The Viral Implications are Staggering
Why is Pinterest getting so much interest? Just as scrapbooking was a huge hobby a decade ago, Pinterest is a digital scrapbook of the Social Media era. It’s fun, easy and quite visual.
Users can “pin” photos and videos they encounter on various websites from the Internet and place them on virtual “corkboards,” curated within Pinterest. Popular categories include Food & Drink, Fashion, Photography, Interior Design, Art, Humor, and about dozen or so more.
Users search for items of interest via category or browse photos posted by friends. Photos can be “pinned” if collected directly from a website – say a tunic from JCPenney.com – or “repinned” from a friend who previously posted a funny cat photo. The viral implications are staggering to think about.
According to Google Ad Planner, more than 80% of users on Pinterest are female. I can’t recall such a huge captive audience since the advent of the soap opera. Since the dawn of the golden age of advertising in the early 1960s, businesses and Mad Men sought to reach such dominant demographics. In addition, Pinterest is referring more traffic to websites than Linkedin, Google+ and YouTube combined, according to a published report by Shareaholic.
It comes back to marketing. If you’re a business leader or entrepreneur, you may be asking yourself, “How do I leverage Pinterest for my business?”
Here are the 5 Steps to immediately leverage Pinterest for your business:
STEP #1 – Be Social
Pinterest is a social medium. You follow people, people follow you. When you’re relational, transparent and have something of interest, others will be attracted to you. As in all relationships, it’s a two-way street.
With this in mind, self-promotion is a no-no. So how do you promote yourself without being overbearing?
First, pin photos interesting to you – food, architecture, whatever. Second, have a “board” in the genre of your product offering. For instance, if you are a wine reseller post compelling photos of wine cellars posted by others. Also pin products from the wine company as well as a few from your own website.
STEP #2 – Gain followers
To get mileage, you’ll need to develop followers. Allowing Pinterest to interface with your Facebook and Twitter accounts will help. Browse around and repin items of interest and follow those users. Some people will reciprocate by following you back. It’s pretty simple.
STEP #3 – Good photography is a must
If needed, consider hiring a good commercial photographer. This is a visual medium like we’ve never seen. This is one area where you cannot compromise. All product photos should scream visual appeal.
“But I don’t sell products” you might proclaim. How does a service industry utilize such a retail friendly medium?
Let’s say you own a glass company which replaces windows in the home. Start pinning interior décor photos with beautiful and ornate windows from other people’s Architecture and Interior Design categories. If you have window photos beautifully staged with interior décor on your website, pin those.
If your glass company sells auto glass repair, you can work with your creative team to create “funny” photos worthy of viral replication. Think real hard and work with a concept team to develop your branded auto glass funny bone. Work with a highly creative team to create a Brainworm™.
STEP #4 – Place a “Pin It” button next to key photos on your website
You must have photos on your website worthy of pinning. If you have some considerable traffic on your website on a daily basis, it might be a good idea to have your programmer place a “Pin It” button in strategic places.
Here’s how to find the “Pin It” button code:
Under the “About” tab in the upper-right menu bar there is a “Pin It” button link. Scroll down the page to the “Pin It Button for Your Website” section. Your web designer or programmer can insert the code next to photos you’d like featured.
I tried this for one of my clients – The Flour Shop, a custom cake company in Winter Park, Florida. They designed a Mario Brothers cake and cupcakes with cute sculpted 3-D characters. I placed the code next to the main photo. Within 30 minutes, 19 people had repinned it.
If you are a public figure, celebrity, author and your brand is “you,” you can even place a “Follow Me On Pinterest” button on your website next to your Twitter and Facebook and Google+ links.
STEP #5 – Manage your time, but be consistent
Many find Pinterest to be addictive. As a business owner, you are burdened with building a business but still need to be relational to your Consumer Community. You certainly don’t have the luxury of learning and investing time in a new medium.
Consider hiring a Social Media Consultant firm to handle all of your SM work – even if it’s just to set you up on Pinterest and accomplish the 5 Steps shown in this article.
If you do have the time and would like to “do it yourself,” it’s possible to curate pinable (a new word?) content during your typical workday. When you come across a great photo while browsing websites, simply use the “Pin It” button. It only takes a few seconds, and then get back to work!
To install the “Pin It” button, simply follow the instructions to place it on your browser’s bookmark bar for easy access while you’re surfing. Installation is easy. The “Pin It” button works well and is easy to use.
Like in all Social Media, be consistent, be relational, and – most of all – be real.
That’s it! Be proactive, visible and have fun!
About the Author—John Weeden is an accomplished marketing professional with more than 15 years of experience helping businesses large and small improve their branding, enhance communications, engage customers and—most notably—increase revenues. As a strategist, thought partner and consummate student of consumer behavior, John excels in providing comprehensive marketing solutions that exceed expectations. John is the Co-Founder and CEO (Chief Engagement Officer) for Brainworm Productions, a strategic communications and Social Media agency with locations in Orlando and Oklahoma City. Read more at brainwormproductions.com.
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