Your customers are the heart and soul of your business. It’s not enough to just market to them, you’ve also got to create a community around them and their interests. Social media networks like Pinterest are an excellent medium to do this. One of the best ways to effectively engage with your followers is to get your customers actively involved in your boards. Engage your customers on your Pinterest Account to make it happen.
Let’s look at a 6 super strategies to help you reach out and connect with your audience on Pinterest.
1. Create A Pinterest Group Board
On Pinterest, you can create a group or community board by simply inviting any followers you want to participate to contribute to its content. This strategy opens up your board to the public and allows other people to contribute their pins to it, usually around a certain theme.
This is very easy to do. Just go to the Add button at the top of the Home Page, select the Create Board option and then click on Edit.
A window will appear showing you as the default board creator but below that you have the option to add any Pinterest users and give them permission to contribute to your board.
Currently this is a manual process, so you need to add each specific contributor name individually. Pinterest will then notify each pinner that you have invited them to contribute to that board which they can accept or reject.
This is a great way to engage customers with other Pinterest users, create a community and gain a huge Pinterest following very quickly.
Since you can’t currently send direct messages to other users within Pinterest, it’s worth placing a prominent announcement in the board description asking people to comment on your pins so you can add them as a contributor.
2. Host A Pinterest Contest
You can also use your boards to run a contest. Contests are extremely popular because most people love to win something for nothing, especially if the prize has a high perceived value like a holiday, a beauty treatment or even a business consultation.
Since Pinterest is still fairly new its rules for contests are relatively relaxed compared with other social networks like Facebook. This makes it pretty straightforward for businesses to hold competitions on Pinterest.
Contests don’t have to break the bank either. Apart from the prize, the content is mostly user generated so with a bit of creative thinking even a small company or start up can benefit from the buzz generated by Pinterest contests.
Think of fun ways that you can connect with your audience using contests. For example, you could ask your customers to create their own pins featuring your products, or something related to your service.
Users could send the entries in to you to pin onto a specific contest board, which either you or a panel of experts or simply other pinners from the community could judge and award the best one a prize.
Another idea is to have a repin contest where you ask your followers to repin your content, perhaps adding a keyword relating to your business, product or service with the # hashtag in front. The pinner with the highest number of repins wins a prize.
These types of contests have been used very effectively by companies such as Jetsetter and can go viral very quickly, helping you gain incredible exposure virtually overnight.
As you can see, there is huge potential for businesses to leverage the power of Pinterest contests, but be sure to read Pinterest’s Terms of Service first to make sure you aren’t breaking any rules.
3. Start A Discussion
In the same as you create contributor boards, you can also create a discussion board on Pinterest and get your followers dialoguing with each other. This is a great way to engage your customers on Pinterest, Since everyone likes to talk about what they like and want.
Choose a certain topic that’s of interest to your Pinterest followers and invite them to talk about it. Focus the board around a single question such as a dream job or their biggest inspiration to get the conversation going.
Contributors can then respond by pinning images they feel resonate with the question or board theme, and post their comments and opinions.
People love this type of content, and it tends to get passed around and repinned, giving you more exposure in the process. If you post something truly noteworthy, or even controversial, your board even has the potential to go viral.
4. Use Testimonials
Instead of telling everybody why your business is so great, why not get your community to do it? Customer testimonials are a very powerful form of social proof and make great boards.
You can include photos of happy customers with a short testimonial next to the picture or videos of them talking to camera about how your product or service has helped them improve their lives.
Screenshots of your Facebook updates are also a great way to connect your Facebook audience to your Pinterest community, as well as show people how others have benefited from the value you provide.
Most people would be glad to do this, especially if they are genuinely satisfied with your service as well as perhaps getting to be on camera. But if you need to, offer an incentive in the form of a freebie or discount. Just make sure they are honest, genuine testimonials for your business.
5. Get Customer Feedback
The best way to engage your Pinterest followers is to make it all about them. Solicit their feedback and find out how they’d like to get involved on your boards. You can have a form on your Pinterest profile, offer incentives for a survey, or just come right out and ask them.
Use Survey Monkey (www.SurveyMonkey.com) to create a free survey on your blog with some simple questions and offer your customers a money-off coupon for their input and time.
6. Announce Your Boards
Always make an announcement on all of your marketing channels whenever you put up a new Pinterest board. This includes your website, your blog, your social media profiles, and any offline marketing you do.
Be sure to tell your customers that not only have you added a new board, but that they should go over to Pinterest to check it out. Tell them how the information can help them and how they can contribute to it if that is the case.
I’ve given you six great ways to engage your followers on Pinterest, which one appeals most to you? Have you tried any of these strategies already? How have they worked for you? Please comment below.