For most of us Pinterest has already captured our interest with the ability to make inspiration boards for every occasion and interest. However, Pinterest doesn’t just have to be about collecting and sharing beautiful images – it can now be about helping your business to engage with customers on a whole new level.
#1 Make the Association Visible
The most important aspect of Pinterest for businesses is making sure that clients and prospects are aware of your presence on Pinterest. This is easier than it may sound as Pinterest has already created a “Goodies” page full of buttons for you to add to your website. Another aspect that will drive content sharing in the ‘Pin It’ button, which encourages your customers and readers to pin your products onto Pinterest
#2 Promote more than just products
Because Pinterest is about sharing beautiful images, it is immediately obvious when businesses are simply pushing their products. A way to side-step the spamming nature of promoting only products, it is much better to try and create a inspirational lifestyle than can be achieved by, for example, shopping at your store.
Whole Foods in the United States shows a great example on how to promote a lifestyle instead of products: http://wildhairmedia.com/2012/01/23/whole-foods-shows-brands-how-to-use-pinterest/
Notice that they aren’t pinning items that are directly available in their store, but, rather, they are pinning items that relate to a lifestyle that can be achieved by shopping at their store. They want to inspire you to be creative with organic food, entertaining guests, and being eco friendly, all of which are central themes to the Whole Foods brand.
3# Respect Pinterest Etiquette
Be mindful of pin etiquette as outlined by Pinterest: be respectful, be authentic, credit your sources, avoid self-promotion and report objectionable content.
Brian Honigman from Luna Metrics has some pointers regarding etiquette for brands: by sharing images and videos from other industry-related user’s boards, you will “keep your profile community-based and not just a promotion center for your assets and products. Repin and like other content that suits your community, which will help strengthen your reach in the long-term.”
#4 Link Back to Your Own Sites
Putting time into creating beautiful visionary boards is all well and good but the aim is to get people to your webpage and interested in your brand – so make sure that you link back to your own sites. This can be done of course by the original source of the image when clicking, but links can also be put in the pin description. This is a great way to get people to follow your Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram accounts.
#5: Welcome and Encourage Comments
Pins on Pinterest have three things going for them: likes, comments and repins. Rather than leaving it to users to decide on their own whether to take the time to comment on a pin, you can help create interest by asking a question (e.g., “Guess where was this photo taken?”, “Tell us what you think of our new product offerings.”). Use your new pins and boards as opportunities to converse with users on Pinterest.