A few weeks back, I saw a unique sock e-tailer called Grace and Lace give their company pitch on Shark Tank. Watching was an eye-opening experience for myself and millions around the country, as the founders revealed they had used Pinterest to drive a huge percentage of their $1,000,000+ in sales during their first year in business.
Pinterest is getting a lot of attention this holiday season, and for good reason. The platform can drive loads of qualified traffic to your website and is the one social network with users who are actively shopping every day.
But for every success story, there are thousands of businesses missing the boat on Pinterest. Here’s the reality:
If you’re like most business leaders, you’re a bit frustrated with Pinterest.
And it may be due to one of the most common mistakes/assumptions I see companies making: they try to scale content creation too fast. They fire it up and start re-pinning most of their content to get something posted quickly & relieve the burden of “needing to be on yet another social network”.
But there is a better way to attract highly-targeted followers quickly, without sacrificing quality. It’s an opportunity missed by businesses large and small: recruiting existing Pinterest users who have already pinned content from your website.
Just because someone has pinned your content from your website doesn’t mean they are following you or have seeked out your brand on Pinterest. In fact, it’s quite unlikely. The reality standing right in front of us seems obvious, but it’s not:
The people who have already pinned from your website are the lowest-hanging fruit in developing a highly engaged Pinterest community.
They’ve already shown interest in your brand. They’ve already shared your product without you asking them to. They know who you are and don’t need to be sold.
Chances are, they’re also interested in engaging with you on Pinterest – whether to buy a product or to spread your message to their own networks.
Here’s what to do, whether you’re a Pinterest rookie or veteran.
Go to pinterest.com/source/yourwebsitename.com. I’ve used ray-ban.com in place of “yourwebsitename” for this example:
Doing this will display pins from users who have pinned images from your website – these are the users you should engage initially. Follow them. Thank them for pinning. Point them to a related incentive or piece of information they can use. Make it clear that the next step is following your account without asking for the follow directly. That’s an awkward move in this context.
Here, Ray-Ban misses the boat. Not only are they missing Pinterest integration points on their website left and right, but they’re also missing opportunities to engage and amplify their community from existing pinners, like this guy:
Helping Tom out and pointing him to a promotion or sweepstakes board should be a no-brainer here. Or at least acknowledging his existence. I’d expect a brand of their size to put in a bigger effort here. I get that they are after men before women, but this is still a miss.
Getting off the ground on any new social network is a challenge. Employing this strategy and recruiting existing advocates as your first priority will ensure that you build momentum as quickly as possible to generate a positive return on investment.
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