June 27, 2014

Making Pinterest work for your business

Written By Rebecca Larkin
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Last week, I blogged about visual social networking platform Pinterest and I gave a couple of brilliant examples of best practice including Ben and Jerry’s. This brand not only makes ice cream that looks tempting and tastes delicious, it is pretty good at social media too.

What I like most about the ice cream company’s page is that it’s personal. The description is short and sweet, using the top keywords that will get them found online. The page is also verified by Pinterest, which adds credibility, and links to Ben and Jerry’s Twitter account.

The boards truly reflect the brand’s products, culture and interests, and are based on what ice cream fans are already pinning and plan to pin in the future. ‘Flavor Graveyard’, for example, is genius as it celebrates flavours that have been and gone, and ‘History’ and ‘Vermont’ give visitors an insight into life behind the brand.

Before you follow the footsteps of any brand successfully using Pinterest though, bear in mind that Pinterest will only work if you get the basics right first.

Sounds simple but it’s not uncommon to see organisations launch a Pinterest page only to leave it sparse or blank – giving visitors a sour taste in their mouth. Ask yourself if you are really ready to commit to social media. Before you embark on any social media network, you need to have the right resources in place. This incudes people, time and content.

Appoint an eager employee within your business as social media ambassador. Make it their role to manage and update the page as well as regularly pin content and engage with fellow pinners. Consistency is the key. Don’t pin 100 times at once and then forget to update the page for another month. Set aside around five minutes a few times a week for pinning.

The content needs to be relevant and timely too. According to RJMetrics, 80% of pins are repins because the content is visually engaging. This is a massive figure when you consider that only about 1.4% of tweets on Twitter are retweeted by their followers.

As with the earlier example, create boards that are personal to your brand. It is not just about posting images of your products and services. Take the time to research what your target customers are pinning and create some inspirational boards based on their interests and your values. Be creative with your pins and use images, graphics, animations and videos. A word of warning though: it’s important you pin your own original content, or credit the source in the description if you’re repinning existing pins from other users.

On that note, take advantage of the description box for each pin. Use searchable terms in each pin description and add a weblink back to the source of that pin. This means that, if you post your own original content, pinners are likely to refer to your website.

Finally, social media is meant to be social. Like and comment on pins from likeminded individuals and businesses. Like Twitter, you can use hashtags to highlight keywords e.g. #chocolate and, like Facebook, you can mention other users e.g. @rolleragency.

Happy pinning!