Pinterest & Harnessing The Power of Discoverability

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest yet, you should take a minute and kick around on their site. Give Pinterest a review. Inevitably, a minute will turn into half an hour as you click from one thing to the eye-catching next. And really, that’s the whole point.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard, a place for users to curate collections that other people can comment on, favorite, follow, and repin onto their own boards. You can also take your pins and collections and share them on Facebook and Twitter, email them, or embed them on your site.

Pinterest exemplifies what we like to call “discovery” in the social media world, and there’s nothing people like to share more than their discoveries. Certain subsets and niche communities take to this kind of discovery particularly well, including those interested in fashion, architecture, industrial and graphic design, and travel, for instance.

For the most part, communities like Pinterest are not places where brands should just insert themselves – it’s considered bad manners. As a matter of fact, self-promotion is discouraged in order to maintain the integrity and quality of the pins. But here are a couple of ways that you can connect with users on Pinterest and make your content and products something they’ll find interesting.

Make Your Products Discoverable

That Flash catalog interface you have set up to show off your collection might look kind of cool to those browsing around on your site, but if you don’t create direct URLs to your products, people are going to have a hard time discovering them. Make sure your products have pages, and consider adding Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons directly to the product page. Heck, you could even slap a Pinterest button on there if you’re feeling cutting edge.

Get Creative With Your Products

If you have a blog, that’s a great place to showcase different ways to wear/use/modify/customize your product. If your company isn’t that creative, then crowdsource those ideas to showcase. A quick search can help you find customers doing amazing things with your product, you can highlight those the way that the Sharpie blog does.

Do Your Own Curating

Every brand has a personality, and Pinterest is the perfect venue for showcasing it, provided you do it in a way that fits with the community’s vibe. Do not shill your own products, instead, if you’re a technology company, showcase brilliant ways to recycle old computers or amazing touch screen art. If you’re a cosmetics brand, curate lists of fall lip looks and creative nail art. Once in a rare while, when a product of yours is a good fit for your board, you can add it in. But the focus should be on choosing themes for your boards that will interest other users. For a good example, check out some of West Elm’s pinboards.

If you need a place to start, feel free to follow my boards on Pinterest. From there, I promise you’ll find plenty you like.

Ignite Social Media