As I am sure you have heard from friends or have seen through Facebook status updates, Pinterest is all the rage these days and is blowing up the social media world. In a matter of months, the website has grown from a niche market of young women and brides to a full fledged phenomenon with over 11 million users. For those of you that do not know, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows it’s members to organize the things they find on the internet by “pinning” them. Pinterest allows you to organize, share, repin, like and comment on things found on the web. Businesses can leverage the power of Pinterest by starting their own accounts, creating boards and engaging customers. Pinterest won’t replace Facebook or Twitter. It’s really more of a sharing tool. The big benefit to businesses is that it expands your visibility and acts as a lead generator. As the number of people who see your board and engage in your Pinterest page increases, the number of referrals that you have from Pinterest to your site will likely increase. Pinterest is not just about selling your products or promoting your brand, it is about interacting with customers and promoting a lifestyle.
We have put together a list of the top 10 ways that businesses can optimize their Pinterest account:
1. Setting Up Pinterest
– Even if you are not ready to get started with Pinterest, reserve your handle now!
2. Optimize Your Website
– Add the Pinterest Icon to your Homepage (http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/).
– Add Pins to Product Pages (http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/).
– Example: http://www.laylagrayce.com
3. Engage Other Users
– Follow other users (there is a high follow back rate).
– Repin other people’s Pins.
– Share Your Pins on Facebook & Twitter.
– Make some of your Boards open so other people can post to your page.
– Make customer favorite boards and repin from a particular customer or group of customers.
– Example: http://pinterest.com/wholefoods/
4. Promote Your Lifestyle
– Create lifestyle boards (goal is 9) including products & images from other companies
– Pin more than photos – quotes, videos, blogs etc.
– Create boards that cover a broad range of interests, rather than maintaining a single board devoted to one topic.
– Example: http://pinterest.com/renttherunway/
5. Market Your Products
– Pin images of your own products to your board
– Your business can have multiple boards
– Group products by theme, size, features etc.
– Use the area provided to describe your product and Incorporate keywords to optimize your Pinterest SEO
– Example: http://pinterest.com/gap/
6. Lead Prospects to Your Website
– A feature allows you to add a Price Tag for any item you Pin, which lets you add a link pointing back to your website so viewers can learn more or purchase.
– When you add a Price Tag and link to your Site, the products are automatically added to Pinterests “Gifts” page where users can click on “Gifts” to find gift ideas grouped by price ($1-$20, $20-$50, etc.).
– Example: http://pinterest.com/etsy/home-sweet-home/
7. Hold a Contest
– One creative way to utilize Pinterest is to hold a contest by encouraging users to browse the website, create Pins of items they liked and the most creative and stylish entry wins.
– This kind of contest can engage your audience and also gets directs users to your site and requires them to browse your products and link to them.
– Possible prize ideas include a gift certificate to your Website or an Item that they Pinned.
– Example: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150517045950803
8. Use Pinterest as a Social Online Focus Group
– Test out new products or an upcoming ad campaign.
– Show “sneak peeks” of upcoming products.
– Example: http://pinterest.com/potterybarnkids/spring-2012-sneak-preview/
9. Create Gift Idea Boards
– Create specialized gift idea boards for individuals (ie: Gifts for Her, Gifts for Kids)
– Create gift idea boards for holidays (ie: Valentine’s Day, Christmas)
– Use a combination of your own products and products found elsewhere.
– Example: http://pinterest.com/LaylaGrayce/favorite-gifts-to-give/
10. Learn From Those Around You
– Browse Pinterest to see how other companies are using it. Industry leaders include: Rent the Runway, Bergdorf Goodman, Wholefoods,Mashable, The Travel Channel, HGTV, Oreck, Michael Kors, Gilt Home and Kate Spade.