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Have you heard about Pinterest yet? Yes, it’s yet another social networking platform but it’s also one of the fastest growing and is increasingly being used by businesses for marketing.
Pinterest allows users to visually share, curate, and discover new interests by posting, also known as pinning, images or videos to their own or others’ pinboards (a collection of pins, usually with a common theme).
Users can upload images from their computer, pin things they find on the web and pin other images from Pinterest.
You can also Like or add a comment to a pin, which adds a social element to the platform.
How can Pinterest help promote your business?
Put simply – Pinterest gives your brand exposure to a large audience and has proved effective in driving visitors to the original website.
There are various reasons for this:
• Pins have longevity – your pins may be discovered and shared months after they were originally pinned. Unlike Facebook or Twitter updates.
• Users tend to spend a long time on the site (this can also be a bad thing – be warned that Pinterest is highly addictive and may affect your productivity!).
• Pinterest boards can get very good search rankings maintaining the growth as more people are discovering the site
In addition, social signals (shares, pins, likes etc) are becoming increasingly important to Google in determining search results, so it can also boost your SEO.
Which businesses should be using Pinterest?
Pinterest is going to be particularly effective for those industries where a big visual impact is important, for example: Weddings, Fashion, Tourism, Photography, Graphic Design.
And it’s possible for other types of business to do well too – you just need to be a bit creative in your approach. Software company Hubspot has some great boards – I particularly love the “awful stock photography” one!
It’s also possible to mix business and personal – this is the approach I take. I have a couple of boards devoted to business (one for Paprika Marketing images while the other contains a collection of online marketing infographics) but I largely use Pinterest for my own interests.
How to use Pinterest
Pushy selling just doesn’t work here and to build followers you’ll need to Pin lots of images from other people as well as your own.
• Use it to showcase the lifestyle your brand represents as well as your actual products.
• Mix your own images with lots of content from others.
• Ensure your images are top notch. Quality, styled shots work much better than cut-out product images.
• Update little and often– try to pin a few images daily rather than dozens at a time.
• Make it easy for web visitors to pin your images by adding a “Pin It” button to your website.
Getting StartedBefore you dive in and set up your account, take some time to think about what you want to achieve, the images you will pin and how you are going to organise your boards.
Decide whether to have boards devoted to your products/service or to include your own items in themed boards.
Setting up your account is very easy – just go to business.pinterest.com and follow the instructions. There is lots of help available on the Pinterest site and it’s a very straightforward platform to use. Then start pinning!
Alison Wren loves the internet and helping small businesses use it. She created ecommerce business The Wedding Crafter in 2004 growing it from back bedroom start-up until selling in Spring 2011.
She now runs Paprika Marketing, creating and implementing effective online strategies for small business.
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