Very Pinteresting, Indeed
The concept behind Pinterest—a virtual pinboard for storing images and their accompanying links—is a simple one, but it has taken off to become one of the most popular social networking sites on the Internet. In fact, during the month of January alone, it drove more referral traffic than Youtube, Google+ and LinkedIn. That’s no small feat.
Pinterest is an easily-accessible melting pot of visual info, and the sheer volume of active Pinterest users make it an essential marketing resource for small businesses. With all the different interests and personality types that are represented on the site, Pinterest is a great way to improve and expand your company. We’ve pinpointed three key ways that Pinterest benefits businesses—research, networking, and brand building—and some techniques outlining what you can do to maximize these benefits:
1. See What Other Images Interest Users
To see what images from your website people are pinning, enter the URL http://pinterest.com/source/yourdomainname.com. This will tell you which of your images people are sharing the most, and you can use that information to shape your future content accordingly. Did thirty people love your blog post on five strange uses for old shoes, while only a handful pinned the image in your post on the best Italian leather shoemakers? Pinterest is a quick and easy way to see what interests your customers the most.
2. Optimize Your Post Times
Just like with Facebook and Twitter, there are better times for posting than others. Experiment with different hours and see what yields the most likes, comments and repins.
3. See What's Trending
To get a more general view of what’s interesting the majority of Pinterest users, check out the images on the site’s “Popular” page.
4. Learn What People Think of Your Brand
Board names can be illuminating; they tell how the customer sees whatever they’ve pinned. Boards that currently have links to the IMA blog pinned include names like “SEO,” “Marketing We Believe In” and my personal favorite, “Freakin’ Great Ideas.” Looking at board names can help you get a sense of how people perceive you and what kind of audience you’re reaching.
5. Store Your Info In One Convenient Place
Maybe you’d like to have a document with all the info from your website’s pinned images, including comments, pin descriptions, repins and board names. If you scroll down the very bottom of the page displaying your site’s pinned images and type “Control+A” (or “Command+A” if you’re using a Mac), all of the information on the page will be highlighted, and you can then copy it and paste it into a word processor. The images won’t appear, but all the accompanying information will be in one document.
6. Comment on Images
Like commenting on blogs, commenting on images is a useful way to connect with others in your field. Why do you find a particular image useful or interesting? How does it benefit you? Let the user know and include their username in your reply (“@username”), which will help them with their visibility on Facebook and Twitter. If you establish a relationship with them, they’ll hopefully do the same and enhance your online presence, too.
7. Make A Contest Board
Hold an interactive contest to increase your board’s visibility and comments. Have users submit images to one board, and have Pinterest users vote by commenting on their favorite. Award the user whose pin attracted the most interesting comments wins a prize. For example, if your business is a small clothing line, you could hold a contest challenging users to add their own spin to a basic clothing item—like a basic black t-shirt—and have them pin their submission photos to the contest board.
8. Have Customers Contribute
A different take on the testimonials page, a Pinterest board with your clients’ testimonials, and images will let others see what you’ve accomplished. (And since pictures tell a thousand words, a testimonials board might be even more attractive than the typical text-only testimonial, especially if clients use an interesting photo.)
Create Boards Focused on Your Company
Give users an inside look at your company: create a Pinterest board with images summarizing your company’s birth, its values and its goals; an employee board with your employees’ individual images and a brief description of the person underneath; or a behind-the-scenes board with photos of you and your employees in the work environment. Adding a human element to your company is a surefire way to attract customers to your business.
Make Boards Focusing on Your Buyer Personas
Create a board that represents the type of buyer persona you’re targeting. Place the board on your website so that visitors know what sort of businesses you want to attract. If you’re aiming to attract business executives who travel a lot, pin images of products that match their lifestyle—productivity apps for smartphones, business apparel, travel gear, etc.
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/graur razvan ionut