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Brands and businesses – especially SMBs – have to weigh carefully the social media channels they interact on against the time they have to manage such interactions.

No, you don’t have to be on every social platform – but if you assume you don’t have to be on Pinterest because it seems similar to other networks, or because you’re a blogger who isn’t selling a physical product, well that’s your first mistake.

 

1. Thinking you don’t have to be there

If you’re selling anything – particularly to women – Pinterest is worth your time. Even when people don’t buy directly from Pinterest – they plan on Pinterest. They browse and comparison-shop, and make final decisions – so you want your brand in the mix.

As for bloggers…

Pinning pictures from your blog posts boosts SEO, in addition to driving traffic to your site – as long as you’re verified. Which leads us to…

 

2. Not having a business account/not verifying your website

If you’re doing any kind of sales on Pinterest – or otherwise promoting a business or services – you must have a business account. It’s easy enough to convert a personal account to a business account, however, and once you do you have access to Pinterest’s built-in analytics.

You also want to verify your website – or blog – with Pinterest for a couple reasons. The “verified” checkmark next to your brand name adds legitimacy, which helps attract more followers. And you’ll be able to see who’s pinning what from your website in your analytics. That’s super useful information about what your audience likes best.

So what about your audience on Pinterest? What mistakes might you be making about them with regard to this social channel?

 

3. Assuming they’re all women

Yes, it’s been long-stated that Pinterest is a gold-mine for those seeking a female audience – with the overwhelming majority of users being women. However, Pinterest’s male audience has grown steadily the past few years, and according to TechCrunch, “More men are using Pinterest in the U.S. than read Sports Illustrated and GQ combined.” Once again, assumptions prove to be a dangerous commodity.

 

4. Pinning the wrong content

Each social network has its own unique slant, and Pinterest is no different. According to the network’s own blog, “Pinterest is more of a personal tool than a social one. People don’t come to see what their friends are doing. (There are lots of other great places out there for that!) Instead, they come to Pinterest to find ideas to try, figure out which ones they love, and learn a little bit about themselves in the process.”

It’s not just about sharing images, in other words – it’s about sharing information in the “how to” sense. Recipes, projects, crafts – these are all great examples of what Pinterest’s users are looking for.

But like any other social network, you need to understand exactly what your audience most wants. Apply social media listening tools, and social sentiment analysis, to understand just what kinds of content to share.

In addition to the usual questions about their passions, desires, pet peeves, and interests, focus on what problems they need help with, what goals they want to achieve, and the kind of solutions they’re seeking. This will tell you what kind of content to offer up.

The Container Store is one great example. Their Travel Organization board is full of tips and tricks for families on the go – and links to their blog for more details of their products in action.

Screencap from The Container Store Pinterest account

Here are a few tips for creating killer boards and pins:

  • Add categories to your boards so they come up in search
  • Create boards beyond your brand – with content your target audience cares about
  • Move boards around as seasons/trends change, so the most relevant appear first
  • Repin others’ content, but always create/share original content as well
  • Share your pins more than once – just not so many times it becomes annoying
  • Optimize your images for Pinterest – vertical images that are 735 x 1100px are best

Be sure you have enough pins on each board. Ten boards with 100 pins each are better than 30 boards with three pins on each. If you need to populate a new board and don’t want to overwhelm your followers with notifications, keep it “secret” until it’s full enough to reveal.

 

Let consumers guide you

Like any social network, there are many ways to approach Pinterest – and different strategies work for different brands. The most important thing is to use social monitoring software to inform your brand’s strategy – so your followers are happy and engaged. As long as you listen to your audience, you can’t go wrong.

 

Want to learn more about how our industry-recognized social analytics tools help you understand your audience? Reach out!

Image from Mike Mozart

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