How to Creatively Leverage the Power of Pinterest for Social Success

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Pinterest is a site whose usage is growing in leaps and bounds. At the end of 2011, Pinterest had auser base of 3.3 million, and by July of 2013 that number had grown to70 million. 72% of Pinterest users make between $30,000 and $75,000 per year. Pinterest users spend an average of 98 minutes per month on the site, and 80% of the users are women.

All of this means that a lot of eyes are on the site, and the demographics are fairly specific. This makes Pinterest a hot target for companies and individuals looking to be noticed, especially if they can serve the female middle-class market.

PinterestGetting Noticed on Pinterest as an Individual

Pinterest is a social media site, so forming relationships is key. However, before you can form a relationship, you need to know your own voice on the site. What is your focus? How do you want to present yourself to the world? What’s your message?

Once you know what you want to say, the key is to say it in a friendly way. Users love having their pins re-pinned by others, and finding users who seem receptive to your message and following them can bring your name and your pins to their attention. Many marketers suggest the 70/30 rule – 70% of your pins should be re-pinned from other users, and 30% can be your own content.

The next step is to find content that speaks your message in a very visual way. Pinterest is based on eye-catching images, and finding a way to present yourself in great imagery is essential to being noticed. If you are a photographer, showcase your best work in various arenas – perhaps have one board dedicated to nature images, and another to portraits. If you are promoting crafts, try pictures of completed projects or brief how-to infographics. However you present your message, find a way to make it beautiful and you will be much more likely to find your images shared and re-pinned across Pinterest.

Getting Noticed on Pinterest as a Company

Businesses often have a harder time understanding and engaging with Pinterest. The site doesn’t lend itself to direct, interruptive messaging, which is what most companies think of when they think of the term “marketing”. However, today’s marketing environment has changed, and a company who can rethink their strategy can thrive on Pinterest.

A company will also need to clearly define the voice and message they want to project, and that is best done by setting clear goals as to what should be established from your Pinterest initiative. Do you want to increase site visits by a certain percentage? Gain a certain number of followers? Promote a particular new product? A clear goal will make it easier to know how to present your company on Pinterest.

As with individuals, companies should expect to spend time following other pinners and building relationships. Some companies look to jump-start relationships with customers by runningpinning contests. However, if this type of interaction isn’t followed up on with a long-term strategy, you can quickly lose the new attention you’ve gained. Be sure you know exactly what you aim to accomplish before you invest time and money in any marketing strategy, including contests.

Both businesses and individuals should be careful not to over-promote themselves. While the actual guidelines of Pinterestno longer say that self-promotion is against the rules, the spirit of Pinterest is one of sharing, not blaring. You will be much more likely to gain the positive attention you seek if you develop a clear voice, build relationships, and balance your re-pinning with your original content.