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Cheat Sheet: Pinterest for Marketing and PR

Pinterest, the online scrapbooking site, is a walled-off garden in many ways. Most users repin images or share pins internally. Although users can connect other social networks (namely, Facebook and Twitter) to Pinterest, only 6 percent have connected Facebook with their accounts.

Food is the top category while Nordstrom is the most popular brand because it ties its pins to physical rewards such as free shipping. Pinterest has proven to be uniquely friendly to certain types of e-commerce; pins have a longer half-life than Facebook updates or Twitter tweets.

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The People

Pinterest use has grown from 21 percent of online U.S. adults in 2013 to 28 percent in 2014. That percentile predominately comprises women; 42 percent of online women use Pinterest as opposed to 13 percent of men. The women of Pinterest tend to be higher educated and affluent. They also are slightly more likely to live in suburban areas rather than urban or rural ones.

The Challengespinterest-shopping

Businesses need to consider how they will use the social network to direct traffic back to themselves. While it is fun to pin things, it’s a useless endeavor if the pins don’t bring bottom-line results.

The Tips

1. Tell a story. If you have a Pinterest business account, share pins that tell your business’ story. Do remember that if you’re looking for attention (repins), you’ll want to pin images that immediately connect with viewers.

2. Don’t “pin ALL the things!” Organize your pins by themes so that your followers can find images and information easily.

3. Use descriptions and hashtags. Pinterest will pull metadata from the images you pin, but you can edit the caption to something more relevant to you and your brand and add hashtags to help with indexing.

4. Add a “pin” button to your content. If you want to know why Modcloth and Polyvore have some of the most pins on Pinterest, it’s because both sites have integrated a Pinterest button.

5. Link back to your website. If you don’t pin images directly from your website, upload images on Pinterest and add links back to your website to direct traffic back to you.

6. Brand your pins. Adding a logo to your pins creates visual cues and reminders. Be forewarned; an oversized logo or watermark will be a turnoff to most pinners. Be subtle in the placement of your logo.

7. For more help with Pinterest business accounts, which include analytics tools, visit the Pinterest for Business page.

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Images: C_osettMike Mozart (Creative Commons)

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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