Grab Their Interest with Pinterest & Grow Your Brand

By: Kyle Lacy

From: Garden Chic, Best of Show Issue, 2012

Grab Their Interest with Pinterest & Grow Your Brand

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of Pinterest. This site hit the social networking scene with a bang, and it continues building momentum as millions of people start “pinning” and developing their own personal brands with the products they love. It has the potential to be one of the top new ways to build your garden center’s community and have your customers do the work for you. The main value of Pinterest is the users’ ability to share who they are and what they like (your garden center) in a visually appealing way.

So let’s get down to the brass tacks. Pinterest is currently in beta mode, so you must request an invite to join the site. When your invite is approved, you’re given a virtual “pinboard,” which can be used to create collections of things you love from all over the web. You’ll also have the ability to “follow” and be followed by other Pinterest users. This means you can follow the pinboards of friends, competitors, partners and users. When a user pins an object to her pinboard, you’re alerted, and have the opportunity to also share that object.

Pinterest Fundamentals
Let’s look at the basic vocabulary required to be successful on Pinterest:

• Pins - Pins are images you want to share with your followers. It can be something you created yourself or something you found surfing the Internet. What is valuable about a pin is that, if found on the web, it has a link paired with it. That link gives you the opportunity to share with people where you found the image.

• Boards - Boards (or pinboards) are groupings of pins you have designated as belonging to the same interest or category, like favorite plants, landscaping ideas and recipes from the garden.

• Pin It Button - This browser button makes it easy to pin any image in your current browser view with the click of the button. When you sign up, Pinterest will ask if you want to install the button - do!

• Repin - Repinning is the act of pinning an image to one of your pinboards that was previously pinned by another user. This is important because a customer’s repin is practically word-of-mouth marketing.

The beauty of Pinterest is that anything pinned or shared within the site is easily transferred to Facebook or Twitter. Remember to sync your Facebook or Twitter accounts to Pinterest.

Pinterest is truly a community-building and networking site that is cleverly designed and brilliant in regard to viral sharing. Imagine the potential of sharing your product with so many people, all of whom could become customers. Viral sharing is the epitome of word-of-mouth marketing - the best kind of marketing.

Pinterest is being used by your garden center’s demographic mix. More than 68 percent of Pinterest users are women, according to ComScore. Many are DIY enthusiasts, hobbyists and collectors who use the site as a virtual scrapbook to share things they love and that express their personalities. What better demographic for your garden center?

Use It Wisely
Pinterest can be addicting. Let’s look at some tips so you don’t waste your valuable time in a Pinterest black hole:

• Authentic Pinning - Pinterest should be an ultimate expression of your garden center by using images from all over the web and from your store. Be sure to follow your brand story, pinning the images, videos and illustrations that tell who you are, when pinning and sharing content via Pinterest.

• Showcase Your Work and Products - Showcase your best work, from landscaping jobs to “10 ways to use ceramic container.” Pin up that product picture, and show your customers how they can use your products in their everyday lives. Pin and share gardening and landscaping tips and suggestions from other users.

• Keep Up to Date - Using Pinterest not only builds your brand, it builds your credibility by showing you’re in the know on the latest trends and digital developments.

• Credit Your Sources - Always link back to your pinned images. Give credit where credit it due.

With the amount of data on the web, it is important to realize the true brilliance of Pinterest in the garden center world. Find imagery, video and pictures that drive the understanding of your garden center’s brand and product. Go forth! Pin away, build boards and speak to your passions - the rest will follow.

The beauty of Pinterest is that anything pinned or shared within the site is easily transferred to Facebook or Twitter. Remember to sync your Facebook or Twitter accounts to Pinterest.

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