Pinterest best practice for marketers

By Chris Lee

Online pin board Pinterest is the social media success story of the last year and is now the 16th most-visited site in the US, with more than 31 million users, according to industry watcher comScore. It’s also valuable to marketers as a key referrer of traffic, the fourth largest in the world after Google, Facebook and Twitter, having recently overtaken Yahoo!. Pinterest’s referral traffic is estimated to have grown 44 per cent from June to July this year and then again by further third from July to August.

NMK recently looked at how Pinterest can make money, but we also want to know what the opportunities are for marketers and what best practice they should follow on Twitter.

Where brands lead, consumers follow, according to Dane Cobain of digital marketing agency Sociabull, particularly as brands are also, in effect, consumers of online content now. “The fact that [Pinterest is] highly visual also helps – these days, anything visual is sure to do well, which is why Instagram took off,” he told NMK.

While the US audience is overwhelmingly female, statistically, Pinterest is more popular with men in the UK.

Pinterest best practice case study

Cobain explained that Sociabull works with a number of clients’ Pinterest campaigns and use different approaches for each one. For example, for Colour B4 – a hair colour remover – the team pins the latest images from the company’s celebrity blog and the “B4 and After” pictures that users send in.

“We deal with a lot of bloggers who seem to be more likely to use Pinterest than the average person, and so we get a good opportunity to network with them on Pinterest as well as on Facebook and Twitter,” Cobain said. “When they recently ran a TV advertising campaign, we created a board where we pinned the logos of each of the TV shows that the advert appeared in, which was popular.”

Marketing in Pinterest: Top tips

Sociabull’s Cobain recommends the following top tips for marketers looking at using Pinterest as part of their social media marketing mix.

1: It’s not all about you

Pin lifestyle shots and things that you know will interest your audience. If you just pin a bunch of product shots, nobody will pay you any attention. It’s okay in moderation, but you should mix it up to keep people interested. If you’re selling fake tan, for example, mix up product shots with shots of beautiful women in bikinis and picturesque beaches.

2: Use price tags sparingly

On Pinterest, if you include a price in the description of the pin, it’ll automatically add a price tag to your image. While it’s tempted to include prices for all of your products, we’d recommend avoiding it unless you’re confident that your prices are much lower than your competitors. It’s best to do this on a product-by-product basis.

3: Don’t pin 100 products at once

It’s better to pin things slowly throughout the day – if you want to pin five images from the same page, stagger it so that you pin them over a couple of hours. For some reason, this seems to lead to them getting more interaction. It also ensures that you don’t flood your followers.

4: Don’t tweet every pin

While tweeting pins is a good way to migrate followers from Twitter to Pinterest, it’ll quickly annoy those followers that aren’t on Pinterest. We’d recommend a ratio of a maximum of 1 Pinterest tweet for every 10 tweets that you post. Only tweet your best pins, and make sure that your pin’s description is below 120 characters so that it won’t get truncated by Twitter’s 140 character limit

5: Interact with other people

Like any social network, you need to interact with other people if you want to start a conversation. Follow other people’s boards, and ‘like’ and comment on their pins when appropriate.

You should also make sure you have a Pinterest icon on your website to help drive traffic to your page, as you should with any other social network.

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