Deciding Whether Pinterest is Right for your Brand

Of all the social networks, Pinterest is one of the easiest to use. Its design is simple and straightforward. Pinners arrange images on a grid according to category – fashion, travel, cooking, fitness and more. Pinterest is the ultimate in content hoarding. The image takes center stage and comments, links and descriptions are secondary. What’s unique about Pinterest is that it is interest rather than relationship-based, like Facebook and Twitter.

How do you decide if Pinterest is right for your brand? You have a limited amount of resources to put behind your social media strategy, so before you jump in ask yourself the following questions.

Can you visually represent your brand?

Here’s where you need to think outside the box. If you’re in food or fashion or crafts this is a no brainer as these topics lend themselves perfectly to Pinterest. If you’re in a manufacturing industry or something intangible like insurance or banking, you’ll need to be a bit more creative. To start, think about the lifestyle your product or service can help create, then use images to represent that lifestyle. For example, if you sell insurance you can visually represent the objects most important to people –  homes, cars, art etc. You can also use the idea of security and safety to appeal to pinners. Also think about using text on a colorful background as inspirational quotes make great pins.

Is your audience on Pinterest?

Are the people in your current social networks trying out Pinterest? Can you use the simple act of trying it out as a tool to engage around the platform?

Is your website optimized for Pinterest?

If your website is image rich you’ll have no problem; however, if your developer embedded your images into the background you won’t be able to pin them directly from the site. In that case you’ll need to obtain and upload them, then link back. Moving forward, discuss your intentions to use Pinterest in your marketing strategy with your web developer so they can make images pinnable in future updates.

Can you or someone on staff create or manipulate images?

Original images are the best kind of content for Pinterest. They speak to your brand directly and add value to your stream. So, if you have someone on staff that can create original content for your boards all the better. But even if you don’t you can still be successful by sharing other people’s content within the terms of service and copyright law. There are some important guidelines to follow here, so if you want to learn more about copyright, here’s a blog I wrote recently on how I’m handling copyright on Pinterest. This is by no means a perfect solution and the copyright landscape will change litigation progresses, but it’s a start.

Do you have the resources to put behind a Pinterest strategy?

This is critical. While social media tools for customer engagement are free and have a low barrier to entry, successful implementation and community building takes significant resources. You need the time and the staff to create content and maintain your communities, wherever they are. Many businesses have started Facebook pages, Twitter accounts or YouTube channels and then abandoned them because they don’t see an immediate return. Like any relationship these take time to develop even with an investment of resources. Pinterest, while easy to use, is no different. Plan to invest time and energy to be successful.

Are you adding Pinterest to your strategy? I’d love to see how you’re using the medium to engage – so share your boards here with me! To connect with me on Pinterest visit Let’s be PinPals!

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