Pinterest has officially caught on.
With more than 10 million unique visitors each week and millions of active users, the photo sharing website has established itself as more than a flavor of the month.
Whether users are drawn to its unique user interface or just the utility of the site, Pinterest has developed a strong following.
But Really, Can ANYONE Benefit?
Just as with other social websites that gain a foothold in the social media spectrum, marketers and business owners are likely wanting to know whether Pinterest can be used to their advantage. And the answer is, yes!
There are a number of websites and blogs out there that can certainly benefit from using Pinterest. At the same time, there is also a large group of companies out there who will have a higher mountain to climb if they intend to benefit from the service. But with creativity and perseverance, anyone can benefit.
So, how do webmasters and bloggers know whether they can benefit from the new photo sharing service? To determine that, it’s important to know the criteria of businesses that can use the site. Pinterest is obviously a very visual service. As such, companies that sell products that aren’t attractive or provide services that are hard to visually convey might struggle to find an audience on Pinterest.
Sure, a company with a well-known logo like Nike could certainly benefit from a few repins of its popular “swoosh” symbol, but this would only apply to a small percentage of companies. However, with the right ingenuity, virtually any company or blog can find a way to benefit from the service. Let’s take a look at a few specific ways that companies and blogs can leverage Pinterest in their favor.
Pinterest – The Modern Art Exhibit
Showcasing work is a great use for the Pinterest service. This is true for established ad agencies and photographers, but it’s also true – and especially more noteworthy – for those who are just getting their foot in the door. Blossoming designers and photographers can make the leap from hobbyist to paid contractor or even employee by sharing their work and gaining repins.
There are a number of connected individuals and businesses using the service, so it functions as something of a perpetual exhibit for anyone who wants to get paid for their work. Follow and repin leaders in your industry to foster a relationship with them. At some point, one of your projects might end up in their pin stream and they’ll recognize your name as “that follower who repins and likes the things I share.”
Products – Turn Pins into Sales
The site can also be used to sell a product, although that’s very contingent on how visually appealing the product is. A company like Apple that makes attractive and well-recognized products would have a better chance of launching a viral marketing campaign than, say, a pork producer.
Businesses in the latter category must be more creative in their approach to Pinterest. Think through related industries or products that might be more visually appealing, and create boards centered around those topics. Become the authority on niches in your industry and people will keep coming back to your boards, and eventually, to your site to buy your product.
However, any company that makes appealing products shouldn’t be shy about using the photo sharing site to their advantage. If your product is eye candy or can look like eye candy if it’s photographed right, get it on Pinterest.
There’s another interesting aspect of Pinterest that nearly any business can capitalize on. Pages on the site are indexed, meaning the service can be used for SEO purposes. Posting images and using keywords relative to the website being promoted can be an effective strategy because the repins function as inbound links.
In this regard, Pinterest is something of a social link-building tool. While it’s true that the links are no-followed, there’s been recent debate over whether the search engines are starting to count value from even no-followed links.
One thing to keep in mind when taking this approach is that the picture being posted needs to be worthy of being repinned. Posting an image with a keyword won’t be worth the time if it’s not a picture that will earn some repins.
Pinterest for the Graphically Challenged
There are ways that companies who otherwise might not gain links from the service may still benefit. Take, for example, the aforementioned pork processing plant. Posting their logo might not be a great idea, because few people are interested in it.
But an enterprising marketing manager might post an eye-catching image of the plant itself – perhaps at sunset or from a unique angle. Or maybe start a campaign featuring unique ways to cook and serve bacon (who doesn’t love bacon? I’d definitely repin that!). Suddenly, those images gain repins and inbound links are generated.
To sum things up, Pinterest can definitely be a boost to a company’s marketing efforts. The trick is to brainstorm a creative angle to take and then execute a strategy. A company that sells refurbished electrical supplies will have a harder time getting value out of the service than a company selling stained glass, but both can find a way to utilize the site.
Find something beautiful about what you do or that your industry does, take beautiful pictures of it, pin those pictures, and watch the traffic role in.
Have you seen any effective marketing campaigns on Pinterest? What do they do that you enjoy?