July 10, 2012

An Approach to Pinterest

Filed under: Digital Strategy,Social Media — Emily Reeves @ 6:38 am

Pinterest is still the latest tool that brands are eager to jump into and try out with their messages. I thought I would share some things from the tip sheet I put together for planning discussions when the topic of Pinterest is raised.

A Few Random and Interesting Pinterest Facts

(Relevant as you are thinking about the audience that engages with Pinterest)

  • Pinterest users are three times more likely than average Internet users to have visited Disney World in the past year.
  • Their favorite magazines are Good Housekeeping, followed by Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle, Woman’s Day and the AARP magazine.
  • 80% of pins are re-pins (for comparison, only 1.4% of tweets are re-tweets).
  • See more stats here.

Sample Objectives That Using Pinterest Might Help Achieve

  • Drive sales through new products boards.
  • Create brand affinity (with boards related to topics in which the brand target audience are really interested).
  • Build community acquisitions (with pinning of images of things related to the brand offerings).

Some Pinterest Tips

  • Claim the username that you want to use and ignore all others. While Pinterest currently offers little, if any, resolution for squatters, if the community continues to grow in popularity it will eventually create a verification program similar to Facebook and Twitter and the squatters will be revealed and exiled. In the meantime, learn from them, take their ideas and make them better for the true brand.
  • Image should take center stage. Make sure all images are nicely photographed. If the story can’t be told visually, Pinterest is not the right place for the brand to spend time.
  • The information should be presented in a sleek and icon-free presentation.
  • Users can attach price tags to pins by typing in a “$” sign followed by one or more numbers in the description box. The price tag appears not only in the description, but also in the upper lefthand corner of the pin thumbnail and image. However, when brands affixed price tags to product pins, users behave differently and are far less likely to repin images with price tags.
  • Put the “Pin It” button on all digital presences (websites, microsites, online store, etc.).
  • Provide link to “official” Pinterest page on all web properties.
  • Create board names and topics that spark interest, going beyond things like expected titles like “products,” “photos,” etc.  Instead, get creative with the names/topics, considering titles that align with brand attributes and brand personality.
  • Leverage internal resources (employees) to create Pinterest boards beyond products and focus on interests related to the brand and the target audience.
  • Consider arranging products in groups that go together in themes such as gift boxes, outfits, complete decor (you get the idea, but it really depends on what products/services your brand offers). Don’t just post a product that is available for purchase; put it in some context. Pull in products from outside the brand that complement it. Always consider the visual appearance of the posts.
  • Avoid pure, blatant promotion. Pin a nice balance between brand-only boards and boards that highlight others.
  • You can pin videos. Do it, in the relevant board categories.
  • Tell a story of their history through photos.

Tips for Building Followers

  • Repinning others
  • Following others
  • Commenting on and liking others’ posts
  • Share pins on the brand Facebook page
  • Share pins on the brand Twitter page

Monitor how much traffic is driven to site from Pinterest.

  • Which posts are driving the most traffic? Consider why and work to repeat those efforts.
  • Which posts are being re-pinned? Consider why and work to repeat those types of posts.
  • Which posts are garnering the most likes and comments? Examine the users that are commenting and liking, follow them back and respond when relevant.

A note on requests for a “Pinterest strategy.” Pinterest is a social media channel and we shouldn’t let a channel drive our strategy. Think about who your target audience is and what you want to achieve and then figure out if Pinterest is a channel that will help meet those objectives. Don’t jump into Pinterest just to be there.

You can follow my boards on Pinterest here.

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