How and Why B2B companies can get the most out of Pinterest
Just as most business-to-business companies are coming to understand the importance of social media for client engagement and business development, there’s a new monkey(wrench) in the social media zoo that is already expected to become the 800-pound marketing gorilla. In less than two years, Pinterest has amassed 48 million users; it’s already the third most popular network behind Facebook and Twitter, and is generating more referral traffic than Google+, Linked In and You Tube combined.
For those unfamiliar with Pinterest, the “image-sharing meets bookmarking” service began as a way for consumers to find and organize online images and share them via digital bulletin boards. Pinterest quickly became an infectious way for women to share everything from favorite recipes to fashion finds.
But Pinterest is no longer just for consumer brands and online retailers. Today, Pinterest is attracting companies of all shapes and sizes, from Fortune 500’s to small to medium-sized businesses. Not only is the site gaining in popularity with men, it is becoming a primary outlet for business-to-business branding and lead generation.
Here are 10 good reasons why B2B marketers should get on the Pinterest bandwagon:
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1. Pinterest increases SEO success
Pinterest is designed to leverage keywords, back links and hashtags. Each pin offers the ability to create searchable content and direct traffic to a company’s website. A company with 60 pins has 60 more chances to enhance their search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Moreover, when a company posts a pin that gets repinned by others (the equivalent of going viral), it increases the business’s social signal, which in turn enhances SEO.
2. Ride the wave without constant rowing
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which require constant attention to feed the “content beast,” once your Pinterest boards are populated with meaningful content, you can be practical about pinning. Certainly, content should be kept fresh, but over-pinning (like constant tweeting) is frowned upon.
3. Your business is prettier than you think
At first blush, B2B marketers may struggle to find good images to pin. The fact is we live in a visual world and images can bring your products and services to life. Pin photos of products in use, pictures of employees in the development process, images of screenshots or photos and videos of clients. Pinterest challenges us to show what’s important. As Confucius said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember.”
4. Create a one-stop storefront for all your content
Rather than request that a prospect visit your website, your Facebook page, your You Tube account or follow you on Twitter, inviting them to your Pinterest page is like asking them to stand in front of your candy store window. Visitors can instantly see what’s meaningful to them without hunt-and-clicking through your website.
5. Position your business as a thought leader
Every B2B firm would like to position themselves as “the leading provider” in their industry. Pinterest provides you with ways to demonstrate your expertise and experience in your field. Use boards to feature important surveys, industry association information and trade shows. Become the curator of articles that communicate the breadth of your industry knowledge.
6. Deliver the “great place to work” message
Pinterest provides the perfect opportunity to promote your work environment. Post pictures of your office, videos of employees, capture moments from company events and the like. This not only make your employees feel important but can illustrate your culture to potential recruits.
7. Tell your brand story
Your brand is not your name or logo, it’s about connecting with your audience on an emotional level. Focusing boards on your company’s history, community involvement, corporate philanthropy or environmental record goes a long way toward humanizing your brand.
8. If you pin it, they will come
Whether you’re presenting at a conference, hosting a webinar or participating in a trade show, Pinterest can help promote these occasions. Use pictures from past events, display the raffle prize, or pin a pre-conference checklist. Create a live-pinning event by posting photos in real-time.
9. Be social
By following other users, commenting on pins and inviting others to pin to your boards, you can create new relationships. Run a special promotion or contest that engages others to interact with your organization.
10. The fun is just beginning
Pinterest is growing at a faster rate than any website in history and experts predict that business usage will increase exponentially. Sooner or later, you’re going to want to join the parade, so why not be out in front with the early adopters. With a little pintelligence and pinitiative, you might just pinspire others.