The idea of building a brand through social media has become an obvious, almost customary approach to marketing. Many have been discussing the advantages and strategies of growing on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ for example. However, just when marketers think they have exhausted their social networking opportunities, there is yet another new site that marketers can utilize that will only enhance their campaigns: Pinterest.
We've all heard of it and probably already recognize its popularity. Some of us may already be in the Pinterest loop, networking away. Though a few more tips couldn't hurt.
In the book, Pinterest Power: Market Your Business, Sell Your Product, and Build Your Brand on the World's Hottest Social Network, Jason Miles and Karen Lacey discuss how to create and maintain an effective presence on the powerful social network and give examples of users' achieved successes through the site. They provide readers with an introduction to the Pinterest world, as well as strategies on increasing referral traffic, leveraging with other social media sites, and increasing sales across e-commerce sites utilizing Pinterest.
The following excerpt discusses tips on creating a Pinterest presence that attracts, allows marketers to remain credible, established sources, and promotes the best of their brand.
8 Keys to Becoming a Trusted Resource
Fortunately, you don't have to create all this wonderful content you're going to be known by. You're going to become content curators. What's that you ask? Something from a museum? Well, sort of. You've probably already been a content curator in your life without necessarily knowing it. Have you ever burned your own music CD or created an iPod collection of all your favorite songs? Were you involved in making the family cookbook with recipes spanning from ones from your 10-year-old daughter to ones from great-great-grandma Rita Mae?
Both these are examples of curating content. All it really means is gathering great stuff from the entire universe and putting it together in one collection. Voila! You're a curator.
The funny thing is, at Pinterest you begin by curating images and end by curating people. You will collect followers who understand and love your vision and want to experience more. In other words, you will collect people who appreciate you. But you must be faithful to them, or you'll quickly fall into the realm of the"unfollowed."
Below are eight keys to help you pin content that's personal, professional, and passionate. These keys will help create a real expression of your brand that will filter through to expanding your business.
1. Pin your passion. This is the most crucial key and one you've heard us mention before. Pin images and videos that mean something to you and resonate with who you are. If it doesn't make your heart speed up a tick or two, don't pin it.
2. The devil's in the details. We like people with whom we share things in common. It makes us feel good when someone else has the same taste we do. For a marketer, this means sharing things that are specific that potential customers can bond to. If it's too vague, you won't attract the qualified traffic you're seeking. Football, fashion, and religion are fine. But how about Colts fans, eye makeup aficionados, and Baptists? The narrower your target, the higher quality your referral traffic.
3. Impress, inspire, startle. While you've heard it before from us, it's worth reemphasizing here. Pin the best images you can find. The pins that go viral are visually startling, unique, funny, or helpful. Search for the best images and videos possible within your niches. Leave ho-hum at the door.
4. Let yourself shine. We each have a unique personality just waiting to be expressed, and here's where you can share it to once again amplify the bonding experience. The better people feel they know you, the more comfortable they'll be in trusting your recommendations, including buying your products or services. Do you have a funky or sarcastic sense of humor? Show it! Do you like funny sayings? Pin them. Everyone loves the good chuckle that comes from seeing the world from a humorous angle. Let your personality out, and it will attract people who appreciate you.
5. Integrity. While some of us are a little more gullible than others, eventually we all can smell dishonesty and falseness a cybermile away. Over time it oozes through every pore of the dishonest person's essence. People need to know that they can trust you and that you will always lead them in a good and healthy direction. The best way to achieve this? Just do it. Always keep the best interest of others in mind, and they will quickly sense that you are the type of person they want to be associated with. Maintaining a high level of integrity will pay off big over the medium and long term.
6. Social proof. There's no getting around it-life is like high school. People like to be around popular people. Look how as a culture we worship movie stars and musicians. We might not even know what they're like as individuals, but we sure would like to be up close and personal. This is part of why it's so important to get as many followers as possible on Pinterest. Popularity feeds upon itself. After all, if you're so popular, you must have some good stuff to share.
7. Guarantees and testimonials. As Pinterest grows, the number of scammers, con artists, and overall less-than-desirables will grow too. There's no doubt that Pinterest will do everything in its power to filter these bottom feeders out, but some will slip through. To set yourself apart, consider using the dual-edged sword of guarantees and testimonials. With your product or service offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, for example-or whatever will suit your specific niche. And to double-coat your integrity net, build a pinboard of client testimonials, or at the very least have a testimonial page on your website. Let users know you're the real thing and a safe place to harbor their e-commerce boat.
8. Get personal. As you share images of things you love, remember to share personal aspects of your life too. For example, the hottest star in Hollywood won't get the same type of traction if all she does is post images taken directly from her movie scenes. If, however, she pins images of her home and family and dog, the viewers will instantly feel a much higher degree of connection and therefore attraction. The same thing will work for you, albeit at a non- Hollywood-star level. Let people get to know you personally. Create pinboards that show the hang-out-in-shorts-and-T-shirt you, not just the outer layer of products and ideas.
Miles and Lacey explain that brands should showcase content that is relatable, yet still true to the company values, and promote not just showy ideas and images, but projections that are personal. Presenting content that is interesting, as well as an honest reflection of the brand, will allow business to truly "shine" and be set apart from the fakers.
Jason Miles, Karen Lacey, Pinterest Power 2012, McGraw-Hill Professional; reprinted with permission of the publisher.
Jason Miles is co-founder and marketer of Liberty Jane Clothing, and Vice President for Advancement at Northwestern University.
Karen Lacy is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Elance.