Consumers commonly engage with brand content on Pinterest by liking it, commenting on it, or repinning it to share with their followers. However, there is another approach that takes consumer engagement to the next level:  Inviting consumers to become official contributors to your Brand’s Pintrest board. As a board contributor, users can pin items directly to a brand’s boards.

Why Brands Should Embrace Board Contributors

Board contributors increase a brand’s follower base. When a user becomes a board contributor, the brand’s board is added to their Pinterest profile.  Users who follow all of the contributor’s boards automatically begin following the brand’s board. Pins added to the brand’s board are now seen by these primary and secondary followers, effectively increasing the brand’s overall exposure.

Posts made by board contributors can also be more influential on peer consumers. A recent study by Nielsen found 70% of consumers use social media to hear others’ experiences.  Moreover, these shared experiences greatly influence purchases. Nielsen found that nearly two thirds of consumers make purchases based on recommendations from other consumers.By partnering with actual consumers, pins on the brand’s boards become more organic, more influential, and can ultimately drive more sales.

By empowering fan advocates as board contributors, brands gain a more nuanced understanding of their consumer base. Images on Pinterest convey feelings, emotions, and desires. Staying attuned to what contributors pin provides powerful insights about consumers’ feelings towards the brand. For example, examine what types of images are being pinned. Likewise, see if contributor content revolves around a core group of products.  Lastly, analyze which images followers interact with the most. These findings can guide future marketing initiatives and product development.

Finally, consumer engagement is increased with board contributors. What better way to remove the barrier between brand and consumer than by inviting consumers to become a part of the brand’s online conversation? In doing so, the brand immediately becomes more approachable. Studies confirm that brand accessibility fosters a consumer’s willingness to engage with branded pins, which ultimately increases sales. BlogHer reports that 47% of women say Pinterest influenced them to make a purchase.  Moreover, the number of actions taken against a pin positively correlates with the number of product purchases.  This is especially true for pins that link directly to an e-commerce site.

How to Choose the Right Contributors

Consider taking a deep dive on who is following your brand or pinning content from your site. Remember that a content contributor’s pin appears in their followers’ feeds. Therefore, board contributor’s with the most followers have the potential to drive the most traffic to your brand board. Using Curalate’s Review and Respond tools, you can determine exactly which of your fans is most influential for your brand and reach out to them. Let them know the relationship will be beneficial for both parties. This tactic can be a successful long-term strategy for developing influential content.

Brands can also host a Pinterest contest where the winner becomes a board contributor. Tie the contest into splashier marketing launches and ask consumers to repin related content. Integrate this effort across other marketing channels to drive entries. This strategy will provide a surge in traffic and consumer interactions during important marking heavy ups. Consumer engagement will continue to increase as the new contributors generate new followers and content for the brand.

Finally, brands can open up a board to all users. This tactic provides a very large increase in consumer engagement since it floods the chosen boards with new contributors. Given the large number of consumers that may request access, consider setting time or user limits for entry. Use this strategy to prove to your followers that you are listening to them and interested in what they have to say.

For all strategies, be sure to set concise guidelines for appropriate content. Remember that while these users help increase your brand engagement across Pinterest, the pins still represent your brand!

Creating a Collaborative Board

Adding contributors to your Pintrest board is a quick, 3-step process.

1. Click “edit” underneath the board you want to add contributors to. You can also create a new board.

2. Under “Who can pin?” type in board contributors’ username or email address. Press “Invite.” They will be notified they were invited to become a board contributor.

3. Once the person accepts the invitation, they can begin pinning to the board.

Board contributor settings provide organization and security. Users who were added as board contributors can only pin items to the board they were given access to. This prohibits users from pinning items to other boards being utilized by the brand. Brands can also remove contributors or their pins at any time.

Guest author Bryan Nagy is a digital and social media marketer. He has worked with local and global businesses to develop online strategy and increase ROI. He currently works at Vivaki where he manages paid media campaigns. Follow Bryan on Twitter at @BryanNagy.