Madeline Coite of WC Smith speaks on the Persuasive Imagery panel at AIM 2015.

Madeline Coite of WC Smith speaks on the Persuasive Imagery panel at AIM 2015.

Using social media platforms to market a community is commonplace. But Pinterest isn’t generally the first one that comes to mind.

A predominant theme at the 2015 Apartment Internet Marketing Conference was the use of visual content as a marketing device. With Pinterest solely a platform for images, one can bet that savvy marketers are beginning to utilize it, as a panel discussed in Worth 1,000 Words: Marketing With Persuasive Imagery.

Pinterest users typically don’t visit the site in search of apartments, but they can be guided there with well-placed, image-decorated posts.

“The short answer is no, they are not there to look for apartments,” says Madeline Coite, content manager for WC Smith. “Our goal on Pinterest is the soft sell. When you get people back to your website with one of these blog posts, you’d be surprised how many of these people are actually looking for apartments. And you might just have what they’re looking for.”

Coite notes that 43 of the top 50 pins from WC Smith were floor plans of their apartments. Users are being exposed on their own social-media based terms.

“In quarter one of this year, for instance, we had 111 people click through to our corporate website from Pinterest,” Coite said. “Of those people, 2.7 percent converted by filling out a contact form or picking up the phone and calling. Our average lifetime value for our residents is about $100,000, so that’s a potential $150,000 in the first quarter from pins alone.”

Ashley Gorski-Poole, national marketing manager of Lincoln Military Housing, has utilized Pinterest to remove the stereotype about the current state of military housing.

Gorski-Poole’s website offers views of current military homes, which are much more updated, equipped and aesthetic than those of previous decades. With the millennial mother a key target in the military housing industry, Pinterest is a natural fit.

“The average time spent on Pinterest is one minute longer than on Facebook,” Gorski-Poole says. “While it’s a social platform, it also can be a marketing tool.”

Melanie Ling, digital marketing director for Contemporary Marketing Concepts, uses Pinterest to keep existing residents happy. One pin reads: “We Are So Fortunate To Have You As A Resident.”

The panel’s tips for Pinterest included having a high-resolution profile picture with a quick description of the property, using keywords, locations and a verified website link. Juggle your board and understand that vibrant colors are more pinnable than muted tones.

Pinterest’s peak time are Friday afternoon and Saturday.

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