Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

7 Ways NOT to Ruin Pinterest

Have you heard of Pinterest? It’s a (relatively) new social site where users share — or “pin” – visual content. Brands such as GE, HGTV and Martha Stewart Living have made deft use of Pinterest already. As a marketer, you should be too.

Pinterest relies on pinboards, or themes for the content. Other Pinners (Pinterest users – stay with me here) can subscribe to one or more of your pinboards.

Pinterest has a passionate user base, which is exploding by the day. It is the third fastest-growing site on the Web per Comscore.

However, many seasoned Pinners — mostly designers, photographers and foodies — resent the influx of newcomers, seeing their contribution to be mostly unoriginal or uninspiring. In order not to breed ill will among these innovators and early adopters, limit your pins to the insightful, original and thought provoking.

Here are some ways Pinterest can fit into your content marketing plan:

1. Thought leadership. Got an interesting chart or infographic in your latest white paper? Pin it! But don’t forget to include a call to action in your pin’s description.

2. Traffic generation. Drive people to your blog by including a strong visual and pinning that.

3. Maximizing existing creative. Got a nice visual campaign going on? Pin those bad boys!

4. Pictures of people. Show off your company’s culture by involving the staff. Include snapshots in and around the office.

5. Pictures of products. If you sell a thing that can be seen with eyeballs, be it books, heavy machinery or label makers, putting it on Pinterest is an option. The travel industry has already firmly embraced it with jealousy-inducing shots.

6. The Pin-it button. You don’t have to do all the pinning yourself. Place the Pin-it button on your site to enable users to share your content on their pinboards.

7. Other people’s stuff. If you share only your own content, you’ll quickly become boring. Pinterest has a lot to do with sharing what you find interesting and insightful from other sources.

Is Pinterest for everyone or every company? No. And only time will tell if Pinterest has the influence of Twitter or the ubiquity of YouTube. But if there’s one thing social media has taught us, it’s this: It’s better to experiment early on. In the case of Pinterest, odds are, you’ll at least see some cute kitty pictures.

Barrett Condy is a senior copywriter at gyro, the global ideas shop.
Follow him @barrettcondy

Originally published at Ignite Something on the Forbes CMO Network

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