5 Tips for Kick-Starting Your Pinterest Efforts Today

Kaelin Zawilinski

Sure, Pinterest's user stats are awe-inspiring. Its 10 million active monthly users drive more referral traffic on the Web than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn users combined, and over one in four users who are aware of image sharing sites have purchased an item directly from the site. But for brands, the real beauty of Pinterest is that it creates a visual platform to engage with fans.

As such, the site has caught the attention of brand managers and communicators across the globe over the past few months. Here, Kaelin Zawilinski, digital editorial manager for Better Homes and Gardens and speaker at PR News' June 21-22 two-day Social Media Summit event, provides five tips on how to integrate this platform into your digital repertoire today. 

  1. Develop a Pinning Strategy: Before launching a Pinterest account for your brand, you need to consider what your overall Pinterest strategy will be. This means dedicating time to determining what types of content you’ll want to pin, where you’ll be pinning from (solely your site, other sites, etc.) and how often you’ll be pinning. "At BHG we launched with 10 boards and had them all populated before we gained a lot of followers. This strategy gave new followers a reason to follow our boards once we started promoting the BHG account," says Zawilinski.   

  2. Pin Often: "We’ve found that the more we pin, the more followers we gain—so be prepared to pin like crazy," says Zawilinski, who adds that some of the bigger brands on Pinterest are pinning 15 to 20 images per day. Also, pay attention to the time of day when your images get repinned the most. "We’ve found that over the lunch hour and into the evening that Pinterest is more active, so we tend to save our pins for then," says Zawilinski. Brand managers will also want to consider their pinning frequency—you don’t want to flood your followers with all of your images at one time.

  3. Add the "Pin It" Button: "For BHG.com, we knew our readers were already pinning the images from our site, so by adding the 'Pin It' button we made it even easier for them to share our images with their friends," says Zawilinski.  "The 'Pin It' button is very simple to add to your site and you’ll see results from adding it." 

  4. Analyze What’s Being Pinned: It’s also important to see what’s popular on Pinterest so you can pin items from your site that are similar and/or might be just as appealing to Pinterest users, says Zawilinski. You can do this by looking at what's popular on Pinterest, or by seeing what is being pinned directly from your site. (See Better Homes and Gardens for an example.)

  5. Promote Your Pinterest Account: Use your other social outlets to grow your Pinterest followers. "It’s important to let your readers or fans know that your brand is on Pinterest, says Zawilinski. "Doing Facebook posts or Twitter posts promoting a certain pin or board is the best way to highlight this and intrigue your social audience to follow your brand on this platform. "

To learn more about using Pinterest to find new fans of your brand from Kaelin Zawilinski, and from Michael Bepko, global online community manager  for Whole Foods Market, register  now for  PR News’ two-day Social Media Summit event, to be held June 21-22 in New York City.

Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg