Pinterest Tips for Business Marketers

Published: May 17, 2012 Author: Clearpoint Tags: Social Media Tips and Tricks Series

If you are female and living in the center of the country, chances are you've discovered Pinterest. And if you've discovered it, chances are you are now in need of a 12-step program. Your family really does miss you.

You can search and find plenty of online writings about Pinterest's origins and growth. Suffice to say it is white hot and is furiously pulling in the very people who make most of the buying decisions in this country: Women. (Pinterest holds plenty of appeal for men too, but women comprise nearly all of its users.)

At Clearpoint, we like to help our staffing clients deploy new ideas that help them grow. With that in mind we assembled a group of marketing experts last month at our office for a Pinterest brainstorm session. Visually appealing, delicious appetizers (found on Pinterest, naturally) and exceptional company were enough for a memorable after-work event. Best of all, nearly everyone who attended left feeling inspired and energized to start leveraging Pinterest's incredible online reach.

I won't attempt to capture the wide ranging conversation in this post, but here is a summary of some of the tips and ideas that emerged:

Think Beach

Pinterest is about building collections. Imagine strolling on the beach, picking up shells, and putting them into your plastic pail. From time to time you gaze down into your bucket and admire how beautiful the shells look all together. You put your hand into the bucket and pick out one shell to look at it closely. You show it to your friend, remember the experience of finding it, chat for a minute or two, put it back in your bucket, and keep walking.

As a business marketer, remember that when you create or pin content you are putting a shell on the beach for someone else to pick up. Pinterest users pick up shells from anywhere on the web or peer into one another's "buckets" and collect shells from those. A Pinterest user might see one of your shells by itself and decide to keep it, or she might peer into your bucket to find a whole group of related shells that resonates with her on some level.

Business Marketing with Pinterest

Pinterest is inherently well suited for brand marketing. First think back to what your brand really stands for and what your brand messages are, then think if ways to visually tell your brand story. You may already have great pinnable content that supports your brand. If not, check out some of the ideas listed here.

Pinterest is also inherently well suited for driving traffic to your blog posts or web pages. Use relevant, visually interesting images with each individual post and pin them. Once an image is pinned, edit the pin to link back to the post. Remember that each pin is a single shell that you want someone to pick up.

If your customers need training or help to use your product, consider photographic "how-to" pins that demonstrate how to use it step-by-step.

Use Pinterest to promote special events, perhaps by pinning event posters and linking them back to the event's landing page or charity site.

Use Pinterest to share visuals about appropriate gear for activities you are promoting or appropriate attire for events.

Are you trying to reach different audiences on Pinterest? Create different pinboards for each one.

If your brand uses graphical elements like shape or color, consider a pinboard that plays with that element.

Use Pinterest to share visuals about appropriate gear for activities you are promoting or appropriate attire for events.

If you curate content pinned by others, pin from the original source. Screen the entire website for text or images that are not consistent with your brand message. For example, if you are marketing B2B make sure there are no swear words, racy ads, links to competitors, etc.

You can use Pinterest to sell products but don't pin advertisements. Instead, pin compelling content that draws interested users to your site. You can do your selling there.

Engage employees by creating boards and pins to promote their accomplishments, causes, and charity work (always obtain permission before posting about employees).

Use keywords in your pinboard titles and descriptions.

Use hashtags to make your content more searchable in Pinterest.

You can track Pinterest marketing metrics using Pinreach.Com or Google Analytics.

Pinerly.Com provides productivity tools to help you schedule your pins, along with other services.

Pinterest Facts

Founder Ben Silbermann created Pinterest in 2009 for users to keep collections online. Source:

Pinterest users are mostly "18-34 year old upper income women from the American heartland" Source:

You retain all rights to your own content that you pin, but you also grant Pinterest broad rights to use, distribute, and modify it. Review the Terms of Use carefully! Source: Pinterest.Com

Pinterest supplies code to block pinning that can be used by publishers who don't want their content to be pinned.

Pinterest makes money through contract agreements with sites that sell things. When traffic that leads to a sale originates on Pinterest, they get a cut. Source:

Pinterest has no privacy controls. Every pin and every comment is visible to all users.

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