Social media is a great way for franchisors and franchisees to define their brands and draw customers to their businesses. However, keeping up with changing trends can seem like a daunting task. With all the different social media options available, many businesses just don’t know where to start.
Pinterest is one of the most recent entrants into the social media game. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, which rely on text-based “status updates,” Pinterest allows users to “pin” pictures or videos to “pinboards” on various topics. The social element arises when users “repin” items that others have already posted.
Women between the ages of 25 and 34 make up the majority of Pinterest users, though the site can be particularly helpful to franchisors or franchisees looking to tap into this valuable market.
Creating a Pinterest Marketing Strategy
As with all marketing techniques, Pinterest will only work for businesses that have a well thought out social medial plan. If you are considering marketing your franchise on Pinterest but are unsure where to start, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Learn the rules: First things first – make sure you understand Pinterest’s terms and conditions before starting your campaign. The most important rule to understand is Pinterest’s prohibition on direct marketing. Posting images of your product is prohibited. Instead, create boards showing how your products can fit into different themes and encourage users to share their ideas.
- Understand your brand: Pinterest is all about image. Spend some time thinking about “who” you are and how you want to project yourself. It may be helpful to start by identifying your target audience and then going on Pinterest to see what they are posting. It works best to project your own unique style; trying to appeal to everyone will likely result in a diluted message.
- Know your strengths: Define your biggest selling point and figure out how to turn that into compelling visual imagery. Make an effort to stand out. Most Pinterest users are scanning hundreds, if not thousands, of images at a time. You need to post content that will trigger their “I want that” reaction right away.
- Be collaborative: Like all social media, Pinterest is not a one-way street. Start by placing a “pin this” button on your website to make it easy for users to share your images. Then, expand your reach by repining, commenting and engaging in dialogue with other Pinterest users.
- Be selective: Nobody likes spam. Although it is important in marketing to say something, often, it is equally crucial that you have something to say. Before you pin something, ask yourself “does this fit into my strategy or am I posting just to post.”
Following these tips will help you get started on the right foot. Of course, as with all marketing strategies, it is important to revise your marketing strategy as trends change. Now more than ever, staying involved with social media is a crucial element of franchise marketing.