Published on August 24th, 2012 | by John I.
What a brand needs now: pins and repins
Facebook dominates the social media world, with Twitter in distant second, but Pinterest has claimed third place,
blowing past Google+.
Pinterest is the social phenom of 2012. With more than 104 million visits in March 2012 (Experien Hitwise) and more than 10 million registered users, Pinterest is the rising social media channel for brand promotion.
Pinterest is not just the hottest place to post pretty pictures, it’s also a traffic-driver with incredible potential. Some brands, especially those with product that sells through visuals — like fashion and home décor — are seeing more referrals from Pinterest than either Facebook or Twitter.
The most effective way for businesses engage on Pinterest is to create boards that are actually mini-catalogs [http://pinterest.com/catalogs/] to display products. Boards that tell a story are especially appealing, as are boards built around a theme, like a color, season or holiday. Pins should include friendly, searchable descriptions, and link to the product on the web. Brands can also pin graphics that link to helpful blog posts, shopping advice, recipes and other interesting content. Attractive and engaging content grows a following.
Two strategies for pin power
Companies that approach Pinterest with a blend of two strategies are the most successful at garnering followers, repins, click-throughs and brand awareness. These two strategies are:
1. Company-generated content – a variety of boards featuring a rich collection of uploaded and repined content on the company Pinterest account
2. Visitor-generated content – pinned from a brand website or shared from the brand’s boards to their own Pinterest boards
Brands shouldn’t tackle Pinterest without a vision. Businesses should develop a collection of boards that fit their product and mission, with enough pinned images on each board to create depth. Content should be fresh and dynamic, with new pins on a regular basis. Setting up 20 random boards and sprinkling them with a handful of pins looks amateurish and uncommitted – especially to the legions of “pin pros.” And the ultimate goal is collecting enough followers to give your brand’s pins reach.
A note of caution: “blowing up the pin feed” with scores of pins in a short amount of time will annoy a brand’s followers. It might even result in being flagged as a spammer in the Pinterest universe.
The second strategy in becoming a Pinterest star is to make it easy for users to pin directly from the brand’s website. Many businesses need to take a fresh look at their web pages, critically evaluating product images and visual presentation. Make certain that images are pin-friendly. Flash is not. Images that are too small – less than 85 x 85px — won’t pin. The web pages that excel at attracting pinners include “Pin it” buttons in their arsenal of social sharing buttons.
Brands garnering the most benefit from establishing a Pinterest presence understand the “social” in Pinterest as a social media channel. Similar to best practices on Twitter and Facebook, brand presence on Pinterest should not be one-directional. Successful companies do not broadcast; they follow other pinners, repin from other boards, collaborate on “group” boards and leave pertinent comments. They engage.
About the contributor: Anne Rose is the social media navigator at Catalogs.com [http://www.catalogs.com], managing the company’s presence on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+, and curates the content at its online informational library of more than 7000 articles.