Smart brands know they have to be on the social platforms where their target consumers are in order to engage with them and share information. Right now all brands are devoting time and attention to Pinterest. For brands whose products lend to beautiful visuals (like food and fashion), it is even more exciting and engaging. Food brands and restaurants can showcase tantalizing dishes and entrees, while fashionistas can scroll through hundreds of styles in minutes.
The ultimate goal is to cultivate awareness, engagement and brand loyalty to drive a purchase. It takes a combination of common sense and creativity to get the most return from your efforts. Here are a few suggestions:
- As with any social platform, resist the temptation to promote only your own content. People like social media because its interactive, engaging and they’ll quickly tune you out if your pins and comments are all self-serving. Return the follow to users who engage with your boards and make them feel special by commenting and re-pinning their content.
Keep your content fresh. Nothing shouts “amateur” like starting a board and neglecting the content. Visitors don’t come back to see the same dusty images, they come back to see what’s new and how much other people have commented and shared. Post on your board daily and use vivid, inviting images.
Engage with social influencers. This summer, KFC used Pinterest in a clever way to drive awareness for the launch of its cakes. Instead of just posting pictures of the cakes, they engaged dozens of influential mom bloggers who wrote posts about how they celebrate special moments with their families while at the same time promoting its cakes. The bloggers posted pin-able photos of births, first steps, homecomings, vacations, holiday moments and hundreds of touching stories. Visitors could read the stories, pin the images, and vote for their favorites all from a KFC branded hub page. By partnering with influencers who had like-minded loyal followers on blogs and Pinterest, KFC was able to not only reach thousands of consumers but engage them with visual content.
Play with private boards. Pinterest just launched private boards, which allows brands to host boards that are “invite only.” With private boards, brands can offer exclusive promotions to key advocates as a reward for being a fan. Giving super fans special access to new products and limited deals makes them feel special and builds brand loyalty.
Gamify your content. Take your creative efforts to the next level by making it fun for visitors to engage and share content on Pinterest. Pillsbury drove thousands of pins, votes and shares by inspiring foodies to post their creative recipes using crescent rolls. A branded micro-site aggregated the submitted recipes and allowed visitors to post to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and to vote on their favorite. Visitors printed the most popular recipes, which meant they were likely to purchase Pillsbury Crescent Rolls to make the recipe at home.
Over 80% of Pinterest users are female and 50% are moms, which means they represent the most powerful consumer demographic on the web. Pinterest is also the fastest growing social site in history and a leading referrer of traffic to brand sites. Gifts are the second most popular category of content (next to crafts) so the holiday season is a perfect time for brands to ramp up their Pinterest game.
Holly Hamann is co-founder and chief marketing officer of BlogFrog. You can follow her 17 boards on Pinterest.