With Pinterest back in the news with its latest attempt to monetize their site, it is probably worthwhile to revisit how companies can make the most of Pinterest to make money for their brands. Pinterest is fast becoming the go-to channels for driving sales. Consider these statistics:
If that’s not enough, consider that Pinterest has developed a variety of ways for brands to advertise directly to these consumers on their site and more ways to integrate pinboards into brand websites. And so, like Facebook and Twitter before them, brands are rushing to create exciting campaigns to drive moms to their pinboards and, ultimately, to buy their products.
But … as with earlier social media sites, what was once easy to do on Pinterest will become more difficult as more and more brands join the fray. Large brands will always have the dollars to do an exciting, multi-platform campaign with Pinterest at the center, but what can small and medium-sized brands do to maximize this platform now and in the future?
Twelve months from now, when major brands are entrenched on Pinterest, the shine will be off these glowing statistics, and it will take more money and more time to reach and convert moms on this platform. We’ve seen this story before as Facebook went from “build it and they will come” to “buy ads and they will come” – the natural progression for any new and creative marketing tool.
So, if your social media strategy still consists of having a page on every social site, updated weekly by an intern, your return on that investment will continue to be disappointing … especially as larger brands find ways to integrate social media into larger campaigns. For Pinterest, the same rule for mid-size and smaller brands applies as I have written about here and here, the secret to doing more with less on social media is to focus on brand advocates. While not “free,” as are most things on the web, working with brand advocates costs money these days, brand advocates can create synergies and amplify your message at a much lower costs than traditional advertising.
So, start your Pinterest program … or restart if you’ve already begun with a strategic approach to social media with these three tips, before your beautiful pinboard gets lost in the wave of new brands on the platform. (I’m assuming you have the basics of pinning down, if not there are some great resources that you can find… on Pinterest pinboards of course.)
1. Seek out popular pinners in your field. Beyond just introducing them to your product, work with them to incorporate your product in their pinboards and out to their users. Harness their ideas for great Pinterest promotions and create win-win situations where you both benefit.
2. Create group boards around popular topics. Invite top influencers in your field to contribute. Be creative and use out of the box thinking to encourage not only pinners that you pay to contribute to the group board, but also those who just want to join in the fun.
3. Understand your core audience. As more and more brands use Pinterest, making sure you have your positioning statement and target market clearly and tightly defined can lead to posting great pins … different from other brands in your field. Use Google keyword tools and searches to find the oddball idea that your target audience is seeking. Connect with leaders in those small niches and amplify your message with their help.
As with all social media sites, as popularity grows, it’s harder and harder to make your brand stand out. Don’t get stuck in old paradigms, thinking as long as you are on a platform, consumers will find you. Take steps now to positioning your brand for success on Pinterest in 2014 and beyond.