Using Pinterest for Business

The internet is a mecca for fads and crazes, often replacing one another before the first has a fair chance to catch hold. One “fad” with both vigor and staying power, however, is Pinterest. It is the third largest social media website, paling in popularity only to Facebook and Twitter. But the more impressive statistic is that Pinterest was the fastest site in history to reach the 10 million monthly unique visitor milestone. With such heavy web traffic and an ever-growing presence, businesses everywhere are searching for ways to tap into the site’s marketing potential.

So what exactly is Pinterest and how does it work? Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo sharing website, where users generate and manage theme-based, categorized image collections, typically reflecting the individual user’s personality and preferences. Users can upload their own images or they can “re-pin” other users’ pins, making individual pins accessible to a wider audience. At its most basic level, the site allows users to share creative content and ideas in a fun and interactive way.

Since its explosion in popularity, marketers everywhere have been searching for ways to capitalize on the site’s popularity. Various articles profess “tips” on how best to make use of the site’s considerable traffic. The most comprehensive resource available at the moment is a free ebook called How to Use Pinterest for Business. The book can be found at the following link:

But if you don’t have the time to peruse the entire ebook, here’s a short list of helpful tips:

  • Plan your “brand” before you pin and avoid excessive self-promotion. Statistics show that the best way to maximize advertising potential on Pinterest is to make 5 to 10 percent of social media activity self-promotional. Make sure to plan and create the boards that will best represent the “who” of your company. For starters, study what your target market is pinning and tailor your own pins accordingly.
  • Follow users who pin content that would be of interest to your clients. By following them and re-pinning their content, you will begin to build your own community of followers.
  • Make your presence as interactive as possible. Comment and like other users’ content, connect your content to other social media websites, and say “thank you” to those who re-pin your original content.
  • Become the go-to source for information in your industry. If you provide users with valuable information on all aspects of the industry, you will become the trusted source in your own niche market as well.
  • When you do engage in self-promotion, make the promotion itself as interactive as possible.

Many savvy users host contests or offer promotions through pinning. For example, your business could host a contest that requires users to take pictures of themselves using your products in creative ways, offering a prize to the user who receives the greatest number of re-pins. Or, if you prefer to level the playing field for users with smaller followings, you could create an ad that offers users a percentage off of merchandise for re-pinning.

Happy pinning!

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