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How to Use Pinterest for Marketing

January 12th, 2012 ::

Pinterest

You may have heard of Pinterest, a social bookmarking site where you “pin” and share interesting images on the Web – but what does it have to do with marketing?

While Pinterest has mostly been the domain of brides-to-be, crafters and fashionistas, smart marketers are harnessing this fun social network to generate buzz for their products.

If you’re not yet convinced that Pinterest has marketing value, let me make my case:

A Hub of Influencers

Pinterest users pin images they love, browse what other users have deemed pin-worthy, and follow those with a knack for finding the coolest (or hottest) items.  Basically, the network is a community of curators, and those curators with the greatest influence, or following, are exactly the people marketers want to connect with.

Staying on Top of Trends

Once you’ve spent some time on Pinterest, you’ll begin to notice which products and styles are trending in real-time.  Better yet, you’ll be able to take cues from the big influencers to find out what will be trending next.

SEO Strategies

There are two benefits that Pinterest can bring to your SEO campaign.  The first is local link building–you can embed a link to your store’s location in your Pinterest descriptions and comments.  Secondly, Pinterest automatically links to an image’s originating site, so you can quickly amass a collection of visual links.

Marketing on Pinterest

Getting started on Pinterest is pretty straightforward, but you’ll need an invite to join.  You can easily request one on the site, and then you’re ready to begin:

1. Check to see if any of your products have already been pinned

This simple first step will give you a baseline for your future Pinterest marketing efforts, as well as help you start making connections on the site.

2. Start pinning things you like, but be sure not to strictly self promote

In other words, pin other people’s products as well as your own.  The idea is to build credibility and join the existing community.  It’s also a good idea to think strategically when creating boards (collections of images you pin).  For example, a sports company could create boards relating to sports as well as the location of their store.

3. Use the search function to dig deeper into the site

At first glance, Pinterest may seem overwhelmed by home decorating and art-related images.  However, searching for specific areas of interest to you will reveal other niches within the site.  You can also use the search function to identify opportunities for your own category creation–what is missing that you could provide?

4. Pin and be pinned

You will have to invest time into pinning things in order to get the most out of the site.  You can add the Pinterest bookmarklet to your browser to quickly add things you find on the web.  You may also want to add the Pin this button to your website, which functions similarly to a Facebook Like button, to encourage pinning.

5. Grow your following

Invite people from Facebook and your email list, especially your customers, to Pinterest.  You can also grow your following the old-fashioned way by participating and pinning so others can see what you’re all about.

6. Focus on engagement

After all, Pinterest is a social network, so you want to apply the same engagement principles you use with other forms of social media.  Make comments on other people’s pinned objects, reply to people’s comments on your pins, and otherwise be social on this fun and addictive site.

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Have you used Pinterest for marketing yet?  What strategies do you find most effective for promoting products and generating buzz on Pinterest?

Image courtesy of creative design agency Arrae

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Marketing, Social Media | 7 Comments »

  • http://twitter.com/CSAlexMorris Alex Morris

    Pinterest will be making some big changes to social media this year, I think!

    • Anonymous

       And indeed they have – you were spot on Alex!

  • http://wwwlthesaleslounge.com/ Jennifer Abernethy

    I’m excited to see how this will evolve into a business platform..

  • Anne

    How do I add a pinterest button to my products on Network Solutions?

    • Anonymous

       Hi Anne – sorry that I can’t help you with that – you need to call NetSol directly.

  • Kim

    Pinterest is a great way to test product ideas and trends…I love this for our business!

    • Anonymous

       Great to hear Kim!