So, if you’ve visited any marketing blogs in the past month, you’ve likely seen the coronation of the latest social media pin-up gal: Pinterest — the visual content curation site.

We don’t take anything away from this little gem’s success. What started as a female-dominated medium with recipe swapping and fashion wish lists recently reached feverous Beatlemania-esque squeals for it’s rapidly growing, invitation-only membership (from Oct. 2010 to Oct. 2011, the site grew 8,000 percent from 40,000 to 3.2 million unique visitors). Demographics show users remain female-dominated at 80 percent, with 55 percent of users between 25 and 44. In other words, this site grips a pretty desirable group for most businesses and marketers.

Now, before CMOs rush into their next meeting demanding a Pinterest presence and then asking what it is (remember those first Facebook and Twitter meetings?), they should take a few minutes to learn about how business can best approach this new social superstar.

1. Visual Industries are a No-Brainer
Products requiring little explanation to this market hold the inside track. Apparel, travel, home improvement? Please step to the front of the line. This plane is already packed and taxing down the runway, so hurry up, please. Don’t have a spring line to show? Your invitation may require a bit more creativity … but don’t count yourself out just yet. Think of aspirational angles for what your product or service can achieve.

2. Good Pins Showcase Great Strategy
Is your target innovative? Sophisticated? Hip? Don’t just slap up a catalog of product shots while forgetting the target insight you use for your other outreach. Is your pin appropriate for this audience? Is it relevant enough to display and entice repinning? With so much competition, this is not a time to throw something up just to see if it sticks. Smart companies will pin strategically. The rest become annoying — and embarrassing — clutter.

3. Keep ‘Em Coming
With some sources reporting an average user spends about 72 minutes per month on the website, there’s a lot of pinning going on. Traffic on most explorer and activity walls moves pretty rapidly, so small campaigns risk becoming overwhelmed. Make certain you keep an appropriate inventory for any Pinterest promotion.

4. If You Invite Company, Clean Up the Place
Pinterest links provide paths to your site, whether it’s a product homepage or blog. Check your current images and copywriting. Traffic may no longer arrive simply from personal interaction and search engines. They may tag along with Pinterest friends. Be certain to make them feel welcome.

5. Don’t Let Them Pinpoint Narcissistic Traits
Just like we learned on Facebook and Twitter, a varied feed builds interests. If posts are only self-serving you’ll lose followers quickly … and possible brand traction along with it.

We think Pinterest holds a lot of opportunities for those who approach it thoughtfully. Strategic moves also outlast the rush of the crowd every time … and there are a lot of dead Facebook fan pages to prove it.

Tagged with: