It’s a question I’m increasingly being asked, so I thought I’d share my point of view on this blog. I’m not an expert (and you shouldn’t trust anyone who says they are), but when a social network beats big names like Linkedin and Google+ in Hitwise’s top list of social networks (December 2011) any business would be a fool not to ask “Can I use it for my marketing?”
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest differs from Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+ in one main way: it’s image-led. Using a visual emphasis, Pintrest is focused on the concept of a person’s (or a company’s) lifestyle, enabling you to share your interests and preferences with others and discover those of like-minded people.
As Pinterest puts it, this is a social network meant to connect everyone in the world through the things “they find interesting”.
It is looked down on to use Pinterest as nothing more than a self-promotion tool, therefore B2B businesses need make Pinterest part of their inbound marketing strategy, posting images and video on the network that are both useful and relevant.
Why Pinterest matters
Differentiation: The B2B marketplace is over-saturated with businesses offering similar products and services at similar prices. Pinterest can be used to communicate what makes your company unique.
Awareness: Pinterest offers a range of activities you can initiate to market your company to a new audience. The goal is to build brand recognition, drive traffic to your website and be successful at converting new visits to leads.
Where to start?
Conduct a brand review:
- What is the personality of your business?
- What is its purpose (above and beyond making money and winning awards)?
- What values do you hold dear?
- What is your core area of expertise? Do you specialise in a sector or have an in-depth understanding of a territory or age-group?
- Create your profile and link it to your social channels
- Add the “pin-it” button to your website
- Put someone within your company in charge of Pinterest
- Measure impact
Having established your company’s difference through the brand review, magnify these differences by creating, commenting, sharing, liking and re-pinning on Pintrest:
- If you’re a business that’s passionate about sustainability, you might like to have an ethical packaging board
- If you’re a design agency specialising in luxury, why not create a range of boards that showcase trends in these areas, or interesting up and coming designers or materials?
- Use Pinterest to promote your company as an industry thought-leader; create highly visual covers for your blog posts, ebooks and white papers in order to draw attention to your content.
My Pinterest is a mix of who I am and what I do. Give it a go!