As online marketers, we’re always looking for the next big thing when it comes to social media. Many of us have already jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon to promote our company blogs, and the businesses we represent.

From an SEO and ORM standpoint, Pinterest has the potential to really help you out. Not only is it pretty easy to rank for your business’ Pinterest profile, but the board names for Pinterest rank really well too. If you work the name of your company into a couple of your board names, you’ve got at least three spots filled on the first few pages of a Google search. For example, you could have one board that is just under your company’s name, and another board that says “[Company Name] Causes and campaigns” and you can pin images related to your company’s social justice standpoints. In one move, you’re helping SEO, ORM, and PR. And you get to be on Pinterest at work. Pretty neat!

The benefits of a business Pinterest account are obvious but, in actuality, few businesses are using the image-driven social media hub to its full potential. Many marketers look right past a powerful tool that Pinterest has to offer — secret boards.

Most online marketers are results-oriented, fast-paced folks who love the thrill of creating viral content and the immediate gratification that goes with it. So the idea of creating content that is meant to be “secret” sounds too foreign and scary for them.

Here’s how your business can use Pinterest’s secret boards.

1) Come up with a special offer, exclusive event, or promo deal.
2) Create a secret Pinterest board for your special offer that centralizes around a specific theme.
3) Invite a select number of your followers to become pinners on your secret board.
4) Ask them to add pins that relate to the given theme, and tell them that whoever has the most popular pin, will win something big (ask them not to repin their pins on the secret board to any of their other public boards just yet).
5) After everyone has added their pins, make the board public and promote it.
6) Whichever user-generated pin gets the most amount of repins once the board has gone public, receives a trip, or prize, or one-year subscription to your service, etc.

Why This Works

Being invited to a secret board is exciting and makes people feel special. Also, because your followers will be competing for a prize, once you make the board public, they will be repinning their once secret pins like crazy, and urging their friends to reshare their stuff too. Therefore, your business will have a flurry of people repinning images from a board that you created. Basically for the duration of the contest, you’ll have a virtual army of Pinterest marketers promoting their own content, but also promoting your company’s content at the same time.

Couldn’t You Do This With a Public Board?

Yes, you could. But there are a few reasons why using a secret board is better.
First of all, it can be risky to let your followers pin onto a public board that is connected to your business. With secret boards, only the board’s creator can approve/disapprove any content and invite more people to pin. While it’s true that people can repin their content from the secret board to other public boards they have, these repins and likes will not display information about the secret board or link back to the secret board. In other words, even if someone pins something negative or inappropriate to your company’s secret board, nobody can ever connect it back to your company through Pinterest.

Second of all, collecting all the content upfront, and then switching from private to public is like opening up a floodgate. For a week or two, Pinterest will be flooded with people repinning your company’s content, and your company name will be all over the place, reaching thousands of people. Using Pinterest’s secret boards in this way enables your business to make your followers feel special, provides you with tons of user-generated content, and gives people a real incentive to make sure your business is in the spotlight on a major social media network.


Jessica Ruane is a copywriter and social media specialist for Instant Checkmate. Follow them on Pinterest to get an invitation to one of their secret boards.

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How Your Business Can Use Pinterest’s Secret Boards

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