Pinterest: How any brand can use Pinterest

One of the rising stars in the social media scrum is Pinterest. It’s long been debated whether the platform is just a passing fad, however with recent figures showing a 111% growth in active users, it’s clear that ‘pinning’ is here to stay.

Features like rich pins are designed for brands to advertise their products and services as ‘pins’—increasing the click-through rates from Pinterest users who will see these appearing on their feed as pins with more detail.

There are also rumours of Pinterest introducing a ‘buy button’ to make it even easier for users to buy.

As these functions become more integrated and easier for brands to use. There’s no excuse not to trial it in your social media strategy.

To start your Pinterest brand addiction, here are some tips to get you off the ground.

Start with what you offer as a business
The best place to start are the subjects you know best—your products and services.

Nike Women focuses its boards around their clothing collections, making very clear board names like: Nike Pro Bra Collection and Spring ‘14 Style Guide.

Nike also go one step further by theming their boards around topics their target market is searching for. By tailoring their content to suit their users, they’re making it easy for them to find the ‘gift’ or ‘retro’ product that they’re looking to pin.

When a user pins, they are endorsing that product and it makes them more likely to buy. 47% of US digital consumers (from a sample) have bought from based on a recommendation from Pinterest. This helps to drive traffic to the seller’s website, making Pinterest an easy way to increase conversion rates.

Conversion rates for Pinterest traffic are 50% higher than conversion rates from other traffic and Pinterest is the top converting social media site for “Top of the Funnel” advertising.”

For service-based businesses, Airbnb shows how you can tempt your users in by thinking a little more creatively about your offering.

Although Airbnb are a holiday booking service, they focus on what their users will be doing after using their facilities—i.e. staying in an amazing apartment on a holiday.

This brings us on to the inspiration side of Pinterest…

Give your users inspiration
As Pinterest is a visual platform, users tend to build boards based around inspiration.

Pinterest is brilliant for users to daydream about ideals in their life: interior design, clothes, pets etc. What Airbnb do really well is tap into this relaxed state of mind, getting users excited about the potential of going away to one of the places they’ve pinned.

Exhibit A: travel planning

By inspiring users in this way, Airbnb are installing their brand image of ‘wanderlust’ in the minds of potential customers—so when these customers come to book their next break, they’ll refer back to their favourite pins.

Pantone inspire their followers in a similar way. Instead of just using swatches of their colour, they repin user images of similar colours—including hair colours, room design, pencils and food.

This technique is similar sharing or retweeting users. If a brand reshares a user’s post, that brand is endorsing the user’s content, giving the user satisfaction amongst their peers.

It also gives their Pinterest page a variety of different topic boards to browse, keeping their attention for longer.

Don’t forget to theme your boards
‘Pinners’ tend to use Pinterest as a bookmark for the things they like. By theming your boards, you’re making it easier for them to find the content they want to save.

The Guardian’s Pinterest page is a great example of how clearly themed boards get a lot of user attention. Every pin within their ‘How to make the perfect… ‘ board has been ‘repinned’ by users.

The reason themed boards work so well is that they order your users’ browsing. If a user stumbles across your page through a specific topic, then find other boards with similar themes, they’re more likely to stay and browse.

Themed boards are also useful if you’re running short of content. You can use themes around seasons, new product collections, colours and celebrations.

This blog post was originally written for www.crocstar.com.

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