social media how toDo your customers trust you?

The key to building a successful business is the ability to create loyal relationships with your clients or customers.

In the ‘How Content Can Help You Build a Loyal Following’ episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, Michael Stelzner interviewed Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income.

They discuss how to build loyalty by providing valuable content and making a connection on a personal level through social media.

A great way to do this is to use Pinterest.

Here’s a look at 4 simple ways you can use Pinterest to make connections and provide value.

#1: Tell Your Company’s Story

Every company has a personality and a story to tell. When you reveal your unique story, you help establish credibility and foster a personal connection with your Pinterest followers.

A good place to start is to look into your company’s history.

General Electric has done a great job of this on its “The Archives” Pinterest board. Here, GE pins images of past ad campaigns and products.

Pinterest Archives Board

Products form GE's past show you the company's longevity and their products' evolution.

If you share your company’s story with your audience, you:

  • Show that your business has a history and isn’t brand-new on the scene, and thereby improve your credibility
  • Illustrate that your products and services are not stuck in the past and that you change with the times
  • Imply a sense of company growth and stability as you show your evolution, and the addition of new products can imply company growth and stability

While most businesses don’t have the long history that GE does, there are other things that can be pinned from the past:

  • Company logo revisions
  • Storefront or website evolutions
  • Product or packaging changes
  • Pictures of the CEO or owner in his or her younger years

However, the story doesn’t have to be limited to the past. Taco Bell Careers pins current images of employees working in the corporate offices and in stores on their Pinterest “The Taco Bell Community” board. Doing this will give a behind-the-scenes look and help to portray the company as fun and friendly.

Taco Bell Careers on Pinterest

Featured on this board are images of a jalapeno-eating contest, company award ceremonies and other fun events.

Even if your business isn’t as large as Taco Bell, you can pin images of:

  • Office parties
  • Staff meetings
  • Candid behind-the-scenes photos
  • Photos of pets (even the White House has done this on their Pinterest boards)

Another way to tell your story is to share the causes that matter to you. Many people appreciate doing business with and can relate to a company that gives back to the community.

Mr. Rooter has a Pinterest board to showcase the non-profit foundations they partner with and support. They also highlight what their franchisees are doing on a local level to show that the giving goes beyond the corporate office.

Mr Rooter on Pinterest

These pins display the many ways Mr. Rooter gives back to the community.

While sharing your story, it’s important to remember that your company is more than just a logo. Many businesses on Pinterest use recognizable logos for their profile images, but to build a personal connection, pin a photo or video of yourself.

For example, Bed Bath & Beyond created a board dedicated to their social media community managers.

The only pin on this board is a video of the community managers introducing themselves and explaining what followers can expect to find on the Bed Bath & Beyond Pinterest account.

Followers now have a sense of who the people are behind the Pinterest account. Instead of users leaving comments for a large company, they can now communicate with the actual people who represent the company. This simple video makes a large company feel very approachable.

Bed Bath Beyond on Pinterest

Pinterest followers leave questions and comments for the community managers under the pin.

#2: Recognize Loyal Customers

Long ago, before video game consoles became as common as toasters, kids would have to venture out to arcades to play video games. One thing all of the gaming machines had in common was a screen that would show the initials of the top-ranking players.

Having your initials listed as a top-ranking player meant that you were pretty darn cool. It took time, skill and money to achieve that status and the initials were the video game makers’ way of rewarding you.

As a marketer, you can now use Pinterest to recognize and honor your clients or customers.

For example, UGallery is an online art gallery that features upcoming artists. Each Monday, it features a guest pinner to pin to the UGALLERY: Be Art Guest board.

UGallery on Pinterest

UGallery includes the weekly guest pinner's name and website URL in the description of the board.

The guest pinner is featured on the UGallery blog and on the Pinterest board along with their pins. The guest pinners bestowed with this honor are likely to become loyal customers of UGallery and share the good news with their friends.

#3: Make Your Boards a Resource

Lowe’s, an international home improvement retailer, is a good example of a company that uses its Pinterest account to provide value.

Lowe's on Pinterest

Lowe's Pinterest account provides value to followers beyond links to products.

The boards Lowe’s has created not only feature products and projects from their website, they also have many pins that link to other websites and blogs for inspiration and instruction. When Lowe’s customers are looking for help with their next project, they can visit the Pinterest account to seek guidance.

#4: Verify Pins Before You Share Them

Repinning is encouraged on Pinterest. When repinning something that you think would provide value to your Pinterest followers, click on the pin to verify that it leads back to the original source.

Remember, the links attached to pins can be changed or broken. Before repinning to your account, verify the origin of the pin by clicking on it and only repin if it goes to the original source of the image. Pinning images with bad or broken links provides little to no value.

Pinterest is a great social media platform to help build connections, trust and loyalty in a very visual way. Use these tips to leverage this social media platform to build the trust and loyalty of your audience.

What do you think? How will you use Pinterest to build a connection with your clients or customers? It would be great to hear your ideas. Go ahead and share them in the comments below!

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  • Awesome post Cynthia! I find #1 “Tell Your Company’s Story” very interesting and I’m planning to do this on EOF’s 1 year anniversary, and I need to start mapping out a plan. 😉

    SME rocks!

    ~John Lee Dumas

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Thanks John, actually , you rock! I can’t wait to see your story on Pinterest, you have done some amazing things with EOF. If there’s anything I can to to help Please feel free to give me a shout.

  • Dara Khajavi

    I created a Pinterest for my firm, but I find it difficult to make it interesting and engaging. These ideas will definitely improve my Pinterest.

