Pinterest: taking the first steps

To follow up on my recent blog posting about the marketing potentials of the new social networking site, Pinterest, I wanted to catch up with you all and discuss how your business can get started using the site as part of your social media strategy.

The first thing to recognize and understand is the demographic of Pinterest’s users. Currently, the majority of users are female between the ages of 18 and 40, and this is evident when looking at which pins are most popular. The most popular categories on Pinterest are weddings/special events, recipes, fashion, travel and photography.

However, Pinterest is growing at an extremely rapid rate. In October, the site generated 421 million pageviews in the U.S., which was up 2,000 percent from June’s estimated 20 million pageviews (via TechCrunch). The site is also still an invite-only beta and is expected to grow even more when the full site is launched and everyone has access to it.

Since each pin on the site provides a link back to the original source, it has a lot of potential for marketers of certain products. Right now, the site is most useful for those who work in the Business to Consumer (B2C) sectors. Although there is some potential for those in the Business to Business (B2B) sectors if you are creative enough to draw some attention. I’ll touch on that more at the end of this posting. For now, let’s look at what you can do to get started on Pinterest.

Do your research. After you’ve created your account, start looking at pins that interest you and that align with your business’ mission. In order to create a buzz on the site, it is important to connect with users who are very active and influential. Much like Twitter, those who are associated with high influencers get their message spread much quicker than those who are not. The stronger relationships that you have with users, the more people will see your pins and click through to your site.

Start your first pin board. This is where businesses can start to get creative. Pin boards are the site’s way of letting you organize things that you find interesting and display them for your followers to access. Michael’s craft store does a great job of this. The store has a total of 22 boards, all comprised of crafts and projects made using their products. The cool part is that each board has a unique theme so users can decide which boards to follow. A few of their boards are titled “Cards to Send”, “Party Ideas”, “Jewelry & Bling”, “Kids Project Ideas”, “Bake It”, “Recycle Me” and “Say I Do”.  Start to think about how posting photos could generate interest among your followers. What do you have to offer and how can you portray it in a visually appealing way.

Connect your other social media sites. The key to inbound marketing success is to make sure that all of your online presences lead back to one another. Since Pinterest is known to generate a lot of traffic to your website, it can do the same for your social media sites. Don’t forget this quick but important step.

Do more than self-promote. Pinterest users have a keen eye for companies who only use the site to promote themselves. Since the site is a hub for creativity and new ideas, it is important to always post quality and innovative ideas. The majority of your pins can be relating to your business, but it is important to also engage with other users and re-pin things that others have pinned.

So, how all of this can work for a B2B business? I started thinking about how Pinterest could work for a company like Weidert Group. Clearly, we are a B2B agency. We specialize in inbound marketing, public relations and design. We could create boards to some of our best advertisements or commercials to generate traffic. We could also show off our photography skills by pinning some of our recent photography projects.

Pinterest is new, so it may take a while for it to find its place in the social media universe. But as Pinterest grows, so does the potential for a wider array of businesses to use it to showcase their work.

Are you using Pinterest? Let us know how. Who knows, you could wind up the subject of a future blog.


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