Does your online marketing checklist look something like this?
Pinterest ... Pinterest?
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networking sites - between May 2012 and May 2013 users from the UK alone grew two and a half times, taking the total number of users to a staggering 3.204 million! An even more impressive statistic proves that Pinterest users spend twice as much money as Facebook users.
Now, you would think with statistics like these, Pinterest would be one of the main social networking sites companies choose to incorporate into their existing online marketing plan. However, this is simply not the case. But do not fear this blog will take you through six ways you can use Pinterest as part of your existing online marketing campaign.
So What Exactly Is Pinterest?
Pinterest is often described as a social networking bookmarking tool. It allows users to share images in an online community - and once uploaded, these images, or pins as they are called, can be placed on boards which can then be customised and added to. The site is extremely easy to use and there are several different ways in which you can use it:
- Pin a link to a website
- Upload an image
- Create a video
- Share other users' content.
The main goal of the social networking site is to connect people through visuals and this is exemplified in the process of pinning images. You simply source your image, assign it to a board and if you wish, add a caption. Pinterest encourages users to browse boards, comment, share pins and re-pin images onto their own boards - interaction is very similar to that of Facebook or Twitter. Pinterest can also be used to embed pins or images onto websites or blogs just like a Facebook or Twitter logo would be used to encourage traffic from one site to another.
As with any form of social media, there are many tips and tricks that you can use which can be applied to several different media platforms - Pinterest is no different. The six ways listed below are some that you may have already used or maybe you haven't thought to apply them. Well now is your chance.
1. Engage New Audiences
Pinterest is a great way to attract and interact with a new audience. The nature of the site encourages you to pin, comment and share other people's images, which in turn can help drive traffic, generate leads and ultimately increase sales. By sharing content, not only will you be interacting with existing followers, which is proven to increase success, but you will also be exposing your pins to more people. This is because when you pin something, your details are displayed below the pin, which gives people the opportunity to visit your homepage. As you can see, the world of Pinterest is not too dissimilar to Twitter, sharing content is similar to re-tweeting something which again is a well-known way to engage new audiences and increase your online presence.
2. Create Great Content
The ability to pin videos as well as images is a great way to create great engaging content. By clicking on the 'Video navigation link' at the top of the page, this will allow you to watch all of the tutorials which give you a great insight into how you can use videos and share them to boost interaction on the site. Another way to create great content is to be constantly searching the internet for images which you could use. There are many great bookmarking sites which include visuals that you can incorporate into your Pinterest board. Using content from other social networking sites is also a good way to generate content, for example an image used on a new blog could be posted with a link to the blog itself.
3. Create User-generated Boards
Creating a board that is used by followers is a great way to boost interaction. Opening up boards to other Pinterest users can include potential customers into your online marketing campaign in an easy and relatable way. By asking users to pin content onto the board you are able to gain a real insight into what they are enjoying or viewing at that moment in time. It is a priceless element to online marketing that can often provide invaluable information. You could also pick a few of your favourite pinners or most frequent Pinterest fans and create a tribute pinboard. This is also a great way to create content, by using what your followers are most interested in.
4. Use As Part Of Your Market Research
By now, you should already have gathered many ways in which Pinterest can be used to gain market research. One of the best ways to use Pinterest to your advantage is to simply observe and take note about what your potential customers are following. This will give you a great insight into the kinds of images and visuals which they are finding inspiring. Another way to carry out market research is to create an open board with a specific theme and encourage followers to fill it with images that they feel are suitable and relate to the theme. As you can see from the examples given, market research that is carried out can be done without your potential customers knowing - a key advantage, as you can be sure that the information you are receiving is completely unbiased and natural.
5. Interact With Followers
Just like any other social media marketing campaign that you have, your success on Pinterest relies heavily on your constant use of the site. It is important to keep an active profile that is regularly commenting on other people's pins, repining other user's content and following other Pinterest users. Similar to Facebook or Twitter interactions, it is at your discretion how often you interact and engage with followers but sometimes you may feel that you want to comment on pictures or even thank followers for sharing your pins. This is great and remember positive interaction ultimately maintains and often improves relations with potential customers. Due to the fact that everyone you follow will be notified of your activity on the site, this will ensure that some followers are likely to notice your movements and be intrigued to visit your homepage to find out more about who you are and what you do. It is at this point that you need to be prepared and ensure your profile is 100% complete.
6. Fill Your Profile
As the last point mentions, interactions with followers is crucial on Pinterest as your followers will be notified of your activity. This, in turn, often leads to followers viewing your profile to find out some more information about you and your company. This is where it becomes imperative that your profile is full of relevant information. Ensure that your 'About' profile is filled with keywords, just as your Twitter profile should be, connect your Pinterest page to your other social networking sites and most importantly ensure there is a clear link back to your website. This will encourage traffic from Pinterest to your website and vice versa. A final tip is to ensure your profile is made public; this will make it easier for users to find and interact with you on Pinterest.
So there you have it, my six ways to use Pinterest as part of your online marketing campaign, and as you can see many of the tips given can also be applied to your other existing social media campaigns. Seems fairly straightforward right? That's because it is! Online marketing is all about encouraging interaction and creating a positive online image. Now you have the information, it is time to get pinning.
Jonny Ross specialises in Social & Digital Marketing and Organic Search. He has a proven track record in the retail e-commerce field and now specialises in providing and enhancing social and digital services in the B2B and B2C sectors.