Pinterest: Get the 411

From the creators, “Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard.” What does this mean exactly? How can I use it as part of my business’ social media plan? We will answer some of those questions, as well as offer tips on how to use Pinterest for your business.

Pinterest launched in 2010 and is growing rapidly. Think of Pinterest like a digital bulletin board.  A place to capture pictures, cutouts from magazines, swatches of fabrics, things you like, things you want, etc., but in a virtual format.  Maybe you found an online store you like, and you want to post that.  When you “pin” anything to your board, your followers can see it and just like Facebook and Google+, people can comment on it, re-pin it to their board, like it, and much more.  Like Facebook or YouTube, content that is pinned can go viral.

Businesses can use it as a virtual catalog. Place all of your products on your board and link them back to your website. Then post pictures of your customers using your product, or feedback you have received on your products.  If you want visitors to get to know your company as people and not just a brand, try posting things outside of your business scope, and let your followers learn more about your company and employee’s interests. Are you located in a great neighborhood, participate in community outreach, or is there something else about your company that makes it unique? Post that, and interact with others that have the same interests.

Do you have a coupon, special or deal that is running? Post it to a deal board, or reach out to individual followers or groups with that offer.

To keep your followers’ interest, an initial pin to your board is not enough.  Follow your followers’ pins, give feedback, but try to be helpful instead of promotional.  In the end, what you want is to have people follow you, and have your followers interacting with your board and/or directing users to your company by posting your products, service, etc. as theirpinterests”.

As with other social media sites, make sure you are ALWAYS linking people back to your website and your contact information.

Pinterest is not ideal for all businesses.  If you can’t put your product or service in visual form, it will be hard to locate or upload an image to tie back to your company. But even outside of selling your actual products and services, as described above, Pinterest can actually sell your company and your brand, if there is something unique or attractive that you can visually represent and attract others to.

The best way to know if it will work for you is to TRY.  Give it a month or two and see if your website traffic, orders, or client list starts to increase.

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