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5 Best Practices for Leveraging Pinterest (Part 2 of 2)

Posted Monday, August 27, 2012, at 2:38 PM

Virtual scrapbooking site Pinterest has quickly taken the world of social media by storm, leaving some business owners and marketers scratching their heads about how exactly to leverage their time investment accordingly.

To avoid spinning your wheels, follow these guidelines to ensure you're getting the most from your time investment.

Most brands use Pinterest as a springboard for driving traffic from their pins to their website. When posting images, be sure to include a link back to your website or blog for additional photos and information.

This option to link to online content makes Pinterest a viable marketing tool for retailers with interesting, visual products -- especially those conducive to consumer impulse buying. With more than 1.5 million site visitors a day, Pinterest provides more referral traffic to other sites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.

Images pinned must be visually interesting. Pinterest isn't the site for everyday predictable photography. Pin beautiful photos of your products if you want users to take interest. If your products aren't visually engaging in and of themselves, consider a possible entertainment angle that communicates what you do while demonstrating that your team doesn't take itself too seriously.

Pin photos that offer your customers new ideas for how your products can be used. Online shopping site Etsy shows consumers how they can incorporate the company's vintage products into their everyday lives by showcasing products in an in-home setting. This retailer has racked up over 125,000 Pinterest followers to date as a result.

Comment, repin and like the posts of those you follow. After all, it is called "social" media for a reason. Start a conversation. Conversations lead to relationships, which can lead to sales. But be careful not to give a hard sell, or your followers could revolt.

Consider unexpected themes for your pin boards. Neiman Marcus organizes its pins into boards called "neon," "yellow" or "lovely layering" versus the expected "new products" board that so many retailers offer. Get creative; Pinterest users like to be inspired by innovative thinking.

Integrate Pinterest into your website by offering your site users both a link to your Pinterest page on your website home page and a Pinterst icon on each of your product pages, allowing site visitors to easily share your product photos on their boards.

Pinterest's gaining popularity among retailers demonstrates the increasingly larger role that social media platforms play in the marketing world. Utilize these tips and showcase your brand's creativity to ensure your time is well spent.

Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and CEO/Founder of RedRover Sales & Marketing in Memphis, TN, www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).

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Lori Turner-Wilson
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Lori spent over 15 years leading corporate marketing and communications divisions in the financial services, hospitality and franchise restaurant sectors. As Director of Target Marketing for the Hampton Hotels brand of Hilton Hotels Corporation, Lori managed promotional, direct and Web marketing, as well as custom publishing, for the brand's franchise system. In her role as Vice President of Employee Communications and Development for First Horizon National Corporation, she managed the corporation's internal culture initiatives, communications, and employee recognition programs. Other positions held include Sr. Communications Director/Corporate Editor for TCBY Enterprises, Inc., and Vice President of Marketing for First National Banking Company. Lori is a founding sponsor and member of the Board of Directors for LaunchMemphis -- an organization committed to developing an entrepreneurial community in Memphis comprised of investors, entrepreneurs and local organizations. In addition, Lori is on the Board of Directors of the Sales and Marketing Society of the Mid-South and on the Advisory Board for the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County. She is a sought-after speaker in the Memphis area, delivering sales and marketing keynote addresses and workshops to organizations like: the Memphis Chapter of the American Advertising Federation, the Sales & Marketing Society of the Mid-South, LaunchMemphis, EmergeMemphis, the Memphis Regional Chamber, the National Association of Women Business Owners, and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. Lori holds a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in addition to having completed the University of Colorado's School of Bank Marketing and Management. She is the recipient of numerous industry awards including local and district Addy's, Communicator awards, and a Telly. She received recognition as one of the Memphis Business Journal's "Top 40 Under 40" recipients in 2009. Lori also served as a contributing ghost writer for the renowned "Complete Idiot's Guide to Guerilla Marketing." Beyond her passions for marketing and dogs of all shapes and sizes, Lori is an avid traveler, runner and foodie.