Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pinterest: What and Why You Should be Using it to Connect to Brides

By Krista Chapman

Pinterest... yes, sounds a bit familiar.  Perhaps valiant efforts have been made to ignore its intoxicating pull (so many pretty pictures!) but this will not be avoidable for long.  Find out why this new social media tool is becoming a hot spot for brides and why it just may be the best place for you to connect with them.

Before we dive in... We need to ask if this is right for your company. 
The thing to remember with social networks, quality is worth more than quantity.  Just because you can have a Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and now a Pinterest account, does not mean that you should.
For wedding planners, designers, florists, photographers, rental companies, bridal salons... the answer is yes.  Transportation companies, entertainment companies, DJs and videographers may not find as much of return on their investment and would be better suited for YouTube.  As for wedding venues it depends on how full service you are. For visual based companies, Pinterest is a great tool to connect with brides-to-be and post your work.  But it won't work for everyone.

What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is essentially a virtual pinboard or scrapbook.  While surfing the web, users are able to grab images and 'pinning' them to categorized 'boards' for later reference.  Considering the overwhelming content being create on the web every minute (much of it visual), the idea was ingenious.  Users don't have to bookmark a bunch of sites or try to remember where they saw that great idea. 

Like your Facebook News Feed, the home page of Pinterest is a real time collection of recent pins.  You have the option to narrow the category (to say, Weddings and Events) by selecting from the drop down menu that reveals itself when you hover over the 'Everything' button at the top.   When you click on an image, it takes you to the full sized pin with information on the user, the board it is attached to, where it was originally found and any comments or repins.  As a user, you have the option to like, comment or repin favorites.

Each user has a profile displaying a picture, followers and following, recent activity and a snapshot of all your boards.  The idea is to connect with other users whose pins you like so you can more easily keep track of their activity.  Since you are likely to be interested in the same things as your friends, following them is encouraged.

Yes, they have a Help Center.  If you're getting a bit overwhelmed with all this talk about pins and boards... take a moment and visit their Help Center.  They do a pretty good job of defining the basics and how-to's like adding a Pinterest button to your website.

Why Should You Pin?
The answer here is simple... Bride's love Pinterest.  They are taking over the site in droves, putting together boards of their favorite wedding decor, flowers, dresses and inspiration for their own big day.  Clever businesses will look to make sure brides-to-be are pinning their products to wedding boards as well as using this technology to best determine your client's vision and design aesthetic... by simply asking to see her Pinterest boards. 

Considering Time Management. 
This is a big one and Pinterest has a way with sucking hours of precious time, lost to surfing all the pretty pictures.  With the ever-growing landscape of social media, companies need to carefully think before committing to a medium.  Jumping on the nearest bandwagon just because may turn into nothing more than a waste of time.  Pinning requires spending  an hour or two a week engaging users as well as consistent uploading your own content...keeping in mind that your time commitment with grow as our network grows.  Since Pinterest lacks any automated tools (like Hootsuite), all pinning will need to be added to the weekly list of to dos, with time scheduled for these tasks.

Rules to Pin By.
And finally, a few good rules to pin by... don't login without them. 
  1. Add a Pinterest Button to your website and blog posts.
  2. Pinterest has users, not businesses... be sure to designate the proper person to be your head pinner and company representative.
  3. SEO!  Use commonly search terms when describing your pins or titling boards.
  4. Don't always self promote... instead create vendor partnerships whereas you repin each other's work and grow your networks.
  5. Encourage your brides to follow your pins... and be confident knowing she's seeing your most recent work.
  6.  Stay away from controversy... obviously.
  7. Look for your own wedding inspiration and ideas... Pinning is fun!
  8. Get back to work, already... Pinning is way too fun!
As always, feel free to contact me directly with specific questions or comments.  I am available for one-on-one training in this or other online marketing to ensure you are maximizing these mediums if interested.  Contact me at  Happy Pinning!