5 Tips for an Effective Pinterest Strategy

Lately, it’s been Pinterest this, and Pinterest that. Everyone is talking about the hot new thing in social media, and unless you’ve recently fallen in a well without your smartphone, you’ve probably read or heard something about Pinterest.

Why is it getting so much attention? Even by today’s social media standards, Pinterest’s growth is quite amazing. According to comScore, Pinterest has reached 10 million unique visitors faster than any other standalone website….ever. And its millions of users aren’t just visiting, they’re sticking around, spending an average of 98 minutes per month on the website.

Pinterest is growing like a weed, but it’s still very new, and for merchants, there are a lot of questions surrounding the social network, including how it can be used effectively. So let’s dive into 5 specific things to think about when using Pinterest for your business.

Before we jump into how your business should be using Pinterest, let’s take a step back and first ask if your business should be using it.

Just like with any marketing, the first thing to think about is your target audience. Different sources report different data, but the general consensus is that over 70% of the Pinterest population is women. More specifically, women between the ages of 25-54 in Midwestern states that have a passion for food, fashion, design, weddings and the arts.

Does your company sell chain saws? There are probably better places for your brand to be (at least for now). But with the right strategy, maybe one geared toward wives of men who are into power tools, you could be successful.

So if you determine that Pinterest is a match for your business, here are five tips for using it effectively.

Remember, it’s a visual website
As you begin thinking about how your business can use Pinterest, keep in mind that it’s a visual website, meaning that you need to find a way to represent your brand visually. Simply pinning product images probably isn’t going to cut it, unless you sell wedding dresses. Think about things that relate to your products that could be portrayed in a visually appealing manner.

Offer something of value
Remind yourself that, in general, you should offer something of value when it comes to social media, and think beyond the initial interaction. According to a Shareaholicstudy, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. To take advantage of that traffic, have the content to back up your pics. For example, if you sell vinegar, you could post some eye-catching photos of dishes that feature vinegar, then link back to your website where users can find recipes for those dishes.

Integrate with other social websites
The growth rate of Pinterest is impressive, but it still doesn’t have the number of users as some of the other social media websites you’ve probably been using. Leverage those other networks. Tell your Facebook and Twitter followers that your business is on Pinterest, and what’s in it for them if they join you there.

Don’t break the law
On Pinterest, copyrighted images are being pinned all the time without permission. For an individual user, there may not be any repercussions, but for a business, that may be a different story. Make sure the images you pin are either owned by you, or you have permission to use them in a commercial manner. This will no doubt limit what you can pin, but better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t skimp on time
You may be thinking, “Oh great, another social media site I don’t have time to use.” Well, if that’s the case, don’t use it. For most social media sites, time can be a huge investment. If Pinterest is going to help your business, you need to first invest time in getting to know the community, then participating in it by building relationships and posting meaningful content on a regular basis. A stale business profile is worse than no profile at all.

So if you haven’t already, go check it out and see what you think. Figure out if it might be a match for your business.

Stephen Bulger is marketing manager for eFulfillment Service.