This is the first installment in a series of posts looking at which social media outlet is best for your brand.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest – the number of social media sites is growing faster than Kate Middleton’s baby bump. Many businesses think they have to be on every social media outlet simply because it’s available. They don’t realize that presenting their business on the wrong platform can actually be harmful to their brand. Cultivating an online persona for your business takes time. Do you really want to waste it trying to reach the wrong audience?
Let’s look at Pinterest, an online inspiration board-style website that allows users to “pin” virtually any image on the Internet or upload their own photos. Although 15 percent of web users are on Pinterest, they are most likely white females with a college education, according to stats from techcrunch.com.
Think about what a huge difference this makes for your marketing plan. If you’re in the business of fashion, crafts or weddings, Pinterest is your goldmine. If you’re in the business of stockbroking, insurance or medicine, you may have to get a little more creative to make it applicable to your audience.
How can Pinterest work for your business?
Pinterest is an incredibly visual outlet that allows users to share content and comments on personalized boards. The image-heavy website makes it easy for users to share crafts, recipes, or other how-tos that benefit from photos as opposed to text-dominant outlets like Twitter.
Don’t think that your brand has to have a strong visual appeal to work on Pinterest. Home Depot, typically a company associated with men, uses Pinterest to post DIY projects and encourages their customers to do the same. If Home Depot had gone the traditional route and just posted pictures of their store or products, most people wouldn’t have looked twice. Instead, they found a way to make their products appealing by conforming to Pinterest’s crafty atmosphere.
How do you engage your customers?
If you’re not engaging with your customers on social media, you’re doing it wrong. You can have a Pinterest page that you update routinely, but if you don’t interact with your followers you’re missing the point.
One of the easiest ways to start a dialogue with your customers is to start a contest. Challenge people to create a board around a central theme. If you own a boutique that sells cocktail dresses, have clients create a board with aspects of their perfect date (outfit, hairstyle, cuisine, the whole nine yards.) Either have them name the board a certain name (“Out on the Town”) or have them hashtag each post (#outonthetown.) Try doing a few contests with different themes. This will make it easier to see how many active followers you have and what interests them.
You could also allow guest contributors to post content on your brand’s boards or cultivate their own board featuring your products or services. Or you could offer discounts on items you advertise on Pinterest. You’ll be able to track sales by the discount code you apply to those items.
These are all good ways to get information on your clients, but the best way to study your customers is to track analytics information. You can do this several ways.
- Google Analytics will give you all the goodies – how many visitors, most popular pins, etc.
- http://pinterest.com/source/domainnamen.com (replace domainname with your Pinterest domain name) will tell you which of your pins are being repinnned
- Curalate is a third-party site that tracks Pinterest metrics
These are just a few ways you can customize Pinterest to your business. Like any social media outlet, the purpose of Pinterest is to start conversations. To get the most out of Pinterest, you need to make sure those conversations are about your brand.