If you have not come across Pinterest yet then allow us to introduce you – Pinterest is a new image centric social network that’s taking the Internet by storm. It’s the fastest growing social media site on the web with some staggering statistics.
But perhaps the biggest reason digital marketers are getting excited about Pinterest is that last month (Jan 2012) it generated more referral traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined.
What is Pinterest ?
Pinterest is a way of organising and sharing images, products and designs. Once you have created an account you’re asked to create a series of boards; these are themed collections of whatever appeals to you. There’s no limit to the number of boards you can create and they can be about almost anything you like (nothing discriminatory and no nudity).
Once you’ve created your boards you can add images and video’s by “pinning” them. The easiest way to do this is to install the “pin it” bookmarklet but as Pinterest takes off you’ll probably start to find “pin it” buttons starting to appear next to Facebook Like and Google +1 buttons. When you pin something, Pinterest automatically grabs the source link and the image on Pinterest is linked back to the source picture/product/article.
Who uses Pinterest?
In the US, Pinterest’s user base is overwhelmingly female (83%) on average, from lower income households and aged between 35 and 44. However Pinterest’s UK users are from a very different demographic: The average UK user is aged between 25 and 34, over half have a household income above £65,000 and there’s actually a slight male majority (56%). Have a look at the Infographic here (mashable.com/2012/02/14/pinterest-america-england-infographic) for more detailed information.
Pinterest for B2C Businesses
If you sell products or services that can be captured or summarised with images then Pinterest is for you! Here are a few ideas for ways you can increase your exposure using Pinterest:
- Create boards based on your customer demographics e.g. if you sell Laptops then create a “Laptops for Students” Board and pin all the great value models. If you sell Clothes then create a “Spring 2012 Collection” board.
- Add a description – if your pinned item gets repinned that description goes with it so make sure it’s a good one include links to your web site or other social media accounts.
- Include a price in your description to create your own Pinterest shop, including a £ sign in the description means your product is listed in the gifts section and a banner with the price is layered over your image, telling users that this item is for sale.
- Make your web site Pinterest friendly by including interesting images on product and content pages.
- Create boards with complementary products. For example if you sell motorbike helmets then create a board with your helmets, pictures of bikes, matching leathers, videos of riders using your products etc.
- Create image based coupons with offers or discount codes and pin those – people love sharing a bargain
- Run Pinterest contests and invite users to follow you and pin something relevant on your board to enter.
Pinterest for B2B Businesses
Even if your a B2B company then you’ve still got something to gain from Pinterest. Remember people who work in businesses aren’t always at work and since Pinterest content is public the extra inbound links won’t do your search engine rankings any harm. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Ensure web pages/blog posts have interesting images, if appropriate add a watermark or explanatory text and pin these.
- Pin promotional videos, you never know who’s watching!
- Create a portfolio of examples – if your work is creative or can be shown off using a photo or video then put it on display if it’s interesting people will share it.
- Info-graphics lend themselves very well to Pinterest especially if they’re long (the longer an image the more room it takes up on Pinterest).
- Make boards for your customers – for someone like a recruitment agency this could be the perfect way to promote your customers.
- You can create collaborative boards so why not get staff or customers involved in your next product design?
- Create a board that showcases what your company is about (staff, products, events, offices) and make this available to potential customers so they can see the human side of your organisation.
- Have a dedicated testimonials board and invite customers to post on it.
Don’t forget the social media basics
- Use your business name as your user name for maximum exposure
- Make sure you complete your profile: about, web site, description etc. and link it up to other social media accounts if possible.
- Engage with users, if they comment on one of your pins then make sure you respond.
- Like, comment on, pin and repin other people’s stuff don’t just talk about yourself!
- Use it! Give customers a reason to engage with you.