A guest blog post by Amanda DiSilvestro of Business.com.
As with most social media sites, Pinterest started out as a place for individuals to connect with friends and then developed into a place for businesses. Pinterest is currently on the brink of individual-to-business use, so now is a great time for your company to get started. This new site has been growing exponentially since its launch in March 2010 with nearly 11.1 million unique visitors according to Site Analytics.
For those who are unfamiliar with Pinterest, it is the social networking of visuals. It allows people to “pin” pictures that they like onto their virtual boards. Most people use these photos and boards as a way to plan an event, such as a birthday party or wedding, because it allows them to see the color scheme and overall theme of the event all in one place. However, people have slowly begun creating boards simply for fun. They may have a board titled “things I like” or “things that I think are funny” as opposed to a collage of details for a specific occasion. Below is an example of a board that someone created of a compilation of their favorite foods:
People not only have the ability to pin things they see onto their Pinterest boards, but they can comment on photos, like photos, and follow certain subjects or certain people. In other words, the site has a definitely social media feel.
Tips and Tricks to Using Pinterest to Help Build a Brand
What most companies don’t realize is that you do not have to be a design company to use Pinterest to your advantage. The site isn’t strictly photographs. Infographics as well as videos are welcome on Pinterest and can be added to someone’s board.
Below are some of the reasons that every business can benefit from Pinterest.
Visibility and SEO: Every image that is pinned will include a link back to the website where it originated. This helps to spread the word about your company and what your company can offer. Not only will this improve the visibility of your brand, but there are SEO perks because the links will count as inbound links.
Photography Popularity: People are simply more interested in photos than they are articles. Part of the reason every article on the Web is accompanied with a photo is because photos can grab the attention of readers. Infographics are also extremely successful because they are an alternative to blocks of text. In other words, a site centered around photography is only going to continue to grow. This will further increase the visibility of your site.
Interaction: The site will allow you to interact with customers, clients, and others in the industry in the same way other social networks do. This will help you build connections through a medium that is comfortable for your customers. It’s also extremely simple to manage Pinterest (unlike many of the other social networks), so this will help save your employees time while still building relationships.
Target Audience: People choose which topics they would like to follow and which topics interest them. If they choose “business,” for example, as a subject that interests them, then your photos and/or infographics will come up. In other words, you will be getting the right sets of eyes looking at your material. Because everything links back to your site, this could be a great way to find potential customers.
Here's another example, the MarketingProfs Pinterest board:
Once you’ve decided that your company can benefit from Pinterest, there are a few steps you need to take. The first thing that usually surprises people: You still have to be invited.
How to Get Started with Pinterest
Although having to be invited to the site may seem like a drag, it’s typically a very short process, and it helps to keep the site regulated. In other words, you won’t find any spam on this social networking site (certainly a change from the others).
If you visit the Pinterest homepage you will see a big red button that says “Request an Invite.” Click on that button, type in your email address, and in a few days, you’ll be ready to go.
Once you’ve been invited, it’s time to get started. Below are a few quick steps to get the ball rolling:
Create your profile by clicking your name in the top right hand corner. You can then click on “edit profile” and add your company logo as a picture, a little snippet about your business, and your location.
You can then click “Add” and then “Upload a Pin” to add photos from your website or browser.
You will then be ready to start pinning and creating your own boards!
The site is extremely simple to navigate, so your team should have no problem figuring out how to create a great profile and add some great images. In the end, you should find that Pinterest is a lot of fun. It works well when it comes to marketing, but it’s also a great place to see some great things.
And to follow the MarketingProfs boards, click on over to its Pinterest Account.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to starting a small business. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including marketing best practices to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business search directory Business.com.