Chapter 11 - Pinterest

Through beautiful images and easy-to-use "pinning," this website has taken the online community by storm. Following its beta launch in 2010, Pinterest provided a way for users to simply share and create image collections for hobbies, style, businesses, and more. Whether you’re a business owner connecting with your users through images or simply trying to redecorate your home in DIY-fashion, Pinterest has something for just about everyone.
Key stats and demographics

How are people using Pinterest?

Image-based sharing is becoming increasingly important for brands and consumers alike. The effectiveness of imagery has led sites like Pinterest and Instagram to quickly become the new staples in daily digital life. In a world where people don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of time reading, rich media helps users share, communicate, and consume stories quickly and easily in meaningful ways.

Strategies and tactics for success

Engagement: The Pinterest community is growing quickly and can be very engaged. This is a great opportunity for your consumers to interact with you, so be sure to pay attention to your comments for opportunities to have conversations. They may be asking questions or just offering words of praise or concern. Using a tool like PinAlerts or Pinterest's analytics to monitor where and how your content is shared can help you catch opportunities that don’t come directly to you.
Content Strategy:
Highlight customers: Highlight customers using your product, content they’ve created, or even their stories. It will appeal to their natural desire to be acknowledged and included. This also helps them feel like they’ve added value back to their community and instills a sense of ownership.
Behind the scenes: Give your audience a look behind the curtain by showcasing behind-the-scenes pictures. This increases the feeling of getting especially limited content, and thereby, their affinity for your brand.
Community relations: If your business is involved in community or charity activities, share that with your audience. You may feel like this comes off as bragging, but it can be done in a humble and selfless manner. Your customers follow you because they’re invested in you and what you’re doing, and your efforts outside the office are an extension of that relationship. You might even get them involved!
Know your audience: Know everything you can about your audience, and give them what they want to see. Humor works particularly well on video, for example, and beautiful imagery of any kind tends to work incredibly well on Pinterest. You might even try to get to know people by spending time on the platform in your personal profiles. You can use that to get to know what works there and how people share and communicate.
Discoverability: Set your site up to be shared socially on Pinterest. Make sure the social sharing buttons on your content pages are easy to find and use. Directing people's attention to your Pinterest page will also help them find your content and enable sharing in new ways. Also, don't forget to implement appropriate tracking so you know how well these are working!

What success looks like

Sony Electronics: There are so many things right with what Sony is doing on Pinterest. From brand new products to a collection of vintage products and all the way to highlighting sell products, they’re utilizing a mixture of content for their brand fans. Sony uses their ads as interesting points of content as well, but also don’t shy away from some of the more off-topic boards. They’ve got the content nailed down.
Starbucks Beautiful Objects: The social media-savvy brand has extended its reach to Pinterest. One of their boards is only slightly related to coffee and shows how Pinterest doesn’t have to be just about your product images. Go off topic a little, but stay relevant.
Nordstrom: From naming their social team members on the page to regularly posting on boards as broad-ranging as "Totally Throwback," "Nautical Vibes," and "Beach Wedding Ideas," this is one department store that knows how to pins. And, with a following of more than 4.4 million people, their strategy clearly works. Nordstrom gets bonus points for bringing their social integration full-circle, adding "Top Pinned Items" displays in its stores.

Etiquette tips and guidelines

Give credit: Sharing other people's content is at the heart of Pinterest, so giving proper credit is of the utmost importance. Ideally, everything is pinned from its original source, even if that means digging a bit to find it. You want to provide the best user experience possible, and if you pin content directly from a Google Image SERP, for example, users would be linked back to that SERP instead of the page where the image originated.
Change captions: Repinning isn't like retweeting on Twitter. You'll want to be sure to update the caption on a repinned pin to make it your own. It should represent you and your brand and should show relevance to your community. Don't forget to use target keywords that your audience searches for so they can easily find your pins.
Don’t flood: Pinning throughout the day is going to be a brand’s best bet, and there are tools to help you schedule pins in advance. If you pin all of your content at once, you'll flood your followers' streams, and it could annoy them enough to unfollow your brand.
Organize: Keep your boards organized, as people will follow them for specific content. A user who subscribes to a "recipes" board doesn't want to see images of fancy cars or interesting furniture. If you want to share new types of content, create new boards.
Group boards: Group boards allow more than one user to pin to a board. You can collaborate with partner companies, your co-workers, and anyone else with whom you'd like to collaborate on unique and interesting content. You'll definitely want to have a strategy and purpose behind a shared board.
Secret boards: This is probably not a feature you'll use for your brand, but you can create boards that are shared with a limited group of people and invite them to pin on them as well.
Verify your site: In order to have a verified account and have Pinterest Analytics for your site, you'll need to verify your site. Pinterest's Analytics will show you statistics on how many pins have been pinned from your site, what sort of traffic Pinterest drives to your site, and more.

Recommended tools

Pinterest's Blog: They highlight a variety of users and brands and showcase interesting news. Keep an eye on this blog to stay on top of any changes and also as a source of inspiration from users doing interesting things.
Postris: Helps you find the most popular boards, pins, and people on Pinterest.
Viraltag: A bulk scheduler for Pinterest helps you avoid overwhelming your audience and upload several pins at a time. Viraltag also feature analytics and allows you to upload to multiple Pinterest accounts.
Curalate: This tool helps you measure board and pin engagement, generate traffic, find advocates, and more, depending on the pricing package. It also helps with Instagram.
PinAlerts: Basically Google Alerts for your website's content on Pinterest, among several other measurement features.
Rich Pins: Pinterest has made it possible for your products to show up as more than just photos. By prepping your site with the right meta tags, you can add rich content like prices and reviews to other people’s pins of your content.
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