Cultivating your Pinterest page

By Jessica Stringfield

Jessica Stringfield is marketing and communications associate at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Jessica Stringfield is marketing and communications associate at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Social media content management can be overwhelming at times, even with the assistance of Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, but establishing a social network presence that works well and doesn’t require a lot of attention is always a great option for the busy PR professional.

In a recent meeting with Cincinnati-based company Ahalogy, an official Pinterest marketing developer partner, I was given great tips for ways to build our Pinterest audience; the best part is that once you build a strong foundation for Pinterest, it’s fairly self-sufficient, which means more time for other pressing projects.

 If you build it, they will come

I am still in the process of building the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Pinterest page, in the infancy of its construction really, but I wanted to share what we had so far so that readers can get a sense of where to begin. I began by looking at our organization as a whole to determine logical categories for our organization and how those categories could translate into Pinterest boards and individual pins. It has been a little challenging.

For example, when it comes to artwork, some items in our collection retain strict copyright guidelines which forbid any type of reproduction. That being said, out of over 65,000 items, we do own the rights to hundreds of items which we can share freely with the public but, as you can imagine, the process of pinning even a small fraction of the items will take a while.

Challenges aside, this creative process is important. For the Art Museum, a tool like Pinterest  can encourage individuals, perhaps those unfamiliar with art, to get excited about what we have, and inspire them to visit to see more. It’s also a way to showcase art programs, outreach and activities. 

Once the Art Museum’s Pinterest page is in good shape with multiple boards, creative pins and interesting content, we can start to spread the word via our other well-established social media networks. We have close to 40,000 followers on both Facebook and Twitter and 4,000 on Instagram. Harnessing them should be fairly easy, especially if we keep an eye on what is trending on Pinterest and try to relate Art Museum content to those trending items.

Other than that, the upkeep related to Pinterest should be fairly minimal and the reward is great.

Harness traffic with trends

The ebb and flow of trending Pinterest items can seem random but a recent blog by Susan Wenner Jackson, vice president of content partnerships for Ahalogy, explains trends and how they appear on Pinterest. These trends are based on “Ahalogy’s analysis of millions of unique pins and re-pins on Pinterest. If you are new to the Pinterest scene, this may be a good place to start.

Who uses Pinterest?

All public relations professionals know that identifying your target audience will help you to construct an overlying marketing plan for how to proceed with any project. So, the first step with Pinterest is to see if the existing audience applies to your business or organization. Ahalogy offers a free download of their 2015 Pinterest Media Study which was just released on July 29, 2015. This is a great way to dive into some data to see if it’s right for you.

Research on Pinterest?

Are you a professional in a research-based business or organization? You can even capture data using Pinterest. Edelman Berland, the world’s largest public relations firm, has some great tips for using Pinterest for qualitative research and their suggestions are easy to implement. Need feedback on why a pin within a certain subject is popular? Have respondents tell you why they think it’s popular and what they take away from it.

What’s next for social networks?

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on upcoming networks that may help you improve engagement among your target audience. How do you keep things interesting? We are all aware of the current rulers of social media land ... but which networks will emerge in the near future?

A recent article in April 2015 by Verdin Marketing says that according to Hootsuite, 1.7 billion people are using social media worldwide -- so it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. Verdin also named several different social networking companies to keep a close eye on and my personal favorite is Space Tag.

Space Tag uses GPS information so you can leave a picture with a note on it in a certain area.  When another person enters that area, the picture and message will appear on their phone. This is a great new, interactive idea for restaurant, museum or retail marketing and I can foresee the museum using it for art facts or information for our visitors.

So, whether it’s Facebook, Pinterest or some new social media network, exploring your options for how to reach your audience is always wise. With a little research, time and practice, you’ll be a social media pro before know it!