How to use Pinterest to boost your online brand

Pinterest For Branding

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a photo-based social network which enables users to ‘pin’ (or share) images they like. Think of it as an online pin board where you can organise your favourite images into different types or categories by using different boards.

Pinterest works on the simple premise of sharing and organising photo and video content via an easy to use platform, attracting savvy social media experts and novices alike.

The site now boasts more than 150 million global users, so branders, marketers and business owners have a real opportunity to grab the attention of a captive audience which use Pinterest to explore and find inspiration through imagery – will your captive shots form part of their search?

How is it different from Facebook, Twitter etc?

Although it is one of the fastest growing social media sites, it’s not about sharing just any old image. A quick browse across its many million pin boards will show that the most popular and impactful pieces of content (those which are liked and repinned) are those which have a real ‘wow’ factor.

It would be a mistake to view Pinterest as just a dumping ground for average images, so when it comes to planning what to pin (or what you hope will get pinned), pay due care and attention and ensure it represents your brand in the best light, otherwise its unlikely to get picked up and passed on (‘repinned’).

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(Why) is it relevant for my brand and how can it boost it online?

Currently, Pinterest is one of the social media channels for referring web traffic, because the very nature of Pinterest is to find interesting and shareable content, its users are ready to share; distributing and redistributing impactful/beautiful/funny/provocative titbits as they discover them. In other words, Pinterest is a great SEO tool and can really contribute to your brand’s online presence.

And the real beauty of Pinterest is that many organisations aren’t themselves active on the platform. As long as their own web content is shareable and captivating, visitors to their site or other social media channel will share their content for them. Such third party endorsements are powerful and far reaching recommendations for a brand.

Getting started with Pinterest

1) Make your content pin-able

By its nature, Pinterest is a highly visual site and content that is pinned uses the image as the primary focus point. Be sure that all of your pages and posts (across all your online platforms) have impactful and relevant images/videos that encourage and invite pinning.

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2) Add ‘Pin’ buttons to your website and all online channels

Once you’re confident you are producing really shareable visual content, encourage your site visitors to share it. Add a Pinterest button (you can find these on the site) to encourage this, making it easy for users to share images they like quickly and easily.

Give your users every opportunity to share your content with the world by adding buttons to your blog, Facebook page and Twitter channel too: in fact anywhere you are sharing unique and interesting visual content. Linking your channels together in this way will present your brand as seamless and joined-up.

3) Get your own Pinterest account

If you’ve been savvy, your brand, through the unique content you have created, will be spread and shared across Pinterest by a stream of online advocates. But you shouldn’t forget to create your own Pinterest presence by setting up an account too.  Ensure you differentiate your company persona from any personal activity you have on the site by using a corporate email account. The site was once invite-only but is now open to all.

4) Organise board content to support clear brand messages

If your brand covers multiple themes or categories, organise your content accordingly. For example, if you run an interior design business you could have different boards to share your inspirations for curtains, cushions, rugs etc. The number of boards is endless and so is the opportunity to share your great images, and with them your brand proposition.

5) Build your own brand community

To build a community of like-minded individuals who appreciate your content and re-pin it, or pin it themselves directly, you need to interact and engage on a regular basis, keeping the relationship two-way.

Although they may have originally shared your content without any thought of being acknowledged, a little recognition goes a long way. If they are active on Pinterest, think how far they could be sharing it and how wide your subsequent brand reach.

As well as on-site interaction, (in the form of replies to comments, reciprocating likes, and re-pinning their content), broaden the interactions by encouraging the content you share on Facebook, Twitter et al to be re-pinned by any Pinterest followers or fans you have.

Take time each day to read comments from people so you know what content is ranking highly in their opinions and which may be falling short of the mark.

6) Pinterest etiquette and best practice

So, you’re excited you’ve got lots of great content to share, but don’t overload by posting all of it at once and bombarding the Pinterest community. A slow drip feed effect works better to maintain momentum and interest.

Don’t view Pinterest as a place you can post just any old content. Your images should be considered and seek to inspire – always have your target audience in mind and be objective. Just because you think it’s a great image doesn’t mean it really is, so get a second opinion if in doubt.

etiquetteIncrease your images’ mileage and share-ability by using the hash tag standard to categorise your content so it is easily searchable. Make use of hash tags that already exist for larger content types, for example #interiordesign, so your content is seen by all who follow that content type.

Making your images as unique and interesting as possible – even if your brand is niche and in its own narrow category – will instantly make them more shareable, and doesn’t every business want its brand seen by as many customers and potential customers as possible?

Top Ten Ways to Brand Your Business Online

top branding ideas

Let’s face it, where do we turn to to research anything from a product or service to the latest celebrity gossip? Online of course – just one click and information is at your fingertips. Thanks to Google, we’re faced with an endless list of information sources without even having to leave our seat.

