Utilizing Pinterest for Marketing

Pinterest is hot right now, hot like a volcano. According to research Pinterest has in the ballpark of 4 million unique visitors a day and is the third most popular social media network today, beating out both Linkedin and Google+.

Pinterest operates as a pinboard sharing platform. Where users can ‘pin’ their favorite images of products, celebrities, craft items, or any other image to boards that are arranged by topic. User can ‘repin’ images their friends have ‘pinned.’ Their ultimate ambition is to  “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” It is literally a network centered on collecting images, videos, or products that inspire the users.

With so much traffic and users spending their time on Pinterest, marketers and companies, including us here at Southern California Marketing Services, have been rushing to find the best way to utilize this platform for clients. Accordingly we have developed the following guidelines for companies to utilize Pinterest.

Pinterest is driven by the image. Unlike sites like Twitter, where users create short messages, Pinterest users are attracted to content that is image centric. Companies can take advantage of this in several way.

First companies can utilize two different types of pins. The first is what we call “direct pins.” These pins are of images that directly links to your company’s content, website, products, and individuals. For example pining an image from a blog post written by an employee or a image of a company’s product, is a great way to bring traffic to your content. Pinning a great image will lead to people repining it and will bring more exposure for your company.

The second is what we call “indirect or culture pins.” These are pins that link users to non-company related blogs, images, and content. Though not directly linking individuals to a company’s products, these pins are very valuable to showcase a company’s passions, interests, and culture.

Whole Foods, retailer of natural and organic foods, is exceptionally good at using “indirect pins on Pinterest.  Rather than simply pining photos of their organic products their pins focus on recipes, books, graphic designs, and photos that accentuate their corporate identity. They have situated themselves, via their pins, as experts and leaders within the natural and organic food community on Pinterest.

Though what a company pins is important to create a corporate image and a platform for their own products, success on Pinterest is dependant on ‘repins’ from people who follow a company’s board and participating within the Pinterest community. Repining from fans, or other pinners, is as important as post one’s own content. It demonstrates to users the company wants to actively engage with them and Pinterest, rather than using the site for self-promotion. Like other social media websites, Pinterest is a way to engage with customers and users. Yet it may not be the best method for some companies or brands, if your company or brand relies on visual content, it might be worth exploring how Pinterest can help.

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