In recent months, a brand new social Network site Pinterest has emerged at a very fast rate. Visitors at Pinterest.com has increased by 430% by December 2011. It is considered now under top 10 hottest new social network sites. According to current stats it is sitting at 5th position and beating big names like Google+ and LinkedIn. Now every marketer has a question can I use it for marketing of my product, if yes, then how??   

Pinterest is basically  a social network that allows it’s users to share and discover new products through pinning images or videos at their own pinboards. Best part is user can create any number of pinboards and can add any number of images in it.   It fulfills the basic social network goal of connecting people through images and vedieos to the whole world. User can upload the image either from the system or can generate it by providing the link to the pin option. Below is a sample screen of the Pinterest Account:

It follows the same social networking functions just like twitter and Google+, user can follow the user to share their product or view others product,  like following, liking, commenting, re-pinning content to their own boards. 

Marketers need to find creative ways to promote their brand on the network . Pinboard is designed specifically for this purpose, as any user clicks on the images of your products on the pinboard, it will take you to the web page of that product , which makes it easy and user friendly.

How to build your following on Pinterest ??

Initially you have to create a few pinboards where you will show your product images. Always remember that new followers should have a reason to follow your pins. Following are the some points:

  • Add the Pinterest follow button to your website, blogs and forums.
  • Promote your presence on Pinterest through your other social networks by encouraging your followers/fans on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter to follow your pins!
  • Try to run Pinterest contest and share it with your friends/fans at other social networking site.
  • Follow users who would follow you back.
Based on some real life experience and analysis, we have summarized some points: 

1. Groom Your Visual Content: Let’s start with the basics and very important point of marketing. Pinterest is a visual social network, so it will be great if your business includes data visualizations or infographics. Create pinboard that highlights some of your best visual content. Always try to be strategic about how you pin your content.

2. Dedicate  a  Pin Board for other User: To involve other users  for marketing you can allow other users to contribute their own pins to your hosted pinboards.. Create a board for your top fans or customers. This is a great way to leverage customer in a unique and visual way. 

3. Host a Contest: Don not forget to consult  Pinterest’s terms of use before starting a contest.  Hold a contest and ask user to create a pinboard on their own account and tell what they love about your brand, products, or services like if you have developed any prank app let’s say Android app then ask others to share how they enjoyed your application with their friends and fooled them. Ask them to send you a link of their pinboard where they have shared your stuff, so that you can evaluate, and the coolest board wins a prize!  or you can also re-pin the top boards to your own Pinterest page and ask followers to vote on the boards to select the winner. 

4. Add Pin-It Button to Your Website, blogs and forums: Make it super easy for website, blog and forum visitors to share your visual content or images on Pinterest by adding a Pin-It button on your site. Just like other social media sharing buttons, this will help to expose your brand to a brand new audience. 

5. Spend time and Gather information: There are so many users on Pinterest, so take advantage of that and use Pinterest as a tool for understanding the interests and needs of your actual /ideal customers. Try to find what your customer are finding exactly, view their pinboards to gather the information. 

6. Re-Pin What Your Followers Are Interested In: Showcase the cool things your followers are pinning in a separate pinboard but re-pinning followers’ pins. This will add a non-promotional, interesting dynamic to your collection of pinboards while promoting engagement with your followers. 

7. Share some interesting related stuff apart from your business: Pin subject or topic related to your industry. Create a board where you share some interesting stuff apart from marketing, which pumps out relevant and interesting stuff, this will help you in creating a quality brand name.  

8. Video Gallery Pin Board: Pinterst has some very amazing features, one of them is Video Gallery. So, Pinners are not only limited to pinning images; they can even pin videos! Create a pinboard which reflects some of the interesting videos your business produces interspersed with relevant images. 

9. Feature Offline and Online Events: Create a pinboard that features the best photos and video footage of any event of your company to help you generate buzz and promote the next one. What about blooper gallery if you are at it?  If your executives in your business do a lot of speaking at industry conferences and events then don’t miss to share this at Pinterest..excellent way to promote your Brand name.. All you have to do is to create a pinboard that features videos of your speakers and images of them speaking or networking at events.

10. Use Hashtags: Just like other social media networks like Twitter and Google+, use hashtags in Pinterest to tag your pins and make their content more search-friendly. 

11. Showcase Your Business’ Personality: Pinterest has now became a medium of showcase and people have started using it to create a good status symbol.Create a pinboard that showcases your employees and life around the office like you can show them working together, show them making your products/services, and show some of the fun activities your employees participate in, such as company outings, parties, award ceremonies,happy hours, volunteer days, etc. It will make your Pinterest account more live and interesting. As 80% of people join social media just for fun and entertainment. And I don’t think so there is anybody who doesn’t loves party and fun and if  these pins will be added in your pinterest account then it will add ice on the cake.

12. Track result of the users who are back to your site through Pinterest:  Although Pinterest seems to be a great opportunity for your business effort. Whenever possible, include links back to your website, blogs and forums and landing pages  in your pins to drive traffic back to your website, can say it’s good from SEO point of view. Keep track of referral traffic and leads generated from Pinterest.

13. Follow Social Media Best Practices: Pinterest is a social network, so it’s a great idea to follow the best practices you operate for other social media networks . Spend time to increase your following, try to engage with your followers, keep your Pinterest account regularly updated, and drive traffic back to your website, blogs and forums.

Points to Remember:

“Avoid Self Promotion” : Motive of Pinterest is to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away!  Don’t try to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.

“Use same twitter Account”: Be sure to register your account with the same email address you use for your business’ in Twitter account so you can easily share your new pins through your Twitter account, too. 

Apart from all these points one very important point that matters a lot in branding any business is Quality.  An average product can go well on good marketing but it will not target your long run achievement especially if you are planning to create good brand name. Always pump out with creative and innovative ideas which amazes users and helps in creating a good brand in future.