Following my article on 2013 social media stats, I had a conversation on Twitter about using Pinterest for B2B marketing – and was surprised that the other person had never considered it before our chat. Today, I was in for another surprise when I found an infographic that said less than 1% of all Pinterest accounts belong to a business. So, I’m here to share with you how I’ve used Pinterest for B2B marketing because I think Pinterest is a severely underutilized channel for great content promotion.

Why You Should Use Pinterest for B2B Marketing

Content marketing is now a widely accepted practice, and brands have become publishers – pumping out blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, infographics, E-Books and more – and much of this content has a visual element, which is perfect for Pinterest. As I’ve said before:

In my last social media blog post, I discussed how to get your content shared on Twitter, but let’s be honest: the life of a tweet is very short (Search Engine Land says that the half-life of a tweet is less than 3 hours). A Pinterest Pin, on the other hand, lives on through search (both internal and external search engines), categories, and suggestions that Pinterest makes while you view and repin Pins – so your content can be discovered over and over again. Add that to the fact that a picture says a thousand words, and you’ve got a pretty compelling case to start using Pinterest to promote your content and increase the reach of your B2B brand.

Getting Started with Pinterest

The first thing I would do is take stock of your current content – do you have an active blog, are you regularly creating client video testimonials, have you published any E-Books? Each of these individual pieces of content can be a Pin on Pinterest (check out the basics of Pinterest if you’re not sure what that means).

Then, think about how you can group these pins together on boards – and I would suggest thinking in terms of keywords that your prospective customers would use to find your content. For us, those would be keywords like, “Facebook Marketing” and “PR Infographics“. Pinterest boards have been known to appear at the top of Google search results – so really think about what you’d like to be ranking for, as this will help with discoverability.

I also like to have some purely promotional boards (hey, just being honest) that prospects will find when they visit the brand’s page – like Meltwater Social Media and PR E-Books (I’ll separate social and PR once we have more) and Meltwater Group Infographics. While the other boards are a mix of great content I find from around the web, I like to specifically call out the content we’ve created.

If you have a board idea, but not enough content to add yet, just make the board private until you’ve filled it out more. I would also suggest running a few Pinterest searches to fill out your boards, but we’ll talk more about that in a minute.

Getting the Most Out of Pinterest

  1. Engage with your community. As on other social networks, social conversations are the name of the game. As I just mentioned, you should spend some time discovering relevant content on Pinterest through the internal search engine. When you see something you like, you may choose to repin it, like it, and/or comment on it. Starting these social conversations with other pinners will help your boards and pins get discovered, and may encourage the other pinner to reciprocate.
  2. Optimize your pins. Pinterest is a great search engine so, on top of optimizing your boards, remember to optimize your pin descriptions with keywords. You may also want to add a URL to each description to increase the chances of driving traffic back to your website (the user can also click on the image to get to your website, but it doesn’t hurt to add another option).
  3. Make it easy for people to share your content. Add Pin it buttons to your website to make it easier for people to share your content on Pinterest. I would recommend adding buttons to each of your blog posts, as well as on interesting images in your blog posts, and on any thank you pages where your content would be a good fit for Pinterest (think: webinar and E-Book thank you pages).
  4. Share Pins on Twitter and Facebook. When you add a Pin on Pinterest, you have the option to instantly post it to your Facebook and Twitter accounts upon submission. This can be a great way to let your followers know that you’re on Pinterest!
  5. Use Rich Pins. Pinterest has recently rolled out article pins, which will include the headline, author and description of any articles you post on Pinterest, so use these to make your articles stand out. You can also create place pins, product pins, recipe pins and movie pins – so check out some of these different options and see what would work for your brand.

See What’s Working

Another more recent feature that’s been released for brands is Pinterest Analytics, which you can see so long as you’ve classified your profile as a business page. The included analytics will show you how many people are pinning from your website, seeing your Pins, and clicking your content. You can also see your most repinned and clicked pins so you know what’s working and can continue to add Pins that will resonate with your community. Then just lather, rinse and repeat.

And follow us on Pinterest!