Since the World Wide Web’s birth, any savvy business has been quick to create an online presence, even if this meant the most basic of websites. But once live, it was often forgotten about, with content seldom updated and failing to move with the rapidly changing virtual times.

With the evolution of web 2.0 the online world became more interactive, immediate and social, as web users demanded more and became increasingly discerning about the content they digested.

Every business knows the value of its brand; how a weak brand can quickly impact on sales and growth, and a strong one can see a solid customer base and a strong bottom line. The online brand is as important as its offline counterpart – in fact the two are integral – and requires regular, dedicated investment.

If your business needs any more convincing about the return on such an investment, read on for our top ten reasons why every business needs to take it’s online brand seriously.

1. Reputation is all

Information found online can make or break a business. And businesses which choose to ignore the importance of a rapid response to a customer complaint or clarifying incorrect information will quickly feel the impact.

The most effective way of managing and maintaining a positive reputation is to ensure website content and other online channels are up to date, with the latest product/service information and current contact details (there’s nothing worse than incorrect phone/fax numbers and emails which bounce back). If businesses can’t keep track of such basics it is assumed they neglect other key areas of their business and trust is quickly lost.

If you commit to investing time and resources into managing other online channels, such as a blog or Facebook page, ensure there is a person dedicated to content updates and customer engagement. Regular commentary from a company persona and swift responses times help develop relationships and build trust.

2. The rewards of loyalty

Building brand loyalty in a competitive marketplace is essential for business survival, especially for businesses which exist solely online. Customers remain loyal to brands which keep them updated and engaged – this can be something simple like news of a new product, or a special promotion exclusive to existing customers. Ignore your customer base and you will soon find them looking elsewhere for better. Treat them like a trusted friend and they will reward you with their loyalty.

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If a customer encounters problems and contacts you directly or leaves a web comment intended for your eyes, ensure your response is rapid and your promise to resolve the matter sincere and swift. Everyone knows that one unhappy customer will be quick to tell everyone about their poor experience, which can have a very negative impact on a business. Give their story a happy ending and you will show potential customers you care and are worthy of their custom. Information is rapidly shared online so ensure anything about your brand is positive.

3. Stand out from the crowd

Businesses need to conduct regular competitor analysis to ensure they are one step ahead. The online world has made such analysis easier as competitor’s tactics are more transparent.

Businesses yet to engage with customers through social media are likely to lose out if they do not have a presence in the online spaces where they spend much of their time. Businesses need to be accessible and visible in the social world rather than continue to expect their customers to come to them.

Make it easy for customers to find out about your product/service and point them to where you’d like them to go by providing deep links to your webpages from within the channels they already frequent. They’re unlikely to visit your website unless you make it easy for them to get there.

4. Organic versus paid-for presence

There are two approaches to ensure a memorable online presence. One is the traditional paid-for approach; spending on Google AdSense to guarantee your top slot in the search rankings. The ‘organic’ tactic relies on more social, interactive content across a number of online platforms which complement each other and provide a joined-up online experience.

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Sponsored links, which appear at the top of a search engine’s results page may give a brand online visibility but this approach can be expensive and does not offer the same level of endorsement that a naturally high ranking does. When your website ranks well on its own, it’s likely to be down to the matrix of other sites which are sending links its way.

A Facebook page, twitter channel and up to date blog all contribute to more favourable ranking for your website. Commitment is required to ensure these channels are coordinated and content is current, but it’s often a more affordable and trusted option than bidding on often competitive (and expensive) key words to maintain online visibility.

5. Customer recall

Offline and online alike, if your brand cannot be easily recalled or recollected, your efforts aren’t making a big enough impact. For a brand to succeed, it must be memorable and remain front of mind among your target audience. A brand that already promotes itself via traditional means such as advertising or a physical shop front also needs to complement this with regular, consistent online messaging and activity. 

Customers will only remember a brand that has had an impact on them, so make sure yours stands out from the crowd by following simple brand basics online too: does your logo translate online? Are your images sharp, your colours consistent? Are your strapline or brand promises easily digestible in a fast paced environment? Don’t overload with too much information – bite-size chunks of written or visual content works best to ensure recall.

6. Make it memorable

Making your brand memorable means the difference between retaining existing customers and attracting new ones or losing potential new customers to the competition because they have made a bigger impact. This goes back to customer analysis – stay one step ahead of what they are doing and ensure you go above and beyond their offer. But don’t over promise and under-deliver, ensure that what you are promising is do-able.

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Think about how you can share your online content through social channels to ensure it is seen by as many people as possible. Make the most of your own feeds and pages but join in relevant conversations too. For example, if you’re sharing a special offer on your own home pages, post to relevant Facebook pages or use an existing, relevant twitter hash tag (#) to make it visible amid your target market.

