July 5, 2012

A few months ago I introduced you to the social media site Pinterest. Today, I’d like to offer you three tips for how you can fully realise its potential as a marketing tool.

First, let me give you a brief refresher. Pinterest is a visual “pinboard” with more than 18.7 million unique visitors each month. It allows users to connect with one another via shared tastes and interests. They “pin” images and videos to pinboards that are generally identified by an idea or theme, such as travel or books. As a “pinner” one can create, collect, share, and repin images and videos in any of the 32 categories that Pinterest has set up.

Let’s get started.

Plan Your Pins Ahead

With so many possibilities, it’s tempting to just start pinning images from your site. Don’t. First make sure you’ve set up your account fully, filling out all the profile information and linking it to your Facebook and Twitter account in order to maximise exposure.

When setting up your pinboards, consider your customers or clients. What are the services or products that they will most likely search for? If you are a sports retailer, perhaps you’ll have pinboards for tennis and football and golf. If you’re a bookshop, perhaps your pinboards will be grouped by subject, such as Renaissance history and literature. If you’re a garden shop, you might have pinboards for herbs and perennials. Also, be creative in coming up with names for your boards. For example, don’t just call your board “Flowers,” call it “Bountiful Blooms!”

Make Your Pins Pop
The great thing about Pinterest is that an arresting image will get noticed and repinned thousands and thousands of times. In the language of the Internet, it will go viral. Pinterest is about the visual. It’s about that image that sticks with you long after you’ve moved on to something else, the one that makes you tell your friends what you saw.

In order to make your images pinnable, you need to find ways to highlight what you have to offer in the best way visually. Choose the best images from your site, or use one of the many tools available on the Internet to help you create them, including Pinstamatic, Snagit, and Pixir. Always make sure that the image you use is copyright-free.

Generally, the most engaging and repinned images on Pinterest are the ones that are the most simple. To go back to our bookshop example, maybe your pins aren’t images of each book’s cover. Perhaps, instead, you choose a line from the book and place it against a simple colored background; quotes are some of the most repinned pins on Pinterest.

Track Your Pinning Success
As with all of your social media efforts, you should track how well your Pinterest efforts are doing. When you log into Pinterest, a “Recent Activity” box will appear on the left of your screen, which will provide a breakdown of comments, likes, repins, and follows. Note the categories, keywords, and suchlike, that get the most activity and concentrate your efforts there.

The possibilities for Pinterest are endless. Happy pinning!



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(Image by Raul P)

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