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June 16, 2014

How to Build Up an Engaged Community on Pinterest

As a marketing platform for businesses active on social media channels, Pinterest has finally begun to reach a critical mass. Yet many companies are still struggling with the right ways to build an engaged community that ultimately helps achieve sales and branding goals. The good news for them is there have been plenty of pioneering organizations that have made a path through the Pinterest forest. Their experiences can now help all of us feel more confident in the way we navigate the world of Pinterest.

Best practices for audience engagement on Pinterest

Most social media site “best practice” marketing techniques hold true regardless of a business’s product or service. Pinterest is no different. A few tips seem to apply across the board and are excellent reminders for any marketers venturing into the world of pins, re-pins and virtual “bulletin” boards:

It’s necessary to create or find pin-worthy images

Relying on stock photos doesn’t cut the corporate mustard on Pinterest. Followers love to look through images, but only if those images are unique in some capacity. Taking time to find interesting images that will engage Pinterest onlookers is a critical component of this type of marketing. It may even involve asking key business players for ideas; marketers should reach out to the people closest to them for innovative thoughts.

Businesses should plan on pinning often

It’s not good enough to wait a few weeks before adding another picture to a board. Businesses that pin great images consistently tend to attract loyal fans. Those fans, in turn, re-pin the images on their own boards. It’s a cycle that keeps giving back to the original pinner.

Engagement doesn’t happen in a vacuum

Companies need to spend the time to go to their followers’ sites to “like” images, or even find ones that they want to re-pin on their own boards. If there’s all take and no give, organizations will find Pinterest engagement to be incredibly challenging.

Businesses should change their boards on a regular basis

It’s been noted that people on Pinterest get bored when they see the same images in the same order all the time. This means businesses on Pinterest must find a way to regroup their pictures to “freshen” the boards. Whether it’s once a month or once a season, a little “board cleaning” never hurt any business.

Marketers should make use of Pinterest’s analytics

Numbers and statistics are always helpful to any marketer, and Pinterest offers them to businesses that verify their accounts through their sites. Though the Pinterest analytics aren’t as robust as Google Analytics, they do give a clear idea of how a business’s boards are performing. Marketers need to factor in a learning curve to figure out how these Pinterest analytics will work for them.

Businesses must have a method to their pinning

There have been some fascinating statistics that suggest certain image types work better on certain days of the week. For instance, it’s said that recipes and cooking images tend to get re-pinned and “liked” on Sundays, whereas Fridays see a jump in humor photos. Businesses can utilize these factors to strategize when and what time to place their images on their boards.

Company websites should offer “pin it” buttons

The more opportunities people have to pin an image from a corporate site, the stronger the chance that photo could go viral and attract more followers for the business. Every website image should be pin-able, especially images that are part of blog posts. This means no more “blah” pictures on blog posts should be accepted. Plus, the content has to be as strong as the image.

Pinterest contests can lead to impressive follower number increasers

Certainly, there are marketers who feel social media contests aren’t necessarily the end-all, be-all. With that being said, they do tend to get people excited about companies and brands. Pinterest “Pin It to Win It” contests have boosted some corporations Pinterest followers by quite a bit. As with all contests, the key is to have irresistible prizes and easy-to-follow instructions.

Companies should reach into their “vault” of photos and pin jpgs of scanned images, when possible

For corporations that have been around a while, or that have historical memorabilia, a Pinterest board can become a great showcase for images. The University of Michigan often adds vintage photos onto their Pinterest site, particularly on the page that’s designed for Alums. Their fans love being taken on a trip down “memory lane” via a 21st century mode.

Pinterest for the long haul

Just like any of the social media platforms that have proven themselves such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, Pinterest has proven that it has a grip insofar as people who peruse social media sites are concerned. With people spending upwards of 15 minutes on Pinterest every time they log on, companies have significant opportunities to make their brands and offerings seen on a global scale.

Pinterest can dovetail nicely with a company’s other social media and marketing strategies. Plus, there are extremely easy platforms whereby images can be uploaded for pinning later. This alleviates the need to have one member of the marketing team or staff membership make sure to jump onto Pinterest on a regular basis. It also decreases the objections to trying Pinterest.

There are no more excuses: It’s time for Pinterest for companies of all sizes.


Adrienne Erin writes twice weekly for SiteProNews about online marketing strategies that help businesses like Seifert Woodcrafts succeed. Follow @adrienneerin on Twitter to see more of her work or get in touch.