Social Media Marketing for B2B

How to use Pinterest (for B2B)

February 28th, 2012 3 Comments

The new pinning site in social media

 

Did you like to scrapbook as a kid? Well, I did not, and hence it is taking me a bit of effort to understand the recent hype for this new site. More importantly, as a social media marketer, I want to know how Pinterest can help generate awareness and demand for B2B.

We have all read that Pinterest has soared out of obscurity to be a top business referral source. Supposedly, referral traffic from Pinterest is higher than from LinkedIn or Google+ (behind FB, SU, Google & Twitter).

15 Interesting Facts on How to Use Pinterest (for B2B):

  1. To get started, set up your account at Pinterest.com (as of today, it was still necessary to request an “exclusive” invite), create a few dashboards with topic you care about, and install the Pin it button. Then, you “pin” pictures or videos as you browse web sites that will then be added to your dashboard (s). This is all pretty simple. You can also add URLs into the description area (obviously, you’ll want to link back to your site or a particularly landing page)
  2. You can ask people to follow your pins to create an audience.
  3. If you have your own website, you can install a “Pin It” button that will hopefully encourage your visitors to pin your stuff to their dashboards.
  4. If you log in with Facebook, like I did, you inadvertently connect your FB account with Pinterest (and display your pins to your friends); but you can disable that.
  5. You can have other people “tag” you in their pins, e.g. if they posted a picture of your product, they could tag you to let you know (this is good for contests, e.g. ask people to pin a picture of themselves and your product to their dashboards).
  6. There is some effect on your SEO but the different sites I read don’t necessarily agree on the size of impact (TBD).
  7. It seems that to maximize your ROI you have to keep pinning and updating, just like in any other social media channel.
  8. You can create “associations” with your brand, depending on the pin boards you create, e.g. sustainability for an energy company or fitness for a food manufacturer.
  9. Using hashtags or keywords in your pin descriptions helps “findability”.
  10. There is a whole sharing aspect, where you can allow others to pin on your board etc. (who is not looking for yet another social network to add to their lives?). You can “like” pins or comment on pictures. The good thing for businesses, the URL the picture was taken from is visible and active (still, add your URL in the description area too).
  11. You can see what has been “pinned” about you by using this URL: http://pinterest.com/source/marketingxlerator.com/ (replace “MarketingXlerator.com with your URL)
  12. You can pin videos (and there is a special video section too). Me likey!
  13. To create engagement, comment on other people’s pins and ask questions (this comes back to the high-touch model of many social media tools).
  14. To dazzle on Pinterest you need crisp and impressive photography/imagery. This favors some industries over others, but is a good creative challenge.
  15. If you are doing Pinterest for business, there are no business pages yet. Make sure you log in with your business accout (Twitter of Facebook). Then set it up with your business name, logo, or your customers might see a picture of you at the beach. Also make sure that “Hide your Pinterest page from Search” is turned off.

In conclusion, I am not fully convinced that Pinterest is as well suited to B2B as it is to B2C. For consumer marketing, the tool is an obviously good choice as 95% of all success stories are B2C.

The interesting question is how the market will eventually shake out. Logically, each of us has only so much time per day to spend on social media. Can Pinterest hold the current interest and if yes, to the expense of which other channel? Or can seamless integrations be created (likely through consolidation) that make channels more connected and less cumbersome to access?

Have you tried Pinterest and what are your thoughts? My board is here. Not too inspired by Pinterest yet, but then it took me a year to like Twitter.

 

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3 Responses

  1. Luisa says:

    Hi Natasha, interesting blog. I actually believe that Pinterest can also work for B2B all it takes to get started, in my opinion, is to pin ‘pretty’ pictures. Pinterest is all about pictures and they have to be appealling to users. Not so sure about videos as they have to have an ‘appealing and pretty’ starting shot. I don not know if you are familiar with a German company called Kuka but they produce industrial robots and I can actually image really well that if you pin nice, ‘pretty’ pictures, you can quite easily make appealling pictures of even B2B products, that people will share it. Don’t you think?

    • Natascha says:

      Luisa:

      I think you are right. People like “pretty pictures” :-), just like they like “cute videos”.
      I am sure good pictures can help create and bolster a brand – my point is that the jury is still out in how far that creates sales, e.g. for a $30,000 software sale. But, I understand Pinterest can create first interest and then point people to more information. The strength of referrals is a key B2B value prop.

      I recently pinned my first video and immediately had 3 views by people I did not know. That was interesting (or should I say “Pinteresting”). I only recently joined so am still watching my Google Analytics to see if it drives traffic to my blog (my intention).

      On Friday, I will attend a social media conference where Pinterest is on the agenda and will report back what I learn.

      Best,

      Natascha

  2. xcel energy says:

    good post, i have been looking for it

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