  • Deanna Wharwood

    I created my Pinterest account before the explosion. I see that it is important for me to go back and clean up some of my pins and my profile. Thanks, SME, as always for keeping we business owners on the cutting edge.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Great to hear Dara, thank you! The best of luck to you.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Deanna, so glad to hear you were an early adopter. Pinterest has a lot of potential for marketers, hope you find lots of success with it. Thanks for the comment.

  • Barbara

    When you have a store on a venue like etsy, ecrater or ebay it is not easy to do what name brands do.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Barbara, you’re right. It can be a bigger challenge for small businesses with fewer resources. How about Pinning some images about how you make your product or how you use your product? Or share a funny quote about your niche?

  • LOVE the idea of a guest pinner! I’m going to a client meeting right now and I can’t wait to share it with him, thanks!

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Awesome Maranda! Let us know how it goes.

  • kerrie

    It is very helpful to see how companies are using Pinterest. I’m wondering if you know of the latest demographic stats on users? Are they still primarily female?

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Hi Kerrie, the latest stats I’ve seen are from data collected in 2012 and in the US, the largest group of Pinterest users is female. However, in other countries such as the UK it is more evenly split. The thing I like to keep in mind is that when Facebook started it was mainly college students using it, look how much it’s changed. Who knows what will happen with Pinterest in the future? Thanks so much for your question.

  • Cynthia really a great post. Definitely agree with point 4 as its annoying when the link is broken.

    2 Questions:
    1) Do you know anything that checks links on our boards to make sure they’re still working? Have one account with so many Pins over the last year that I’ve got to believe I’m possibly being part of #4?

    2) Hearing so many conflicting views on using Hashtags. Pinterest says they’re not supporting, yet they seem to still work. Any recommendations?

  • Hi Cynthia, Thank you I will follow up with this info on my pinterest site

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  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Mike thank you and thanks so much for your questions.

    1) Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy way to check if the links connected with your pins are still working. At this time, you’d have to go through them one by one.

    2) While Pinterest was making the transition over to the new look hashtags stopped functioning for a while. Now, it seems that they’re back and better than before. Prior to the new look, capitalization of words within the hashtag could affect the results but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. To make the best use of them as within Twitter, it is best to create unique hashtags.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    My pleasure, glad you found it helpful.

  • Vivek G Maudgalya

    Good one. thanks for sharing.

  • Vivek G Maudgalya

    One more question. do you think that this is a credible channel for B2B outsourcing companies ? Can they generate good leads out of if ?

  • Thanks so much for tips. You’ve got a great site by the way, good content! Have an Amazing Day!

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    You’re very welcome and thanks! Wishing you an amazing day too 🙂

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting


  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Vivek, thank you. I think Pinterest can be a credible channel but success with it really depends on several factors, including the approach you take with it, the type of content you create, your level of participation among others. WIsh I could give you a quick easy answer.

  • Matt Davidson

    Boards can handle video. Repurpose the videos you have in blogs, websites and in e-mail marketing on Pinterest. Remember goal is engagement.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Great tip Matt, thanks!

  • Great tips about putting an organization’s personality on display. Also, good point about putting faces & names with the org via a board. I took notes and will implement! Thanks!!

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Thanks! I really appreciate your comment 🙂

  • More great and creative strategies to use Pinterest. I think with the possibilities and creativity of people we are only beginning to see the tip of the iceberg with Pinterest. Great Post…

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Thanks Dave! I agree, we have only seen a small fraction of what is possible with Pinterest.

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  • One of the “problems” I see with Pinterest is – at least in Australia where I operate – it is very female focused. This means that if your target audience is male, or a mix of both, you could be missing an important piece of the cake.

    For this reason I always recommend to be conscious about who is your target audience. E.g.: if you sell a male focused product, Pinterest could still be an excellent tool, but you should keep in mind that quite probably most users will be females and thus you should find a way to grab their attention and “ask” them to share their pins – which hopefully they will do with their male connections.

  • Will do! Stay inspired!

    ~ John

  • Sunayna Gupta

    Personally i feel Pinterest is one of the most effective addition to the social media websites. It is enjoyable yet beneficial for online business promotion.

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    I couldn’t agree with you more!

  • Cynthia_OhSoPinteresting

    Great perspective Antonio, keeping the target market in mind is key. As for the female focus of Pinterest, it is the same in the US, however, that may change as it continues to evolve. It will be exciting to watch. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  • Deb Photo Mambo

    didn’t realize you could pin videos! Thanks for the tip!

  • Artie

    Great article, Cynthia! Pinterest is such an interesting social medium. I feel it’s probably one of the more useful ones for artists like myself.

    I just had some concerns. I don’t know if you plan on going more in depth into Pinterest in a future article but I could use some help. I wanted to start a “pin it to win it” type contest but I fear that with the new Pinterest some old things won’t work.

    For example, from what I’ve read, it was common to have people include unique hashtags, made for the contest, in pin captions. When the new Pinterest first came out, hashtags didn’t work. Are they still not working? Or can I now make working hashtags for my contest?

    Also, is there a delay when adding new hashtags to old and new pins? Does it take time for them to work? Worrying about hashtags working might be me just being a bit impatient so you’ll have to forgive me if that’s the case.

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  • Maria Elena Lopez Garcia

    I don’t know anything about pinterest. It’s very interesting.
    Thank you.

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  • Thanks for including us (@bedbathbeyond) in your article!


  • Penny Long

    Thanks – this is a great insight into how to market and engage effectively through Pinterest.

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  • Good article Cynthia.