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Thursday, December 27, 2012

How To Use Pinterest To Market And Brand Your Small Business

Pinterest is a great way to use compelling visuals to get potential subscribers/clients to notice your brand and associate it with their interests if you can use it correctly. The key is to deliver quality content on a fairly regular basis. It only takes a second to look at a picture and decide if it's appealing or not, so you're going to want to pin things that your target market segment would be interested. You need to keep it current because Pinterest's own categories are constantly updated and you don't want to fall behind of the latest trends.

Pinterest is excellent for deciphering what trends are most popular in a particular topic/category. You can use this to your advantage and view it as a guide for the types of things you should pin.

Organization is vital as well. Keep boards topic specific and spend the same amount of time updating each one. You can create boards centered on your product/service, but make sure to have some integration in how you choose to utilize the description boxes. For instance, blank out all the description boxes to keep the emphasis on the picture and clicking through to the link.

Unlike other social media sites, Pinterest is all about visuals. It provides users tools to create online billboards (or “pinboards”) where they can share photos and images of products and group them into specific, targeted categories. It’s an engagement method that keeps people interested and brings a bit of aesthetics to a sharing-focused site.

With everyone having such short attention spans now a day, catching someones eye with an appealing image can mean the difference between glossing over some text and real engagement with your brand. Definitely focus on visuals and make sure to link to your landing page as well. And as always, a constant flow of new content is invaluable.

There are also some tools out there that help identify influencers. PinReach and PinPuff are two that come to mind. Also, for developing content check out Pinstamatic or Snapito.

You'll want to figure out where the best visuals are around your business - think about your products, your location, your employees' interests, your industry, your history...the possibilities are endless. Build your boards around those and use Pinterest search to find others who have similar boards or are pinning images you might be interested in. Then share and re-pin and comment...don't just focus on putting your own images out there, but also engage with the community and get into conversations.

Offer exclusive Pinterest deals to build up some following and be sure to get involved with other pins as well.

Once you have some sort of relationship going with fellow pinners your can take the conversation over to Twitter or Facebook where extra interaction can take place but most importantly you will have a follower who will repin your pictures.

Ensure its a simple process to go from picture to purchase, or to your website otherwise people are put off.

Make sure the link between your website/store and Pinterest is an obvious one, so buttons on the website or adverts in store with Pinterest branding.

Be ahead of the game and use keywords (much like everything these days) to get your pin's around. Treat it like a blog and offer your audience something other then your own products and marketing.

I think how you engage, best practices, what you pin and who you target depends greatly on your ideal customer. If you know your customer, then any social sharing becomes easier.

Pinterest can be a great platform for brand engagement if it’s correctly used. Like every social media platform, it needs a strategy, a work plan and a defined goal. Once you have all these, everything is easier. In my opinion, Pinterest is a great way to express your brand visually and let your clients know about the company’s interests, especially if you are a small business. I don’t think you should just pin some images with your logo and your services, instead, create boards that support your brand’s mission and your audience's passion. Be sure to follow other “taste-makers” in your industry to learn what your customers like on Pinterest, what they want to find out more about, and what they need to know about your business to become fans.

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