How to use Pinterest to Promote Your Brand

Not too long ago, a “pin” on Pinterest became a topic of discussion for myself and a friend. It went like this:

Me: “I saw that you pinned the hairstyle I pinned the other day.”

Her: “I did? That was yours?”

Me: “I pinned it off of a hairstyle site I found online.”

Her: “You did what? How do you even do that? I usually just re-pin what everyone else pins.”

Last week, I wrote about whether or not businesses should use Pinterest to promote their products or brand. Let’s say you’ve decided Pinterest is worth the effort. How does this really work?

A lot of articles you’ll read about Pinterest will insist that you embed a “Pinterest” button next to articles and pages on websites, and Pinterest promotes installing a “Pin It” button on your web browser after you sign up. That’s all fine and dandy, and certainly will help your chances of having your content shared, but the truth of the matter is that what spreads quicker (and goes viral) are posts that are organically shared through a network. This lends third-party credibility (and saves Pinterest users the “hassle” of pinning things on their own).

For the sake of illustration, I’ll use some shameless self-promotion. Let’s say I wanted to attract more readers to my IndianaPRolis blog, to enhance my own personal brand.  Keeping in mind that fashion is among the top “pinned” topics on Pinterest, I’m going to “pin” the outfit I posted recently on my website:

Pinterest, pin it, pin
Use the “Pin It” button to pin from your website

I’ll input a relevant caption (you can experiment with taglines and calls to action, such as directing people to your site for more information). Then, once I click the “Pin It” button I’ve installed in my browser, it uploads my pin.

outfitpinnedtopinterestTa-daaaa! My pin is now “pinned” to Pinterest. Now everyone I’ve connected to (via Facebook or otherwise) who follows my boards can see my pin. Also, since my profile is public (and my board is linked to Style), anyone browsing Pinterest will be able to see my pin in different feeds:

outfitinPintereststream

Now that I’ve pinned it, I’ll wait to see if anyone “likes” or re-pins my pin. Low and behold, within a few hours I get one “like” and a re-pin from another style-savvy friend on Pinterest. That means that 181 of this Pinterest user’s followers potentially can see my pin….

outfitrepin

…and then they have a chance to re-pin it, and their followers have the chance to re-pin it, and so on. Every click to my picture goes directly back to my IndianaPRolis blog site, which increases visibility of the blog (and lends me more awesome readers–like YOU!). Not bad, right?

So, how can a business utilize a personal network to share their brand? As with most promotion, you’ll have to build your network first and continuously share interesting content. Encourage customers and co-workers to pin or re-pin products they love. Provide relevant and helpful articles and items. Feature a “most re-pinned” section to your website (if possible).

What are some of your tips for using Pinterest to promote your brand?

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