4 ways to build your brand on pinterestIt seems like everywhere I go these days, people are talking about the inspiration-craze that is Pinterest. Recently, the virtual pinboard site reached the 10 million U.S. monthly visitors milestone, a social landmark achieved faster than any independent site in internet history. A majority of Pinterest’s 10 million registered users are female, and over 100 brands like Gap, HGTV, and even Sesame Street are pouncing on the Pinterest bandwagon. So what’s the big fuss is about?

Pinterest goes where no other social networking site has gone before: it’s a visual masterpiece of everything brilliant– the plethora of knowledge and products seemingly go on forever and never stop. How do you make your own headboard? Check the DIY section. Fitness advice? They’ve got you covered. From a business perspective, Pinterest is generating more referral traffic to websites than Google+, LinkedIN, and YouTube combined. If done the right way, using Pinterest for your brand can help attract new customers, drive loads of traffic to your site, and circulate your brand’s content and resources.

All of this, just by pinning stuff. It doesn’t get much cooler than that.

1. Create Boards Catered to Your Niche

Pinterest is a great way to get in the mind of your customers, so create boards that cover all aspects of your brand. For example, my company sells reading glasses. Keeping in mind that most Pinterest users are women and most reading glasses wearers are over the age of 40, my brand has boards focused not solely on glasses (Pinterest frowns upon over-pinning your products), but general reading, writing, traveling, crafting, cooking, parenting, and decorating boards. Create boards that reflect what your target niche is interested in, not just what you want them to buy. This’ll help build followers and give you ideas for future content and product inspiration.

2. Follow, Follow, Follow

How do you build followers fast? Once your boards are created (and you have a decent amount of pins per board), follow others like crazy. If you’re in the home improvement business, click on Pinterest’s home decor section, and pursue the pinners in this category–they are obviously interested in your niche. I recently followed 400 people for my brand, and within 4 hours, my followers tripled. Pinteresters use the site to discover: use this to your advantage and give them the chance to discover you.

3. Promote with a Contest

Brands like Land’s End Canvas and Modcloth both held extremely successful Pinterest contests recently, and other major companies are following their lead. “Pin it to Win it” style contests are a great way to a.) engage and build followers to your Pinterest account, b.) increase traffic and conversion for your brand, and c.) get people talking on other social networks. My brand is running a Pinterest contest targeted towards our customers who wear reading glasses to craft, style, and read. By offering audiences a chance to win $100 in gift cards, we’re giving customers an incentive to pin and discover products directly from our site. Incentives + cool contests = Pinterest gold.

4. Dedicate Yourself

Pinterest brand accounts take time to build. You can’t pin a bunch one day and wait a few days, weeks, or months to do it again. You have to keep pinning to stay on the radar and build brand trust–Pinterest users and owners are on to phony brand sites, and you’ll only hurt your Pinterest potential if you spam the site with your products. Pin your products every once in a while, pin new images from your blog, resources, and site once a day, and pin interests, cool ideas, and inspirations having nothing to do with your brand all the time.

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