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Building Your Brand on Pinterest

What started off as another social photo sharing site has quickly turned into the number one social site for generating online retail sales. According to the Social Shopping 2012 Survey, “59% of Pinterest users have purchased an item they saw on the site,” while only 33% of Facebook users make that same claim. So how does a business harness this potential and convert it to sales?

Your profile
Pinterest doesn’t differentiate between personal and professional profiles, so this is your chance to “humanize” your brand. Use a headshot rather than a logo as your avatar and drop the stuffy company mission statement. Instead, in the “about” section of your profile, use laymen terms to discuss what makes your company different from your competitors.

Your boards
First and foremost, Pinterest is a SOCIAL media site and therefor e you must be social. Follow those that follow you. This goodwill goes a long way.  It is also important to note that your boards are the first thing people see when they look at your profile. You want to have a variety that will spark someone’s interest and this means going beyond the “This is what we sell” approach. Does your company have a charity component? There should be a board for that.  How about product ideas and uses? There should be a board for that also.  What common interests do your followers have? Again, create a board for that.

Your pins
In keeping with the “being social theme” you need to interact with other Pinners by “liking” and “repining” their pins. One great (and easy) way to do this is to focus on some general topics, i.e. the city you are targeting. My company represents a local realtor and every day we chose a different city or town in the Triangle area of North Carolina (Cary, Raleigh, Apex, Morrisville, etc.) to focus on, and we search for pins that are tagged with the city name (ex. #Cary) and pin it to the board we have specifically named for that city.  One of the greatest advantages of this is that the owner of the board is notified of our repining, which automatically puts our name in front of them in a positive manner.  It is also important to note that one of the best ways to guarantee your pins will be repined is by only using images that are high quality, colorful and artsy.

Want to see some examples of retailers that are doing it right on Pinterest? Look at Whole Foods. Their core values are based on promoting a healthy lifestyle and their boards reflect that. I dare you to try and deny the craving induced by their picture perfect red velvet cheesecake. It has all the qualities needed to be alluring. It’s high quality, colorful and has an artsy feel.

Another great example of a brand that understands Pinterest is Mashable. As a leader regarding news and information in the world of technology, it is no surprise that they have a Pinterest following. What is surprising is their foresight in looking ahead of current trends of females dominating the Pinterest universe. They are now building on the day that one day – and one day soon – there will be as many males as females on Pinterest, and when they arrive, Mashable will be there waiting for them with pictures of  gadgets and infographics galore.

To see even more good examples of brands getting it right on Pinterest, come back for my next post where we’ll explore in detail what the top brands are doing to create such a buzz around their product.

About the author:
Shelli Dallacqua is the Founder and President of Shelten Media, LLC. She is a member of the NC State Alumni Association and is a keynote speaker on the topics of social media marketing and reputation management. Connect with Shelli via Twitter by following @ShelliDallacqua, on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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