Everyone knows what a scrapbook is, so think of Pinterest as a digital one that allows its members to “pin” videos, images, and other objects to an online board that will connect to their own company website. So what is the big deal? As of December 2011, Pinterest entered the list of Top 10 social networks, recording over 11 million visits in just one week. Just one month later, it had more referral traffic than LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+.
Pinterest can help businesses in three ways. It can help a company build their brand, advertise a product or service and drive customers to their website.
Helping a company build a brand
Pinterest helps provide an opportunity to share what is important and what inspires the company. It also allows the company to convey itself in a different light, perspective that consumers have not seen in the past. If you are building your brand on Pinterest, follow these simple guidelines:
1. Focus on the lifestyle of the brand and not just the services or products. If you include other pictures/videos that pair the brand in other markets, you are showing your consumer the whole package, instead of just focusing on one niche group.
2. Come up with unique ways to engage “pinners” on Pinterest. Provide a picture of a deal that you can make, for instance 10% off on your next visit.
Blend your promotional goals with branding goals. On Pinterest, the company message should never be purely promotional. For instance, Nike’s slogan is “Just Do It.” On Pinterest, they could show not only deals consumers could get, but also what the Nike shoes could do for you…running, walking, or just having fun.
Creating visual content encourages users to click-through to your website. If there is no incentive, the interaction may end after looking, liking, and re-pinning the content. Rather, think like a restaurant or other food company to help drive more traffic to your site. When there is a picture of a mouthwatering burger that just looks too good to eat, people are likely to click on it to find out where they could get one in their area. Use the same methodology to entice, engage and inspire visitors to check out the content on your web site.
When you start using Pinterest, here are some simple tips to follow:
1. Use Facebook and Twitter to point users to the company Pinterest page.
2. Spend time understanding what Pinterest is and what it can do for you.
3. Above all, keep it simple. You do not want to overwhelm yourself or the users.
We welcome your comments, experience with and reaction to the Pinterest social media platform.