Oct 24, 2012

Big League Pinning: Pinterest Best Practices for Brands from Pinleague

The Online Marketing Summit is a playground for marketers to expand their knowledge and to network with their peers. With the convergence of PR and marketing, it seemed like a natural event for me to attend and extend the knowledge shared with my clients, and now all of you.

One of my first sessions for the day was “Tapping into Pinterest: The Time is Now!” Presented by Danny Maloney, CEO and Co-Founder of PinLeague.

Pinterest is still a platform that a lot of businesses are trying to harness. According to Maloney it is a platform that brands are taking notice of but struggling to get traction. For me, I am trying to find ways to elevate our company boards, especially the one I help curate for @PRNHealth.

Maloney stressed that the “I” in “who I want to be” translates to brands. Where is your brand headed? What are you trying to shift in your brand perception?

Pinterest goals can be divided into two plays for companies: Is your presence for branding purposes or to drive more traffic? Both have value, the latter can be linked to harder ROI figures – both to elevated SEO.

Pinterest audience stats:

The Pinterest audience is in planning mode by nature, they are looking for who they want to be or want to do:  this, coupled with the large numbers of women 25-44 on the platform, leads to more referrals and more revenue per referral.  Here are some powerful Pinterest stats he shared:

  • Less than 1% negative sentiment on the platform.
  • Contributing 20% of social commerce.
  • The half-life of a pin is more +1 week compared to 80 min for a Facebook post, and 5-25 min for a tweet.
  • It is not about conversation it is about quality content. It is a 175 to 1 ratio on repins versus comments.
  • The average order value on Twitter $69, Facebook $80, Pinterest $179.
  • PinLeague estimates that Pinterest is will have 90% of the top 1500 brands within 12 months.

Now the question becomes how to make Pinterest work for your brand? According to Maloney, “If you lead with monetization, it is a recipe for failure.”  This is a platform, like other social platforms, that have a long term benefit for your brand. His advice was, “Invest in building the audience now, and monetize later. “

Getting your brand started in Pinterest:

Should you invest time and effort into Pinterest for your brand?  Maloney’s short answer was YES. The longer answer entailed that fact that becoming an “early adopter” allows your brand to establish and audience and credibility within the platform prior to the inevitable push for monetization when ads could be sold or promoted pins could be created. Right now Pinterest helps elevate power pinners and boards without cost.

If you’re new to Pinterest and paralyzed, Maloney recommends creating 12 boards to get past “pinners block.” 5 boards about things your users love, 5 boards about things they have a hard time finding, and 2 boards about your brand.

If you have already started leveraging Pinterest, look at the data. What pins are performing? Do you have high influence followers? How are you competitors doing? PinLeague can help with a lot of that data, in addition to targeted outreach to people based on their current usage status of Pinterest. Other tips on how to elevate your Pinning:

  • Get your cover photos right!
  • With the fans you have on other platforms, drive them to your boards with content not a request to “join you on Pinterest.”
  • Create a contest.
  • Have content live on your boards that people want to see.
  • Mix owned content and other content that interests your audience.
  • Optimize your Pinterest profile
  • Leverage an in-kind exchange of pins
  • No need to be an “over pinner” even the largest brands only pin a couple times a day. If you inundate your followers with an too much content too fast they’ll get annoyed with you filling up their feed.

When I asked Maloney his top brand boards he offered a couple with different strengths. GE for a strong brand building set of boards, Mashable has great content, Whole Foods provides information and ideas for their followers, and Karmaloop is a great example of a growing brand displaying engaging images to tell their story.

Additional resources

Visuals play a crucial role in garnering online attention.  In addition to being loved by social media denizens, images, infographics and videos are also given extra visibility by search engines and social networks alike.    If you need some ideas on how to create and use visuals for your organization’s communications campaigns, here’s some additional info that can help you out:

Building Brand Engagement Through Online Video (free white paper)

A collection of posts about Visual PR (lots of tips about using images and videos in social networks)

Infographics!  How to create them, some ideas for developing them and some case studies to help you get started on using them!

Author Natalie Bering is an account manager in PR Newswire’s San Francisco office.

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