I use Pinterest both personally and professionally. Personally, it’s a little easier; I mostly pin recipes, home improvement ideas, sometimes workouts. But it’s never anything I personally wrote or created. Instead, I use it a virtual bulletin board. It’s a place where I can save my bookmarks visually for easy and aesthetically appealing access.
If you’re not familiar with Pinterest yet, let me give you a little primer. Pinterest is basically a virtual bulletin board. You create different categories of boards and then when you want to pin an item, you pin it to the category it corresponds to. By pinning items to your board, you save them for not only yourself, but for others to see as well. People can re-pin the things you pin, saving it on their own pin boards and the sharing goes on and on.
Pinning professionally is a trickier animal than pinning for personal use. How do I use Pinterest to get people to make a purchase on the Pinnacle website without solely pinning products from the site? From what I’ve read, it’s not a faux pas to pin your own stuff, but you have to be selective about it. No one is going to want to look at a pin board that consists solely of the items from your website. I’ve seen brands do this and my first thought is, “If I wanted to see everything from your website, I’d just look at your website!”
So we aim for a mix. We have pin boards dedicated to wedding planning, healthy living and staff favorites that do showcase our items, but grouped together in ways that people searching for items in these categories might not have thought of. If someone is interested in planning a wedding and they’re looking for personalized flip flops, by looking at our pinboard, they might get the idea to use personalized wine glasses as well.
We also pin a lot of content that isn’t ours. What’s the point in leading someone to a website that’s not your own when you’re a brand? For one, it shows people that we have a personality. Yes, we’re a promotional products company, but we also know how to have fun and we are real people. Secondly, we try to keep abreast of trends, both in the promotional products industry and in general, and Pinterest is a great place for us to bookmark the trends we find and to share them with others. It just puts our name out there and name recognition is important when it comes to choosing a brand.
As traditional media becomes more and more socially focused, there are always going to be challenges embracing new technologies and new websites. But that’s part of the fun. Marketing changes with technology and as a brand, we embrace those changes!
Are you on Pinterest? We’d love to hear your thoughts and see your boards. We’d love it if you followed us!