Many of my social media peers don’t fall easily for new platforms. We’ve seen lots of fly-by-nights and promises of the next latest and greatest thing. So, no matter how seductive something may seem at the time, we try to maintain a healthy bit of skepticism. We have one focus and one focus only, which is simply: what’s the benefit and opportunity for businesses, brands and the bottom line?
That said, it’s easy to understand why there is a lovefest going on with Pinterest. For many brands and products, the benefits—from the time users spend onsite, to how elegantly simple the interface is, to the direct connection to purchase intent—mean there’s a whole lot to like (okay, love) about this platform. I must admit, I too am completely charmed.
But before falling head over heels, here are a few things brands should consider when it comes to fostering a healthy relationship on Pinterest:
- It all starts with goals. As with any other channel, determine what the prime motivation is for participants and what the measurable objectives are.
- Set up your editorial team, content plan and process. Figure out who will establish the platform and initial board/pin topics. Will different individuals be responsible for maintaining and managing each board? How will these teams interact and sync in regard to content? Who will monitor the page on an ongoing basis? How will legal play a role in agreeing what can and cannot be shared? Who else needs to be looped in prior to launch?
- Establish rules of engagement. Like your other social platforms, Pinterest needs an established moderation/content/engagement policy (especially true in light of current content copyright issues.) As an example: will you only pin content you own right now? How will you ensure source transparency?
- Set tone and personality. Serious, quirky, informative, fun—what do you want your brand to convey, and does it sync with what Pinterest audiences expect? How does your Pinterest activity differ from and/or complement your other social and content strategies?
- Understand the audience. Who is your core demo target? If your brand is larger, with multiple product lines and audiences (BtoB vs. BtoC), how will various business units be represented?
- Develop a content strategy. What boards are important to start with? What are the first pins to consider? Is a content/asset audit needed? How will that be managed and structured? (As we do for a blog, we always recommend having a “bank” of content to work with when you launch, and building on the structure from there.)
- Set guidelines for how to engage. Who will find, produce and recommend pins? Who may need to approve them prior to uploading? How can new boards or pins be requested by internal teams? How frequently will content be updated? Who will outreach and engage on other like-minded or partner boards? What is the ongoing strategy for following users?
- Determine monitoring and moderation action items. How often will the community manager respond to comments? What will be monitored? How will you react if there is a negative response or inappropriate pin?
- Don’t forget about promotion. How will you bring people to the page? What other social/Web tie-ins need to be considered? How will search best practices and plans be incorporated?
- As always, measure and evaluate. How frequently and by what method do you plan to measure and monitor Pinterest activities and evaluate them based on objectives? Who will do it? How will monitoring be fed back to the editorial/management teams to help inform ongoing content and engagement strategies?
Thinking through these items isn’t meant to dampen your infatuation with Pinterest; it’ll simply help make your brand’s pinning efforts more meaningful and ultimately, a richer experience for you and your followers. And isn’t that the secret of any great long-term relationship?
Tags: analytics, Audience, Brand, branding, BtoB, BtoC, Business to Business, Business to Consumer, cmd agency, Content Strategy, messaging, Moderation, Pinterest, Pinterest Boards, social media, Social Media Guidelines