“If your brand isn’t on Pinterest, you’re getting left behind!” “Pinterest drives more sales than Facebook!” Advice like this, from consultants, social media experts, and–yes–websites like this one have a lot of truth to them. But they’ve pushed some small companies into jumping into Pinterest without taking the time to think things through. And that’s led to a lot of mistakes, according to Debba Haupert, channel director at the social media marketing firm Collective Bias, and creator of the blogGirlfriendology.
Here are the seven biggest mistakes she sees companies making when they use Pinterest:
1. Starting out without a strategy.
“We have to be on Pinterest because everyone else is!” isn’t a strategy. And if you don’t have a strategy, you may be wasting time, Haupert warns. “Know your keywords and use them in profiles, pins, and boards,” she says. “Know the categories where your customers will find you. You have to put some thought into it before you jump in.”
Using lackluster graphics.
Pinterest is image-driven and your pins are competing against professional photography from landscapes to kittens doing cute things. “You can’t be cheap about your photography,” Haupert says. “If you’re going to make the effort and dedicate the budget and hours it takes to be on Pinterest, you have to have engaging, amazing images that will get you noticed and re-pinned.” For instance, she explains, if your product is a vacuum cleaner, don’t just post shots of your product. Post a before-and-after image of a carpet after it removed a stain. Pinterest users with stains on their own carpets will take notice. Another option is to skip the photography and create interesting graphics with text or charts, she adds.
Brands become boring if they appear overly corporate, Haupert explains. “Legal worries have scared some companies away from pinning stuff. That’s too bad because nobody will follow them if all they’re pinning is their catalogue or images from their website. I’ll just go to the catalogue or the website if I want to see that stuff.” If this is you, she suggests adding a line to your bio explaining that your pins are merely intended to share what you find interesting, not necessarily endorse it.
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