I don’t always use social media, but when I do I prefer…Pinterest? Lots of media has circulated around Pinterest as a great social media marketing tool, but for some industries the picture-sharing site might be more wasteful than wonderful.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest doesn’t spark conversation. Interaction with customers won’t reach far beyond “repinning” images, which doesn’t do much to deepen relationships. Even if someone does find your site through Pinterest, chances are they won’t stay there.
So why are people clamoring over it? Advocates of the site say it allows companies to share images that “speak to their core,” expressing key values and ideals. Customers piqued by the pics can follow source links back to the company site.
If you decide to spend the time and manpower maintaining your boards, make sure your company is Pinnable, or image-friendly. Here’s how:
1. Be Original
- Post original pictures that you’ve taken or created yourself and that also appear on your website. You can link your pin back to the page where it appears on your site, so users who like the image can see where it came from and how it relates directly to your business.
- Include pictures of your products as well as your logo. Create infographics or a flashy print of your company’s manifesto. Both are visually appealing and speak strongly to what your business is about.
2. Build Your Boards
- Be smart with categories. People aren’t browsing the site to do research. They want simple information delivered quickly, so break down your content into basic, broad boards that convey the general focus of your business. Too many precise categories can be overwhelming.
3. Button Up
- Add the “pin it” and “follow” button to your website so visitors can re-pin your images and see your boards. But ONLY do it when your boards are organized and have a good number of pins on them. A sparse account will just make users think you’re lazy. They don’t want to be led somewhere when there’s nothing to see.
4. Get Creative
- Some of the most successful Pinterest campaigns use the platform in out-of-the-box ways. Increasingly, companies have created contests in which contestants create a board of pins related to that company’s product. For example, BCBG asked users plan a $5,000 wedding and pin their venues and products (including three from BCBG) to a special board. The creator of the best board won the $5K and a BCBG bridal gown.
These rules only apply, though, if your business caters to the Pinning crowd. Did you know that 80% of Pinners are women, 50% have kids, and the top categories of interest include crafts, interior design, and fashion? If you’re looking to sell an electric razor or a home-beer-brewing or car detailing kit, it’s probably not worth your resources to start up an account. Ditto for companies selling a service with no tangible result. Showing users how well you do financial consulting, for example, can be difficult to translate in images. Use analytical tools to track referrals from Pinterest, and then decide if the account is working for you.
Would Pinterest work for you? How can you incorporate it on your website?