Even if a startup business recognizes the enormous power of social media, it’s easy to overlook the role of Pinterest. Some regard it as too niche-dependent, more ideal for accessories like fashion and jewelry, or list-based hobbies like “favorite recipes” or “places I want to visit.” In essence, Pinterest is a visual discovery tool where users collect ideas, images, and resources on “pins” that appear on their public “board.”
In reality, Pinterest can be an effective marketing tool for startup businesses of all types, from those in the tech industry to those offering solutions to mainstream products. When used effectively, Pinterest can increase a brand’s reputation, foot traffic, and overall online engagement. The five tips below are a good place to start:
Implement the Hover “Pin It” Feature on Your Site
Pinterest provides simple instructions to implement the hover “Pin It” feature on your business’ site and/or blog. This allows any Pinterest user on the web to “pin” images they see on your business’ web site to their Pinterest board, which will in turn showcase the image and its source to all of their Pinterest followers, effectively expanding your brand.
The hover “Pin It” feature is also an ideal way to inform site visitors that your business is active on Pinterest, thus increasing the chances visitors will follow you on there. Another way to increase Pinterest followers is to use their Widget Builder to create a widget that you can display on your business’ web site, across all pages.
Re-pin Niche Leaders
It’s important to identify your niche’s experts on Pinterest, particularly the ones who are followed by many within your business’ target demographic. This can be as simple as searching for site:pinterest.com “industry/hobby name” and browsing various pages to discover some of the most re-pinned or favorited Pinterest users. Once you find them, start following and engaging with their pins. This means replying insightfully to their pins, in addition to re-pinning them to your business’ Pinterest board. This will eventually get their attention, increasing the chances they will post your own business’ pins and bringing it to the attention of their relevant follower base in the process.
Separate Boards between Business-specific and Industry-related
Groupon’s Pinterest is a good example of a business with boards catering to several areas — from industry-related areas such as “Pizza” to business-specific topics like “Working at Groupon”. Since Groupon’s aim is to offer discounts within a variety of industries, their target demographic is very wide. To accommodate this, their eclectic range of boards – from “Craft Beer” to “Women’s Fashion” – attracts a variety of demographics. Their diverse content shows genuine interest in several industries, casting a wider net for potential exposure, which is ideal for their business plan. If your business is like Groupon and is seeking awareness from multiple demographics, then this strategy is recommended.
As is the case with Groupon and any sensible business on Pinterest, it’s important to include content that’s pertinent and engaging within your industry (and several relevant others), as opposed to content exclusively tailored to your business’ going-ons. After all, the industry-relevant content is more likely to go viral, which will aid the process of increased overall brand recognition. Boards like “Working at Groupon” have a benefit, but it’s mostly limited to reinforcing brand loyalty among current customers, as opposed to attracting new ones. Leads are more likely to be obtained via boards that are relevant to your industry, as opposed to those detailing one business specifically.
Reply to Commenters
Whenever anyone comments on your business’ Pinterest, it’s important to reply to them using insight and, when possible, humor and personality. Doing this reinforces that your startup genuinely cares about customers and potential customers, a trait that will go a long way in them remembering you when they are in need of a service like yours. Each and every reply a business gives on Pinterest can turn into a lucrative lead.
Pin Diverse Types of Content
Pinterest is capable of posting more than photos and notes. Users can also link to audio clips (with built-in Soundcloud embeds), video, and slideshows. It’s important to keep this in mind if you’re running out of ideas for Pinterest content. There is usually a plethora of interesting videos or podcasts within a niche that will engage and inspire Pinterest followers. Sharing diverse content will result in more Pinterest followers, which can expand your business’ reach.
Pinterest is much like any other social media platform in terms of business marketing, in that if a business posts interesting and significant content relevant to their industry, interested users and leads are likely to follow. But the board-based pinboard platform has several unique features – like the ability to feature separate “boards” and re-pin content from influential users to get their attention – which a savvy startup business can use to substantially elevate its profile.