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Pinterest For Business: Don’t Let Pinterest Pin You To the Wall

Beth Anne Ballance.

Pinterest offers a unique platform to business – a way to organically promote products while adding a personal touch through the creation of storyboard to support brand mission. Originally used by individuals as a way to discover and share items of interest, brands discovered a platform rich in active consumers and influencers. Pinterest has 4x the conversion per click of Twitter and a 27% higher conversion rate than Facebook, plus it drives 3x the traffic to sites than YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ combined.

Now Pinterest is currently exploring promoted pins, which will show as regular pins with a “promoted label.” Time will tell the direction of promoted pins and the ROI on campaigns, but the introduction of this new business model has brands more interested than ever in Pinterest.

Be Smart

The complicated legal issue surrounding Pinterest is that by pinning, you are licensing followers to reproduce your content to their Pinterest boards. You lose control over your content through re-pinning, meaning you have unlimited liability to any damages incurred from your pins and repins. This includes copyrighted content, third party trademarks, and celebrity images. The best way to stop this downward spiral is to simply pin content that you own directly.

For individuals, this liability is low-risk but corporations face accusations of commercial usage and larger wallets. For example, probably won’t come after me as an individual for a 5 million dollar copyright lawsuit, but they may go after your company.

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Home Depot nails Pinterest (pun intended) – they pin only their own content, which includes both tutorials and products.

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Disney's Babble.com also does a beautiful job by curating Pinterest-worthy material and images on their site, then categorizing it to a Pinterest board. This practice drives an incredible amount of traffic to their site while staying within legal best practices.

If the risk of creating Pinterest boards feels too intimidating, simply add Pin graphics alongside product. You’ll be amplifying your product to the higher conversion rates despite not having a company presence on Pinterest.

Be Visual

This may seem obvious given the visual nature of Pinterest, but implementing best practices surrounding the quality of images on your board can help elevate your Pinterest popularity.

Kate Spade does this beautifully by seamlessly incorporating the word “colorfully” in their board names. Doing this tells you the mission of the brand’s Pinterest page.

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Kate Bryan of The Small Things Blog developed a page that is visually cohesive with her brand and personality of blogging – light, serene, pretty.

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Your Pinterest page can be a window to the brand’s soul, so be sure you are cohesive in telling your brand’s story and mission across all social media channels.

Be Rich

Rich pins allow a product automatically update details like prices and availability through meta tags embedded on the website where the pin originated. Brands can use rich pins to capture potential customers in the buying cycle – awareness and consideration are achieved at the Pin, supplying detailed descriptions allows faster preference research and utilizing Rich Pins to provide the consumer with up-to-date information regarding price and availability allows quicker purchase.

Rich Pins

Be Interactive, Not Spammy

An emerging contest style via social media is Pin it to Win It, a contest where contestants must interact with the brand on Pinterest as an entry to a contest. While Pinterest accepts these contests on their platform, they repeatedly enforce the idea that the platform must remain pure, full of inspiration and lacking sponsorship and endorsements. In order to keep Pin it to Win It contests pure, brand guidelines for Pinterest demand that there be no set guideline to content pinned by contestants.

Should you use the Pinterest logo in contest promotion, integrate their logo in its original form with no alterations and making it clear that while supporting your business, Pinterest is not formally affiliated with your promotion or content.

Be Actionable

Pinterest rolled out the Place Pin feature on November 21, 2013 as a way for users to turn destination pins into reality for themselves or followers. Initially, it seems that the ideal industry for this tool is travel, although restaurants, local attractions, and small business may certainly benefit as it creates a virtual "travel agent" by associating additional information with location pins. Time will tell if this makes Pinterest more actionable offline.


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