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10 Pinterest Tips for Smart Brands

unnamedAs Tailwind CEO Daniel Maloney so wisely intoned this year at SMX East, “Twitter is mostly about what I’m doing. Facebook is about who I am. Pinterest is about who I want to be.”

Pinterest’s aspirational nature is a serious advantage that your brand should be making the most of.

Unlike many other social networks, Pinterest content has a much longer lifespan (1 week as compared to Twitter’s 5-25 minutes and Facebook’s 80 minutes), users are more prone to buy, and referral traffic is reliably high across all brand categories.

And the network’s appeal is only growing. A recent Marketing Land article claims that terms around beauty, hair, and home have seen a use increase of 400% year-over-year on Pinterest, while terms in categories like health and electronics have increased by a still-substantial 50%.

Pinterest is clearly a social network worth reckoning with, and smart marketers are coming aboard…but which tactics should you be using to make your Pinterest account successful?

1. Put a Pin Button on All Owned Content 

According to Pinterest aficionado Matt Siltala, 62% of brands now have Pinterest buttons on their websites and catalog pages, a greater percentage than even brands who have Facebook buttons.

Don’t miss a chance for internet users interested in your brand to spread that love and create organic buzz around your product on Pinterest. Make sure there is a Pin button on every single product page on your site.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 2.49.21 PMProminent Pin button placement counts, too. Placing your Pin button above an image rather than below an image leads to more pinning, according to Matt Siltala.

These details are worth paying attention to. According to one Shopify study, shoppers from Pinterest are 10% more likely to make a purchase compared to those who arrive from other social sites. Of those purchases, the average order is $80 – double the average order of customers coming from Facebook.

2. Don’t Just Repin

You can’t expect to make your brand known and see site traffic increase from Pinterest by simply repinning the content of others — you have to supply fresh content.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create brand new content. The first step is to review your brand’s site, blog, magazine, and content from other social channels.

Which content do you think would transfer successfully over to Pinterest? Which content was successful on other social channels? Expect trial and error here as you learn what’s pinnable and what’s forgettable for your brand.

If you’re creating new, Pinterest-specific content, look at the competitors in your space. What are they seeing success with on the network? Which gaps do you see in your industry’s Pinterest presence? Fill them.

Ultimately, you want to show Pinterest users how their lives will transform for the better with your product. That goal is hard to achieve if you’re just using what’s already there.

3. Target Images Thoughtfully

Don’t waste your time by creating Pinterest content that’s not well-matched to your desired audience.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 2.55.09 PMIf you’re a retail or CPG business, coming up with solid visual content (that always links through to your site, of course!) shouldn’t be hard, since you’re already filling catalogues and websites with beautiful pictures.

Keep these three things in mind:

  • Which qualities do you want people to associate with your brand? How would you want someone to describe your brand to others?
  • Which types of Pinterest users fall into your “ideal customers” bucket?
  • Which kinds of content, realistically, is going to induce interaction with your Pinterest content?

After you’ve spent some time answering these questions, you’ll be able to build prescriptive visual content that fits your Pinterest audience’s needs.

Remember that your content doesn’t necessarily have to map directly back to your product, and shouldn’t come off as salesy. The goal is to get your ideal customer aware of your brand and interacting with it.

4. Experiment with Place Pinning 

Creating place boards for your business is similar to building up your visual content on Pinterest. You’re looking for ways to provide value to your target customers that won’t come off as a sales pitch but will eventually induce people to invest time and/or money in your product.

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 11.00.01 AMFor instance, the Travel Channel has an East Coast Beach Crawl place board. The pins on this board have drawn multiple comments, and the board itself boasts over 122K followers.

Clicking on each individual Pin takes you right to the Travel Channel’s site, which means the Travel Channel is able to engage travel-minded people in two dimensions: both on Pinterest and their site.

5. Get in the Gift Category

As noted in this recent Marketing Land article, people on Pinterest have a “research mindset,” wanting to go directly to the product site when they click on an image. That’s what makes placement in the Gifts category on Pinterest so valuable.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 3.16.18 PMThe Gifts feed only shows Product Pins, with extra details like pricing, availability, and where to buy right on the Pin. 

According to Pinterest, Product Pins get higher click-through rates than regular Pins and “make your brand more visible because of the logo on the Pin.” Pinners even get notifications when the Product Pins they’ve saved drop in price.

6. Get Seasonal

Earlier this fall, Pinterest began curating its own content with weekly collections called “Pin Picks,” which fit into current seasons, trends, and holidays. Pin Picks are your friend.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 3.20.13 PMPin Picks are a great way for new pinners to start finding content, people, and boards to follow before Pinterest has personalized their recommendations appropriately. If your brand gets quality content in front of green users early, those users will be more likely to seek out your content in the future.

7. Acknowledge Your Community 

Thank your pinners. Pinterest offers the ability to interact with your brand’s ideal customers in a direct, authentic way.

This is a great way to get more Pinterest followers, find valuable content and content ideas, and acquaint yourself with individual pinners (ahem, potential influencers).

8. Spread the Word 

Let your followers and fans on other social channels know that you’re on Pinterest by featuring your most pinned pic of the week or promising a solution to a common problem with a Pin or board.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 3.53.59 PMAdvertise a new board on an established board.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 4.06.37 PMPin your most popular Pins to active group boards that fit into your target audience. This will also help spread the word on your own boards and Pinterest presence.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 4.26.35 PM

It’s the Pinterest equivalent of sitting down at a new lunch table with a yummy sandwich you’re happy to share. People are bound to pay attention.

9. Add a Healthy Dose of Humor 

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.04.19 AMAccording to Matt Siltala, 30% of the 100 BuzzFeed stories with the most Pinterest traffic are humorous. Drawing guffaws from your audience is a tried-and-true method to provoke sharing behavior on the network.

10. Use External Apps 

Using, you can receive email notifications whenever someone pins something from your website. 

PinGroupie helps you find Pinterest group boards in a jiffy. 

PinThemAll.Net helps you create Pins that stitch multiple images together. 

By using supplemental apps, you can get the most out of your Pinterest presence.

Make 2015 Your Best #SocialMarketing Year Ever 

For more tips on how to be a smart brand in 2015 across all your social channels, be sure to download our #SocialMarketing Planning Guide for 2015 by clicking the button below.

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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