As a brand or business, making the decision to become active on yet another social network is a big one. You have to be prepared to create a strategic approach, create frequent content, put paid media behind it, etc. So it doesn’t always make sense to enter every emerging channel such as Pinterest. Yet, you can still learn from what’s working on Pinterest and apply it to Facebook, Twitter or wherever you might be currently playing.

Here are a few examples of how you can make your content more relevant by observing Pinterest usage.

Practical value content spreads like wildfire on Pinterest

I’ll admit it – I’m a heavy Pinterest user. In fact, I adopted it before my wife.

As I look through my stream, Pinterest mainly consists of how to clean, cook, get fit, dress and make stuff. In other words, it’s a lot of content that provides practical value.

The best performing content on Pinterest tells you how to do something.

This makes sense for two reasons. First, we like to learn and dream of all the things we might one day do. But secondly, we like to look good to our friends. By sharing practical value content, we are helping our friends making us look/feel like we are in the know.

We earn social trust and credit when we share useful information with our friends and followers.

And we all like that.

Hopefully, you are already imagining how this might apply within your social networks. Consider how the content or links that you post to Facebook and Twitter will help your followers by providing them practical value.

And the content doesn’t have to be yours. You can always link to helpful posts or work with a 3rd party to co-create helpful content, which also builds 3rd party credibility.

Visually tell the user what they need to know

Pin of Baking CupsOne of my favorite types of pins is the one that tells me everything I need to know without clicking through to an article or blog post. See an example on the right of how to write on glass mugs.

Facebook research has established that photos and videos pretty well always outperform other forms of content in terms of engagement rate. So everyone, including your competitors, are posting visual content. What I’m talking about is taking it to the next level.

Differentiate your content and become more valuable to users, increasing your engagement, by visually telling them what they need to know.

Don’t make them click-through unnecessarily (barring some secondary objective like product purchase, newsletter sign-up or site registration).

Learn what your consumers like to share through their pins

Get one on one with some of your consumers and see how they use Pinterest. What are the most common themes or types of content that your uses pin?

Now use that knowledge to refine your content on Facebook and Twitter.

For example, let’s say that you find that your consumers really enjoy pinning amazing tattoos. That’s a consumer insight that you might not have come across otherwise. Now consider how you might incorporate that into Facebook. Depending on your brand, you might host a photo submission contest of your consumers’ tattoos. Or you might take a more abstract approach and develop content around amazing art or self-expression.

The point is to let your consumers tell you what they look for and readily share and then give them that. You will deepen your engagement with users and see your share rate increase.

What other social media marketing tactics have you adapted from Pinterest?