5 Ways to Make Pinterest Work for Your Business

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Last month, Pinterest.com received 11 million unique visitors, becoming the fastest site ever to break the 10-million-visitors-a-month threshold. If you compare Pinterest and Twitter side by side, Pinterest retains and engages users two to three times more efficiently than Twitter did at the same point in its history. Pinterest has been around for about two years, but it’s suddenly started to pick up pace – I’ve been getting to grips with the site to find out how the best way to make it work as part of your social media strategy. For those unfamiliar with the site, its concept is similar to that of Twitter. The point is to ‘follow’ people from all over the world – not just your real-life friends. However, instead of tweets, you follow user’s ‘pinboards’ full of images.

Who Uses Pinterest?

If you’re not familiar with Pinterest; it has been described as ‘social scrapbooking’, ‘social content curation’ and ‘fantasy football for girls’. One of the hottest topics surrounding the site is to do with its demographics: in the US, over 80% of users are women.

Here in the UK the stats are far more balanced between the genders – in fact there’s a slightly greater number of male users. This is frequently attributed to the large proportion of PR agencies using Pinterest in the UK. There is widespread speculation that these figures will begin to mirror the US demographics once the site starts to attract a greater number of civilian users on this side of the pond.

How to Make Pinterest Work for Your Business

There is huge potential for businesses to promote themselves via Pinterest, and many agencies have already cottoned on to the fact that it’s a great way for themselves and their clients to engage and interact with target markets.

1) Kittens and Cupcakes – the Surprising Way to Marketing Success

I’ll let you in on a secret – something which I find slightly irksome about Pinterest could probably be used to your advantage to build followers. So far, a massive portion of users have dedicated their pinboards to pictures of kittens, cupcakes and slightly twee crafts. So this is a big clue about the kind of content that will go viral and help you build lots of followers in no time at all. Make of that what you will.

2) Enjoy Pinning

Pinterest is a brilliant concept and has the potential to be highly addictive. It’s great for when you need to take five minutes out from a project for some creative inspiration. Don’t just see it as a means to sell to people; invest some time getting to know the site and enjoy using it – the result will seem much more genuine to other users. People will quickly see through your efforts if it seems as though you’re just there to give them the hard sell.

3) Be Niche

Another good way to build lots of followers is to give people something they can’t get anywhere else. The best way to do this is to get a feel for the content that gets the most ‘likes’ and ‘repins’ and then give it your own unique twist. Extra brownie points if you can weave your own brand message into this.

4) Mix it Up

Probably the best way for brands to successfully use Pinterest is to pin a mixture of self promotional and external content which may be of interest to users. Just make sure you hold off from self promotion until you have built up a substantial follower base with your viral content.

5) Think Outside the Box

Handshake photos are a major don’t (in fact this applies to any PR photography). Same goes for ribbon cutting shots – just say no! Instead, think about the end user of your product or service. If your business is an e-commerce website selling cutlery to catering firms, don’t just use screen shots or product images – how about your product in action, maybe being used by guests at a wedding dinner, or an outdoor banquet on board a ship. Think of something different and unusual and watch it go viral (or alternatively contact us and we’ll do the thinking for you!).

To find out more about how we can make marketing more interesting for your business and boost your sales, get in touch now on 01202 237 137.