10 Ways B2B Businesses Can Use Pinterest

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In previous posts, I convinced you to consider using Pinterest in your social media marketing strategy, and I reviewed some of the boards you can create for your business.

A frequent question I receive about Pinterest comes from B2B businesses: If we aren’t selling directly to consumers, how can we harness the incredible marketing power of Pinterest?

Pinterest!

Pinterest! (Photo credit: hello jenny)

The answer?

Some creativity and a deep knowledge of what your customer wants.

If you are a B2B business, think about what problems you are solving for your customers. Why are they coming to you? What sets you apart from your competitors? What are your customers’ most frequently asked questions? What keeps them up at night?

Create a list of topics that your customers are interested in and that relate to your business.

For ideas, here are 10 ways that B2B businesses can harness the power of Pinterest:

1) Pin your blog posts and images from your website

The number one mistake businesses make on Pinterest is only re-pinning other users’ content.

Yes, it is advisable to create a good mix of original and shared content. However, if all you are doing is pinning images that link to other businesses’ websites and blogs, that isn’t going to get you very far.

Pin each and every blog post, pin each page of your website, and pin images that link to your landing pages and email sign up page. If you haven’t already, add eye-catching images to each page of your website and each blog post to make them highly pinnable.

English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2) Showcase current clients and customers

With their permission, showcase your portfolio of current and past clients.

Something Blue PR created a board featuring the “Beautiful work from our creative clients”. Constant Contact has a board featuring tips from their “successful customers”.

What better way to build trust and convince people you are the right business for them than to showcase success stories from your customers?

3) Create a board of predictions, trends and statistics

This is a great way to become the go-to resource in your industry. Research and collect interesting and relevant predictions, trends and statistics on a Pinterest board. You can reference these articles in original blog posts, email newsletters and other content for your business.

Maxine Colas, a wine industry news and Bordeaux wine educator has a board dedicated to Wine Market Trends, so her clients can easily find the latest and most up-to-date news in the industry.

LBP Manufacturing, Inc., a food packaging company based in Illinois, created a board of Marketing Trends and Infographics related to the food and restaurant industry.

4) Share infographics

Creating your own infographics has the most bang for your buck, because you can link them back to your website and blog.

Pick from free or low-cost software like Infogr.am, Piktochart, InfoActive or numerous others to create your infographic.

You can also repin great infographics from other sites to get started or to find inspiration for your own original creations.

KissMetrics has a great collecting of marketing infographics: http://www.pinterest.com/kissmetrics/infographics/

5) Pin videos

Did you know you can pin videos to Pinterest directly from Vimeo and YouTube?

Always consider what your customers want to see. Product videos, information on your industry, helpful how-to videos are all good places to start. The possibilities are endless!

6) Information on your products or services

You can pin every page of your website, including your Services page, if you have great images on them.

Don’t forget to include the price and a link to shopping page! Research shows that Pinterest users actually like to see pricing details. Digital Journal found that pins with prices on them (put it in the caption) receive 1.5 likes on average, more than 1.1 likes on pins without a price.

You could also show off all the awesome stuff you do in a fun, visually compelling way, like General Electric does on their board “Badass Machines”: http://www.pinterest.com/generalelectric/badass-machines/

7) Compile a reading list

Pin books from Amazon, find interesting ebooks, collect series of white papers and articles that you know your customers will like and start a dedicated pin board.

HubSpot does a great job of this with their board Helpful Marketing Ebooks: http://www.pinterest.com/hubspot/helpful-marketing-ebooks/

8) Webinar list

Are there other businesses, not necessarily your competitors, which also provide services to your customers?  Of course there are!

Curate and collect a list of the best webinars in your industry and your customers will keep coming back for more.

Care2 for Nonprofits has curated a great list of webinars for nonprofit professionals: http://www.pinterest.com/care2team/nonprofit-webinars/

9) Community service projects

If your company participates in cause marketing initiatives or community service, create a board dedicated to showcasing the impact you are making.

10) Show some personality

Showcase your staff and your office, as Marketo does on its “Working @ Marketo” board:  http://www.pinterest.com/marketo/working-marketo/

Buzz2bucks lets their intern maintain a board: http://www.pinterest.com/buzz2bucks/rosemary-intern/

Conclusion

Whether you are B2C or B2B, people buy from people, not corporations.

B2B businesses need to be as social and as personal as a company selling directly to consumers.

The keys to B2B success on Pinterest:

  • Know what your customers want.
  • Solve their problems in your pin boards.
  • Become a go-to resource for your customers.
  • Regularly pin your own content, directed back to your website, blog, landing page, online store, etc.

In the coming months, I will be blogging for Maximize Social Business on topics that include how businesses can get the most from Pinterest, how to create great pins, what types of boards to create and how to get more traffic to your site using this innovative social networking tool.

Julia Campbell
This monthly Pinterest column is contributed by Julia Campbell. Julia helps nonprofits raise money and connect with supporters using websites, email marketing, social media and other online tools. A social media specialist, she is the Principal and Founder of J Campbell Social Marketing, a boutique digital marketing firm in Beverly, MA. Julia has been featured on MarketWatch, Alltop, Salon, Social Media Today, Forbes and Business 2 Community.
Julia Campbell

@juliacsocial

Social Media Strategist & Storyteller, Nonprofit Techie, Mom Entrepreneur, RPCV. Also at @pinning4good. #socialmedia #fundraising #nptech #sm4np
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Julia Campbell
Social Media Marketing World

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