1. Use your imagination - and humor
Boards with a really strong theme and sense of humor are more likely to go viral. Just take the example of 'My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter', a board created by Pennsylvania copywriter and mother of two boys, Tiffany Beveridge. She found the over-the-top styling of toddler fashion photography hilarious, and her board soon became home to the fashions of an imaginary daughter 'Quinoa' (after the trendy grain), whose pretentious style sense and ostentatious little friends quickly won her tens of thousands of fans, eager for the next glimpse into Quinoa's fake world.
Remember that your captions can be just as important as the photographs - this board is followed as much for its tongue-in-cheek descriptions as for the images. The board tells a story of a whole imaginary world: what story could your brand tell?
"After an exhausting day of back-to-back play dates, Paleo relaxes with chamomile tea, while Quinoa prefers yoga."
2. Search your topic
One way to get ideas for pinboard names is to search for your general topic, e.g. 'Kitchen Style' and browse through the pictures that come up, looking at the names of boards that they were pinned to. At the bottom of each picture it will say 'Onto' and give the board name it was pinned onto. A quick search for 'Kitchen Style' brings up pictures pinned onto boards called, 'Kitchen Design Ideas', 'Styling Kitchens', 'Home, sweet home', 'Kitchen Inspiration', 'Bistro Kitchen', and 'Chic Kitchen'. These give an indication of what other people call similar boards, and can really jump-start your ideas.
From Taps and Sinks Online Limited
3. Make your board relevant to your audience
Remember that the Pinterest audience may very well be different to your brand's core audience, so you'll want to think about who's on there, and how they might find your brand: Pinterest can be a great way of connecting with people who don't know you yet. Pinterest users tend to be female (80%) and aged 25-44. Tech website Mashable is one of the most-followed brands on Pinterest. Despite not being a natural fit for the most popular categories of lifestyle, family and fashion, Mashable has tailored its pins to appeal to Pinterest users, with boards for 'A high-tech home', 'Fashion meets digital', 'Nerdy Desserts', 'Pets gone digital', and 'Nerdy weddings & geeky love' - and won a massive following for their efforts.
4. Be specific
Pinterest users who are new to your brand won't be searching for your company; they'll be searching for a specific topic. So if you want to get your board noticed, give it a name that sums it up in a catchy and concise way. Fashion retailer Nordstrom are among the most popular brands on Pinterest, and one of the secrets to their success is that they are very good at targeting their boards to a particular topic. For example, they don't just have a board called 'Cats', they have 'Fashion Cats'. Instead of a more general 'Weddings', they break it down into 'Garden Wedding Ideas', 'Classic Wedding Ideas', and 'Black and White Wedding Ideas'. Try to focus your board on one idea, rather than aiming to be too general - you can always have several boards for different aspects of a topic. This will really help your board come up in searches and help you win followers.
5. Theme your board around the top categories
You may be wondering how on earth your brand could represent itself on Pinterest, when the demographic seems so mis-matched to your brand's products or services. But Pinterest is all about getting creative and finding a more whimsical side to your company. Tax firm Avalara has a board called 'Funny Accountant', with humorous photos and jokes, while Champagne Family Dentistry has boards for 'Dental Humor', 'Dental Related Arts and Crafts', and 'Recipes for your Smile'. If firms can make dentistry and tax appealing to Pinterest users, then think how your brand can appeal to this audience! The top ten categories on Pinterest are: Home, Arts & crafts, Style/Fashion, Food, Inspiration/Education, Holidays/Seasonal, Humor, Products, Travel, and Kids - how can your products or services relate to some of these themes?
6. Optimize and adapt in real-time
Try new and fun Pinterest boards and see how they perform. Sticking to the same list of boards is boring and if you don't offer or try out anything fresh, your audience can get bored. By trying new boards/pins you can get a great insight into how audience responds to your ideas.
Use the below infographic to identify what metrics might be best for you to track based on your marketing and content objectives. There are various tools available in the market that allow you to track some or all of these metrics with ShareRoot, Curalate, and PinReach among them.
In closing, Pinterest is a great place for brands to really explore how their products might be used in people's lifestyles, or how their ethos can be summed up in images. Followers are able to get behind what your brand is about and find out more about you. Don't feel overwhelmed - just start with a handful of boards and go from there, and grow your followers as you think of new ideas of how to represent your brand visually.
Originally ran in ClickZ