Pinterest. The website is one of the hottest new trends. In the age of Social Media which facilitates the rapid dissemination of information, this site has clearly gone viral. Recently the site surpassed over 11 Million unique visitors in one month, and exactly a year ago just a few people even knew it existed. Although the site’s demographics is overwhelmingly female users, it is rapidly changing and becoming more balanced gender-wise. There are a number of reasons why a business would want to build a community on Pinterest:
Viral Marketing is a clear goal to most companies and Pinterest is an ideal vehicle to that end.
To date, Pinterest creates a high-quality backlink from your profile to your company website (that may change) thus increasing your SEO Ranking
Pinterest is highly visual in nature and thus offers great opportunities for disseminating pictures, graphics, videos and infographics
Building a community on any Social Media site is a serious undertaking and one that should not be taken lightly. Just like
anybusiness undertaking a plan should be devised: a Strategy. Each Social Media site has its own dynamics, rules, and norms. Pinterest is no different and actually inspires itself from a few other websites. For example, the idea of Following Users and giving those users the opportunity to follow you back is clearly taken from Twitter. The new User Profile is clearly inspired from Facebook’s new Timeline layout. The sharing of pictures is inspired from Flickr and perhaps most recently Instagram. Assuming your company does not have a presence yet on Pinterest, here we offer 7 Steps to a Pinterest Community:
Create a profile. Although Pinterest is not set up for business pages yet one can creatively design a business profile. In the name section add your company name, in the image add your company logo, and very importantly add your company’s website in the URL box.
Pinterest will already have some standard “Boards” created for you. Boards is a way to categorize different types of pictures based on your interest. It is important that you change the name of these boards to topics of interests to your company. For example here at Onyx Online Strategy in our Pinterest Community we have a Board fully dedicated to Inbound Marketing.
Create content. Isn’t this what Inbound Marketing is all about? Creating content so that you can become a resource to your prospects, leads, and clients. In Pinterest you create content by filling your Boards with pictures and videos that are related to the Board topic and that you feel would deliver value to your followers. It is important not to jam-pack those boards with just proprietary products otherwise users will realize you are trying to sell them and NOBODY likes to be sold to.
Create a following by following first. It may sound counter-intuitive but that’s the way it works. At the beginning no one knows you, so you have to make the first move. Start following people. If you have acquaintances that are already on Pinterest, follow them. There is a higher probability that they will follow you back and they will form your base of followers. Then start using the search bar and begin searching for the topics that you named your very own boards. This will return a number of Pins and Boards that are related to your interest. That process in essence is searching for where your prospects are. Once you have identified individuals with similar preferences start following them. They will see that you have similar Boards and the majority should start following you in turn.
Feed new content. The process of creating content should never stop. It is not a one time deal once you set up an account or a blog. To be relevant it has to be updated. Keep on adding new pictures, graphics, or videos. Your followers will see those new “Pins” and if they like it they will re-Pin them and their followers will in turn see those, that is the Viral nature of the website.
Link your Blog/Website to your Pinterest Community. As we discussed in our previous post on Business Blogging, you should definitely have one in your company website. Just like the Facebook’s “like” buttons, and Twitter’s “Tweet” buttons, Pinterest also has its “Pin It” button. Make sure to have one on your website and blog posts so that you make it easier for other Pinterest users to share your content with the rest of the Pinterest Community. Those buttons can be found within the Pinterest website in the “About” tab.
Last but not least, make sure to acknowledge your new followers and “repinners”. You can do so by following back your new followers, and if a user makes a comment on of your Pins make sure to respond with your own message. They will be appreciative and will create a higher engagement among your followers which will lead to a higher willingness to re-Pin (share with their network) and comment (communicate with your company).
These are 7 high-level recommendations to get your Pinterest Community off the ground and for additional details I would recommend you read the following eBook, How to Use Pinterest for Business. An additional resource for you is the video below which discusses creating Social Media Communities in general and those lessons can be applied to any Social Media communities. Please share any other useful step that you feel is critical in launching a new Social Media Community.