Use Pinterest As A Marketing Tool

As we covered in our last blog post, Pinterest has been the surprise smash hit of 2011, skyrocketing into the 10 most visited social networks, and all this while it is still an invite-only platform.   The concept is simple enough, creating boards which users can “pin” pictures to.  But how can companies and brands use Pinterest to their advantage?  Here are 7 different ways your company can use Pinterest to reach out to it’s already established female user base and rising male user base.

#1 – Contests

You can easily create buzz and engage your customers on Pinterest by having contests.  These contests can run the gamut from “Best Board” to who can earn the most “repins”.   Photo competitions using your product or company logo, the possibilities really are endless, and Pinterest offers a new way for companies to create visually interesting interactions with their customer base.

#2 – Use Other Social Networks to Feed Pinterest

Pinterest is still the new kid on the block, and as a result, they do not have the massive user base that a Facebook or Tumblr has.  But you can use Facebook or Tumblr to point users to your Pinterest account, where they can interact in new ways with your company and brand.

#3 – Creative Communication

Using Pinterest, you can build more than a brand, you can build a community around your product or service.  Pinning photos of satisfied customers, and showing how they integrate your products into their everyday lives can create a new user experience.  For example, if you run a shoe store, you could pin a photograph of one of your customers wearing your companies shoes, and include a description of that photo describing how they used the shoe in their outfit.  This will make the customer feel special, and build a sense of community around your company.

#4 – Approving New Products/Designs

If you’re launching a new product, or redesigning an existing one, why not open yourself up to input from your customers?  Post several different versions of the product design, and get instant feedback on the products look and feel.  Because of it’s robust commenting system, Pinterest is the perfect place to try out new ideas, and gather intelligence on the market place before officially moving forward.  Try and think of it as a social media based focus group.

#5 – Promote More Than Products

The greatest temptation companies face, is to simply pin photos of their products or services on Pinterest.  But if you really want to engage your customer base, you’ll need to do far more than that.  Try making wardrobe suggestions if you are a clothing retailer, or find interesting news tidbits and ideas that relate to your products and services.  Pinterest users are savvy enough to recognize a self serving board where a company is only pinning photos of their products, and will generally avoid them when possible.  So make sure your boards are more interesting.

#6 – Daily/Weekly Pin Themes

One strategy a lot of companies have been using, is to create a daily pin theme to promote their brand.  The idea is to come up with a catchy slogan that can be tied to your brand, which is memorable enough so that images will get re-pinned.  These daily or weekly pin themes will almost always get repeat viewings, and will be re-pinned by other users.

#7 – Show Off Brand Personality

You can use Pinterest, to show off what your company is like, beyond the products or services you offer.  Is one of your employees in a band?  Does your company do a lot of charity work?  Well, now you have the opportunity to show off what makes your company unique from your competition, and really build a brand personality. Use Pinterest to show what makes you different, so you can stand out from the competition.

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