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Using Pinterest as a Marketing Tool

Beth Kempton

Pinterest, the pinboard-style social photo sharing website, has been the talk of the social media community in recent months. In January, Pinterest had 11.2 million unique monthly visitors, making it the fastest site ever to break the 10 million mark.

The average user (70 percent) is a woman between the age of 25 and 44 and 97 percent of the site’s Facebook fans are women. Through Pinterest, users can create and customize pinboards that cater to their interests, and follow users with similar interests. Examples of such pinboards include recipes, fashion, home decorating, fitness, wedding planning and travel destinations.

While Pinterest may seem like merely a social, entertaining website from a broad perspective, marketers and business professionals should also see the site as an innovative opportunity for brand-building. In a recent article on ZDNet, three Walker Sands clients, Empathica, hybris and Acquity Group, offered their expertise on how to proactively use Pinterest as a marketing tool.

The photo sharing format of Pinterest offers a new relationship between businesses and consumers, through visual influence. In order to appeal to consumers on Pinterest, retailers and other businesses must position their products in an aesthetically appealing light.

Pinterest users are savvy with the products they endorse and lifestyle they appreciate, so brands must go beyond copying and pasting advertising from their websites and interact with their audience in meaningful ways. This may even include “pinning” images from other brands to appear more authentic and genuine.

The most important consideration businesses must take before deciding to engage on Pinterest is whether the site’s demographic is a good fit for the brand. While a clothing retailer or restaurant has the potential for a successful Pinterest campaign if launched correctly, a power drill company may not be the best fit. Brands must then strategically plan how to engage on Pinterest in a way that benefits the brand without being blatantly self-promotional.

To make the most of Pinterest, businesses should let their presence on the social media site be known through other marketing channels. This includes putting a link to the Pinterest page on the brand’s Facebook, Twitter and web pages, as well as on print collateral such as receipts and shopping bags.

Once a brand joins Pinterest, it should take the time to measure the success of a Pinterest campaign, just as it does with all other marketing efforts. According to ComScore, Pinterest drove more traffic to business websites in January than Linkedin, Google Plus, Reddit and YouTube combined. Businesses that use Pinterest should immediately start tracking the referral traffic and sales generated from the social sharing site to determine the value of Pinterest for brand-building.

Is your brand ready to engage with consumers on Pinterest?

Check out the Walker Sands Pinterest page!