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Pin It to Win It

Posted on 12.13.2012

Practical Social Selling & Marketing Strategies for Pinterest-Focused Internet Retailers

To influence your search position, drive new visits and promote product sales, there’s no better way on the social Web today than to develop a practical Pinterest plan to make it happen. Fortunately, software platforms are emerging to satisfy both interest and demand.

Social Media Acquisition

In early November 2012, Curalate, a marketing platform for the visual Web, announced the availability of its Pinterest module — Promote. The solution aims to reduce the challenges of running sweepstakes on Pinterest through a system that removes (or at least reduces) much of the friction created by typical Pinterest contests. It does so by integrating registration, management and tracking into its platform (as opposed to using disparate systems to accomplish the same result).

By making contests easier, Curalate believes participation can increase substantially. They have proof. Carnival Cruise Lines, for example, leveraged the Promote module to quadruple their number of Pinterest followers during a recent promotion.

The cruise line invited participants to tell a visual story using Pinterest boards about one of four dream destinations: the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska or Hawaii. Curalate’s visual measurement tools automated contest entry management, enabling Carnival to engage participants with a follow-up email — and engage they did. More than 18,000 consumers who entered the contest ultimately opted-in to receive Carnival’s future promotional messages (that's 45 percent of the total). During the 11- day entry period, Curalate tracked more than 3 million unique impressions for Carnival’s promotional images.

“Curalate enabled us to develop a promotion that was on brand, while making it easy for consumers to participate,” said Carnival’s VP of Digital Jordan Corredera.

Practical Social Selling & Pinterest Marketing

If you don’t plan on using solutions like Curalate’s Promote to manage Pinterest contests, or are just hesitant to become more aggressive about Pinterest-focused marketing, consider the following ideas for pinning to win with social selling:

Start Small with Pin Requests: While the following suggestions will be of a more advanced nature, you can start small by simply including the repin it button on your website. This will be sufficient for most merchants, and they may not have to look further than their existing shopping cart for support, as many of the most popular include Pinterest sharing functionality. Engage with Pinterest Giveaways: Consider running a Pinterest-focused giveaway, where users that pin a pre-defined product image to Pinterest are automatically entered to win that item. Discounts can also be provided to everyone that participates.

Focus Promos on Pinterest Use: Another option would be to reduce the price of an individual item, should the number of pins exceed a predefined number. For example, on a featured product, consider including messaging that encourages users to share.

Think Thematically: As social becomes increasingly intertwined with the search experience, it would be prudent to focus on mirroring content silos (website content categories) available on your website with the Pinterest contests being run.

Let’s Get to Pinning

Pinterest remains the sweetheart of the Internet retail and digital marketing communities. But with big brands experiencing positive results from their Pinterest contests, it’s finally time to start exploring the myriad solutions and strategies emerging for pinning to win the attention and loyalty of users.

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