Okay, we know Pinterest isn't exactly the new kid on the block. It's been around since 2010, its popularity rocketed in 2011 and has grown ever since. Then a few months back, Pinterest introduced business accounts, and in March they rolled out an analytics tool, placing themselves firmly in the mix with other types of social media used by businesses. Nevertheless, some companies are still unsure what to make of it and how they might be able to use it to their advantage. Many wonder if they should bother with it at all.
So, should you be on Pinterest?
The answer to that is yes... and no. It really depends on your business and the products or services you're selling. Pinterest is predominantly visual, which means it's a great way to show off products, and users who re-pin them are basically giving you free advertising. Not only that, but it's a much less intrusive type of advertising, since Pinterest promotes a culture driven by outward focus (look at this!) versus inward focus (hey, look at us!). Perfect for a B2C company that probably already has a whole bank of product photos to start pinning. People often look for brands in the search box, so there's a good chance they're already looking for yours.
Consider your audience
You also need to consider whether your audience is even on Pinterest. Currently, women are more likely than men to use Pinterest, but that gap is narrowing. The website is also more popular amongst the well-educated and those with higher incomes. If the demographic you target isn't likely to use Pinterest, it might be more effort than it's worth even if your pictures are really pretty.
What about B2B?
But what about B2B companies? Though you might already be using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, it can be difficult to see how a platform that's so product-image oriented fits with your offering. The truth is, it might never fit in with what you offer, and that's okay, but B2B companies should consider the benefits of Pinterest before they decide it's not for them. With a little creativity, it can drive a good amount of traffic to your website.
Pinterest content is crawled and indexed by Google, and it will impact your SEO rankings. If you do your research ahead of time and optimise with keywords, it can have a positive effect. The great thing about Pinterest is that every image has a link back to the original published source, which is fantastic for referral traffic. Take care, though. As with any other form of social media, you should commit to it. Don't just sign up, pin some images, and leave. Like and comment of other users' pins. Social media is for being social after all.
Avoid blatant self promotion
The focus of Pinterest is on an individual's lifestyle, so don't simply create boards that celebrate your own products and services. Try to build a variety of boards that reflect the ethos of your company, or serve as inspiration for your industry. Inject some personality into your account. Tell your brand's story and start building a community. The best business accounts combine a mix of both business and content related pins.
There's no single strategy for every brand. It's important to keep track of what content resonates with your audience and adjust your pins accordingly. Make sure you create an account using the same email your business uses for Twitter and Facebook so you can integrate them. It sounds simple, but don't forget to ensure your company's name is your username, and include a company description, logo, and that crucial link to your website. Set up a button or widget on your website that allows visitors to follow you on Pinterest and pin directly from your website (so you get credit for it).