One of the newest social media platforms, Pinterest, isn’t just an up-and-coming star – it has reached the peaks of stardom faster than you can say “Jeremy Lin.” According to Shareaholic Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined and Hitwise reported that in the past six months visits to Pinterest have grown by 4,000 percent.
Read those stats again because that’s pretty sick.
Pinterest is an online site that lets its members “pin” articles, photos and even videos to boards they create. Think of it as a virtual bulletin board used to share and organize the things you love. The best part about Pinterest is that most pins are associated with a link back to the original source of the material.
Pinterest has made pinning quick and easy with the creation of their tool bar feature, which enables pinners to add a “Pin It” button to their bookmarks tab. With the button you can grab an image and link from any website and add it to any of your “boards” in a matter of seconds.
Although Pinterest started out as a place to connect and share with friends, Pinterest is quickly growing for brands. Many brands are using Pinterest to interact with their consumers, to reach out to new consumers and to build the personality of their brand.
Posting pictures of their services and products is just the beginning. We expect that before long, brands will embrace this social phenomenon and start sharing content (i.e. other brands will post like you would on Twitter or Facebook).
So, how can you use Pinterest to enhance your brand?
SEO value. With Pinterest you can link back to your website and it’s a great way to drive traffic to your website. Not to mention, your pins have the potential to go viral through the large amount of user interaction on the site. According to comScore, users stay on Pinterest for an average of 15 minutes each visit, which ranks the site high on the consumer engagement scale.
Pin more than just your products. Pinterest is all about engaging and inspiring others through your pins and repins. Pinning tips, products, news and other content related to your product or business is key to success on Pinterest. Pinterest users will quickly realize if you’re a self-promoting pinner.
Hold a contest. Encourage the Pinterest community and your followers to interact with you on Pinterest by holding a contest. Lands’ End Canvas held a successful contest where they asked their followers (via the Lands’ End Canvas’s Facebook page) to visit the Lands’ End Canvas website and create a pin board of their own using the Lands’ End Canvas products for a chance to win one of 10 $250 gift cards.
Contests will engage your audience and further expose your brand and products to a larger audience. (Asking your followers to pin products might also give you a good idea of which of your products are the most popular with consumers.)
Create and pin an exclusive coupon. Create an exclusive coupon and pin it to one of your Pinterest boards. It won’t take long before your coupon is noticed, printed and repinned. Pinning a regular discount or offer is a great way to draw new and old followers back to your boards. Popular group buying sites like Groupon and Living Social have shown us that people respond well to discounts and they are likely to pass the discounts along to their friends.
Interact with and follow others. When you like something, repin it. When you find someone with a great board, follow them. It’s important to become part of the community by interacting with other users and by pinning items that are beneficial to others. The more active you are on Pinterest the more traffic you’ll drive to your own boards and pins.
Build your brand. Give your customers a good look inside your company by pinning things that give your brand a personality and put a face to your brand. Create a mood board for your business, highlight members of your team like Time Magazine (or Lessing-Flynn) or simply showcase your style and what makes you unique.
What most companies and brands don’t realize is that you don’t have to be a restaurant or fashion-related business to grow your brand and your business using Pinterest. It’s all about approaching Pinterest from a unique angle, adding a pinch of personality and engaging with fellow pinners.
Still not convinced? Check out Jason Keath’s article on Social Fresh, which lists over 250 brands that have already started building buzz on Pinterest. The list even includes a few fellow Iowa brands such as: Domestica, Drake University, Iowa State University Book Store, Gusto Pizza, and Better Homes & Gardens.