Using Pinterest to Build Your Professional and Personal Brand
by Lisa Kalner Williams
Have you heard that you “should be on Pinterest” but haven’t the foggiest idea how pinning and repinning will help your brand? Let me help.
Demonstrate your expertise
Pinterest’s visual emphasis gives you an unparalleled opportunity to curate images that show your work in action. Take that to heart when you pin. If you’re a baker, upload images of your best confections. Do you help women with physical fitness? If clients let you, pin their most striking before and after photos.
Women flock to Pinterest for advice – whether it is to learn how to wear accessories, make an eco-friendly craft, or plan a gluten-free feast. Another thing to keep in mind as you pin! If you have “how to” or “top tips” articles or images, be sure to share these on Pinterest.
And don’t limit your pins to static images. Pinterest allows you to share videos from your YouTube or Vimeo channels and presentations from Slideshare. If you have work on those channels that showcases your professional strengths, pin them to relevant boards.
Here’s how Lisa Johnson, owner of Modern Pilates in Brookline Massachusetts, helps pinners to tone their abdominal muscles on an exercise ball. (The pinned video also demonstrates her teaching style.)
Get targeted exposure
Pinterest has 70 million users, many of whom use Pinterest’s search to find what they are looking for. One key to a good Pinterest strategy is to make it easy for these people to find you.
Use relevant keywords in your pin, board, and bio descriptions. And the end of your descriptions, add 2-3 hashtags that your target user will be most likely to type in Pinterest’s search box.
But don’t solely rely on search to be found. Get out there and interact with other pinners. Repin images from other pinners that your followers will love. (The user you repined from will receive a notification that you repinned her image – instant brand awareness!)
If you like a particular pinner’s image or have a question about what you see in the pin, leave a comment for her to see. Not only will they learn of your presence, but you will benefit from establishing a new (or improved) connection on this popular platform. Pinterest is by and large a collegial social channel, so a little back scratching to others via pins and comments will most likely be reciprocated.
Businesses of all stripes are seeing Pinterest’s incredible ability to drive traffic to their Websites. Many of these companies are also seeing sales from their pins. In a recent survey of 10,000 online merchants, Pinterest was responsible for 24.3 percent of these merchants’ total social commerce – providing greater returns than on email or any other social network.
By using Pinterest’s rich pins or article pins, you’ll be able to better attract leads to your Website to peruse your offerings, sign up for your mailing list, or buy one of your products or services.
In this example, Boston home store Room 68 uses rich pins to tell pinners the price and in-stock status of a particular item. If a pinner adds a Room 58 rich pin to her board, she’ll be notified by Pinterest if the price of the pinned object changes.
If you don’t sell products on your Website but would simply like to drive traffic there and capture leads, try using article pins. Here, Donna Williams of the blog Funky Junk Interiors uses article pins to encourage views on her Website and increase subscriptions to her email newsletter.
Have you used Pinterest to promote your brand? Let’s collect a nice list of ideas!
Lisa Kalner Williams of Sierra Tierra Marketing collaborates with businesses and agencies on meaningful social media marketing analysis, strategy and instruction. To date, her consulting work for clients has impacted over 900,000 Facebook relationships.
Her articles on social media best practices have appeared in the respected online marketing blogs SocialFresh, Social Media Today, and Business2Community as well as her own blog sierratierra.com.
She recently led the “How to Organize your Social Media Efforts” social media roundtable at the 2013 Massachusetts Conference for Women.