Pinterest is an online bulletin board that showcases pictures across the web. Instead of sharing status updates, you share photos with each other. It’s a custom online magazine filled with your favorite photos.
Pinterest is the fastest growing social media platform with over 12 million users. Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn COMBINED. You’ve probably heard this all before (that’s because we told you in December but figured we’d give you a free pass), and yet you’ve still landed here today. We get it. We understand you have this thing called YOUR BUSINESS going on and don’t have time for anymore online shenanigans. Here’s the secret. Pinterest is for YOU! Yes, you. If you haven’t taken an interest in Pinterest (insert faux gasp here), here are some quick and easy get-started tips for using Pinterest for business.
Desert Rose Design (DRD) was riveted by the “Pinterest: How Your Business Can Use Images to Drive Traffic” Social Media Success Summit 2012 presentation hosted by Social Media Examiner and presented by Kelly Lester and Ana White. Ana is founder of the popular DIY carpentry blog called Ana-White.com. Kelly is founder of EasyLunchboxes. Both women are homemakers and moms who have successfully used social media to quickly build their businesses.
You might be thinking that Pinterest is for home décor, for food, for interior designers, for wedding planning, for fashion, for arts and crafts, for DIY, for travel and basically any product or location that lends itself to captivating photography. And you’d be right!
Think of this as your breakthrough marketing opportunity. This is your chance to be a #Gamechanger and stand out in your industry! Here are some shining B2B marketing examples on Pinterest that help these stellar businesses stand out from among the crowd in a unique way.
How can Pinterest be effective if you’re not showcasing home décor, products, food, or other tangible items that photograph with visual appeal?
1. For Starters, Are You Pinteresting? (Show a little personality!)
Likeable Media CEO Dave Kerpen has said in his book Likeable Social Media, “Remember, even in the B2B space, you’re not marketing to businesses, you’re marketing to people, who happen to be decision makers for businesses—this is an important distinction.”
We are BIG fans of Jim Dougherty of Leaders West Consulting who has “the best job in the world”—introducing great companies to great customers. He helps small to mid-sized companies market their businesses intelligently. So would you have guessed (I didn’t!) that Jim has a penchant for delicious food? How cool!
2. Infographics Make the Heart Grow Fonder (of Ugly Raw Data).
Give a little love by pinning infographics. Given the complexity in creating these, believe us, your business colleagues or customers will be THRILLED that you shared them to a wider audience! DRD’s VP of Strategic Solutions, Julie Poulos, has created a Social Media Infographics Pinterest Board, which highlights infographics that make sense of the Internet SuperHighway Autobahn! Incidentally – it was Julie’s DAUGHTER who alerted her to Pinterest way back in November of last year. We see another DRD marketer in the making. And it goes to show you that kids will keep leading these Internet trends!
Shameless Plug – If your business wants to communicate complex data with an infographic, but your team’s design talents are limited to stick figures on Draw Something, it’s time for you to give us a holla!
3. Feature Yoda (or other Wise Ones).
Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) is the bridge to success for existing and aspiring women entrepreneurs. While it’s sometimes difficult to put business concepts into pictures, we love the WBDC 12 Inspirational Women Pinterest Board that inspires us to emulate leaders we admire!
4. Highlight Your Colleagues, Clients and Customers.
Kelly Lester said, “The less I talk about myself and the more I talk about others, the more people listen.” That’s really great advice no matter WHAT social media platform you’re using! So maybe you’re a service-based business, but think about your customers and clients.
The best example we’ve found is from Business to Community (B2C), which is an open community of bloggers who share their thought leadership on marketing, social media, branding and PR. They’ve dedicated an “Our Contributors” B2C Pinterest Board to highlight their valued colleagues.
5. Pin Your Blog Post Images…Yup, We Went There!
There’s no harm in promoting the great work you’re doing. But we’re not talking about tacky promotional messages, “Limited Time Offer, Order the Mr. Sticky Lint Roller Now! Not Sold on Retail Stores Shelves, Order the Mr. Sticky Lint Roller Now…” If you believe in regularly scheduled content updates on your blog then you’ve collected a mass of photos to accompany those posts. This is a great way to spark visual intrigue and another avenue to entice the click back to your previous blog posts. Again we tip our hats to our colleagues at Business to Community with their “From B2C” Pinterest Board.
6. Last but Not Least, Pinterest Drives Traffic Back to Your Website
Thanks to DRD Co-Founder Helen Levinson for this last tip! Sevenly is a perfect example of driving traffic back to their site. They use more of an integrated approach rather than looking at Pinterest as another stand-alone vehicle. Sevenly is an organization that creates edgy t-shirts to support a different non-profit weekly. For every t-shirt sold, $7 goes back to that week’s featured charity. It may seem like an obvious solution to pin photos of the t-shirts themselves, but Sevenly thought differently. “Rather than only showcasing the company’s merchandise, the team investigated the type of images and content that were most likely to go viral, and let those ideas drive the pinboard topics…including How To Accessorize Your Tee, Typography, Graphic Design, and Office Design,” according to Sprout Social’s interview with Ryan Wood (Sevenly’s relationship manager).
Pinterest takes more effort. Like scrapbooking and a dozen other hobbies that failed to launch, this can be really fun at first but hard to keep up with if checking out photos or diagrams isn’t second nature or part of your routine. But Pinterest can be a really captivating platform in your Social Media Toolbox if you use it intentionally, in particular as a way to showcase those you admire personally and professionally, and to generate additional brand exposure where your target audience (chances are they’re part of the 12 mil) is hanging out.
So tell us, are YOU a pinner? For business or pleasure or both?
Social Media Curator
Nichole Santoro brings 15+ years of Marketing Communications and Project Management experience working in Chicago’s sales promotion agencies. More recently, she worked with small businesses to set up, edit and manage the day-to-day implementation of their social media, blog and newsletters. She is thrilled to share her expertise with the Every Marketing Thing community.
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