You probably have been hearing a lot about Pinterest lately, but may still be unclear as to what it is or how to use it. If you haven’t heard the buzz around this new social site, there’s good reason for why it’s worth looking into. Not only does Pinterest already have 10.4 million users (still growing), it’s the 17th most visited site and has already beaten out Facebook as the fastest growing social media site. So how does it work and how can a company leverage Pinterest for business?
Imagine Pinterest as a series of bulletin boards, or for the Oprah fans out there, vision boards. A member can make as many boards as he or she likes with any topic or theme. So, for example, if you’re a local restaurant looking to attract the attention of nearby patrons, you might put together a board that includes:
- Artful photos of your dishes
- Art prints with funny sayings about cooking
- Beautiful Kitchens
Or, let’s say you’re a local interior designer who has been having difficulty lately generating a new clientele base. Your pinterest boards might include:
- Professional photos of your work
- A board of inspirational images for each room of the house: kitchen, living room, dining room, bedrooms, baths, gardens, etc.
- Must have items for every well designed home
- The best places to shop for great deals and gorgeous items
- DIY tutorials
So, how does this help your business? Every time you ‘pin’ items you find online or upload an image to one of your boards, your item is shown to everyone who follows you as well as anyone else Pinterest thinks will be interested in your pin. When that happens, other Pinterest users may choose to ‘repin’ your item to their own board. And when that happens, everyone following them will also see your item and may choose to ‘repin,’ thus showing the content to their followers, and so on. Put simply, this site is masterfully crafted to help tons of content go viral.
Now on to the important part. How do you get followers and what content do you ‘pin’ to ensure success?
- For obtaining followers: My first question to you is, does your company have a Facebook page? If so, I recommend using that profile to create a Pinterest page and linking the two. First off, Pinterest automatically subscribes you to everyone you’re friends with on Facebook already using Pinterest. When they see that you’re following them, many of them will automatically follow you. Second, every time you post to pinterest, you have the option of showing off your activities on Facebook. More eyes will see your pins and, if interested, may choose to follow you on either site. After the intial sign up period, I recommend periodically searching for new folks to follow. Are you a restaurant? Look for foodies, kitchen gadget manufacturers, and even cookbooks. The more you follow, the more you’re exposed to and the more people are exposed to you.
- For pinning quality content: Don’t make the mistake of turning your page into one big giant billboard for your company. Of course you want to leverage the site for business exposure, but who wants to follow a sales pitch? Do think of interesting topics that are relevant to your company and, if possible, hit the hearts of enthusiastic hobbyists. Are you a financial advisor? Go ahead and create those boards with tips on how to save money and some of your graphics or charts demonstrating your expertise, but don’t stop there. Create a board of high end office spaces and luxurious office furniture. Maybe you even want to create a board for ‘Office Humor’ including quotes and photos from the show the Office and movie Office Space. Always think about it in consumer terms. If I were just a leisurely Pinterest user, would I want to repin this? Would I find my page interesting enough to follow?
- For SEO: Pinterest boasts big SEO opportunities, but you have to remember to take those small extra steps. Always link your images back to the original source page. Label your pins with clear and strategic keywords or phrases. As users begin to ‘pin’ or ‘repin’ your images, your Search engine rankings will increase.
Are you on Pinterest or considering a page? What is your strategy?