10 Questions to Ask When Creating Your Company’s Pinterest Page

Pinterest has quickly evolved into a social media eye-candy powerhouse. People are now pinning images as often as they tweet, according to new data from the Pew Research Center.
If your business isn’t on Pinterest yet, you might want to think seriously about jumping on board. Pinterest can enable you to tell your company’s story in visually engaging ways that enhance your brand image and attract potential new customers.

To help you create a Pinterest presence, here are 10 key questions to ask:

1. What does my company want to achieve on Pinterest?
You may simply want to create a strong brand image, or you might hope to use Pinterest to help launch new products. Whatever your goal, defining it can help you decide which types of Pinterest boards to create and how to organize and promote your pins.
If your company wants to publicize its commitment to sustainability, for instance, you might create boards that relate to gardening and recycling, as Whole Foods has done. Or, if you simply want to drive traffic to your business’s website, create boards with images that link directly to it. The Travel Channel’s 37 boards — with intriguing titles like “Travel Bucket List” and “We’d Rather Be Here Than Work Right Now”– feature pins linking to relevant travel destination articles on its main website.
2. What’s a Pinterest board and what kind should I create?
A board is where you organize multiple pins by topic or theme. You can customize your boards based on themes that directly or indirectly relate to your products and services. For example, Etsy, a popular online arts and crafts marketplace, curates 61 boards for some 235,000 followers with themes that range from handmade gift ideas to holiday decor to wedding accessories.
3. What types of images will best showcase my brand without being spammy?
Choose brightly colored, interesting pictures that show your followers how they can use your products and services in interesting, non-promotional situations.

“Images tell the story of your clientele and their relationship to your brand,” says John A. McArthur, an assistant professor of communication at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina, who integrates Pinterest into his curriculum. “Consider how your customers would use your product or service and provide images that would speak to their experience.”

Instead of pinning promotional pictures of paint cans, Benjamin Moore highlights its products Pinterest in unexpected ways. For example, the paint maker’s popular “chalk it up!” board showcases its Chalkboard Paint in dozens of creative DIY projects, including chalkboard paint-dipped wine glasses and chalkboard-painted motorcycle helmets.

4. How do I upload images to Pinterest and where should I get them?
Add images via the Pin It bookmarklet or by uploading a picture directly from your computer. For businesses, it’s generally best to use your own images rather than generic stock photography or other people’s images. Your own original pictures can help your brand stand out from the crowd. More importantly, they reduce the risk of photo license infringement liability.

If you have too few of your own pictures or lack the budget for original photography, you can source images for free with appropriate attribution licenses from services like Creative Commons.

5. Will other people be able to contribute to my company’s boards?
With Pinterest’s “Me + Contributors,” you can invite clients, customers, employees and even similar brands, to contribute to a group board. They will be notified via email that you have invited them, and you will receive emails from Pinterest when they add pins to your group board. To be added as a contributor, a person has to be one of your followers already, and you must follow at least one of his or her boards.

Group boards can quickly build an active, engaged community around your brand. The Food Network’s “Let’s Game Day” recipe group board, which complementary brands like Good Housekeeping magazine and Epicurious.com contribute to, has attracted some 71,000 followers so far. Just be mindful of users posting spammy or inappropriate images.

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