How to Develop an Effective Pinterest Strategy
Pinterest has 12 million users, so naturally, you want a piece of the pie, right? Pinterest allows its users to create collages of products, recipes and photos that represent their interests.
It’s easy. It’s fun. Some people even say it’s addictive. But how can your company benefit from it?
Weighing the Risks
When you submit content to Pinterest, you essentially participate in a large pool of creative commons sharing. Others are allowed to repost your content, and you also grant Pinterest a whole heap of rights to any content you upload. No, they don’t own the content, but they are able to exert a number of irrevocable rights over it.
As a rule of thumb, be wary of posting anything that is not copyrighted by your company. If you post (or repost) something copyrighted by someone else, you could be involved in legal proceedings and subjected to fines.
The safest way to upload content that isn’t yours is by using a share widget that is embedded in the source site. This automatically provides a backlink to the original content source.
DO NOT use someone else’s photo by saving and uploading it.
Planning your Strategy
Pinterest is an especially viable platform for companies in the travel, retail, food or design industries. In contrast to service providers, these companies can create visual campaigns that are directly linked to their products.
This doesn’t mean that companies outside of these industries can’t benefit from Pinterest, but without a physical product, Pinterest marketing is challenging.
As a platform, Pinterest is best used to showcase and redefine brand image. A product-driven campaign uses photos of the company’s products. Companies can embed the Pinterest share widget on e-commerce sites or photo galleries to allow consumers to upload their own Pins (Check out Martha Stewart’s Website for examples.).
Another product-driven campaign approach would be to upload images yourself. This will allow you to provide a description and a link back to your Website. When users click on the photo, they will be redirected to your site.
(Product-driven campaigns can integrate these strategies as well.)
Any company can create a “What We Love” Pinterest account. Your social media strategist can share food, fashion and other culturally relevant pins that would appeal to your audience. Remember to keep the message focused.
For example, my son loves bulldozers and construction trucks, and I was able to find the perfect cake for his birthday by searching “construction”. Five different construction companies had uploaded construction themed birthday cakes.
Personality-driven campaigns work well for media companies, bloggers, and DIY crafters. Any company that boasts a big personality or a culturally relevant niche can give Pinterest a whirl. Starbucks and Mashable are two companies I follow on Pinterest that are not product-driven. Their posts follow the same guidelines as most individual Pinterest members. (The attitude is, “Hey, I found this! Isn’t it neat?”)
Another idea is to upload photos of your employees, company projects or milestones. Customers love to see what goes on behind the scenes, and it is a great way to share the personalities behind the brand. Plus, you can link the photos to your Website.
How to Amplify Reach and Measure Results
Before you begin uploading your product photos, you will need to identify descriptive keywords and include those in the image description. This will allow others to find your images.
Remember, Pinterest is a social media platform. This means you will want to attract as many followers as possible. The best way to do this is by creating engaging, focused content and updating often. Follow other companies and people in your field to see what’s trending.
The number of times your product is repined is a good indicator of what people like about your product, but the true indicators will be found in any increased traffic and revenue from Pinterest followers.