What’s the fastest growing social media site, currently ranked at number 5, ahead of LinkedIn and Google+? If you didn’t know it was Pinterest, particularly if you’re a B-to-B marketer, you can be forgiven. Pinterest is an obvious social media channel for retailers and for B-to-C marketers, but it’s pretty much ignored by B-to-B marketers. I think that spells opportunity; who wouldn’t want to participate in a fast growing, very engaged community with almost no competition?
It’s not obvious, however, how B-to-B marketers can use Pinterest. Here are 6 ideas for how B-to-B marketers can use Pinterest to engage their audience and drive traffic to their website.
Humanize Your Company
People buy from people they like and trust. This axiom is true, regardless of whether the buyer is a consumer or a buyer who is buying on behalf of their business. Post images of your employees. Celebrate new customers by posting their pictures on Pinterest (with their permission, of course). Instead of posting boring images of your executives in blue suits on your About Us page, how about linking to a Pinterest board, with pictures of your executives actively engaging with customers and employees?
Pinterest can also be used to celebrate the products you make. GE has a great example of this entitled Badass Machines. B-to-B marketers can also celebrate their company’s history and values. Again, GE provides one of the best examples of this with their That’s Genius! board, which celebrates the life and wisdom of their founder, Thomas Edison, through pictures and quotes.
Engage and Interact With Your Audience
Share new designs of products on Pinterest. Ask for visual feedback. Hold contests, asking customers to pin pictures of how they use your product. GE created a contest to encourage customers to document how GE was inspiring, asking them to post their Instagram photos with the hashtag #GEInspiredME. In addition to posting the pictures on Facebook, they also posted them on Pinterest. The prize by the way: a luxury trip to Europe, valued at over $11,000.
Announce and Celebrate Events
Many B-to-B companies organize annual events for their customers. Pin the invitation to a newly created board for that event, and then encourage customers to pin their photos from the event to the Pinterest board. Add a few photos taken by a professional photographer or by employees, and you have an involving, fun event.
Infographics are all the rage, and many B-to-B marketers create infographics as link bait and a way to drive traffic. Pinterest is a natural for posting these infographics. Here’s a great example of the use of Infographics on Pinterest by The Next Web.
Pinterest allows users to pin videos as well as photos and images to boards. In addition to posting your videos on your site and on YouTube, pin them to your Pinterest board. It’s one more way to reach your customers.
Visual Index to Blog Posts
Let’s face it: some people think in images rather than words. Why not capitalize on this and show people a visual index to your blog posts? Makeuseof.com, the How To site, frequently posts visual links to their articles on Pinterest.
I’m sure there a number of other ways in which B to B marketers can use Pinterest. Got any great ideas? I’d love to hear them.