Pinterest has become the newest big thing in social networks. Pinterest, and others, like Google+ and Facebook, grow a user base faster than the users can actually learn how to use the service, but a huge user base means that ignoring the service is foolish. It’s an opportunity to grow your brand. We’re using Pinterest at WP Engine, so I'll be picking on our brand in the post as a useful example.
At first, a tech brand using Pinterest may not make sense… Since we don’t make wedding dresses, and we don’t sell cookery, why are we using Pinterest? We’re using it because Pinterest has amazing potential to boost SEO, and grow an online tech startup brand, and online marketers will want to make use of it for link building.
Pinterest is a fairly simple concept, elegantly executed.
Pins are images that you add to Pinterest, linked from somewhere else on the web, or uploaded from your computer. The pin contains a backlink to the original content. You can caption the images and then anyone can comment on the page. Any page with an image can be pinned.
Boards are the virtual cork boards where users and brands can place pins. Boards can be organized by category, like “Delicious Barbecue,” and “Killer Twitter Avatars,” or “Infographics.”
Repinning is exactly what it sounds like. Any pin can be “repinned” onto a new board for someone else to follow. This is where Pinterest becomes viral. If users start repinning consistently, then your content, and your brand, is spread across the network, creating a new backlink each time.
Pinterest is awesome, because ANY page of content that has an image, can be shared on a pinboard, and that makes it really easy to collect a lot of content in one place. It’s important to think beyond pictures of wedding cakes. You can share blog posts, WordPress themes, your conference re-cap, including pictures of the talk that you gave.
Each time a user re-pins your content, you get another backlink.
So how do you work towards re-pins? You make a hypothesis about the content, products, services, and entertainment that your users are interested in, and then you start pinning it. It may take time to get enough user engagement, but if you’ve got good content, it’s only a matter of time.
Understand your customers
At WP Engine, many current customers are WordPress developers. They’re highly technical, and they seek out content that can make them better consultants and design better developers and consultants. You'll want to profile your customer persona, and then pin content that fits their interests.
As an example here are some of the pinboards we're starting with, and the reasons for each of them.
- Sightings in the wild: User-submitted photos wearing branded t-shirts. You can ask for these pictures anytime your company gives away branded swag.
- WordPress Newbies: Today’s noob is tomorrow’s ninja…we believe in cultivating talent and expertise…It’s impossible who may start their own company in the future.
- Brilliant Themes: Themes are a really subjective category, but I work hard to add themes that solve interesting problems in elegant ways, or are designed amazingly.
- Code Snippets FTW: Great example of how to post technical content on Pinterest. As long as there is a photo on the page, I can post code snippets or site development.
- Tech Support is Sales: Our company culture prioritizes support over sales, and we feature this in our marketing. Your brand will have a core value that makes it unique, and you can feature it here.
- Our Curated Plugins: A resource list of plugins that we’ve tested and recommend WordPress developers use.
- Customer Feedback: Every brand needs to feature real customer feedback publicly. Pinterest is a great place to be transparent about strengths and weaknesses.
If you’re pinning relevant content, Pinterest can mean tons of backlinks for your content. When you think about your ideal customers, imagine what their biggest concerns are, what they prioritize and ignore, make a list of those things, and start pinning them. Use your existing social media campaigns to get critical mass on Pinterest, and don’t forget to re-pin your users’ content as well.