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Webucator's Free Introduction to Social Media Tutorial

Lesson: Pinterest

Welcome to our free Introduction to Social Media tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Introduction to Social Media Training course.

Pinterest is a mobile and web application that allows users to "pin" items from the web to a virtual pinboard, to reference and share. Pinterest describes itself as a "category of ideas." Users can follow other people and businesses, viewing and re-pinning what is pinned and shared.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn about using Pinterest for branding purposes.
  • Learn about using Pinterest for sales opportunities.
  • Learn about using Pinterest for SEO benefits.
  • Learn about using Pinterest for support and customer service functions.
  • Learn about setting up an internal Pinterest policy.
  • Learn about tools, services, and management.
  • Learn about tracking activity and results from using Pinterest.

Pinterest for Branding

Pinterest can be used for branding your company and its products.

One way to use Pinterest for branding is to feature your products in a creative way. Coca-Cola's Pinterest boards include one called Recipes, which features recipes using Coke.

Another way Pinterest can be used as a branding tool is to ensure that your Pinterest profile information is to up-to-date and detailed enough to explain your business.

Here is the Boppy Company's profile, which identifies that it makes a popular nursing pillow for infants.

Pinterest for Sales

One way to utilize Pinterest for sales is to use different social media platforms to promote your pins. For example, you can tweet a link to a pin or post it on Facebook.

Must like the other social media platforms, you can offer sales to Pinterest followers, as well as run contests. In the following image from Pinterest, shoe brand Chinese Laundry is running a contest on its Contests and Giveaway boards. To enter, users must follow the company on Pinterest and re-pin an image of shoes.

Developing Pinterest Posts

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will think about Pinterest posts for your company.

Does your company use Pinterest currently? If so, what are some of the pins that you have used that have been re-pinned frequently?

Brainstorm some ideas for future pins, whether you are currently utilizing Pinterest or plan to.

Pinterest for SEO

By creating original pins, meaning content originating from your business's Pinterest page, creates what is called a backlink. Each time that pin is then pinned and re-pinned, it creates a link to the original website, a backlink.

The following is a pin on one of Target's Pinterest boards.

When a user clicks this pin, it leads to the following, Target's website, where the shoes can be purchased.

Another SEO tip for using Pinterest involves the boards, which organize the pins. It is important to create specific boards for different products or services.

In the following screenshot, you can see some of grocery chain Wegmans' boards, which are specific, such as Gluten Free, Asian Recipes, and Stir-Fry. Currently, Wegmans is using 32 different boards to display its pins.

Another way to increase SEO is to make sure that captions on pins are including keywords. Pinterest allows 500 characters per caption. Be sure to use keyword-rich descriptions.

Pinterest for Support

Much like Instagram, one way to ensure you are providing users and customers with support is to post the support information on your company's Pinterest header.

One way to provide service is by creating a specific board. Dell has a Pinterest board called Tech Tips from @Dell Cares. The board provides tips and tricks for common computer issues customers might face.

Pinterest Policy

When we look at policy for Pinterest, you should keep in mind the same considerations as a Facebook policy:

  • Point-of-Contact: Your company should determine one person or a team internally that can handle all Instagram interaction.
  • Content: Your company should determine a policy stating which employees post on behalf of the company to ensure that there is no confusion on who can represent the company's interests. This should also include a policy on whether or not employees are allowed to respond to any comments on pins through their personal profiles.
  • Comment Response: Your company should create a protocol on who responds to pin comments and how negative responses are handled. Some companies will not post negative comments; others see negative comments as opportunities to engage in a discussion that can change mindsets by posting and responding appropriately. If you delete negative comments, you might find that followers will lash out.

Tools, Services, and Management

Pinterest provides Pinterest for Business, which provides features such as promoted pins and branding assistance.

There are also standalone tools you can use to help manage your company's Pinterest account. One of these is called ViralTag, and it allows you to browse pre-selected images or upload your own and schedule it to post to your Pinterest account.

A tool called Pinvolve works with Pinterest and Facebook, but converting Facebook posts to Pinterest pins.

Tracking Activity and Results

You can track your Pinterest analytics from right within Pinterest. The platform provides analytics with a business account. The analytics can help you identify what people like from your pins, as well as what is being pinned from your website.

The following screenshot is from Pinterest for Business analytics page:

Tailwind is a standalone tool for tracking Pinterest analytics. This tool allows you to analyze competitors and their activity.