Leveraging Pinterest for Engagement Marketing

Yes, Pinterest is BIG, but is it right for your brand?

Lately, there’s been a lot of hype around Pinterest overtaking LinkedIn to own the number three spot in the list of top social media networks. In fact, a recent Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combinedreport from Shareaholic states Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. So, it’s no surprise that brands are rushing to figure out how they can benefit from this exploding social channel. But the reality is that Pinterest isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t for every brand. Here, we’ll take a look at what makes Pinterest different, who stands to get the most from using it and how to do it right.

What Makes Pinterest Different

Understanding what makes Pinterest different than other social platforms provides valuable insight into its allure and provides clues on how to best leverage it successfully.

1. It’s Visually Driven

The most obvious difference is that Pinterest is completely visually driven. Pinners make immediate decisions about whether or not they are going to view or pin something based on the visuals alone. For brands that have products or services that shine visually, Pinterest is an excellent choice.

Pinterest is a visually driven social platform

2. Motivation is Around Inspiration and Discovery

Unlike other social networks that are focused on what you’re doing right now, Pinterest concentrates more on what you want to be, where you want to go, what you want to build in the future. In that vein, it’s very inspirational and represents a real opportunity for the right brands. Let’s say you’re building a house. Pinterest can provide a vast library of ideas around architectural styles, color palettes, flooring and other design features. Pinners collect ideas on boards for inspiration and when they’re ready to buy, all they have to do is click on the image to get to its original source and purchase.

To read more about what makes Pinterest different, read the full newsletter on ThoughtMatrix.

Is Pinterest Right for You?

You’ve probably already started to form some ideas around whether or not Pinterest is good for your brand. If you’re still not sure, here are some questions to consider. If the answer is no to any of them, then Pinterest may not be right for you.

1. Do you have a unique brand personality that can be conveyed through images?

This is a bit of trick question because the answer isn’t as obvious as you might think. For example, you might not think Whole Foods would have a brand personality that could be conveyed visually, but they absolutely do. They do it through compelling visuals best thought of as “food porn”—images of mouthwatering produce and recipes, ideas for edible celebrations, food as delicious art, etc.—all of which are designed to communicate their core values of “selling the highest quality natural and organic products available” and “satisfying and delighting our customers”.

Conveying brand personality through images on Pinterest

2. Is your product or service a source of inspiration or motivation for others?

You might not think of paint as being an interesting or inspirational subject on its own, but when it’s the paint color that completely makes the look of a room then it certainly can be. Using the Pinterest Pins source lookup feature (www.pinterest.com/source/yourwebsite) you can easily see that visitors to BenjaminMoore.com are finding plenty of inspiration.

Pinterest makes products and services a source of inspiration for others

Using this feature not only lets you see what people are pinning, it also gives you some insight into why they’re interested in these images by reading the comments. No other social media network provides this level of collected, curated comments on a brand’s products or services. It’s important to note though that Benjamin Moore clearly included inspirational imagery as part of their content strategy.

To read more about if Pinterest is right for your brand, read the full newsletter on ThoughtMatrix.

Ideas for Getting Started with Pinterest

So what does all this mean for you? If you’ve got an existing library of appealing imagery, Pinterest represents a real opportunity to break out in an exploding social channel. Some other ways you might begin to leverage Pinterest include:

Pinterest Contest

For brands with good product imagery, you can easily invite users—via email, Facebook, Twitter and your website—to create pinboards highlighting the products you offer that they like most. Incent sharing by giving points for the most repins, which are essentially votes. This tactic doesn’t even require you to create your own pinboard, making it easy for you to test the waters of Pinterest while driving awareness and advocacy of your brand.

Mood Board

Don’t have products that lend themselves to pinning? Then consider creating a pinboard of things representative of your brand’s personality. It could include charitable causes you support, content around the science behind your product or service or even highlights from partner brands. You never know who may discover—and ultimately come to respect—your brand because of a mutual interest.

To find more ideas on how to get started with Pinterest, read the full newsletter on ThoughtMatrix.

Pinterest Demands that You Be Interesting

Ultimately your success on Pinterest will hinge on a good content strategy, because without interesting content, no one is going to pin it. This is good advice in general though since providing a rich, well-rounded user experience online is the key to everything from lead generation to search engine optimization to customer engagement. ThoughtMatrix has a knowledgeable team of content strategists, graphic artists and UX designers who can help you develop online experiences that are not just worthy of being pinned but that also ensure that your users engage with your brand on a deeper level. Contact us.

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