Over the last year, Pinterest has rapidly become one of the most exciting new social networks. Of course, when anything new bounces onto the online scene, it is important to take some time and see if it is worthwhile before sending resources toward it. It looks like Pinterest is here to stay, and with that, it brings exciting new possibilities in the world of online marketing. Like all pre-existing social networks, Pinterest can be a great tool if used correctly, but can reflect poorly on company’s brand, or be a waste of time if used incorrectly. Here are a few key tips on how to use Pinterest to boost your business.
Is it worth it?
First of all, you need to work with your team to understand if Pinterest makes sense for your brand and site. It can be easy to think of Pinterest as a free online catalogue for your business, a platform to upload images of your products and services and make them available to anyone. But if you’re not careful with what images you share, it could end up backfiring. Discuss what photos you would be sharing on Pinterest, if they would be of interest to the Pinterest community, and if these photos are something you can build your brand around.
Organize and strategize
Once you’ve determined if it’s right for your business, you need to work on a strategy. You cannot just simply upload a bunch of photos, sit back, and wait for the customers to roll in. Pinterest is an online community, and to be a successful member of the community you need to participate. This means not only posting on a regular basis, but also repinning interesting images shared by those you follow, commenting on other user’s pins and responding to and engaging with anyone interacting with your company’s Pinterest profile.
Who to follow?
Once you have laid out an overall strategy, it is time to identify which Pinners you should follow, and dedicate time and resources into interactions. This should be a mix of fellow brands, industry experts, and personal users who have demonstrated an affinity for either your brand in particular, or simply products in your industry. Pay attention to their pins, repin, comments, and start interacting with them. Social networking is a give and take world – if you start sharing their pins, they will be more likely to be drawn to yours, interact with your pins and share them with their followers.
Presence not products
An important thing to bear in mind when developing your Pinterest strategy, is that you are there to promote a presence, not products. Pinterest is not just a place to put up free ads of your products – it is an opportunity to promote your brand’s identity, and interact with existing and potential customers and competitors. It is also a great platform for conducting market research.
Many feel that Pinterest is just another social network where people waste time on the web by looking at fun pictures, however it has the potential to be an incredibly powerful marketing tool — but only if used properly. Spend some time figuring out your strategy, and reap the benefits in your business.
About the Author: Mary Johnson is a freelance editor specializing in marketing related articles. Mary is currently working for Tradestable – a website that sells second-hand cars.