The most important thing to consider with Pinterest is how people use the site. It’s virtual window shopping, so anything you do on Pinterest needs to center around extremely strong visuals — the goal is to capture someone’s attention and draw them into your “storefront” (click through to your website).
Apartment companies can create their own Pinterest pages (business.pinterest.com), but they should also be thinking about how they can create their own “pin-worthy” visuals. What can you showcase on your website that looks so great that your visitors might want to pin it to one of their boards?
Here are three things that apartment marketers can do to make their content pin-worthy:
Be a trendsetter. Interior decorating is one of the most popular categories on Pinterest. Team up with a local designer to decorate your model units, or find some unique conversation pieces that you can feature throughout your models, clubhouse or leasing office. Show an interesting way to create more storage, add light to a room or decorate a wall. Kaufman Development in Columbus teamed up with an interior designer and a local furnishings store to create a unique look for their clubhouse and models at their newest community, The Gramercy (livekaufman.com/communities/gramercy).
Invest in photography. Once you’ve set the scene, you need to capture the images that will draw people in. Most likely, you’re not going to get the best shots from your smartphone or a point-and-click. You want large, high-resolution images set in the proper lighting. If the budget for photos is tight, look to a local art/design school for photography students.
We recommend using the local photographers who are recommended by Google (maps.google.com/help/maps/businessphotos) — the shots look great, Google helps to subsidize some of the costs, and they even help you set up your Google+ Local page for your business.
If you’re working on floor plans, you’ll probably want to invest in 3-D furnished plans. Try a service like 3DPlans.com to get a professional look that is far more visually interesting that the traditional 2-D drawings.
Make it easy to pin. Once you have the photos and floor plans that will make your visitors drool, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to pin your images to their boards. Lucky for you, Pinterest provides tools to help with this. First, add the photos to your website … make them big, bold and toward the top of the page. Then on the same page of your site, add the “Pin It” button (Available free at pinterest.com/about/goodies — you want the “Pin It Button for Web Sites”). Follow the instructions to configure the button, then add the code to your site (or have your webmaster do it). It’s literally a five-minute job. (See an example in action at millsapartments.net/apartments/the-laurel-apartments.)
That’s it! Now you have great-looking images that draw your visitors in. And while you’re creating your own boards about all the neighborhood highlights you want to share with residents, your visitors may start sharing your images to their own boards. As an added benefit, Pinterest adds a link back to your website, so any images that get shared might end up driving even more traffic back to your site. Happy pinning!