7. Be engaging

Engaging means starting and maintaining a conversation with your customer. When you share information and listen to the feedback, you will learn more, and be able to adapt your offer with the information you receive.

Your brand will also be seen as progressive, interested and caring – no one likes to be talked out without any opportunity to reply so ensure your online channels are open to receiving feedback, and act on any comments/suggestions you are given. Two-way communication is key.

8. Advocates and ambassadors

brand advocateThere is nothing more powerful than someone who promotes your brand through positive comments and unsolicited praise. People trust their peers and when they are seen to support and champion a particular brand, that brand gains credibility.

Brand advocates and ambassadors should be nurtured and treated with great respect. Monitor online channels to understand what is being said about your brand. Sending a simple acknowledgement of positive feedback makes the person feel they are being listened to and appreciated.

Equally, respond swiftly to any negative comments and give assurance that you will rectify the issue swiftly. This will turn a potentially damaging situation into one which shows your brand as responsive and caring.

9. Visibility

To ensure brand visibility, it is not enough to develop a website, Facebook page or YouTube channel and just leave it to run itself. Brands need to continually evolve and change their content to remain relevant and interesting.

visibility onlineKeep abreast of changes to the online world and ensure you have a presence on platforms which your target audience are using. Although the core channels mentioned above are a fundamental part of your online presence, new channels will emerge and present branding opportunities.

Think about how you could adapt your content to suit  channels such as Pinterest and Instagram. But don’t spread yourself too thinly or invest time and resource in a channel which you don’t understand and won’t be able to adequately maintain.

10. The personal touch

People build trust in other people and the interactions they have, not the brand alone. These interactions include people on the shop floor, the person at the end of a customer hotline, or the voice which is conveyed in web copy, a blog post, tweet or Facebook post.

YouTube presents an additional opportunity to interact with your target audience ‘face to face’ via the medium of video. All these customer touch points are opportunities to convey your brand’s personality so take time to get your tone and message just right.

Brand Name Promotion & UK Social Media Management Services

branding-expert-photo-2Welcome to the website of Promote Your Brand Name. We are a Web Marketing Company based in Birmingham, England. We offer a number of Web Marketing Services to help our clients obtain high rankings within the organic search ranking listings.

With search giant Google dramatically changing the way it ranks online content, it is now more important than ever that your business understands the new breed of SEO tactics to ensure your web presence comes out on top.

Continuing with tried and tested methods may no longer guarantee the presence you need amid a crowded, competitive online environment.

A comprehensive, multi-channel approach is now essential.

Social media IS relevant to your business

Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, once purely social tools, are now proven branding agents for businesses across all sectors.

SMES and multinationals alike are harnessing the power of the fan page and the tweet to build and boost their brand.

Despite clear benefits, resource and budget pressed businesses which lack the know-how frequently prioritise other activities, leaving social for another day.

How we help you, your company and your brand

An affordable, complete Facebook and Twitter management service from initial identity development to channel redesign, content management and fan/follower engagement.

We also offer a Google+ marketing service.

social-branding-photoYour Facebook, Google+ and Twitter pages are opportunity-rich places to promote your business or personal brand in a lively and interactive way. Don’t let your social presence just be a place to repeat your contact information and corporate material.

These pages are highly visible ‘shopfronts’ where you can bring your products and services to life.

Social media channels also let you interact with customers and other stakeholders, including your own staff, partners and potential customers – all of which can become valuable online brand ambassadors.

You can share details of your company history, latest news and product development:  because social media is an excellent story-telling tool, it enables you to engage with your audience on a more informal, but equally powerful level.

You can also interact with staff, catalogue company history and highlight any other facet of your business that might attract other Google+/Facebook/Twitter users and spark interest in what you do.

Share photographs and videos (relating to your business or personal brand) to build and share your brand.

Posting multimedia content such as pictures and videos, as well as written content, offers a richer and diverse user experience and is a powerful way to communicate with customers and potential customers.

Gone are the days when business needs to happen face-to-face, now you can bring your business to the customer, allowing them to see your product or service without having to visit your premises.

How we can help you

We can assist in creating photographic and video content to enrich existing web content and build your social presence. Give us a brief and we will develop a range of content which can be used across your online channels.

Fresh, relevant blog content breathes new life into tired web content

High quality, unique blog content boosts natural links to your website and provides brand-rich material for multiple online channels so your messages are disseminated and redistributed across your networks.

How we can help you

One off blog design and build to complete blog management, from initial design and brand development to regular blog posts and content management.

We also have a social media management service monthly package. This is where we write four blog posts and manage the Google+, Facebook and Twitter accounts of our clients for a monthly fee of £350. At the outset we welcome you to take advantage of our FREE ONE WEEK TRIAL to see if you like the way that we work.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Our telephone numbers are 0121 680 2600 / 07967 549 070 and our e-mail address is info@promoteyourbrandname.co.uk.