Published June 4, 2012

How to Use Pinterest for Marketing Your Business

Pinterest is the latest craze in the social media space. It is essentially a content sharing and social networking platform that enables users to develop and manage collections of images based on hobbies, interests, events, and more. In case you haven’t checked it out yet, it is highly recommended that you do.

Regardless of whether you like it or dislike it, the fact is that social media marketing is an essential part of the overall marketing mix today. Although, not as popular as Twitter or Facebook, Pinterest is attracting a large number of eyeballs. Last October, the site welcomed 3.3 million unique visitors and the figure is rising rapidly. This means that the virtual pinboard is a highly effective platform for marketing your business.

Although currently the site does not offer any mechanism to enable users to purchase products directly, it has considerable marketing potential. Images that catch the fancy of users are likely to be repinned on a large number of boards, along with links to their original sources. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of this virtual pinboard.

Find out if your business is a match for the site

Before you start creating strategies to market your products on Pinterest, you need to find out whether or not your business is a match for this social platform. Virtual pinboard users are predominately made up of people looking for crafts, designs, room décor, recipes and the like. If you sell industrial power tools, Pinterest may not be right match for your business. But, the platform is ideal for businesses dealing with products and services such as fashion garments, home furnishing, party planning, and more.

Keep things simple

One of the key reasons behind Pinterest’s popularity is its ease of use. All the users are allocated boards for pinning images that are of interest to them. When creating your own pinboard, try to mimick the virtual pinboard’s uncluttered, clean aesthetic look. Each image pinned on the board includes a link to the original sources. According to the CEO and co-founder of Wedding Republic, Hana Abaza, social media marketing efforts have led to a 75% jump in their traffic and Pinterest accounts for most of it.

Invest some time

Just as with other social platforms, to reap benefits from Pinterest, you need to invest some time on it. Developing relationships with the movers and shakers on the platform can be very useful. You need to start out by identifying users who are not only relevant to you business and industry but are also influential and have a high number of repins and likes. Once you’ve identified this group, try to form a connection with them. When you create solid relationships with these big hitters, they are much more likely to promote your products and services through their repins.

Connect your online and physical presence

If you have a physical store, it is essential to establish a clear connection between your Pinterest page and your store. This is not a difficult task. Things like having a Pinterest button on your website and promoting Pinterest at your physical store can help you achieve this goal.

Create custom product or audience-specific pinboards

This is a great option for indirect marketing at Pinterest. Based on your products or services, you can develop customized pinboards. For instance, a clothes store can create a pinboard featuring a particular look, complete with accessories and shoes, rather than republishing the company’s online catalog. Similarly, a travel service provider can create a pinboard featuring key attraction at a destination, recommended accommodation options, and more.

Apart from customizing your pinboards based on your offerings, you can also customize them based on your audience. You can create different pinboards targeting different segments of potential customers. For instance, a company offering travel services can create pinboards like ‘Vegas on a budget’ and ‘Vegas for families.'

Follow popular figures

This is a strategy that works on Twitter as well. When you follow the big hitters and they in turn follow you back, the message reaches a large number of users and many tend to follow the movers and shakers. For this you need to know who the big hitters are. This is the best way to generate awareness about your brand and expand your reach.

Don’t be too self-serving

Excessive self promotion is never good. Such a strategy can have a detrimental effect on your social media marketing efforts. Users are quick to classify a board that posts only product images as self-serving. While it is tempting to stick to the images of products you sell, it is not enough. For succeeding at Pinterest, you need to offer more value to users. You need to establish yourself as a quality resource. Including a mix of tips, products, and services from other brands and the latest tidbits along with your own products is recommended.