Pinterest has recently exploded in the Internet community as a new social network. It’s based around sharing, liking, and compiling images. The possibilities for businesses are immense. We’ve been seeing many businesses making profiles and sharing images of products that they make and products that they like. Posting an attractive photo can spread like wildfire across the Internet. It’s easy, fun, full of beautiful images and influential. It’s been growing, and fast! Pinterest currently has close to 5 million users and 1.5 users are on Pinterest daily. The site also drives traffic to other sites and social networks.
For people in the architectural industry, Pinterest has proven to be particularly helpful. There’s a category section devoted solely to architecture and it’s very popular on Pinterest. This provides many possibilities for architects and architectural businesses to influence their market. In this blog post I’ll describe my top 10 ways to market architectural products on Pinterest.
1. Add your website URL to your profile page along with your bio and picture.
You’d be surprised how people will click-through to see the woman or man behind their favorite pins and pinboards on Pinterest. Even if you don’t post anything relevant to your industry, people are likely to check out your profile and see what you do for a living. Having a complete profile (especially with a link to your website) is vital! You can also link to your other social networks and use Pinterest to help draw people into everything that you do.
2. Use your business name in your profile.
For maximum effectiveness, make this a business profile instead of a personal profile. If your audience thinks you are constantly trying to promote your business as a person, they’ll look down on you. However, if you make it clear that you ARE representing your architectural business, they’ll respect you and look to you more as a resource. If possible, use your logo and business name on your profile.
3. Provide a thoughtful description with every pin.
When you are pinning or re-pinning images on Pinterest, make sure to add a short comment/description in your own words. It’s not enough to share images, you need to be thoughtful and informative. If you’re sharing a great image from your favorite architectural blog, for example, provide a little background and suggest that your viewers read the original article. Doing this for images on your own website or blog will drive traffic and interest in your direction.
4. Use personality.
Who likes boring? Social media has no room for boring people/companies. Try to determine what your “voice” is as a business and make sure to stick to that. Think about your copywriting and online voice. Is there personality there? Be consistent. Use descriptions that were obviously written by people within your company. People like companies made and run by real people, so it’s important to show that on Pinterest.
5. Cater to your clients.
Chances are you probably have a couple areas in your architectural business that set you apart. Pinterest allows you to create unique boards to organize your pictures in. Creating boards for each of your areas of expertise is a very good idea. Potential clients will be able to clearly see what you do and not be confused by vague boards. Think of specific areas that you represent or are interested in. Focus is good and will help you gain a focused audience interested in forming professional relationships.
6. Add contributors to your boards.
Expand your audience by including other contributors. If you have staff or colleagues that work with you, give them permission to add images to your pinboards. Not only will your staff love it, but it will expand the possibility of people seeing the pins. On Pinterest, your followers will always see your pins, so including contributors will expand your audience by however many followers they have. It also makes the process more personal. Now your employees are posting to the company board and your network can see the people involved and how savvy your team is.
7. Always use beautiful images when posting on your blog/website.
From here on out, always use images on your website. It’s no surprise that the Internet loves images. We’re seeing photos on every social network, and that’s why Pinterest, a social network devoted to images, has become so popular. You need to make sure that your website is a gold mine for potential Pinterest users. Being in the architectural business is a big help in this area.
8. Go back into your website and add the most impressive photos you can find.
What’s great about being in the architectural business is that our products are often beautiful, innovative and attractive. These kinds of images are perfect for Pinterest. Chances are, you are missing out on taking advantage of Pinterest using your website or blog. Go back into your archives and find places to add beautiful images of your products. Over time, you can pin these images to your pinboards on Pinterest and get extra traffic to your site!
9. Add a watermark to your images.
This is optional, but can help prevent your images from being shared without credit back to your company. For example, if you post to Pinterest (which credits back to you), someone could save your image and post it to somewhere like Tumblr without crediting you. Suddenly your image could be seen by millions of people, but no one will know it’s from your company. This is a big reason why people are scared to use social media. Luckily, using a small unobtrusive watermark/logo in the corner of your image will help prevent something like this from happening.
10. Add a button or widget to your website.
Make it clear to your clients and audience that you’re on Pinterest. A small icon placed by your web design team will let people know all that you’re doing on Pinterest. There are even widgets that share your latest pins on Pinterest. This is a great way to drive traffic to your Pinterest page and help promote your projects.
[for more ideas on how to use Pinterest, see Beth Heyden’s article]