Pinterest and business applications

In my previous post about my fairly limited experience with Pinterest, I mentioned being curious to conduct more research on what businesses are actually doing with it; hearing some actual success stories. Today, I set about doing trying to find various tips and tricks for businesses to incorporate Pinterest into their social media presence. Some ideas seemed pretty obvious to me and consistent with usage of other social networking platforms, while others were quite intuitive and original. I’ll discuss a few of them here.

The one piece of advice I kept encountering over and over, was the need to keep your business’ Pinterest page simple and streamlined. As with other social media platforms, it cannot be understated how important it is to be consistent to your brand. This doesn’t mean “pinning” the same type of image day in and out, but you wouldn’t want anything to look severely out of place. Humorous cat photos for instance, don’t really have a place on a page for a high-end furniture company posting pictures of their products; whereas design ideas and inspiration and loved pieces you’ve come across only serve to strengthen your presentation and show fellow users what you’re all about. As John Brandon mentions on Inc. com, through speaking with successful Pinterest users, such as “Hana Abaza, the co-founder and CEO of Wedding Republic…it’s best to mimic Pinterest’s uncluttered aesthetic…creat[ing] boards that are clean and elegant looking.”

One idea that makes a lot of sense, but wasn’t the first thing that sprung to mind for me, is a sort of back-end way of attracting followers for maximum exposure. As John Brandon points out, it’s important to “build relationships with those who are known for quality “pins” at the site. He says, once these movers and shakers get to know you and your business, they will be more likely to post about your product. White says to focus on the users who get the most likes and repins.”

Another concept I repeatedly came across, was the idea of maintaining “authenticity” with your audience. A post by Ivana Taylor, on mentions in a section “What NOT to do on Pinterest“:

Pinterest clearly states that it isn’t a place to actively promote your brand or your products. I’m not sure how long that will last. Twitter and Facebook weren’t designed to be promotional sites either and many businesses use these social media sites for exactly that purpose. It’s my opinion that the quality of the interactions on Twitter and Facebook has decreased as a result of some people blatantly promoting products and services to the point of occurring as spam.

The last bit of advice I’ll pass off, is the imaginative idea of engaging your audience to do some of the marketing for you. What this can involve, are promotions and contests involving pins and re-pins of your original content. For instance, in a list of 56 Ways to Market Your Business on Pinterest, by; two suggestions are:

55. Offer exclusive Pinterest promotions. Create pins that give special promotions for following you on Pinterest.

56.  Run a Pinterest contest. Invite your readers to pin links and images from your site that inspire, motivate, move  or entertain them. Then judge the winners by creativity or ingenuity and offer a juicy prize. Offer to promote the winners’ Pinterest boards on your site as part of the contest.”

All in all, it remains to be seen how Pinterest will evolve and be successfully integrated by businesses, but these are some tips and tricks that certainly couldn’t hurt a business looking to integrate the platform into their existing social media presence.





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