March 1, 2012, 12:00 AM

Pinterest for beginners

(Page 2 of 2)

The Kate Spade Pinterest profile reveals a ton of activity: There are eight Boards with 1,363 Pins. The Kate Spade Boards are carefully crafted to not overdo it. You don't want to create a Board per category on your site or anything like that. You do want to create Boards that capture the spirit of what Pinners are already doing with your products. Going back to Strategy 1, if you are ShoeMetro and you see people focusing on Boots, then perhaps a "Boots you love" Board would drive more activity.

Many retailers fill their Boards with their own products, and that's definitely part of the strategy. But the most successful retailers on Pinterest are mostly repinning items onto their Boards from other Pinners. For example, one of Kate Spade's Boards, called "Travel Colorfully," works in some Kate Spade products in subtle ways.

The successful retailers on Pinterest engage with their customers with more than just Pins. Among other things, they follow their most active Pinners. You likely have a small number of pollinators that drive 80-90% of the activity—embrace them.

You should also comment on Pinterest. You know more about your products than anyone. Comment on Pins in a value-added way. Example: If someone Pins one of your products and says, "I only wish I could find my size ..." then ask their size and see if you can find it.

Strategy 3: Integrate your web site and social marketing

Once you've created your Pinterest presence, you can stimulate activity by integrating Pinterest with your e-commerce site.

There are two integration points:

  • Pinterest Follow button: This is a button you can place on your home page, e-mail marketing and footer that points to your Pinterest profile. A great location for your Follow button is next to your links to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and any other social sites where you are engaged.
  • Pin-it button: The pin-it button allows anyone to Pin your products to Pinterest. It is best placed on product pages and near Like/Share buttons.

Strategy 4: Drive Pinterest activity

Two retailers' promotions illustrate how to drive Pinterest activity.

To celebrate its launch on Pinterest, Kate Spade had a Pin Party, encouraging employees, blog readers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers to help the retailer build out its Boards, with some prizes to contributors.

In another example, Land's End Canvas, the retailer's casual apparel line, ran a weeklong promotion called Pin it to Win it. The retailer encouraged Pinners to create Boards using Land's End Canvas items, with prizes of 10 $250 gift cards awarded for creativity, composition and style.

Strategy 5: Market research via Pinterest

Fortune 500 companies spend big bucks on trend spotting and consumer research, and you have 12 million consumers giving it to you for free at Pinterest. This is a merchandise buyer's dream come true. Here are some suggestions:

  • Search Pinterest for product categories you carry to see what your top pollinators are doing and what is popular overall. You may spot trends before your competitors.
  • Create a board called "Love it or hate it." Put products you're considering carrying in there and let users vote, providing free real-time consumer feedback.
  • Use comments to engage your Pinners and ask them questions like: "Why do you like this product over that product?" and "What other colors would you want this in?"
  • Considering new product categories? Watch your Pinners. If someone is Pinning your suitcases and travel books, your natural demographic is pointing to a category expansion opportunity.

Start Pinning!

With these five Pinterest strategies you should have everything you need to engage this rapidly growing social network, increase excitement around your products and leverage all of this great information to grow your online sales.

Now start Pinning!

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