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Pinterest: 5 Tactics for This Visual Social Media Mecca

  |  November 26, 2012   |  Comments

Set marketing objectives for your Pinterest activity, know your audience, show your 360-degree brand, create a content marketing strategy, and measure results.

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Pinterest's dramatic rise as the visual social media mecca for content makes it a critical component of your 2013 social media and content marketing plans.

Pinterest has gathered force in terms of numbers. From a top-line perspective, it attracts over 20 million unique visitors a month who spend almost 16 minutes on the site per visit yielding 1.5 billion page views per month, based on Fast Company's infographic. If that doesn't convince you, Pinterest is the fourth largest source of traffic, according to Shareaholic.

shareaholic-pinterest-graph

Here's a five-step strategy to get your Pinterest presence on track to yield measurable results. When you implement these actionable tactics, make sure you follow Pinterest etiquette.

Set Marketing Objectives for Your Pinterest Activity

Your Pinterest goals must be specific and measurable. Here are five options.

  1. Attract traffic. Leverage Pinterest to drive traffic to your website or blog.
  2. Present your brand visually. While many businesses, offerings, and brands aren't instinctively visual, Pinterest forces marketers to translate their brand into graphic format. SEOmoz does a great job.
  3. Build your brand. Like other forms of social media, Pinterest enhances your brand by leveraging the visual strength of your 360-degree brand through images, hashtags, and descriptions.
  4. Support community. Using Pinterest to create a conversation around relevant topics enables businesses to build community, recommends Beth Hayden, author of "Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business With Pinterest." To understand how to do this for your organization, Hayden pointed to the Pinterest presence PediaStaff, a national staffing firm that recruits and places pediatric therapists, has developed. With two distinct target audiences - the therapists it places, and the schools, hospitals, and clinics for which it provides therapists - PediaStaff runs ongoing discussions through its boards.
  5. Drive sales. Visitors are 10 percent more likely to purchase than visitors who arrive from other sites, according to Tamba's infographic.

Know your Pinterest Audience

Define your target market on Pinterest through the use of a marketing persona and a social media persona. Further, don't assume that it's a female-only online scrapbook site. The male-female mix is changing as men are increasingly joining the site, although the ratio is still predominately female.

Show Your 360-Degree Brand on Pinterest

Like any social media site, you must extend your brand to take advantage of the social media platform's strengths. In addition to the use of your 360-degree brand, here are three brand elements to include.

  1. Optimize your Pinterest profile settings. Here's another tip from Pinterest expert Beth Hayden. Check that your business name is on your Pinterest home page. Complete your firm's information with optimized keywords. Also, link your Pinterest profile to your website and other social media outposts.
  2. Create targeted pinboards. Use your pinboards to reflect different aspects of your brand.
  3. Develop brand by association. Consider how the pins you curate relate to your brand. Examine their target audience and how they're regarded.

Create a Pinterest Content Marketing Strategy

Pinterest content is visual in nature and draws on the exponential growth of shared images on social media. On Pinterest, there are two major forms of content: original content and curated content, including repins. Regardless of which approach you use, ensure that each image maximizes results.

  1. Incorporate compelling images into every piece of content you publish. Before you create the graphic element, make it appealing and share-worthy for your target audience. Think like a magazine editor to condense your story into an image. Here are five tips to help you extend your use of images.
  2. Curate other people's content. As with other social media venues, it's bad form to just pin your own content. Therefore to stand out, actively seek interesting and visually alluring content that satisfies your Pinterest followers' needs. While 80 percent of Pinterest content is repins, only following a repin strategy doesn't enhance your image as an expert.

Measure Pinterest Results

Track your Pinterest results back to your key objectives for the platform. Start by counting the number of pins from your website, the number of repins your content receives, and the number of followers you get on your overall Pinterest account and on individual pinboards. This'll provide insight into how Pinterest supports your marketing objectives.

Since Pinterest is becoming a top social media venue, at least stake out your organization's position and build the foundation for future growth, especially given how strong images are in today's marketing mix. These five tactics provide the basis for a Pinterest strategy.

Do you have a Pinterest strategy in place? If so, what have your key learnings been? What have the major stumbling blocks been?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Pinterest image via http://www.softicons.com/free-icons/system-icons/windows-8-metro-invert-icons-by-dakirby309/pinterest-alt-icon.

This column was originally published on Oct. 1, 2012.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heidi Cohen

Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.

Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.

Her blog, HeidiCohen.com, was nominated as a finalist for Top Social Media Blog of 2012 by Social Media Examiner.

Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.

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