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Pinterest Part IV: Making the Most of Pinterest - Tips and Tricks

Everything you ever wanted to know about Pinterest
(but were afraid to ask)

Update: We've distilled the Pinterest wisdom from this series of blog posts into one handy downloadable eBook. We hope it's useful.

Hailed as one of the top ten social networks in terms of active population, Pinterest's numbers continue to grow.  A relatively young network, some features and tools are a little creaky.  Pinterest's search feature is less than powerful.  Nothing about Pinterest is optimized for brand or marketing use.  Other features could also use improvement.

The site changes often, so be sure to keep an eye on the Pinterest  blog for updates and new features.  Below are a series of tips to help you make the most of your time with Pinterest. 

Making the Most of Pinterest - Tips and Tricks

Include Pricing Info
Pinterest's site includes a section for users to browse for gifts (for others, for themselves) by price.  To appear in this section, a pin must include pricing information in the description so that the pins will repopulate in the gift selection .  If pinning your own content, add a "$" or a "£" to the Pin's description and make sure the url is a direct link to the product.  Be sure to make use of Pinterest's search feature so that when your content is shared and is discussed on Pinterest, your community manager can organically join the conversation.  Often times, consumer goods are pinned and then pinned again, and the purchasing information or url link is lost.  In Pinterest etiquette, it isn’t just ok to comment to provide sourcing information, it is welcomed.

Use Keywords in Descriptions
Pinterest's search feature is a literal beast.  If a searcher inputs a term like "blue dress," the results that will display for the individual pin search will contain only pins that include that term in the pin description.  Help your would-be followers discover your content by including apt descriptions.  Descriptions also act as a "title" for an individual pin, so making the description pleasing to the eye and ear is also important.

Search Your Name
Use the creaky Pinterest search feature to find mentions of your brand on other boards.  You’ll find new people to follow this way and sources of inspiration for your own curation.  A search for Brooks Brothers finds products being highlighted in a board called “Preppy Cool,” while Sephora products find new life in pinboards being used for color stories.

Search for Mentions
You can also find content people have pinned directly from your website by adding, “/source/” and your website address to the Pinterest homepage URL. For example, if we want to look at what content people have shared from Mashable, we can enter http://pinterest.com/source/mashable.com.  Searching for people who already are sharing your product is a good way to find followers who might be interested in following your brand curated boards back.

Unlike repinning, the “liking” action  is a low profile way for a brand to engage with the larger Pinterest community.  Liking is a viewable list by other members.  If there are tangential subjects to your brand that you do not wish to curate as a whole board, you may wish to “like” another members content on the subject instead of repinning.  Examples of this might be:  a children’s clothing brand that curates content for children’s play activities “liking” a creative child bento box lunch, a cooking/epicurean brand that curates kitchen equipment and dishes “liking” kitchen remodels.  Making use of the like feature is a good way to build a following.

You can directly engage with anyone for whom you are already following at least one board.  Tag descriptions of pins/repins and comments with the @ symbol followed by username and a notification will be sent directly to the user.  Direct mentions are great ways to reinforce relationships and build your community.

Reward Your Fans
Repinning and Liking take very little time/bandwidth compared to custom curating and commenting on other users’ pins.  Notifications of your activity will appear to the others in their activity feeds and notification emails.  By taking time to explore your follower's boards, it would be possible to create a “brand” board of lifestyle inspiration completely filled with “What Brand X Fans Love” and repins.

Connecting Platforms  

When creating a Pinterest account, you can choose to connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts, along with your website.  Indeed, this step is mandatory in creating an account, although the social network display can  be toggled off after registration.  If enabled, social account widgets appear below your profile bio to your followers. 

It is important to note that currently, brand pages cannot be selected via the Facebook integration.  When registering a brand Pinterest account, the safest choice is to choose to integrate your brand Twitter account.  Once social network sharing is enabled, you can choose to share your Pins across the networks (although this sharing works on the personal profile level, not the brand page level,) or to embed them onto your website.  (Currently, only pins can be embedded, but the Pinterest designers have plans to make boards embeddable in Q1 of this year.)  Driving traffic by posting links to your Pinterest profile and pins via an update on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or wherever your audience is actively discussing your brand will benefit your presence on Pinterest.

For more reading, see tomorrow's post in our 5 part Pinterest series -
Part V:  100+ Brands on Pinterest

Previous posts in our Everything Pinterest series include -

Part III:  Participating on Pinterest as a Brand Curator
Part II:  Optimizing Content For Pinterest
Part I:  Just What is Pinterest Anyway?

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