Pinterest is the latest craze in the social networking world. The site allows users to create their own ‘virtual pinboards’, uploading images they find on the internet or have created themselves and grouping them per topic of interest.
Although the concept may sound simple, the ways to use it are endless and include recipe collections, places you visited while travelling, favourite movies and even business promotion.
It is exactly the latter that makes Pinterest a welcome new tool for online companies to promote their products and services and keep existing customers interested in their latest ventures. Here are a few tips on how to use Pinterest specifically for the purpose of customer retention.
Highlight your involvement with the local or global community
In general, customers like businesses with a personal feel and touch. This can translate itself in the use of personalized emails, an efficient and available customer service team or personalized special offers. What may also attract customers and keep them interested in your company is paying attention to social corporate involvement, which can involve the local community for small or start-up businesses, but may evolve to projects or grants on a larger scale for global corporations. Use your personal or company pinboard to showcase local or global charities you are involved with, community projects you sponsor or other social interests close to your company’s own heart. It will make your customers see you in a good light and as a great company to do business with.
Use your pinboard for subtle self-promotion
The keyword here is ‘subtle’, because, as we all know, over-promotion and pushiness rarely works on the weary and savvy consumer. However, using your page to showcase, for instance, images of your office or shop floor, pictures of a company day out or of people actually using some of your products, can really make customers sit up and take notice. In addition, it can be a great way to create valuable external links to your website. Just remember to never lose touch with the personal side of your business and you will keep customers interested as time goes on.
Create new ways of social networking
In the same way that Facebook and Twitter can be used to improve your company’s customer interaction and coax them into sharing your content with their friends, Pinterest offers a ‘repinning’ option to get consumers socially engaged. Try, therefore to keep your images engaging and interesting to share at all times, whether they are regular pictures, outlines of new product suggestions, blog posts or snapshots of your new website design. The more interesting and talk-worthy your pins are, the bigger the likelihood that your customers will share them with other users.
Ask for input and suggestions
Pinterest also allows for the possibility to create a pinboard where fellow users (i.e. customers) can post their own images in relation to your business. They could, for instance, pin pictures of themselves using your products or you could ask them for suggestions on a new product idea or design. The more customers feel that you value their input and that their ideas are actually put into practice, the easier it will be to retain a business relationship with them in the future. Even though social networking is hardly a new concept, Pinterest does manage to bring something new to the table that other networking sites do not. If you have the time to integrate Pinterest in your overall marketing strategy, it will surely pay dividends in the long run.