It’s likely that most businesses have now recognized the popularity of Pinterest and are grouping it with the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If not, they probably should be. As of February 2013, Pinterest had an approximated 48.7 million users. It has shifted away from being a fringe social media platform that corporate social media managers doubted its usefulness to being a staple of many social media strategies. So how do corporations go about utilizing it for their social networking efforts?
First, do your work on researching what your clients or customers are loving. As social networks recognize the relationship they can have with corporate users, they add various tools businesses can employ for search engine optimization, return on investment analysis, and market research. Market analytics can be done with Pinterest’s tool for web analytics for businesses. This is a highly helpful means to learning what is really going on with your customers and where their interests are focused.
Second, contests and promotional endeavors can be a big win for corporate social media endeavors. However, they must be done right.
One of the most common styles of Pinterest contests is a “pin it to win it” promotion. Many companies look to promote their not-so-exciting products or services through these promotions and create a dilemma for consumers that wish to participate. Pinterest is all about things users love, and it’s hard to pretend you love uninteresting products like a hammer. For a promotion like this to really work, you have to give Pinterest users an opportunity to still show off their own personal flair or personality. This doesn’t necessary mean that companies with everyday or pedestrian products or services cannot use Pinterest. It’s all about the visually, and you can exploit that. Perhaps you can ask users to find creative or attractive ways to highlight or utilize your company’s product. Just avoid turning your devoted fans (or those that are dead set on winning a prize) into spammers. They’re unlikely to come back for more once they realize they’ve annoyed their friends by participating in your ill-conceived promotion. You’ll do well to think like a Pinterest user when you come up with promotional contests.
Third, you can become the respected authority in your industry or market. Becoming a company that Pinterest users can look to as a sort of reference for learning about your industry can be a very powerful place to be. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to develop a visual encyclopedia of everything related to your industry. You can achieve referential status by pulling from respected and reliable sources around your industry along with your own quality and relevant content. This will all act to build trust in not only your corporate Pinterest account, but also in your brand.
Finally, send users to your website with the traffic magnet that is Pinterest. It has been suggested that Pinterest channels more referral web traffic than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn… combined! It’s important to keep a steady flow of content to encourage more sharing and more community amongst your followers. But you should also strive to avoid becoming labeled a spammer. Don’t overdo it. The best thing you can do is to combine quality content with great images. This combination is the perfect recipe to encourage repinning. Pins with quality images and content can spread virally, so you don’t even need a substantial following to succeed in generating more links to your account and your website. Attractive content generates more opportunities for people to follow hyperlinks to your site.
Combining these kinds of actions can help turn Pinterest into an integral part of any corporate social media strategy.