A P’interesting New Addition to the Social Media Landscape
How businesses can leverage the new social bookmarking phenomenon for digital success
Jumping from 40,000 to over 3.2 million users in the last year, niche social bookmarking website, Pinterest.com, is growing fast. Nicknamed a “Visual Twitter”, the invite-only website allows users collect and categorize images from around the web onto labeled “pin boards” and is on a mission “to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” As the platform continues to expand (it was just named a Top 10 social networking website by Experian Hitwise), businesses are taking notice. Here’s a step by step guide for implementing Pinterest into your existing marketing campaign to grow your online presence:
Request an invite either right on the website or get a friend or colleague to invite you. It is also possible to request an invite on Facebook, Twitter or other social networking platform. Once you’ve been invited, sign in using an existing Facebook or Twitter account to easily connect with friends/followers from those platforms.
Set up a public profile and making sure to pepper your “About” section with keywords relevant to your products and services.
Create boards that correlate to your business’s products and services. If your industry isn't particularly visual, try using images of what can be done with your products, pictures of coupons and QR codes, or exclusive product offerings only available on your Pinterest board.
As you pin new items, be sure to add URLs to image descriptions. Any URL in the description of a Pin is automatically turned into a link, and unlike Flickr’s “NOFOLLOW” links, Pinterest automatically stores the original link within the platform. Also, while Pinterest allows users to pull images from their computers, 95% of the images on Pinterest are either pinned or re-pinned from the web. Depending on the popularity of the subject, a link could be re-pinned or shared over and over again, making Pinterest a link builder’s goldmine. Additionally, as social cues increasingly influence search engine rank, the value of these links will continue to grow.
Add ‘Pin It’ buttons (similar to Facebook’s "Share" buttons) to your bookmarks tab and next to images on your site, and share pins and boards that are related to your business on Twitter and Facebook.
Do some research! Not only does Pinterest support your link-building campaign, it allows your company to glean key insights about target users and industry trends. According to Nordstrom social media manager, Shauna Causey, "We found that it's a great way to not only share info but also learn about our community. Pinterest allows us to see what trends and styles the community likes based on engagement - likes and re-pins."
To make the most of Pinterest’s engagement capabilities, “Follow” and regularly browse pin boards of target users and industry thought leaders. Also analyze Pinterest’s “Popular”, “Everything” and “Discovery” feeds to see what’s trending in your industry.
Interact. As with any social platform, reciprocity is rewarded on Pinterest. Liking and commenting on images in your category not only connects you to others in your industry, it demonstrates your thought leadership and shows that you’re not only interested in self-promotion.