Pinterest is the new Facebook. This rapidly-growing Internet start-up has caught fire and it shows no sign of easing. ComScore reported this week Pinterest reached 10 million monthly unique users faster than any other standalone website in history. The site was also voted Best New Startup in the 2011 Crunchies and reportedly generating more retail referral traffic than YouTube, Reddit, Google+, and LinkedIn combined according to a Shareaholic report. So as with every big fad, the question is how can brands get in on the hype? Reggie Bradford, the founder and CEO of Vitrue, shared his five ways that brands can leverage Pinterest now with TechCrunch:
1. Add Pinterest content to your existing Facebook pages
Bradford writes, “Images are more effective than text at encouraging engagement, and an effective technology platform will allow you to surface visually appealing content on one or more Facebook Tabs. This content can be presented as a simple pinboard, as part of a game, or even in the News Feed.” But Bradford also reminds brands to make the content mobile friendly as well.
2. Direct people to your Pinterest content
Bradford recommends appropriate and strategic use of a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button on your website.
3. Tell existing social audiences about what’s happening on Pinterest
Take advantage of your existing social media audiences on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the like by showing them Pinterest content.
4. Make your pins work harder for you
“This means using a URL shortening and redirection strategy, preferably one that aggregates your Pinterest analytics (views, Repins, etc.) in a central location. This will allow the metrics to be combined with, and compared to, those from your othersocial properties.” Bradford also warns against “link rot” or in other words, broken links.
5. Give your staff the tools to pin great content
“Content is king, and anything that makes it easier for your teams to identify and curate great content represents a competitive advantage. The Pinterest “Pin It” button works quite well for consumers. Unfortunately it wasn’t designed for marketers and is therefore missing some features that would let you include analytics tracking as a simple part of the “Pin It” process. This won’t last long, as tools to fill this gap are already under development.”
Pinterest can be one more tool in the advertising belts of brands and Bradford has laid out several helpful strategies to help you make the most of it. As Bradford also points out in his article, Pinterest is still young, so whether the site will be a fad or go on to survive long term is yet to be seen, but it’s important to get on the train earlier rather than later.