Pinterest has evolved from a community of brides-to-be into a genuine means of visual communication that connects the brand to the consumer. With new features being rolled out over the past year, Pinterest is looking to help marketers gain better insights and give brands the opportunity to dig deeper into their connection with their community.

Brands such as Whole Foods, Lowe’s, and Sephora are just a few that are able to bring their stories to life and connect with their Pinterest community. One way these brands are able to do this is by inspiring and educating their following.

So today we’re looking at some best practices aimed at helping marketers showcase their brands on Pinterest.

Prep for promoted pins

These paid ads are currently only available to a small set of brands. However, if you’re an e-commerce site, start allocating a budget for promoted pins. It would be best to use these during key holiday and promotional periods. It’s worth it. Take the Four Seasons, for example: During a test ad, a post highlighted a $70,000 hotel package with a private jet to Bora Bora that was repinned 9,000 times, and the Four Seasons received more than 500 requests for a brochure.

It’s important to note that Pinterest ads are focused on bringing unique, art-like imagery that adds value into the feed of the users. From travel experiences at the Four Seasons to home décor at Wayfair, every promoted pin contains something special that the consumer wants to find and share with their followers.

The paid ads will respect the Pinterest community but also offer marketers the opportunity to reach larger audiences than they do now with high quality content. These ads will be able to target specific searches on Pinterest. For example, a user searching for travel destinations in California might see a pin of a sunset with an inspirational quote from the Four Seasons.

Develop a posting schedule

Finding the right post schedule on any social platform is never without its challenges. With Pinterest, you have to understand your audience. Depending on your brand, stick with the basics. With the demographics of Pinterest leaning more toward females, understand when they are online. Here are a few tips:

  • Pin between 2-4 p.m. and 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
  • Save your top pins for Thursdays and Saturdays (highest traffic days).
  • Post multiple times a day (between 5-10 times including re-pins)
  • Don’t over-pin. Keep it to fewer than five pins in 5 minutes.

Posting the best types of images on Pinterest

We can learn a lot from the top brands about what makes for great creative photos on Pinterest. Think of Pinterest as an extension of your brand. Here are a few tips on crafting quality Pins for more clicks and re-pins:

  • The taller, the better. Pinterest organizes images vertically in a grid form, stacking pictures one on top of another. With the vertical images, Pinterest user experience tends to flow better. This is also the case for mobile users.
  • Focus on key themes of your brand – playful, travel, food, humor, etc. – and go behind the scenes and show them your process.
  • Get local – connect people from around the world with consumer-generated content using your products from Alaska to Australia. This is a great opportunity to integrate the use of Pinterest Maps.
  • Positive affirmations and aspirational content works really well. Think about the pinner and what would make you click on an image other than “Click here!”
  • Add your logo to the pin to make your brand more visible.

Optimizing your pin description

Although Pinterest is a visual platform, there are a lot of opportunities to captivate pinners through the pin description. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that 10% of items that caught pinners’ attention came from Pinterest searches. Exploring all of the options that the pin descriptions offer allows brands to help connect with users’ interests in another way.

  • Incorporating relevant keywords when appropriate can you help carefully craft your Pin descriptions.
  • With longer descriptions outperforming shorter ones, utilize 500 characters with useful details about your image.
  • If it’s relevant to your brand, make sure to link back to the appropriate page on your website.
  • Use only one or two hashtags per description to avoid looking spammy.
  • Talk with your website developers on how to create thoughtful pin descriptions to your Pin It buttons on your website.
  • When you enable rich pins on your website, pinners can see pricing, where to buy it, recipe instructions, and make it easier for pinners to buy directly from your website. Product pins get higher click-thru rates than regular pins, and will be very beneficial with the new Gifts feed roll out.

Tip: It’s extra beneficial if each of your boards includes a thoughtful description with search-friendly words.

Tracking the ROI of a Pinterest pin

Measuring success on Pinterest has not been easy for marketers in the past. With the preparation of promoted pins, Pinterest rolled out its own analytics. If you have an e-commerce website, tracking your ROI is fairly easy. If you pin a product with a link to your product page, and you’re able to see the sales of that product increase, then most likely your strategy is working. You can also track the sales funnel in Google Analytics to determine if the product was purchased from Pinterest.

If you’re not an e-commerce site, tracking ROI is a little more difficult. However, if you’re pushing a product or service on Pinterest and you see the increase in sales about 3 months later, then you’re doing something right. It’s important to remind your staff to ask the customers how they found your business.

Tip: You can also track ROI with software like Piqora.

Utilizing Pinterest’s community board

According to Curalate, 70% of all brand engagement on Pinterest is community driven. This means that most of your engagement happens off of your Pinterest brand page. Pinterest is a place for collaboration. The aim is to get involved in the conversations through “repinning” or commenting in a natural way that users are already doing on many of their favorite brands.

By curating multiple community boards that are shared with other brands or local businesses, you open the door to new possibilities of ways to connect with consumers. A pin triggers a certain mode or interest in a user, and by generating a good mix of potential interests from different sources, you can help trigger different modes in users that may inspire them to connect with your brand.

Tip: Make sure to choose a “Category” from the drop-down list when creating a board to make your content searchable.

Installing the Pin It button on your website

By adding the Pin It button to your website, you’re allowing potential consumers to discover your content on Pinterest. This button shares people’s interests and goals to their Pinterest following, and potentially drives new traffic to your site.

When it comes to brands and businesses, Pinterest has big ideas for the future and so should your company. Pinterest wants marketers to understand how to reach their respective audiences through captivating imagery. You are the curator of your brand story. How are you going to inspire someone to learn more about you?

annacroweAnna Crowe creates and manages multichannel digital marketing experiences for big brands on a global level with iiWorks. She is a true social media nerd turned strategic data-savvy analyst. When Anna isn’t posting a puppy picture or writing a snarky comment about another social slip up, she enjoys quoting scenes from “Top Gun” and taking naps. She also loves playing the lotto. Connect with her on Google+ or Twitter @annaleacrowe.

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