The online pin board, Pinterest, that has been making waves this past year, is no longer just for individuals who pin what they love in home, weddings, recipes, etc. It has become a hub of consumer generated content that encompasses fashion, photo sharing, a personalized way of categorizing items and so much more. This has become a platform where brands can share what they offer in many different ways and reach out to users who are already talking about them. Along with this, Pinterest provides B2C and B2B companies another way to drive traffic to their website, boosting SEO!
Pinterest definitely brings opportunities for brands that are looking to build buzz. Below are five ways to make it work for your company:
1. Introduce products or interests with “boards”
Are you launching a new clothing line or introducing new styles? With Pinterest “boards” you can showcase these products and create an inspiring collection of pieces. Many brands have embraced this concept and created boards that not only showcase their products, but also provide a sense of inspiration. Here are a few examples:
Each of these brands have taken a unique approach in unveiling not only their content, but their interests as well. They engage you with inviting titles that they know will appeal to their fans. Brands should use this to their advantage by creating boards that provide some stimulation in regards to their products. Gap’s “Everybody in Gap” invites you to view their clothing worn on everyday people. Travel Channel’s “Daily Escapes” invites viewers to browse through favorite vacation spots. All items are linkable – which in turn creates referral traffic to your website!
B2B companies can also take advantage of this by creating boards that relate to their industry. Here are some examples:
Both of these B2B companies showcased their interests via different types of boards. This content not only gives them a channel to provide some inspiration to their readers, but also gives them credibility in their field. OpenView tackled this well with their Books Worth Reading collection.
Video is a hot trend for marketing in 2012 and Pinterest has made it easy for users to pin their favorite videos to boards as well. If you feature product videos on Youtube, trying pinning them on a board to encourage viewership and sharing. Here’s an example of a video on a board:
2. “Re-pin” what others have pinned in your industry
Once you’ve created a presence on Pinterest, you’ll find that people may either already be talking about your brand or are talking about topics that are related to your industry. For example, if you’re an apparel company then people might be talking about a certain type of clothing or in the example provided below, if you’re Whole Foods, people might be talking about their favorite recipes.
Whole Foods has made the best of this social media channel by “re-pinning” many pictures associated with food from other users because they relate to the food industry. If you explore the “Sweet Tooth” board, you’ll find various “pins” from around the web (which look quite yummy I must say):
3. Offer ways to categorize products (holiday gift guide, etc.) or ideas
If you’re an apparel company then you know that one of the best ways to showcase your product is to show consumers how to wear them. If you’re a jewelry designer then you know that if you illustrate how your product will look on a consumer it will make it more appealing. Pinterest provides a great platform for retailers to categorize products according to styles, trends, gift guides, etc. Bergdorf Goodman embraces this concept and provides various ways for potential customers to view fashion trends and styles. Here are a few examples:
The brand has created certain categories that entice customers to click through and learn more. Here’s another example from Nordstrom displaying coats for the winter season:
This board has over 10,000 followers and over 200 people have liked this page. The winning factor is engaging users with content that is relevant and relatable to them. Don’t forget, if users have linked Pinterest with their Facebook account then their pins will show up in their timeline – which increases the likelihood of more users seeing your brand page.
One hidden tip is that if you add a “$” to your pin description then Pinterest will automatically create a price banner for your photo. Pinterest provides an alternative platform for retailers to show and sell their products!
B2B companies can take the opportunity to collaborate with their clients or partners on project ideas. Pinterest allows multiple users to pin to one board so it can provide a great shared platform. For example, if there is a major industry event coming soon, a company can create a fun board to share must-haves for the event, including local recommendations or handy smartphone apps. This can help position the company as a trusted expert.
4. Build contests to promote more “pinning” and “liking” of your products
Everyone knows that people love contests! Contests are a great way to engage people to visit a page or participate in a brand. One company that executed this very well was Land’s End Canvas. In December they asked users to create a pin board with 10 to 20 images from Land’s End website, or repin them from the Land’s End Pinterest page. Once users had completed the board, they had to email the URL to the company to officially enter the contest. They called this contest: “Pin It to Win It” and a quick search shows that this contest garnered nearly 200 entries: http://bit.ly/wtJE58. Given the viral nature of Pinterest, the contest was able to expose their brand to a wider audience and engage Pinterest users. Here is a snapshot of an entry board:
5. Add Pinterest Social Plugins to Your Website
Pinterest offers some goodies for brands to add to their website and help them connect their web visitors to the audience on the Pinterest network.
The Pin It Button – This would allow content on your website to be easily sharable on the Pinterest platform and allow web users to pin the content directly to their boards. The plugin should be added to similar places where Like or Tweet buttons are located for consistency.
The Follow Button – These can be added to your website, blog or other social networks to help promote your brand’s page on Pinterst. The button would encourage visitors to follow you and browse through your images or videos and potentially share or repin them to their network – creating word of mouth marketing for your brand.
These are some basic tips to help companies find creative ways to engage users and build buzz on a social network their customers may already exist on. The social network nearly equals Twitter and Google in referral traffic, so it goes without saying that Pinterest is here to stay. How will you use Pinterest to promote your brand?