Market your brand with Pinterest by pinpointing your audience

You’ve heard of Pinterest. It’s the third fastest growing social network behind Facebook and Twitter. It boasted 10.4 million users in June of this year.

You might be wondering whether it’s worth it for your organization. It’s a big social network with lots of users who could be prospects. But users simply steal others’ pretty pictures and recycle them over and over again. You don’t quite get its appeal.

Here’s some more stats to fuel your interest. Eighty percent of its users are women, 50 percent of its users have kids, 20 percent of its users are men and 30 percent of its users are between 24 and 34 years old, according to Pinterestingly Enough.

Pinterest is great at keeping its users hooked. It’s all about pretty pictures and appealing to people who are more engaged by visual communication. You get a positive feedback loop when a picture you “pin” on one of your interest boards goes viral. Most popular topics include food and drink, home decor, weddings, DIY, recipes and inspirational quotes.

One Pinterest business that does it right is Whole Foods Market. It’s been generating a lot of buzz for its brilliance at the concept (What Marketers Can Learn From Whole Foods’ Organic Approach to Pinterest).

Pinterest is not about blatant self-promotion. Although you should talk with your team about your strategy and the image you wish to portray with your posts, it’s Pinterest etiquette not to post from only one website or only one brand. It’s not considered stealing, but re-pinning, and best practice involves giving credit. Re-pinning is the basis of Pinterest’s engagement model, much like retweeting on Twitter builds your Klout. It’s not your original content, but it gets your name out there, and your taste and style in front of a niche audience of largely women.

Going back to Whole Foods, its Pinterest account is a study in doing it right. Its boards are divided into such categories as “How does your garden grow?” “Eat your veggies” “Edible Celebrations” and “Plant Based Diet Recipes.” If you surf its boards, its pins are largely repins and not original content promoting its products.

Instead, here is what I imagine Whole Foods did. The firm, I believe, thought of one person who represented its ideal customer base. The company thought of what that person would like to eat, drink, decorate his or her home with, travel, read, his or her dream wedding, his or her health plan. Then Whole Foods portrayed the tastes of its ideal audience by promoting other users’ content that fit that ideal image.

The success of the concept is in the numbers. Whole Foods boasts 78,545 followers and it’s growing. That’s an audience that feels personally connected to the Whole Foods brand in today’s increasingly visual world. Those are future shoppers.

Getting a Pinterest account is free. To sign up as a business, all you need is a Twitter account or an email account. Pinterest just debuted new business pages as well. After first discussing your strategy and your ideal audience with your team, there are few reasons not to jump on board.

Happy pinning!