Four Ways Brands Can Take Advantage of Pinterest

May 14, 2013

For most companies, Pinterest has moved from the question of “Should we?” to “How can we best use it?” If you’re lucky enough to have fans pinning your content, then you should have a solid plan in place on how to harness that power and best use it to your advantage.

Here are four Pinterest strategies we suggest utilizing to drive results:

1. Make sure your basics are covered.

This translates to analytics! Pinterest has rolled out web analytics for businesses, and if you haven’t yet set your brand up with those, move that to the top of your “To Do” list after you finish reading this article. For businesses purposes and to really gain insights into what your customers are loving, this is a must-do.

2. Showcase what’s popular.

Chances are, if Pinterest users love your newest patio furniture set, floral maxi dress or recipe for stuffed peppers, than this is an item more people will love too. Why not showcase your most popular pinned item(s) on your homepage? Not all website visitors will be Pinterest users, yet a simple “What our fans are loving!” with the Pinterest logo can attract any type of visitor. Most anyone loves to see what others are loving at the moment.

This idea can be carried across the different social channels too. Have a “fan favorite” Pinterest board or feature the most pinned item each week on Facebook or your blog. Test different ideas to see what drives more clicks/sales!

3. Keep them looking.

While browsing Pinterest on my phone the other day, I came across an item perfect for the paranoid mother in me. I clicked through to check it out, and rather than just posting that the item was no longer carried, the company, Solutions posted this:

The item I was interested in was no longer available, but they had posted a message specifically to Pinterest users directing them to other products on their site. I was so impressed by their product and commitment to helping me that I did click through and look around. Not only did they keep me on their site longer, but they showed me that they value their Pinterest fans.

4. Make contests personal.

I recently came across a contest for a major home interior organization. It was a classic “Pin It to Win It” contest, and they asked fans to pin favorite items from a new collection for a chance of winning. Problem? The majority of the items weren’t “pin-worthy.” Scrub brushes and cleaning supplies on plain backgrounds don’t top the list of things people look for on Pinterest nor qualify as items people want to share with friends. Many users are cautious of spamming their followers with material that friends won’t find valuable.

Done right, a contest should encourage the pinner to showcase their own personal style while at the same time sharing material that is useful or fun. JetSetter just hosted a fun campaign asking pinners to pin an image of their favorite hotel with a short blurb on why they love it, along with a designated hashtag. This campaign was awesome because it wasn’t the same image being pinned over and over again. Rather it was a collection of beautiful travel destinations and useful tips. The hashtag was all they needed to create awareness for the company, and had they wanted traffic from the contest a link could have easily been incorporated into the sharing requirements.

Pinterest users look for visually beautiful images, useful tips, great stories, inspiration and new products. The secret is all in the image that accompanies the story. Make it compelling. Develop a solid Pinterest strategy based on what your customers want (not what you want to share!) before starting your next Pinterest campaign.


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