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How to Develop an Effective Pinterest Strategy

Courtesy of Kristie Lewis

Pinterest has 12 million users, so naturally, you want a piece of the pie, right? Pinterest allows its users to create collages of products, recipes and photos that represent their interests. It’s easy. It’s fun. Some people even say it’s addictive. But how can your company benefit from it?

Weighing the Risks

When you submit content to Pinterest, you essentially participate in a large pool of creative commons sharing. Others are allowed to repost your content, and you also grant Pinterest  a whole heap of rights to any content you upload. No, they don’t own the content, but they are able to exert a number of irrevocable rights over it.

Reading and understanding the terms of use is an important part of launching your Pinterest marketing strategy. If you have the resources, work with a lawyer to establish guidelines.

As a rule of thumb, be wary of posting anything that is not copyrighted by your company. If you post (or repost) something copyrighted by someone else, you could be involved in legal proceedings and subjected to fines.

The safest way to upload content that isn’t yours is by using a share widget that is embedded in the source site. This automatically provides a backlink to the original content source.

DO NOT use someone else’s photo by saving and uploading it.

Planning your Strategy

Pinterest is an especially viable platform for companies in the travel, retail, food or design industries. In contrast to service providers, these companies can create visual campaigns that are directly linked to their products.

This doesn’t mean that companies outside of these industries can’t benefit from Pinterest, but without a physical product, Pinterest marketing is challenging.

Product-Driven Campaign

As a platform, Pinterest is best used to showcase and redefine brand image. A product-driven campaign uses photos of the company’s products. Companies can embed the Pinterest share widget on e-commerce sites or photo galleries to allow consumers to upload their own Pins (Check out Martha Stewart’s Website for examples.).

Another product-driven campaign approach would be to upload images yourself. This will allow you to provide a description and a link back to your Website. When users click on the photo, they will be redirected to your site.

Personality-Driven Campaign

(Product-driven campaigns can integrate these strategies as well.)

Any company can create a “What We Love” Pinterest account. Your social media strategist can share food, fashion and other culturally relevant pins that would appeal to your audience. Remember to keep the message focused.

For example, my son loves bulldozers and construction trucks, and I was able to find the perfect cake for his birthday by searching “construction”. Five different construction companies had uploaded construction themed birthday cakes.

Personality-driven campaigns work well for media companies, bloggers, and DIY crafters. Any company that boasts a big personality or a culturally relevant niche can give Pinterest a whirl. Starbucks and Mashable are two companies I follow on Pinterest that are not product-driven. Their posts follow the same guidelines as most individual Pinterest members. (The attitude is, “Hey, I found this! Isn’t it neat?”)

Another idea is to upload photos of your employees, company projects or milestones. Customers love to see what goes on behind the scenes, and it is a great way to share the personalities behind the brand. Plus, you can link the photos to your Website.

How to Amplify Reach and Measure Results

Before you begin uploading your product photos, you will need to identify descriptive keywords and include those in the image description. This will allow others to find your images.

Remember, Pinterest is a social media platform. This means you will want to attract as many followers as possible. The best way to do this is by creating engaging, focused content and updating often. Follow other companies and people in your field to see what’s trending.

The number of times your product is repined is a good indicator of what people like about your product, but the true indicators will be found in any increased traffic and revenue from Pinterest followers.

After obtaining her construction management degree, Kristie Lewis decided she wanted to help others better understand the process and industry by writing about it. Feel free to contact her with your questions, comments or concerns at

10 Responses to this post.

  1. Shamelle's Gravatar

    Posted by Shamelle on 01.08.12 at 5:30 am

    While most people are using Pinterest strictly for sharing photos, it can also be used to share video content. One of the biggest benefits of Pinterest is that it’s the only social platform that really gets content discovered outside of a given users network. Your friends see it, but so do other Pinterest users giving your content a great opportunity to be seen by a new audience.
    Shamelle recently posted: How Bloggers can learn from Olympics Athletes To Reach Gold & Glory in BloggingMy Profile

  2. Pi-e-t Christian Apparel's Gravatar

    Posted by Pi-e-t Christian Apparel on 01.08.12 at 5:30 am

    Thank you for this post. We are a young Christian clothing brand and have been focused on designing and developing so many things including the website Twitter, Instagram, etc. and currently have a couple of boards on Pinterest (, but we need to spend more time developing our presence there. This post is definitely helpful! Thank you!
    Pi-e-t Christian Apparel recently posted: Christian T-shirts with a Subtle MessageMy Profile

  3. Bicultural Mama's Gravatar

    Posted by Bicultural Mama on 01.08.12 at 5:30 am

    This is helpful info on Pinterest…thanks, I needed to learn how to use it better!
    Bicultural Mama recently posted: Identify Learning Disabilities in Kids: Tips for the Pediatrician VisitMy Profile

  4. Chris's Gravatar

    Posted by Chris on 01.08.12 at 5:30 am

    Pinterest is very strange for me. For some people and companies works great, for another (including me), not. I think I must incorporate some of your tips into my strategy and we will see…
    Thanks for sharing,
    Chris recently posted: Social Network Sites – Which One is The Best for Traffic?My Profile

  5. Kristie Lewis's Gravatar

    Posted by Kristie Lewis on 01.08.12 at 5:30 am

    Thanks everyone for reading my post!
    Shamelle, sharing video is a very cool aspect of Pinterest, but I haven’t stumbled upon any businesses that are using it for branding.

    P-i-e-t — You’re using your site to push your existing marketing which is great.. One thing I would suggest is removing the outdated coupon offer. Here’s an idea: wouldn’t it be cool to take your shirts to a church camp and take some photos of the kids? You can also get photos of them using the phones to link with verses and then post their comments.

    Chris and Bicultural Mama – Social media takes time to master. It’s largely trial and error, and the best bet is to focus on the platform that is working best for your brand.
    Kristie Lewis recently posted: 30 Best Blogs for Minimalist LivingMy Profile

  6. Samuel's Gravatar

    Posted by Samuel on 01.08.12 at 5:30 am

    Thanks for providing these tips!
    Samuel recently posted: Top WordPress Plugins To Reach The Top!My Profile

  7. Carey Martell's Gravatar

    Posted by Carey Martell on 01.08.12 at 5:30 am

    I recently focused more on my Pinterest account to drive traffic to one of my websites. We have a large number of images on the site and I personally added hundreds of them to a board this morning. We’re already seeing re-pins and some traffic from Pinterest!
    Carey Martell recently posted: How to get Pinterest traffic to your videosMy Profile

  8. parvin Akter's Gravatar

    Posted by parvin Akter on 01.08.12 at 5:30 am

    I simply want to mention I’m new to blogs and really savored you’re blog. Probably I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly come with really good stories. Cheers for revealing your website page.
    parvin Akter recently posted: Draw Something Cheat Of The Decline And FallMy Profile

  9. lauraleewalker's Gravatar

    Posted by lauraleewalker on 01.08.12 at 5:30 am

    Thank you SO much! Feels really good to hear that! Glad to have you in the blogosphere. :) )

  10. Lorraine's Gravatar

    Posted by Lorraine on 01.08.12 at 5:30 am

    Hi there! I was interested to know if setting up a site such your own: http://lauraleewalker.
    com/2012/08/01/planning-your-pinterest-strategy/ is hard to do for inexperienced people?
    I’ve been hoping to create my own blog for a while now but have been turned off because I’ve
    always believed it demanded tons of work. What do you think?
    Lorraine recently posted: LorraineMy Profile

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