Why Pinterest Is a Viable Channel for Your Business
W.I.T.S. is excited to invite Jennifer Cario to be our guest blogger this month. Jennifer will also be presenting our December Webinar Series on Social Media Marketing and Strategy. To find out more about these presentations and to register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
As recent as last year, many professionals would roll their eyes at the thought of using Pinterest for business usage. But, with the likes of brands such as GE, Lowe’s and Nordstrom embracing the platform aggressively AND having immense success, the tide has drastically turned.
Data shows that Pinterest has more than 50 million monthly active users in the U.S. and that it’s quickly passing Twitter in terms of popularity. Still, there are skeptics since the platform has been mostly used by women. Once again, the tide is turning. In November of 2014, Michael Lopp, Pinterest’s head of engineering, revealed the company has doubled its number of male active users in the past year. He also reported that more men use Pinterest in the U.S. than the combined number of men who read Sports Illustrated and GQ magazines. This is staggering!
What does this mean for you?
As fitness professionals, these statistics should make you very excited about the opportunity before you. The Health & Fitness category on Pinterest is one of the most popular on the site. Consumers are constantly looking for exercises, healthy recipes, quick tips to build abs, tone arms, legs and countless other advice from fitness trainers and gym owners. In other words, people are hungry for the information you have at your fingertips, so what are you waiting for?
Getting Started on Pinterest
Just like with other social media channels, you need to have a plan for Pinterest that compliments your overall social strategy and your marketing efforts. Just as Facebook works in conjunction with your blogging efforts, Pinterest is the same way. Social channels should provide supplemental support to your website and blog.
Your plan for Pinterest should be direct because, as those of us who are addicted to the site know, one can get easily distracted on the platform. To avoid falling victim to the funny dog pictures or the “fool-proof” DIY pin for building your own headboard under $10, it’s wise to lay out exactly what type of boards and pins you’ll be creating and why.
Secondly, you should set up an informative profile. Yes, this seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people and, sadly, businesses fail to do this. Briefly describe yourself and the services you offer as well as what visitors may find on your Pinterest board. You should also verify your website and add your other social channels to your profile.
After this, you can do some snooping. What are other fitness professionals doing? Is there a competing gym that is doing what you’d like to do on Pinterest? Research competitors, people and businesses you admire. See what they’re doing right and wrong, and then learn from them.
Now is the time to start pinning. This is where the fun begins. You can start by pinning your own content whether it’s blog posts or images you have taken or created. If you want to specifically tailor an image or manipulate an image with a blog post title, there are free tools such as PicMonkey that allow you to add special features and text that can be very eye-catching.
But, your boards and pins should not only be around your own service offerings and content. Instead, you should include related material such as recipes for foods one should eat before and after a workout, images of the right clothing for particular exercises or routines and inspirational quotes to provide encouragement for people with fitness goals. If you pin this type of content alongside your own content, you will build much stronger credibility for yourself.
The other piece to pinning and re-pinning is the opportunity to engage with your audience. Based on the trends you see and comments people make, you can chime in and communicate with current clients and potential clients. You can also create challenges through other social channels or on your blog to encourage your audience to create their own boards on a specific topic. This is a fantastic way to utilize Pinterest for your benefit, and users will enjoy participating as well.
Once you’ve implemented these steps, you then need to analyze your results. Is it working? What pins are getting the most traction? As you gather this type of information, you’ll have a broader understanding for what you need to change or ramp up going forward.
Like other social networks, Pinterest was designed to be fun and social. The added benefit today is that businesses can also use these to market themselves. However, the key is to make sure the original intent remains. Just as you have to be consistent in your workout routines, if you’re consistently social in executing your Pinterest strategy, you will see clear and successful results.