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Everyone is talking about Pinterest! Are you on it? Have you heard of it?

Chances are, your customers have! And they may be on there pinning your company, looking for your products, or recommending your competitors.

 

Pinterest featue in Metro - 27th February 2012

Pinterest featue in Metro – 27th February 2012 (Photo credit: Great British Chefs)

 

Information is moving at the speed of light these days. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with our emails, let alone engage with our client or potential clients via social media. The stark reality is that the world has changed, and we all have to evolve to further engage our customers.  To keep up with your customers, you have to keep up with social media.  As CEO of a social media-marketing firm, I’m asked all the time about Facebook and Twitter.  But recently there has been more and more chatter surrounding the social network Pinterest. I’m going to help explain why:

 

The evocative aspect of imagery is a powerful thing, and nobody does it better than Pinterest. If you haven’t seen Pinterest, you should do so immediately. It’s really a beautiful site to behold.   We’re evolving from textually based social networks to social media networking being driven more and more by imagery.  Human beings are inspired by ideas, concepts and emotion.  Images expedite this type of communication.   Recently studies that show the “share of time” spent on Facebook articulates that our time skews heavily toward images – people are looking at photographs.  This makes sense – right? What grabs you?  What pulls emotion out of you?  Images.

 

We can see this in the way that we communicate ideas: take this quote for example:

 

“Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe the dedicated. “

 

It is powerful, and has meaning and is an intriguing quote –but it is so much more powerful when shown as an image:

Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe the dedicated

 

 

OK , you get it now – you feel the emotion. You’ve now gone 10 steps beyond the textual aspect of the quote.  This is why Pinterest can be powerful for your brand.  You now have the ability to communicate the emotion behind your business or communicate the “soul” of your business.

 

What is Pinterest exactly? 

 

It’s fun, it’s powerful, and it can be a bit addictive.  That’s a powerful notion for brands.  Pinterest has been around since 2010.  In the beginning it grew through females in Middle America (you know, the ones that are driving home purchases).  About 4 or 5 months ago it spiked to 10 million users.   Recently there have been reports that there are now 17 million users.  After this recently growth spurt, we’re starting to see the demographic starting to balance between men and women.   Pinterest is becoming more and more mainstream. Now we’re starting to see really powerful traffic numbers. Pinterest is shaking up the likes of Twitter.  Recently a study showed that Twitter referral traffic to websites is 3.61% and Pinterest is 3.6%. Why should you care?  Money goes where the eyeballs go! If you can generate interest, you can get people to your website, and If they get to your website via Pinterest, they are 10% more likely to buy something from you.

 

How should you engage in Pinterest?

  1.  Share, inspire and engage.  
    1. Try to invest sweat equity, and truly engage with your community. Figure out what inspired you to start your company?   So for example: if your father started your business, pin photos of your Dad in the early days of building the business.  Old photos play well.
    2. Take a moment to think about what evokes emotion around your brand.   A new employee? A retirement party? Show those images!
  2. Add a “pin-it” button on your website.
    1. There is a feature that Pinterest offers where you can add a little “pin it” button on your browser. So if you see an image throughout the Internet, and you want to share the image you can click on this button in your browser and share it on your Pinterst page.
    2. You want people to speak with your brand. You want to find out what is living in their minds. You want to understand what lives in their hearts. So show an image that inspires you and ask for commentary.

 

Tips for pinning:

 

  • Descriptions that are about 20 characters long are the most repinned
  • The most pinned words
    • Love
    • Home
    • Things
    • Style
    • Ideas

 

Three tips to get optimal engagement from your community:

 

  1. Contests
    1. Repinning and photo submission contests work best.
    2. Start requesting content from the people who are following you.  Ask the community to vote for a winner – it generates lots of buzz and activity and you can learn from it. You can see what motivates them; you can see what excites them. You can learn about your business when you start to pay attention to what people submit. You may be able to come up with a new product offering or new service based on the images that people share with you.
  2. Plan Ahead
    1. You have to have some sort of strategy
    2. There needs to be acceptance from your executive team.
    3. Figure out who is going to be responsible for your Pinterest page.
    4. Make sure that your other social places are connected to your Pinterest account.
    5. From time to time it’s ok to tweet your pin, or share your pin on Facebook as well.
    6. Please stop talking about yourself!
      1. I know this is difficult, but you must stop talking about your brand.   More pull, less push.
      2. You must curate content that is tertiary to your brand and that people are already pinning.
      3. Become a part of the community and stop trying to sell on Pinterest.
      4. If they fall in love with your brand, and they see that you’re genuinely engaging with them they will get to your site eventually
  3. Let go, and have fun!
    1. This is your personality and your brand connecting with other like-minded brands and people.
    2. Add playful and fun titles, include keywords, and mix content with your own brands and others.
    3. Pin images from clients/customers.  Add watermarks to your images if you’re concerned about copy write.
    4. If you don’t love your image, then hire a photographer.   Better yet, just encourage your employees to take photos and contribute to your Pinterest page.
    5. If you don’t have images, but you have data – then create an infograph (piktochart) will help.

 

Final thought:  Be nice, and credit your sources. Happy pinning!