Buzz about Pinterest peaked early this year when data about the explosive growth of the photo-sharing site indicated it was a leading source of referral traffic to websites. It has major impact for its relatively small size, partly because of its demographic skew toward women, as demographics from a recent Pew study indicate. It doesn’t have the greatest number of users by a long shot. However, it beats out other sites like Facebook on purchasing impact, according to studies like the one from BizRate.
What should marketers do to take advantage of Pinterest’s popularity and impact? There are two key things:
1. Promote your products. This can work in both B2C and B2B markets, but the predominance of female users makes it increasingly relevant in the B2C environment.
2. Become a though leader. This is especially relevant to B2B marketers.
The same general principles for use of Pinterest apply to both. Social Media Examiner summarizes advice that all B2C marketers can follow. They are the starting point for new B2B users also. The advice includes:
• Create customer profiles and personas to help you understand their interests and motivations.
• Give your pinboards meaningful, interesting names.
• Give your images compelling, keyword-rich descriptions, but make them concise.
• Work to build your follower base.
• Use Pinterest to portray your brand personality.
• and more.
HubSpot has an excellent ebook on How to Use Pinterest for Business. Here are some of their recommendations:
• Use your own visuals and generate customer visuals by creating pinboards and holding contests.
• Use the PinIt button on your site to encourage visitors to add the image to their own pinboard. Note that you can only use the PinIt button if you have access to the code for your site. You can also add a "Follow me on Pinterest" badge like the one on the right sidebar.
• Track the leads that Pinterest refers to your site and understand who these customers are and infer what their intent is. They may be significantly different from your overall customer base.
• Use hashtags, perhaps creating a pinboard with the hashtag as its name. Integrate the use of hashtags with your Twitter and Google+ usage.
• and more.
Read the report (download here) for case studies of how businesses have used Pinterest successfully to generate more leads.
If you don’t have a visual product, the though leader issue becomes paramount. That means careful, strategic curating of visual content, yours and others. Check out what content site Mashable does on Pinterest—you ought to get some ideas!
Social Media Examiner quotes Beth Hayden, author of Pininfluence: For any business using Pinterest, the goal is simple—drive traffic back to your site, add people to your mailing list and convert those visitors into buyers.
Like any social media platform, you can’t just talk about it. You have to set up your own account, use it, think about how it works, and strategize about how you can use it in your business. Give it a try, whether you start as an individual or whether you start a page for your brand. As the BizRate data shows it’s fun and engaging. A Washington Post columnist called it “digital crack!” Find out why at Pinterest.com!