It may feel like Pinterest only started yesterday but a new report has announced the online pin board site is the third most popular social network after Facebook and Twitter. We’ve already heard plenty about the site’s rapid growth but the numbers are really impressive, especially since it only launched in 2010. According to the report, Pinterest got 21.5 million visits during the week ending Jan. 28, a nearly 30-fold increase over a comparable week in July.
The success of Pinterest is probably down to the fact that it taps into the popular trend for image based social media sites, which include Tumblr and Instagram. Many brands have already got on board (pun intended) this social phenomenon, taking advantage of the way a strong image will be repinned and commented on. In fact, some brands have found higher click-through rates from pinning than from any other social network and a recent study showed that it was even trumping Twitter in the referral stakes.
It seems that now is the time for any savvy brand to be jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon. We’ve put together a handy guide to navigate you through the process.
1) Use Strong Images
When Pinterest first started, it had a small group of invite-only hardcore fans, who only posted the most inspiring and wonderful imagery. Typically as the masses joined, the quality of posts began to dwindle. The biggest mistake a brand could make is to post second rate, weak images. These will not be repinned and followers will start to get annoyed with you cluttering up their home pages and unfollow. I recently found myself unfollowing one of my favourite brands on Pinterest as the content just bored me. So learn the lesson before it’s too late!
2) Use Your Own Images
Ok, ok. You can use other people’s as long as you make it very clear where you got them. Even so, bloggers and photographers who find their work used (i.e. stolen) on a site tend to get very very annoyed, so don’t do it. The best brands are using their own amazing imagery, using the site as a medium to show it to the world – check out Topshop’s board for a good example.
3) Add Some Quirky Copy
When users repin your post, they have the option of changing the accompanying text. This is not ideal, as you are trying to drive traffic through links. By writing something sweet and fun, they are less likely to remove your copy. Also adding hashtags and using key words will help your images show up in a search. As with all SEO, have a think about the kind of searches people are likely to make and pin accordingly
4) Remember Your Audience
With all the fun of pinning, don’t lose sight of the type of consumer you want to target and equally don’t ignore the type of user on Pinterest. The site has a 60/40 ratio of female to male users, with the most popular topics being fashion, weddings, parties, food, events, interiors and travel photography. Think about the type of pins that are most popular and how you can tie this in with your brand.
5) Don’t Forget To Engage
As with any social network, this aint a one way street mister! Look out for the most active and influential users and follow and repin them. You could even make a dedicated board for repining your followers, thus making them feel valued, which in turn inspires brand loyalty.
That’s pretty much all there is too it! The best part about Pinterest is that it is fun and straightforward, so use it as a powerful way to get your brand’s imagery out there and drive traffic, rather than making things too complicated!
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