Pin Your Company to the Top with Pinterest for Business

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pinterest for businessAuto buffs always marvel at the newest sports cars that hits the road.  Last spring, I marveled at the Dodge Viper during its New York Auto Show debut.  And the start of 2013 heralded a fully redesigned Corvette.

Social media can also elicit ephemeral excitement, with businesses eager to gain customers through the latest platform that amazes people.  The book Pinterest for Business: How to Pin Your Company to the Top of the Hottest Social Media by Jess Loren (@chitownjess)  and Edward Swinderski (@eswiderski), will leave you transfixed in its coverage of the fourth largest network. The authors’ savvy pedigree on all things Pinterest comes from being managing partners of Kambio Group, a digital marketing agency that has worked with many Fortune 500 firms.

The book provides comprehensive guidance on a platform that is outdoing Facebook in driving effective conversion traffic in many instances.  I discovered the Que/Pearson book during last September’s Social Media Week presentation in Chicago and requested a copy.

“Welcome to Pinterest. We think you’ll like it here.”

The authors proclaim it loud and clear – their notion is certainly well deserved.  With a current U.S. audience of  over 27 million according to Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report.

Pinterest has done more than become the fourth largest social media platform. It has gained much ground in providing online users a new way to discover products, services and their associated interests.  Loren and Swinderski note where business fits in with Pinterest in their opening segment:

“Where using Facebook for business allows a lot of room to create and generate the story that engages users with the purpose of creating conversation, Pinterest makes a statement that forces the user to create the story. It’s in this fashion that businesses can use Pinterest to weave a visual statement that compels users to insert their own stories into the pictures.”

Some of the notable chapters that best explain the aforementioned fashion include:

  • Integrating Pinterest in Your Business
  • Pinpointing Your Target Audience
  • Examples in Winning By Pinning

The most analytics-themed chapters, Tracking Your Pins and Virolocity, won’t delve into building a dashboard to cover an API. And not many analytic tools outside of Pinerly (now called Reachli) exist.  But the book not only mentions Pinerly, but it also explains how to improve your reach in Pinterest.  This emphasizes Pinterest’s unique quality in the social media world – no one requesting “likes” in exchange for something or begging for you to retweet a note.  But Loren and Swinderski also note a Pinterest weakness – that there are fewer mechanisms to maintain attention:

“Bear in mind that Pinterest’s short-term attention span is both a blessing and a curse: Your failures are forgotten quickly, but your successes will also struggle to remain at the top.”

With that said, the authors enlighten on what works well in Pinterest.  Infographics are highlighted, as well as activities that can even incorporate your other social media with Pinterest, such as a Scavender Hunt:

“…one method to run a scavenger hunt would be to load five images on your site. Each image contains a clue that can be used to solve the bigger puzzle. In order to unlock the clue, users must pin the images from your site. To determine which images need to be pinned from your site, you can offer clues through your other social sites. For the first day, the hint is released on Facebook, the second, on Twitter, and so on.”

Another tip, coordinating your Pinterest boards with an email campaign, is a top notch suggestion.   In fact, the most wonderful aspect of the book is that Loren and Swinderski write as they say – they suggest tactics with clear, excellent business perspective.  For example, read this quote from Chapter 2 on boards and how they should be used:

“Being cute or cliché is a good start, but don’t lose focus. When users come across your board, you want to treat them as both a regular and a potential customer. Disguising your boards with something overly clever can push potential customers away.”

The authors later suggested some great ideas for board names, keeping your descriptions…well, descriptive.

Chapter 9 offers useful integration across other social media while Chapter 11 notes the etiquette that should be displayed while using Pinterest.

I don’t like salespeople that hype up products or services. Same for media.  Refreshingly, there’s no hyperbole in this book. Pin this on the “real deal” board. Pinterest for Business does a splendid job of offering insights that will push your marketing plans past a mere interest in Pinterest.

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Pierre DeBois Pierre Debois is Associate Book Editor for Small Business Trends. He is the Founder of Zimana, a consultancy providing strategic analysis to small and medium sized businesses that rely on web analytics data. A Gary, Indiana native, Pierre is currently based in Brooklyn. He blogs about marketing, finance, social media, and analytics at Zimana blog.