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5 Rules for Productive Pinning

Pinterest–the social media site that lets you “pin” your favorite images, stories, recipes and more–is growing in popularity and usage by brands. At least one company, Aha!ology, which is featured in this story in the Los Angeles Times, has built its entire business on helping brands grow their market through the use of pins.

While we have been using Pinterest for quite some time, we find it’s really best for the types of brands cited in this article – Kraft, Quaker Oats and Toms shoes. These are consumer products that can benefit from content that encourages the use and purchase of their products.

However, its audience is huge, and may be one you need to reach. Pinterest overwhelmingly appeals to women: 85% of its users are female. About 47 million people in the U.S. use Pinterest, and about 100 million worldwide.

Content is King

Like all social media, content is king on Pinterest. But it offers a chance to be more in-depth with the content than on Facebook or Twitter. It also serves as a starting point.

For instance, when one relative wanted to create “Elf on the Shelf” scenarios for her son at Christmas, she went to Pinterest for ideas. Teachers, hobbyists, event planners, chefs, brides-to-be, fashionistas and others who create can be inspired by what they find on Pinterest. It’s more like Google, than Facebook, because it offers a great search and research function.

Content has Longer Shelf Life

Moreover, you don’t have to worry about overwhelming your audience with content because they choose which content they want to receive. With its search function, the content you post also has a longer shelf life. According to one Pinterest expert, half of the visits a pin delivers will occur after three months. Half of the orders it will produce will take place after two months. The average pin has a worth of 78 cents in sales.

As always, there are rules for Pinterest:

Be visual and don’t forget videos: This seems obvious but many overlook it in considering how to use social media. Photos, videos, infographics and other visual media are essential to creating an engaging pin on Pinterest.

Avoid overly promotional content: Same as for all social media but more so here. Look for other ways to talk about your product. For instance, Quaker Oats provided recipes for cooking with oats. Posting information about your industry or tips for consumers of that industry is also a great way to attract followers without being overly promotional.

Try storytelling: Pinterest is a great platform for telling a story – about a client, a trend in the industry or the use of a product. Pinterest’s in-depth content and extensive visual abilities offer many opportunities for telling a story.

Create pins: Try adding pins to your press releases, infographics, video postings and other creations to encourage others to pin your content to their pages.

Engage: As with all social media, spend time getting to know Pinterest, sharing others pins and following them. In this way, you can build a following on your own site and create the engaged customers you seek.

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