Pinterest is quite simple – you pin images and videos to online collages, or pinboards, that you create on various topics. Each page then links to the source of the image or video, whether it’s a blog post, an article catalogue page or other web page that gives you more information about that pin. Following its relatively quiet launch in 2009, Pinterest hit its stride at the end of 2011 and by January 2012 the site had reported ten million unique monthly visitors – reaching the milestone visitor mark faster than any other social media site in history.
With Pinterest’s increasing user numbers showing no sign of slowing, business owners are recognising the importance of having a strong presence on this fast growing platform. Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest, by social marketing expert Beth Hayden, aims to give the best Pinterest marketing ideas in one easily accessible reference. Hayden’s credentials come from six years of blogging and seven years of teaching businessmen and entrepreneurs social media skills as well as regular contributions to copyblogger.com and problogger.com.
The book is split into three sections – Getting Started, Pinning for Profit and Developing Pinfluence.
Hayden begins with a clear, step-by-step guide on how to set up a Pinterest account. Necessary? For anyone familiar with Twitter, Facebook, email – probably not. But it does contain helpful information on linking up your Pinterest account to a Facebook and/or Twitter account. After going through the basics, Hayden then goes on to break down each aspect of successfully launching a Pinterest campaign – highlighting the importance of a Pinterest strategy and how to go about fulfilling it.
Chapter titles include Before you Pin: Who do you want to attract?, The Care and Feeding of Pinterest Followers, and Mobile Pinning. At the end of each chapter (there are fourteen in total), Hayden gives a summarised Action Plan, rehashing some of her key ideas for the reader to work on as they build their Pinterest presence.
Input from writers, bloggers, academics and social media experts is also regular, giving solid and to-the-point advice. Hayden’s personal tips are reinforced with examples from those Pinterest profiles which work and those that don’t and these examples are varied, from @Oreck, a vacuum cleaner company, to @travelchannel and @USArmy. Hayden herself admits that there is not a one size fits all approach to Pinterest marketing, but the variety of case studies means that most readers will come across examples that can be transferred to their business.
‘Sharing great content is always welcome on social media sites. Over promotion and narcissism is not.’
Chapter three presents Hayden’s, arguably, most important piece of advice – to precisely define your Pinterest strategy in order to determine the individuals you are trying to reach. She asks the reader to think about who their ideal client is and to create a descriptive profile. Contributor David Meerman Scott weighs in on this, describing particular ‘buyer persona’ exercises he has known to work for other businesses. Hayden also gives advice on ways to do this, with suggestions of surveys and speaking to your favourite business clients. The reader is told to think about what their ideal client wants and to keep this as a constant focus when creating the Pinboard. Hayden recounts ways in which Pretzel Crisps and AARP have succeeded in producing client specific content and how this has helped increase returning customers. Hayden also spends time enforcing the idea of personality – where there is the temptation for business owners to keep language, images and information corporate, Hayden suggests that injecting personality and colour will create a more memorable Pinterest campaign.
For most business owners with an adequate notion of online marketing, Part 1 – Getting Started – will be skippable. However, Parts 2 and 3 focus in greater detail on how to make money from Pinning, with guidance on apps, advertising, tracking trends and expanding a business’ reach beyond Pinterest.
Suffice to say, this book will not be groundbreaking for experts in the marketing industry. But for those looking to develop their independent business further through social media, it gives clear strategy advice on engaging with the Pinterest user to a business’ full potential, generating profit from a Pinterest profile and continuing the development of a Pinterest presence as a business grows.
Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest by Beth Hayden (Wiley, £13.99), is available now from all good bookshops.
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