I’d like to introduce you to my New Favorite Thing: Pinterest. Pinterest is basically a huge, lovely online magazine: users populate the site by grabbing images from the internet (with a handy “Pin It” button for your bookmark bar) or repinning images other users have posted. Those images are organized onto boards like “Wedding Ideas,” “For the Home,” and “Recipes to Try.” If you’re noticing a trend in my example board ideas, you’ve got the right idea: this is a place that appeals to the ladies. My Pinterest homepage is dominated by lofty DIY projects, aspirational style photos, and lots and lots of dresses. It’s really pretty.
Of course, as soon as the business world heard how popular it’s gotten–site visits increased by 4,000% in six months–everyone wanted to know how to use it as a marketing tool. While there are a lot of tips out there, the best one I’ve seen came from the American Express OPEN Forum blog: use Pinterest to promote a lifestyle, not necessarily a particular product. Pinterest etiquette actually forbids blatant self-promotion, so marketing there requires a broader view. Instead of posting a picture of a bracelet for sale in your shop, think about what kind of person your brand appeals to. Uber-fashionista? Retro-chic?
Your Pinterest boards can also reflect many different sides of your brand: just because you’re selling clothes doesn’t mean you can’t have a food board. Or a board of cute fluffy animals (Pinterest users love fluffy animals).