Happy Spring! I’m not sure how the start of spring is treating the rest of the world weather-wise, but here in New Jersey we are being welcomed into the loving arms of warmth and sunshine. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing right now than running outside like a little kid, playing kickball or Red Light, Green Light (an old favorite). Instead, I am looking into the newest craze in Social Media Marketing: Pinterest.

Here’s a Pinterest-ing factoid for you: in January 2012, Pinterest drove more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and Youtube combined. Pinterest is the new kid on the Social Media scene – an online pin board where users can create and manage theme-based collections of images. In the spirit of springtime and playground aspirations, I’ve put together the Do’s and Don’ts of Pinterest for brands. Or, if you will, I have a little game of Pinterest Red Light, Green Light for you.

Pinterest DoGreen Light: Create Pin Boards that Categorize the Offerings of your Brand
You can make as many boards as you want, so get creative! Create boards that make sense for your company. For example, if you are an inbound marketing firm (like we are) you might want to create boards for Email Marketing, Social Media, Website, SEO and PR.

Pinterest Don'tRed Light: Don’t Pin Personal Hobbies onto your Corporate Brand Page

Believe me, as someone who has spent a few hours on Pinterest myself, I know how easy it is so get sucked into the artful strokes of genius that the site has to offer. But stick to your brand; your love of houses made entirely out of Legos will not enhance your brand image.

Pinterest DoGreen Light: Drive Traffic

Include links back to your website and landing pages in your pins. This will drive traffic back to your site and create valuable inbound links.

Pinterest Don'tRed Light: Don’t Focus on Self-Promotion

Keep your profile community-based by sharing images and videos from other user’s boards. Repinning other content that suits your community will help strengthen your reach. No one wants to share an annoying ad that you’ve shoved in others’ faces.

Pinterest DoGreen Light: Be Useful

Offer useful information that is more likely to be share, like leadership ideas, instructional videos, business book recommendations, blog post links or infographics

Pinterest Don'tRed Light: Don’t Join Because you Feel you Have to

If your brand offers unique products and utilizes imagery, Pinterest could be a good fit for you. If you don’t easily fit into one of the several categories that they have on their site, you might want to investigate whether or not this social network is right for you.

Pinterest DoGreen Light: Share the Love

Post your pins and repins with your other social media channels, like Facebook and Twitter. This brings your Social Media full circle.

For all the Pinterest-ers out there, take a gander at our pin boards to put this all into context. For everyone else, go sit outside and enjoy the nice weather!