How to use Pinterest to its full potential
Data released earlier this week from Shareaholic showed that Pinterest drove 3.68% of traffic to publishers in September, second only to Facebook.
So how can marketers make the most of Pinterest?
- Understand Pinterest. So what is Pinterest and why is it so effective? If you’re still wondering, it’s a content-sharing service which allows you to pin images, videos and other objects to your pin board. It’s an opportunity to be really creative in customizing your board and theme. Pinterest uses flow-oriented media, so the information flows to the user in a timely, emergent and engaging manner. Users find it effortless to explore the images, scrolling through and categorising things without ever leaving the page, satisfying the need to create without actually creating – just clicking ‘pin this’. It drives traffic so effectively because users find it so easy to pin from a publisher’s site and click through onto a publisher’s site.
- Understand the Pinterest audience. The Pinterest audience is largely female, although male numbers are increasing too. It’s also a fairly wealthy audience – Pinterest consumers tend to spend more when they’re referred from the site than Facebook consumers, for example. This is a prime audience of people who like shopping and are actively looking for things to buy. They’re also interested in what’s hot – they see themselves as influencers.
- What works? Topics which seem to drive the most traffic include recipes, cooking, and anything culinary; arts and crafts; décor and design; and hair and fashion.
- Use your imagination. Pinterest can be used in so many different ways – you can use it as a scrapbook of images that showcase the best of your company and how it works. Or you can find beautiful images of food or design which can link back to your own website. Or cartoons which connect to your product. Marketers need to be imaginative and creative in order to make Pinterest work for them. Honda asked followers to take a “Pintermission” – offering the most active Pinners $500 to go out into the real world for 24 hours and experience some of the things they’d been pinning about. This created a huge buzz and millions were exposed to the #Pintermission boards.
- Optimisation. Brands can optimise their images by tailoring pins to the most popular topics, and by understanding the importance of file naming and descriptions. Don’t forget hashtags – use these in the same way as you do on Twitter, and the power of the $ is important too – add this and you’ll automatically end up in the “Gifts” section.
- Use Rich Pins. Brands can use rich pins to share more information about products, recipes and films. They can use a direct link to a product page and include current pricing details. Rich pins also show up in search results, showing the store where a consumer can buy the product they’re looking for.
- Contests. There are a lot of rules around Pinterest competitions. You can’t ask people to pin specific images, and you can’t count Pinterest activity as entries or votes in a competition. But you can ask participants to pin their favourite images from your website, and offer rewards for the best board, for example.
- Know your copyright law. Pinning content – images, videos, etc – that doesn’t belong to you, is a bad idea. Somebody owns that content – and it’s not you. Instead, make sure you own the content you post, or share content with those who do own the rights.
- Integrate Pinterest with everything else. You can integrate Pinterest with your Twitter account, your Facebook profile and your website, widening your reach and making it easier for consumers to engage.
- Pinterest works both ways. It’s not just about simply driving traffic to your site. This is about engaging with your audience – with current and potential consumers of your product. You can learn from them; you can discover what makes them tick and what might interest them in the future. Don’t just pin – look and listen too.
Lexi Brown, Comms Planning and Strategy Executive at Carat