Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Pinterest: Turn a Pin Into a Marketing Win

Posted by Liz Schulte on 7/12/18 5:30 AM
Topics: social media, how to use pinterest, marketing

The Pinterest community is active and growing, but how do you turn a site that is known for recipes, fashion and DIY projects into more customers and sales for your bookstore? Today we are going to learn how to turn a pin into a marketing win.  

Pinterest: Turn a Pin Into a Marketing WinPinterest is unlike any other social media platform in that it lacks traditionally social aspects. The key to having a successful Pinterest page is to know your audience and post linked images they will find useful. You don’t have to post original content (but you can), you don’t have to spend time directly engaging your followers and the platform doesn’t require daily activity. These factors make Pinterest less time consuming, but it also brings unique challenges from a marketing standpoint.

Why should your college store consider being on Pinterest?

First, it has a great reach that extends far beyond the number of people who follow you.  Thanks to re-pins and the “everything” browsing option, your post has the chance to be seen by a much larger audience than simply those who follow you. Second, it’s a great platform for people who lack time to devote to social media. Content can be found by doing some simple searches and re-pinning posts that fit into your existing platform — if you don’t have the time or the inclination to create new pins. It pays to spend a little extra time making sure each of your board descriptions explain the purpose of the board and that the pins you share go to real websites. Third, in 2016 Pinterest came in third place on the most used social media platforms just behind Facebook and Instagram by hosting 31% of internet users and driving 25% of all retail referral traffic.

Given the potential for increased retail traffic, Pinterest is worth looking into for your store. Below are some Pinterest boards your college store should invest its time in creating and maintaining to build your marketing presence.

  1. Game Day Gear
    Pinterest isn’t the platform to go against the grain. Users love fashion—to the tune of 146 million fashion boards currently on Pinterest. Pin pictures of your best game day fashions on sale in your store. Don’t have pictures of people wearing your merchandise? Offer an instore discount to people who share photos of themselves wearing items from your store and pin those to the board. The nicer and more polished the outfits look, the better people will respond to them. Don’t forget to show-off cool accessories and nail design in your college colors as well.
  2. College Survival Guide
    Post content college students will find useful, like checklists for freshman moving into the dorms, study tips or a list of the best local restaurants. Think of anything students might actively search for or need to know about living on campus and away from their families for the first time. If the pin ties back to your store in some way, make sure you change the description to reflect that. For example, if you are sharing a blog post with 15 ramen noodle recipes while you are having a sale on them in the store, change the description to “Ramen noodles on sale now at {campus store name}”). The idea is to provide useful content that makes students want to pay attention to what you have to say. (How to Make Your Store’s Pinterest Page More Productive)
  3. Dorm Room DIY
    Pinterest has become the place to go to find great do-it-yourself project ideas that can be done inexpensively. Students want to find a way to make their rooms reflect their personalities. Help them do that by pinning different projects that they can do on campus to make their rooms feel more like home. Want to take it up a notch? Host a monthly Dorm Room DIY craft project in your store where someone on staff can walk students through making a project for their room (like a jewelry organizer that can hang on the wall using a picture frame and burlap).
  4. Tailgating Recipes
    Food is another popular topic on Pinterest. Post simple recipes that can be taken to a tailgate or a party to celebrate game days. Offer a variety of recipes including some for vegetarians and vegans. Making a little extra effort to include something for everyone will give your page a wider appeal. Mix in images of your best tailgating gear (chairs, dishes, aprons, etc.). Is your school not really into sports? Do a simple recipe board with budget friendly meals.
  5. Gifts
    Glasses, mugs, art, office supplies, keychains — anything you have in your store or online that would fall under the gift category. Share images of those items that you have in stock or that can be ordered from your website. This lets your followers know they can order items directly from you rather than going somewhere else. This board will appeal to students, parents and alumni alike. In the page description explain how they can purchase items if they are not local to your bookstore or use buyable pins. Also, try creating gift guides for specific holidays.
  6. Campus Views
    This board can be set up like a campus tour with images of different buildings and little information about them. It can also be used to celebrate the campus community — or a combination of both. Let people submit their images to you or create a students and alumni group board where they pin their own campus pictures. Think of this board as celebrating your school and sharing that spirit with each other. Post pictures from bookstore and university events. (How to Connect With Your Local Audience Using Pinterest)

These six boards are a great start to creating a Pinterest page that people will want to follow. You can have as many or as few boards on your page as you want. Pinterest also offers advertising capabilities such as video ads that can help increase your follower base. Check out some of the best college Pinterest pages for more ideas of ways to make your page more appealing to the campus community. Happy pinning.

Social media is one of the best tools at your disposal for quick and easy  promotion! While Facebook and Instagram maybe dominating your customers'  browsing time, don't underestimate the power of Pinterest to grab their  attention. Check it Out

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