3 Pinterest Mistakes: Don’t Do What These Brands Did
Pinterest is still enjoying its moment in the sun. It has surpassed Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Google+ as the third most popular social media network in the U.S., behind only Facebook and Twitter. It’s also been a boon for companies, with Pinterest referrals 10 percent more likely to convert to purchases than referrals from other social media platforms.
So, you know you should be on Pinterest. But are you using it correctly? Have you been making some of the same mistakes as other big brands on this platform? The good news is that once you uncover these mistakes, they are easily fixable. Many of the brands mentioned below have plenty of good content already, but a few slight tweaks would give them an even stronger Pinterest presence. Here are three potential Pinterest mistakes to avoid.
1. Presenting Yourself Poorly
First impressions count. It’s as true online as in real life. CVS Caremark has an account on Pinterest, but it looks unattractive and unofficial on first glance. The profile photo seems to be cropped to the incorrect size and appears lopsided. Many of the cover photos for its pinboards are small images that appear in low resolution. This shows a carelessness that could be a turnoff for potential followers and potential customers.
Supervalu also made a questionable choice in its presentation. The grocery company’s official name on Pinterest is “SUPERVALU PR.” The all-caps name is part of its branding, but including PR as part of the name could lead other Pinterest members to assume the page will be solely focused on marketing initiatives. This is actually not the case; Supervalu’s page is a little light on content, but the pins it has are diverse and interesting. The choice of how Supervalu chooses to refer to itself on Pinterest may be limiting the brand’s appeal.
2. Only Pinning Your Own Products
One of the main challenges to creating a strong Pinterest presence is resisting the desire to only showcase your company’s products. On the surface, that approach makes sense: more product pins equals more promotion. But people aren’t joining Pinterest to read a catalog, and they will notice if all of your pins feel like advertisements.
Land’s End is an example of this. All of the pins on the clothing company’s account are very attractive and are broken out into smart, topical pinboards. But the copy for almost every one of the pins talks about the products shown. The most successful companies on Pinterest include lots of content with little or no relation to their merchandise. Instead, these brands make space for lifestyle-related ideas and topics.
CVS is an offender here, too. Rather than specific products, most of the company’s pins are simply links through to the major sections of its website. The images are all items sold by the drugstore, and in this case, the accompanying copy is just the product type rather than the name of the specific item shown. Remember, Pinterest members want to see inspiring images to share, not just your product pitches.
3. Leaving the Network to Languish
Once you’ve signed up your brand, you are officially committed. You don’t need to pin images every day, but you should devote a consistent amount of time to Pinterest, just as you would to Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform you use.
One example of this comes from academia. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has the beginnings of a great Pinterest collection. There are pinboards for the school’s campus, research, athletics, and arts. But each board has five or fewer pins, and the account has not been active in more than three months. Remember, a social media network is dynamic. If you simply pin links to your website or products and stop using the platform, people have no reason to follow you.
There are many major companies that have thrown up a profile photo and a brief description, but not pinned any material at all. Barnes & Noble, Walgreens, and Kmart are among the companies making this mistake. Their pages exist, but are empty. Again, once that profile goes live, you should be out of the gate running with enough content to keep people interested in your brand.
By the way, if you want to see the opposite end of the spectrum, take a look at these five brands that are using Pinterest brilliantly.
Have you noticed companies making mistakes on Pinterest? Let us know in the comments!