Admit it. You are on Pinterest. A world where Mason jar crafts for your mansion coexist with chocolate-peanut butter-Oreo-caramel-Nutella cupcake recipes.

Once considered just another replaceable social site, Pinterest has proven its staying power.  It’s the fastest growing social network,  the most active iPad channel, and has surpassed Facebook in eCommerce delivery. There’s a satisfaction in “pinning” similar to online shopping – adding posts to your carefully organized and segmented boards feels as if these items now belong to you. And, with just one click, they can.

Pinterest doesn’t seem like the typical online forum for B2B marketing. We’re not used to appearing side by side with vintage jewelry or projects for preschoolers. But as marketers we know we need to test all of our options on the social media marketplace.

At it’s core, Pinterest is an eCommerce site.

Users log on to their accounts where they can access a variety of items for sale, then go to that item’s website (through a redirect form) and make their purchases. Keeping that buying behavior in mind, consider Pinterest as a tool to drive traffic back to your website and increase brand recognition.

10 Pinterest Tips for B2B Marketing:

  1. Promote content – Since Pinterest is so image-heavy, promote new whitepaper or eBook downloads by posting the cover page or primary image of the document as a pin. This way, when users click on the image, they’ll be taken straight to your landing page where they can download or register to download the document.
  2. Display infographics – As marketing information grows and our attention spans diminish, infographics are an easy and effective way to quickly share statistics. These may include charts, graphs or visual displays of comparison about your company and/or industry trends.
  3. Make it obvious – Include a “Pin It” button on your website, emails, blogs, etc. alongside the rest of your social sharing widgets. Mention your Pinterest in email campaigns and on your website. Even try hosting a small contest, to increase traffic, in which the first 10 customers to repin your latest post win free stuff.
  4. Engage readers – Just like your blog, create an environment for guest pinners. Here, your followers can post pictures of themselves using your product, quotes about your company, or ask questions. Encourage guest pinning by engaging on other boards yourself and, remember, there’s no shame is asking for audience participation.
  5. Highlight customer success – Create a board all about your customers. Here you can post their successes since working with you or a quick statistic or quote. These can tie back to customer case studies as you post them to your website.
  6. Collaborate – Pinterest recently released a “group board” feature where you can invite others to pin posts all on one board. This shows your pins not only your followers, but all of your collaborator’s followers as well, increasing your Pinterest exposure.
  7. Stay connected – There’s a reason Pinterest is referred to as a community – not only do users post, but they like, comment and repin with others. Even in a business environment, you must interact with your audience. Create a conversation just as you already do on blogs and other social media.
  8. Stagger your “pins” – Don’t release too much content at one time. When a user sees a dozen pins from your company all in a row, each pin loses its individual value. It also feels like the Pinterest version of spamming, so balance your Pinterest posts just like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  9. Choose images wisely – Include a variety of bold colors, textures and saturation in your images. Best practice is to also keep whitespace and faces limited to promote your brand. Remember, viewers are literally scrolling through hundreds of pictures on a white background, so what’s going to make yours stand out?
  10. Don’t be cheesy – You may want to include a few images of your employees enjoying themselves, but don’t overdo the kitsch. Your Pinterest account is a professional social marketing tool and should focus on your content. Save the selfies for Instagram.