We occasionally feature guest posts from readers of Techrockies.com here. Mindy Rappoport authored this for Boulder social agency Room 214--talking about the interest in Pinterest--and we thought we'd share it here.
Ok, so you've decided to create a Pinterest account for your brand. And why wouldn't you, when comScore's study revealed that the invite-only site had over 11.7 million unique monthly visitors as of January 2012? Then, in February, Pinterest drove more traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined.
Pinterest, a rapidly-growing social networking site, allows users to "pin" photos they find online on their own virtual boards. Each time an image is pinned on a board, it appears in a real time feed located on the site's homepage. Users can follow each others' boards and "re-pin" or "like" pins that show up on their feed.
If you want to maximize the potential to create a bigger buzz about your brand and drive traffic to your site, before you start creating boards and pins, take these steps to optimize your website for Pinterest.
Use high-quality, eye-catching photos. Users are more likely to "pin" and "re-pin" photos that are interesting or useful, so make sure that the images you feature on your site stand out. Include these photos each time you post new content on your website. Users create pins using images that link back to the original page an image is hosted on, so if you don't include a photo in your latest blog post, it has no pinning potential.
Add a "Pin It" button. If you don't have one already, add a "Pin It" button to your website so that users can easily share content they find interesting.
Make sure users can pin your images. Talk to your web developer and make sure that your website doesn't render images in Flash; these images can't be detected using the "pin it" bookmarklet, according to the Pinterest support team. The bookmarklet also can't detect any images you feature on your Facebook page.
Use relevant keywords. While users are the ones who write descriptions for each pin they create, help them out by using significant, brand-related keywords on the page that your image is featured, in the image file name, and in the image description text. This way, pinners writing their own unique, catchy descriptions may also include keywords or #hashtags that relate to content they find on your site. If you're not sure which words to use, check your analytics or use a keyword research tool to find out which ones already drive traffic to your website.
Are users already talking about you? Pinterest users may already be pinning images from your website. Pinterest is a huge resource for discovering popular content. To see how users are representing your brand on Pinterest, visit http://pinterest.com/source/"yourdomain.com" (replace "yourdomain.com" with your company's website).
Once you've optimized your website for Pinterest, grow your audience by identifying and following users and boards that are discussing your brand.
Mindy Rappoport has assisted social media agency Room 214 as part of the research and development team that led to successful social media strategies for companies such as Sanrio, Forever 21, New Planet Beer and LogRhythm. Rappoport excels at search engine optimization, quality assurance, R&D, and other new media tactics. Mindy originally posted this on Room 214's blog site, and gave Techrockies permission to reprint it here.