Jonny Ross, associate of Northern Lights PR
When done badly, it can be a waste of your valuable time, and a possible dent to your brand’s reputation.
With this in mind, here are my top tips on what you should and shouldn’t be doing to build your presence on the internet’s biggest pin board.
DO make sure you have a great profile.
Pinterest is a very sociable site, and while more and more corporate accounts are being started, the successful ones will always be those that look like ‘real’ people. By all means, include a little blurb about your business and of course a link to your site in your bio, but avoid making it sound like a sales pitch.
Personalise your profile – after outlining your company information, mention what else you’re all about. This can be related to your target market of course, but should be kept natural. For example, if your website sells designer handbags, mention in your profile that you have an avid interest in fashion, beauty and design. Diversifying your interests will make your account more appealing and accessible to a wider range of users.
DON’T Use your Logo as a profile picture.
Wherever possible, use a photo of yourself. This instantly gives people a face to associate with your brand and makes them feel they are interacting with a real person rather than an automated business account. In the same vein, use your real name – you could incorporate your brand into your username, but make sure your actual name is included in the correct field too; it gives your account more credibility.
DO start small.
When you first start using Pinterest, five boards is plenty. Any more than that and you’ll find it a very time consuming task, and much harder to focus on quality, relevant pins that will encourage traffic to your site. You need some form of ‘Your Brand’ Board, certainly, perhaps a board for ‘funnies’ which are always popular and a good way to network and increase your following, then perhaps two or three others on topics relating to your own product, that will be of interest to your target audience.
DON’T make your page look like a sales catalogue.
Never be tempted to go through your inventory and pin each item, with a full description and price. This will only do your main site more harm than good. The average Pinterest user visits the site to be inspired and/or entertained. They will quickly catch on to a user who pins nothing but blatant marketing, and will most likely unfollow you soon after.
As a general rule, one self promotion pin per day is plenty – and be sure to balance it with at least 3 or 4 others of different content that will appeal to your followers.
For example, if you’re selling pet supplies, have a board about dogs, a board about cats, a board about ‘top tips for a healthy pet’, etc. Essentially, promote more than just your own products to build a well rounded collection of information that people will be interested in sharing.
DO let people know where to find you.
When you do pin your own products, be sure to include a link to the relevant page on your website and a brief summary. Do be concise though. If a user likes what they see, they will come looking for more information.
In the same breath, make sure your own content is pinnable for others too, add a ‘pin this’ button to your product pages and blog posts wherever possible.
DO look at who your followers follow.
They saying ‘Birds of a feather flock together‘ is very true of Pinterest users. Someone who is interested in Gardening, for example will no doubt be following a number of other green fingered enthusiasts. In other words, if you have determined a person to be in your target market, chances are many of the users they follow will be too.
DO use Pinterest in conjunction with other networks.
Cross-pollinating your social networks is a great idea, it solidifies your presence and can increase your reach. A tweet about your latest pin, or a Facebook status prompting your followers to have a look at your latest board, can expand your following across all platforms, which can only be a good thing!
Pinterest’s popularity seems to be consistently on the up, so it’s certainly worth making time to ensure your brand is represented. Are you on Pinterest? How have you found it? More importantly are you engaging on there? Let me know in the comments box below and more importantly get pinning!
Victoria TomlinsonChief executive, Northern Lights PR
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Ben PindarCommunications director, Northern Lights PR
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Helen RobinsonAssociate, Northern Lights PR
Jonny RossAssociate, Northern Lights PR