Pins and Boards: The 411 on Pinterest

Over the last year, Pinterest has blossomed into a worldwide social network. Establishing itself as a popular niche among social media channels, this evolving photo-sharing forum has caught the attention of millions of users. The question is, what is Pinterest, and how can it help you establish brand awareness among current and potential customers?

For starters, here’s the 411 on Pinterest. This social networking site is designed to allow users to share photos in an infinite number of categories from across the Web. Topics range from favorite home furnishing accessories and fashion trends to gardening ideas and delicious recipes. The possibilities are endless, and photo categories can be easily customized per industry and product type. The key is to know which photos to post to achieve the most impact and interest, and how to write descriptive captions for effective brand building.

Here are five practical tips to manage and maintain a company’s Pinterest account as part of a successful social media marketing platform. 

Meaningful, Pinnable Content
As you use Pinterest for business purposes, create meaningful boards that reflect your company as well as other industry-related and appealing products, services and information. “Pin” different types of images including photos, videos, infographics and text that will keep your followers better engaged. The ultimate goal is to make Pinterest users or “pinners” want to click on your photos and “re-pin” them on their own Pinterest boards.

With this being said, many marketers believe that humanizing your company and brand is important and gives you an edge over the competition. Customers are attracted to the driving forces behind companies, so also create boards that showcase all levels of your company’s personnel to give followers an inside look at the team. By sharing this kind of information, you have the ability to relate to prospective customers on a deeper and more personal level.

Clear, Concise Captions

Since you are using Pinterest for marketing, it is important to include clear, concise photo captions for each pinned photo. This will help your company’s Pinterest followers know what message is being portrayed in the image. Keep in mind Pinterest has a 500-character limit for each photo caption. To ensure your followers stay engaged and interactive, use the minimum amount needed to properly and interestingly describe your image within context.

Also, Pinterest allows users to re-pin (or re-post) photos from other users. If one of your Pinterest followers re-pins an image you posted, the original image caption will likely be edited to their liking. To help prevent losing the meaning of a particular image, consider using Photoshop to include a text box directly on the photo. Just maintain a high level of design style with everything you pin.

Contributing, Competitors and Socialization

A common struggle for business owners and managers is committing the time and energy it takes to maintain a social media presence. By creating contributor boards, businesses will gain followers, increase interaction and boost company exposure by doing half the work.

The concept is simple. Invite someone to be a contributor to one or more boards. Once they accept, their pins will transfer onto the boards, thus, providing a wider range of pins to keep audiences consistently engaged.

The fundamental exercise regarding contributor boards is adding pinners with audiences similar to your own. Competing businesses will have access to customers and users who are interested in similar services and products, which means they might have interest in yours, too. Pinterest users who follow your competitors’ boards will most likely follow yours in return. By working together as contributors, both companies’ chances for exposure doubles and growth rates are expedited. If interfacing with competitors on Pinterest sounds like a bad idea to you, keep one thing top of mind; social media is only truly social if you maximize all possible connections – including interactions with others working in your field or area of expertise. 

Protocol, Decorum and Consistency

To keep boards updated with dynamic and attention-drawing content, sign up for e-newsletters from trade and consumer-based publications relevant to your industry. E-newsletters are visual and deliver up-to-date information and photos. Their content can provide pin-worthy material or spark ideas for creative posts. That’s right; not all photos should be pinned from your own website. Pins should derive from many online sources.

Create open lines of communication between you and your Pinterest fans. When pinning, make sure to include captions that encourage users to comment or share your photos. When fans comment on your boards, you will want to acknowledge the interaction and thank them. The same rule applies when fans re-pin a photo or board. Either post a comment or return the favor by re-pining one of their photos or boards. It all comes down to practicing respectful social media etiquette.

Some Serious SEO

On Pinterest, it is important to keep Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind when creating a pin. Set up your pins to be noticed by using eye-catching captions, keywords, hashtags, and urls (see example below). If you want to increase the traffic to your website, blog or other social media sites, try pinning original images and content from these sites at times. Think in terms of incoming and outgoing traffic when creating a pin. You can benefit from choosing pins that will entice people, and thereby cause them to click on the link that takes them to your other websites.

It is also a good idea to add the “Pin It” button to your website or blog so when people are on these sites, they can easily pin your content and photos to their own boards, which helps increase SEO for your company. 

Pinterest, A Force Worth Reckoning With

As PR practitioners it’s our job to stay on top of the latest social media trends. We consider it our job to know how Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites play into brand building and marketing, and how it will affect our client’s overall business strategy. Since 2011 Pinterest has demanded the world’s attention. Studies conducted by social media experts have confirmed that Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing social networking sites available. A study administered by analyst comScore stated Pinterest has grown by 4,377% since May 2011, a remarkable statistic to fathom. If you haven’t already now is the time to take advantage of what Pinterest has to offer. Needless to say, it’s time to start Pinning!

If your company is looking to include social media as part of your marketing plan and needs assistance, our team is happy to help. Learn more about our social media services and how we can help build your brand by clicking here.

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Jeff Collard


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