Points of Pinterest: How Retailers Can Make the Most of the Popular Platform

Follow these guidelines to take full advantage of the Web’s hottest social media site

Having garnered more than 70 million users in less than five years, Pinterest is the belle of the social media ball. And for retailers, it’s one of the most effective social platforms when it comes to marketing to women. According to Business Insider, females make up more than 80 percent of Pinterest’s users, and 90 percent of all social media shares originate with Pinterest. That’s a lot of product flying around the digi-sphere that began as a humble pin. But not enough retailers capitalize on the channel’s marketing capabilities, says Vancouver-based Pinterest consultant Anna Cadiz Bennett. Chief among their missteps: neglecting to consider how your boards are organized, which can be just as important as what you’re pinning when it comes to netting followers and re-pins (shared content). We asked Bennett for more pin-spiring tips.

Merchandise Your Boards

“How you organize your Pinterest should [be] very similar to how you merchandise your own store,” Bennett says. “What you’re doing offline is what you should be doing online.” In many cases, that means moving “it” products to the top, along with pins that help define what your business is about. “You want to make sure you’re well represented,” Bennett says, “and that it’s obvious who you are.”

Organize for Mobile

More than 80 percent of Pinterest users access their account through mobile devices, Bennett says. So you want the first four boards on your Pinterest page to be the best of the lot. “These boards should be the ones with the most re-pins, the most follows, the most comments, and the highest engagement.” Title each board with basic searchable phrases or terms, using keywords you would personally use to search for something. A my favorite rings board becomes much more searchable when renamed platinum engagement rings.

Promote Your Philosophy

Your top four boards should “represent your philosophy as a brand,” says Bennett, who suggests adding boards on jewelry creation and repairs, custom design, and your most popular products. In short, “make them salivate!”

Then Get Trendy

“Make the first four boards about you, then after that make your boards about what’s trending on Pinterest,” Bennett says. “A lot of this is common sense—think about what’s selling now. Don’t push winter product at the end of winter. Feature things that are fresh.”

Become a Resource

As much as you want to represent your brand, beware of in-your-face marketing, Bennett says. “You don’t want it to be all about you—that can feel pushy.” Think vintage photos, runway shots, and bridal hair how-tos. “You’re looking at this as creating a lifestyle online.”

Boost Bridal

Weddings are big business on Pinterest. According to Mashable’s “Here Comes the Social Networking Bride,” 70 percent of brides started pinning wedding content before they were even engaged. “What are your brides going to find inspiring or useful?” Bennett asks. “Everything they pin is saying, ‘This is what I want, this is what I’m planning for.’ It’s heavenly for a retailer, really.”

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