Setting up Pinterest for your company isn’t hard, and the marketing potential is huge. Take 5 minutes to complete and fully flesh out a Pinterest profile, and another 10 minutes to set up your “boards” (the Pinterest equivalent of ‘folders’), and you’re ready to start marketing with images and photos.
Once you create a Pinterest account, you need to add some boards. Click the + button and create something like the following arrangement, to start:
- BLOG POSTS: This is where you’ll pin each of your own blog posts (from your company blog) so they can be easily located on Pinterest. You already share them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ surely, so now you’re pinning them to Pinterest as well.
- VIDEOS: Here you’ll pin each of the videos you’re creating for Youtube. If you aren’t yet creating videos routinely for your business, a) talk to us about strategy, and b) make that board private until you’re ready. Proceed with the others.
- QUIPS & QUOTES: In the process of creating content for your marketing, you’re going to have phrases and remarks that really grab people. You’ll want to create visual images from those, and put them in this board.
- REVIEWS: Here you’ll put screenshots of your reviews from Yelp, recommendations from LinkedIn, testimonials from e-mail, and any other sources you use. Reviews are more powerful with an image of the person giving the review, their name and, in the case of a social media review, the visual backdrop where it appeared (e.g. we can tell it’s LinkedIn!).
- VISUAL TIPS: This is where you’ll put any graphic illustrations that show your clients how to interact with you or succeed with your product or services. Here, you can do this with our pull-out luggage rack. Here, you can go from this (slumped figure) to this (dynamic presenter) with my help as a speaking coach.
- FOUND ITEMS: This is your miscellaneous bucket. Anything you find interesting on Pinterest, you can add here. Found items need not directly relate to your business. They show you’re human, and you need to be human, so don’t fake it. If it doesn’t grab you, don’t pin it.
- DAY IN THE LIFE: Here is where you tell your story once in a while. if you’re out on a ‘routine mission’ as a real estate inspector, and you come across a Senegalese Zebra Snake (unlikely), we want to see it, and you running for your truck, and you driving away, and you coming back later to see if the coast is clear… If you sell products, great – tell visual stories of people who love your products. Include staff events and company outings – the list goes on.
- AWESOME REFERRALS: Whoever is in your network of business contacts that you want to get referrals from and give referrals to, you can pin on this board. Ask them for their most fun or exciting photo from the office, or something related to their business. Get permission to post it, and add a link (in the settings for that pin) to their landing page. Now when you want to refer someone, you’ve got another way to do it. Give them a link to this article, too.
- YOUR CORE BUSINESS: Don’t call it that, of course, but name it for whatever search term, service offering, or product line you want to be known for. Create 2-3 of these. This is where you put images related to your services. Not boring or pushy images, but ones that really capture the essence of life after engaging or buying from you. If you’re a product based company with an ecommerce site, use rich pins so prices and product info show up along with the images.
Make Your Browser and Web Site Pinterest Friendly
- GET THE PIN-IT BROWSER BUTTON: For every browser, there’s a button you can add to pin whatever content you can see, as long as it contains an image. This is useful to pin your own blog posts, but also any other content you find on the web. If you’re using Chrome, search the Chrome Web Store. For Firefox, find it in Add-ons for Firefox. You can locate those with Google.
- PUT A PIN-IT BUTTON ON YOUR BLOG POSTS: Each post on your blog should feature live ‘share’ buttons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Not just links to your profile, but buttons that can share the specific post a visitor is reading to any social network. You can get a pack of buttons from AddToAny (Google it or add it as a WordPress plugin), or add a Pinterest button manually from Pinterest’s Help Center.
- PUT A PINTEREST PROFILE BUTTON ON YOUR WEB SITE: Alongside the icons that link out from your web site to your profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, go ahead and add one for Pinterest. Wherever or from whomever you got the existing buttons, you can get Pinterest too.
- VERIFY YOUR WEB SITE WITH PINTEREST: In your Pinterest profile, you can add a link to your web site, but it will ask you to verify that link. This requires putting a line into the header code of your site. If you’re savvy, you can do it, or your webmaster can do it.
Work Pinterest Into your Digital Marketing Strategy
- ALWAYS ILLUSTRATE YOUR BLOG POSTS: There are plenty of stock photo options, if you don’t take your own photographs. You can make the images less generic by adding text on top of them, so they become “rich” illustrations (like mini-infographics or powerpoint slides). Use nearly any graphic software or other handy tools. Not having an illustration means your post isn’t “pinnable” by you or your readers.
- INCLUDE PINS IN YOUR NEWSLETTERS: You’re already curating your own content for your e-mail list, including teasers from your blog posts, your youtube videos, and maybe some other people’s content to flesh it out. Why not include a pin or two from your pinterest account, a fun caption, and a link to follow you on pinterest?
- DO USE HASHTAGS: They’re not just for Twitter. Facebook and Google+ welcome hashtags. LinkedIn will surely follow, but Pinterest is already there. Hashtags can go in the image description, and there they become clickable, so you can get your images into the stream of major topics, and run other hashtag campaigns in social media. If you don’t understand hashtag strategies, don’t worry, just get a digital marketing coach (like me) to coach you through it.
- PACE YOURSELF: Don’t declare a “Pinterest day” and go crazy inundating your boards with 100s of pins. A few pins an hour is OK, but beyond that, you’re messing with people who need a variety of stuff in their stream. That’s a general rule for all social media venues, not just Pinterest.
- GET AN IPHONE: Or at least something like it that takes stellar photos and pretty good videos (iPhone cameras are really good), and that you’ll have with you ALL THE TIME. You really need to be able to snap an image for Pinterest whenever and wherever you are. That time you spill cake down the front of your shirt before a business presentation is priceless. But it’s not a Kodak moment – it’s a Pinterest opportunity.
- CONSIDER A PHOTOGRAPHER FOR *SOME* OF IT: You don’t have to do all your own photography or image creation. Imagine having a pro who specializes in digital marketing photography come out and take a whole series of stills of you and your staff in interesting settings and situations around where you work, or follow you around for that “day in the life” coverage. As a digital strategist and marketing coach, I work everywhere, because you don’t need me on-site, but if you live in New York or New Jersey, get ahold of Ed Lefkowicz – marketing photography is something he does very well (Just tell him I sent you!).
Now, you’ve got your work cut out for you, but setting up for Pinterest marketing is a worthy project. This opens up a whole new area of your digital marketing plan. You may already be focused on Content Marketing with text (e.g. blogging), Video Marketing (with YouTube), and several other channels like PR, Event Marketing, and Network Marketing. Your Social Media Marketing deserves a shot at being visual. A pin is worth 1000 words, or more like 1350, which is how many you just consumed in another Madpipe Thoughtful Guide.
Give me a shout for more digital marketing strategy. Let me help you extend your business reach as far as it will go and beyond. Be sure and follow MadPipe on Pinterest. See you there!