facebook. You should also reciprocate and do the same.
Once you have your profile up and running, add the “Follow me on Pinterest” button to your website (maybe you better get in the queue now). Also, add the “Pin it” button to your pages so that it’s easy for users to pin your images.
There is a brand new site for men who like to pin, Dudepins, which is in Beta. This will be one to watch and see if it takes off like Pinterest. Not sure if dudes like checklists and collecting as much as the ladies, but the jury is still out…
Have you set up a Pinterest profile? Please share any tips you have or tell us about content you like to share. We would love to hear from you. Now get pinning!