Regardless of how a brand or user engages on Pinterest, the final goal is always to share an idea, product or visual identity with a wider group of followers. As on all social media sites, brands are not just competing with other brands, they are competing with friends and family members who have become Pinterest tastemakers in their own right. From contributor boards to measurement and contests, defining success on Pinterest requires reading between the pins.

Create your Own Identity

As a Pinterest community manager, there have been plenty of moments where I stop and think “what is the value of this image being shared?”  Any community manager could attest to the hours of planning, strategy and editing that go into a content calendar for Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest is a less structured platform and it would be easy to fall into a trap of pinning content without following a larger strategy.  When it comes to Pinterest, a brand should think of it as a canvas for self-expression.  Imagine how a consumer views your brand, do they think of you as the nostalgic food from their childhood or the clothing brand that inspires their fashion wish list? Define the identity you want to represent and bring it to life.

Use Contributor Boards Sparingly

It’s logical to assume that several resources are better than one and utilizing contributor boards on Pinterest would only result in stronger levels of engagement. While this is a valid integration for a brand’s Pinterest strategy, there are a couple of considerations to keep in mind before promising specific results.

  • Follower count – The follower count for a contributor board is solely based on the individual or brand that creates the board. As a result, the number of followers per contributor do not get added into the total number of followers for that board.  This also plays a direct role in the total number of followers who will see the pin in their live stream.
  • Group Contributor Boards – The logic behind a group contributor board is that anyone who wants access to that board can request it, resulting in a massive community board of content.  The downside is that the live stream becomes overloaded with content from this board, taking away from the variety of content people look for on Pinterest.  If a brand decides to move forward with a group board, clear boundaries for pinning should be set.

This is not to say there are not clear benefits from contributor boards. They increase visibility across several different profiles; they’re a rich source of additional content and bring different voices to an account.

Host Contests with a Purpose

Pinterest contests are a great way to draw enthusiasm towards your brand. A key focus to keep in mind when launching a Pinterest contest is to request users to pin content they would naturally pin. If you request a contest board with a specific requirement of pins there is a good chance the board will get deleted after the contest and the actual interaction with the brand will be fleeting. If you host a contest that encourages users to be creative they are more likely to keep the board after the contest and continue to engage with the brand.

Define Success

There are several ways for a brand to define success on Pinterest. It might be in the form of impressions, positive engagement or referrals to a website. However, the ultimate key to being successful on Pinterest is displaying an authentic visual representation of a brand’s story. If you verge too far away from what your brand represents on Pinterest, and focus on simply pinning what’s popular, you will lose that authentic connection. There are definitely ways to be creative on Pinterest, and brands should be, but a larger strategy and vision should always be a clear focus.  As the saying goes, a picture can speak a thousand words, and it’s up to the brand to determine what they want those words to be.

Image credit: DWinton

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