All it takes is one time.
Some had warned me, but I didn’t listen. I just wanted to do what everyone else was doing.
Last September, I pinned my first picture.
Boom. Addicted. Just like that.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Pinterest (hi mom!), it is a social sharing site in which users “pin” images to virtual “boards”. The images show up in followers’ feeds and can be liked, commented on, or “repinned” to their own board for their followers to see, potentially creating a ripple effect.
I quickly started accumulating pictures that made me laugh, think, and tickled my fancy. Today I have a collection of collages that represent me – what I do, things I like, tidbits of my personality– but can the same be done for a business?
Since the launch of Pinterest, user growth has been at a steady and dramatic incline, earning itself the title of fastest growing social media of all time. How fast is the fastest of all time? Pinterest has grown 4,000 percent in the last six months. But more on this later. It has only been the past few weeks have businesses really started to take note.
Since the Pinterest bug bit business, the social media obsessed have had time to see what works for business pages, what doesn’t, and are figuring out how to incorporate Pinterest into social media campaigns. I am among those obsessed.
Here are my five tips for getting the most out of a Pinterest business page.
- Establish its importance – The first part of setting up a business page is to get your client/boss on board. Many companies are still wary of the social media “trend”, but it is here to stay, yet constantly changing. When trying to persuade your client, stick some of these Pinterest stats in your proposal. Here’s a doozy: Pinterest drives more traffic than Facebook, G+ and Twitter COMBINED. I’ll give you a moment to wrap your head around that.
- Give your followers what they want – Pinterest is made up of people proactively looking to those with the same interests. On a basic level, Pinterest is like networking for hobbyists. While your company might not fall within the most popular categories (crafts, gifts, hobbies/leisure, interior design, fashion designers/collections) there certainly can be a board or that falls within one of those categories. Since Pinterest is a very self-fulfilling concept, a user will repin content that represents him or her on a personal level. In reality, the pins are linked back to your content, even though it may be a website the user would not normally visit. I like to call this Pinception.
- A creative space – This is an opportunity be different than your other platforms. Invest in photography for images of the business, spend time to seek out stunning photos, position pins to make a bigger picture – whatever! The more creative your themes are, the more you will stand out. The more unique the images are, the more they will be repinned.
- Categorize – Imagine, a demographic that targets itself! There are no rules saying a restaurant can’t have a board of furniture, so create categories that you know your potential consumers are interested in. This can help you reach those who wouldn’t normally notice your pins – yet. Be sure to stay relevant to your business in some way.
- What inspires your company, if a company were to have emotions? Whether it is the latest industry trend or a way to utilize a unique skill, having a board expressing where the company wants to go shows that the company is always looking forward. On Pinterest, you are expected to be inspired and share your inspirations with others. There aren’t many places a company can share this intimate information. Can you imagine having a Facebook album of competitors’ and bigwig brands’ products/ideas/whatevers? It’d be weird.
Of course, different industries will have different approaches, and like any social media campaign, each company should implement a tailored strategy.
So what about the public relations industry? We’ve discussed using Pinterest for clients as PR practitioners who most likely handle social media. But what about the agency itself?
Here at HMA, we want our Pinterest to have different content than our other social networks. We’re not going to use it as an outlet for our daily blog posts or as a client newsroom, although client pictures will no doubt pop up in other suitable categories. We want to give people a glimpse of the HMA culture, showcase our individual talents as well as our abilities as a team. And we plan to do that the most visually awesome way possible.
Share your, your business’ or your clients’ Pinterest accounts in the comments below along with any of your own advice for charting this new territory.