The Dos and Don’ts of Marketing on Pinterest

Pinterest has grown drastically over the past few months, and savvy marketers jumping aboard with haste.

The site, which boasts 21 million unique visitors per month, is a goldmine for marketers that understand visual storytelling. But misusing Pinterest is sure to land marketers in hot water.

When companies post spam and solicit “unwanted and uninteresting coupons” on the site, people are guaranteed to get upset, says Blogger Armando Roggio of Practical Ecommerce. He continues:

“Social media marketing’s mission should always be to add real value to the social communities where customers and potential customers are engaged. In the context of Pinterest, this means that the images and videos pinned should seek to improve Pinterest, not serve as a sort of visual classified ad for a merchant’s entire inventory.”

While businesses shouldn’t show off their products, it is permissible when product images benefit customers. As an example, Roggio points out Nordstrom’s page, which features fashion trends and shows customers how to put together outfits from the store.

Just like all social media sites, he says marketers need to keep in mind that they will not find overnight success on the site, but build relationships with consumers instead. “Pinterest marketing is an opportunity to increase engagement with some customers, building trust over a number of shared experience–such as repinning each other’s images or exchanging comments.”

Marketers looking to reap the benefits of customer engagement can use Pinterest in a number of ways. Creating a user-generated Pinboard for your company’s top fans “opens up a great opportunity to involve fans and customers in your marketing,” says Hubspot Blog’s Pamela Vaughan. She also suggests hosting a contest “that asks users to create a pinboard on their own account to demonstrate what they love about your brand, products, or services,” featuring photos and videos from your company’s offline events, and using hashtags.

As Pinterest continues to gain users, marketers that understand the dos and don’ts of the network are sure to benefit.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Khánh Hmoong

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