Pinterest Guide for the Holidays!

With the holidays, just around the corner it’s time for businesses to get festive. The holiday season is all about spending time with family, friends, and being thankful for what you have. However, it’s also the largest shopping season of the year. As people prepare to host Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities; marketers need to make sure they prepare for the holiday shopping season. Reaching the right customers, conveying the correct message, and using the right marketing channel is crucial for success during the competitive season. Social media channels have been on the forefront of digital marketing for many years and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. However, today I will be focusing on one of the smaller (just recently surpassing 150 million monthly users) social media channels, Pinterest.

Pinterest is a photo sharing website that has often been called a “catalog of ideas’ by their CEO Ben Silbermann. Pinterest is perfect for the holiday season because 70% of Pinterest users use the platform to get inspiration on what to buy (compared to 17% for Facebook). If you are anything like me, I never know what to get people and often search online to find ideas. Pinterest has increased its support for businesses who want to utilize their platform. On their platform, you can create a business account where you will be able to Promote your pins, target customers, and see how it is performing with Pinterest analytics. The Promoted Pins will show up on user's Pinterest Home Feeds, as well as search feeds,  and you can target users who have previously “re-pinned” your content or target new users.

Pinterest also has an array of free features for their business accounts. These include “Rich Pins” where customers get to see more links for your site, product and the price/availability of said product. The “Re-Pin Rate” on Rich Pins is 82% higher than normal pins. The more Re-Pins the better for brands who want to get their products in front of more potential consumers. Even though Pinterest’s analytics are limited to the past 30 days, the analytics dashboard is a great way to track trending products and can be used to determine which pins to buy against.

Another free feature is “Buyable Pins” where users can buy the product straight through the Pin (Pinterest does not take a cut from the sale). However, these buyable pins are only for companies that currently use the following commerce platforms – BigCommerce, Demandware, Magneto, and Shopify. Pinterest looks to expand this feature to more commerce platforms and they encourage companies to sign-up and let them know which platforms would be most beneficial for them to integrate next.

Pinterest is all about stunning images, creative crafts, and recipes. This is perfect for the holiday season as families come together to celebrate. Businesses can use interactive media to create engagement and ultimately lead to a stronger bond with their customers. This engagement will help create loyalty and bolster sales for their brand. The National Retail Federation predicts that consumers will spend close to $900 during this holiday season. Below are just a few ideas companies can use to drive traffic to their website/products  and hopefully get a piece of the pie through Pinterest:

1.       Holiday Recipes

It’s never a bad thing to spice up your holiday feast and try something new. Not only are recipes popular but they are a great way to encourage engagement. Users will often “re-pin” their favorite ideas and share their take on popular recipes. Engaging with your customers and seeing what they like and dislike is important for future marketing programs.

2.       Get Personal

During the holidays people love to share. People are willing to share holiday traditions, ideas, recipes, and even stories. Start a conversation, ask your customers what their favorite holiday traditions are, what they are thankful for, and what their favorite moment from this year was. The more you connect with a customer on a personal basis, the more that customer will love your brand. Having customers share their holiday favorites, whether it's recipes or gift ideas, is a great way to collect User-Generated Content. Creating a completely UGC sourced board shows you value your customers and their opinions. After all, Loyal customers are your company’s biggest advocates.

3.       Segment your Pinterest Boards

Coming up with the perfect gift ideas during the holiday season is a daunting task. Many like myself love to search online for the perfect gifts. Pinterest is a great place to start since you can scroll through thousands of ideas all in one location (and sneak a peek at what your loved ones actually want if they are Pinterest users!). If your business focuses on a large array of products, you can organize these different products into their own separate boards. This will not only help you target the correct customers, but will allow the customer to find exactly what they are looking for.

4.       Use Rich/Buy Pins

As stated above these pins give more information and the possibility to buy your products directly. However if you are not currently using a supported e-Commerce platform, having product pins linking directly to the page where customers can purchase the items is an easy work around. The more information the customer is provided and the easier it is to get to that “buy now” button, the more likely they are to purchase the item.

5.       Family oriented Art & Crafts

The holidays are all about family and your Pinterest board can be too. Family time is something that is often overlooked and playing games or doing something creative together is a great way to spend time together. Easy and fun arts and crafts for kids is a great way to get the whole family involved! Homemade decorations are always the best.

6.       Be Creative

This one may be a bit self-explanatory but BE CREATIVE. Try different things out, see what works and what doesn’t. There are tons of companies on Pinterest and you need to find out what can separate you from the pack.

These are just some general ideas and tips on how to use Pinterest to help your company through the holiday season. Like many of the other social media channels, it takes time to perfect your strategy and gain and audience. Be patient and the benefits will come.