What is Pinterest?
Pintrest is essentially an online bulletin board, which allows users to easily “pin” pictures they like to different boards. When you click on a pin, it brings you to a modal, which enlarges the picture and gives you the option to repin it to one of your boards, share it via Facebook, like it or comment on the picture. Clicking on the modal pin will bring you to the original website page of the photo.
Why does Pinterest Work for Restaurants? Pinterest is above all, fun. It isn’t controversial. Unlike Facebook, it doesn’t promote customer comments and you won’t (or rarely) have to worry about complaints. Instead, Pinterest offers restaurants a chance to express itself through pictures. You can create boards to showcase your restaurant, your menu, and also express your brand.
The pictures you post to your boards are visual representations of your restaurant. For example, if your restaurant concept is Italian cuisine, posting beautiful pictures of Tuscany or Rome would help establish your brand with other pinners. Does your restaurant feature classic American cuisine? Try iconic photos of Hollywood stars, pictures of famous American landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge or the Statue of Liberty. Build a board around your local town, city or state. If your restaurant is located in Maine, you could pin photos of classic Maine like lobster, lighthouses and moose. If you are in Georgia, pinning pictures of peach trees, seascapes or Vivenne Leigh as Scarlet O’Hara would be a good visual representation of where your restaurant is located. Because Pinterest is all about pretty pictures, the photos you choose should be good quality. Large, clear, colorful work best. Nobody is going to want to repin a photo if it is grainy and unattractive.
What type of content should I post on Pintrest?
Once you sing up for Pinterest (you will need a Facebook or Twitter account) you will create various boards that reflect different parts of your restaurant. You can have a board for each section of your menu – appetizers, entrees, desserts, vegetarian options, and so on. Rather than just calling them appetizer, entrée, dessert, try creating something a little catchier- like The Hen House for chicken selections, or Sweet Treats for desserts.
To establish your brand further, think of the type of customer you are trying to woo. What would that person like? Create a board of “cool stuff” or “Laughs” that your customers will appreciate. For example, if you are trying to establish a customer following among late 20-early 30 professionals, your restaurant might pin a meme of Steve Carrel from The Office onto their laughs board.
Along with posting images that represent your restaurant location, you can upload your own photos of you menu, with links back to your website. It’s important to link back to your website, or your Facebook page or Twitter page, because those sites all offer more information about your restaurant.
So How Long is This Going to Take? Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which need to be updated at least daily in order to stay current with followers, Pinterest requires far less time. Devoting 15-30 minutes a week of pinning photos to your boards, liking and/or following other pinner’s boards (akin to friending people of Facebook) is enough to help build your online brand. Though, Pintrest is so fun and easy to do, you may find yourself pinning far more often.