If you’re anything like us, in the last three weeks you’ve read a million-and-a-half articles with sensationalist titles like the ones above.

Do or die mentality and “must-read” articles aside, let’s take a look at the facts.

Yes, the data shows that Pinterest is gaining in popularity especially among 20-something females, but does that really mean your brand needs to hop on board? We’ll be honest: probably not.

But in case you’ve got the ever-so-contagious Pinterest itch, we’ve laid out some tips for the up-and-coming platform and provided a few real-life examples of companies using the site to build followers and develop brand personality in an innovative manner, essentials to know if you’re adding Pinterest to your B2C or B2B social media strategy.

Basic Pinterest Tips

Use the power of search

Pinterest is a goldmine for inbound links. Users see a cool image on your board and if they’re intrigued enough, chances are they’ll click through to your website. We should point out here that if you want a visitor to end up on your website, you should link there rather than to a jpeg.

According to some search experts those happy inbound links on Pinterest will someday be replaced with NOFOLLOW links much like social predecessors Twitter and Flickr. But for now, why not take advantage of another way to drive traffic to your site?

Positioning

Pinterest is very much a niche platform – people come to find and share very specific types of content. This is your chance to frame yourself as an expert in your obscure field of research, a part-time funny person, or an accountant with a keen since of style. Embrace your weirdness on Pinterest.

Be nerdy

On a similar note, Pinterest caters to the crafty/creative/techy people of the world, so try to publish content that lends itself to these interests.

Stop talking about yourself already

In addition to pins directly related to your products or services, mix it up by posting images only remotely related to your industry, shots in cool spots around your city or even images that inspire you and your team. Showing that your company is comprised of interesting individuals rather than salesmen is means more eyeballs.

Don’t forget your keyword etiquette

Use good keyword text to describe your pins, but as always don’t stuff key terms in a nonsensical manner.

Learn about your audience

Pin based  on what your target audience is interested in. One great thing about Pinterest is that you can easily find out what users are interested in by looking at the content they’ve already pinned. Maybe it’s infographics, maybe it’s pictures of puppies. But once you do a bit of research you can make a judgement call on whether or not you want to cover these particular niches on your boards.

Don’t pin and dash

Platform-wise, Pinterest is fairly easy to navigate. Posting, pinning and commenting aren’t very demanding, but don’t feel tempted to pin a huge amount of content and leave. It’s important not to miss opportunities to engage with followers when they pin your stuff, follow you or comment on your boards.

Pretty pictures do well

Pinterest is inherently visual, so don’t even think about pinning low-res, blurry images. It looks bad, literally. If you have a lot of data to share, consider presenting it infographic form. Pinterest users love infographics.

4 brands doing it right

Marketing Profs

Humor is a major selling point (er, pinning point?) on Pinterest, and that wasn’t lost on Marketing Profs, whose pinboards include “Marketing Humor,” “Marketing Fails” and “No More Boring Stock Photos.”

Marketing Profs has its share of in-depth, data heavy articles on their website but they resist the urge to flood Pinterest with long-form content. Instead moderators post user-friendly image that reveal a playful side of their personality.

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Klout

Klout’s pinboards focus on office culture. We are big proponents of sharing the office coolness factor; if you have something fun going on at your office, show it off to attract the eyeballs of top talent and potential clients.  On Klout’s pinboards you’ll notice that multiple users post content. It’s a way to show company culture from multiple employee perspectives, plus different images from different people will diversify the look, mood and humor of your boards.

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Denuo @ SXSW

Events attract a good amount of attention in the social realm, and the visual component makes them even more fun to talk about on Pinterest. Last year Denuo did a great job of recapping their SXSW experience by creating specific boards for the memorable things they saw over the course of the week. “Best Panels,” “Famous People Encounters” and “Best Schwag” boards give users a chance to relive the interactive event through Denuo’s eyes.

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Mashable

On Pinterest it’s important to focus on easy-to-digest, repin-worthy content. It’s a visually-based platform so stick to aesthetically-pleasing images with minimal text. Mashable follows these rules by publishing quick tips, infographics and humorous images.

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Want more?

Here’s a list of the Pinterest-related articles that we found most helpful:

Conclusion

There’s no need for do or die mentality when it comes to Pinterest, but it is a growing platform with an interesting take on content sharing. The good news is that no one has mastered it yet, so it’s a wide open space for companies – B2C, B2B and everything in between – to try out new concepts and build an interesting personality.

Is your company using Pinterest? Have you added Pinterest to your B2B social media strategy? Share your boards and thoughts with us below, or better yet find us on Pinterest.

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