Since Google Double Click’s announcement that Pinterest was the fastest website in history to reach the 10 million viewers a month threshold, businesses have become increasingly open to embracing the “pinsanity.” Currently averaging about 21 million worldwide visitors each month, Pinterest sends more traffic to other sites than LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+ combined. Pinterest users collect images and information from the web on a personalized “pin board,” where other followers can then comment on it, “re-pin” it, or go to the original site to learn more. It’s an ideal platform for companies to have customers and fans do their marketing for them, rather than setting up expensive ads and banners on other websites.

Pinterest Promoting

While word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the most effective ways to attract new customers, this tactic requires time and effort.  These simple guidelines can help keep your company on track:

  1. Know your target audience and which networks they use. For instance, one common misconception is that Pinterest is almost exclusively for women. While more than 80% of U.S. users are female, about 75% of users in Japan and France are male, and even the UK has a slight majority of male users. This inconsistency can make it difficult for companies directing global brand efforts.
  2. “Going viral” is part luck, part hard work. Companies should create a multitude of “pinboards” to reach out to consumers with specific interests. A clothing company should have a separate board for shoes, tops, and accessories to gain more popularity.
  3. Appreciate your fans. “Pinning” and “re-pinning” posts of followers builds loyal and meaningful relationships. The more relationships a brand can build, the more likely the brand’s “pins” will be viewed.
  4. Diversify. The “pins” that actually gain mass attention are those that are unique and visually impressive. If companies only pin their own products, followers will quickly lose interest. Instead, mix it up, and post pictures that are pretty, unusual, or indulging enough to lure interest of potential followers.
  5. Think before you pin. Pinterest can be a great opportunity for brand followers to increase their popularity, but only if the company can create a unique visual representation of itself. As with all social media efforts, it takes time to build a network, so consider whether or not this is a viable option for your company.