Pinterest – A New Social Media Channel On the Rise

Is Pinterest the right avenue for a small business? Social media giants Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized the way consumers and businesses alike communicate, but recently a new online community is generating quite a buzz.

Pinterest is an online social community where users “pin” articles, pictures, or links to a virtual bulletin board and can be ordered into categories based on the content or theme.

Before you start a pinning frenzy, consider doing your homework. Is Pinterest the right place to increase the visibility of your business?

The Benefits:

  • Pinterest is an informal online community. This makes it a great place to relax and click through an immense amount of content from all types of users.
  • If women are your target market, you’ve come to the right place. According to AppData of the nearly 10.4 million registered Pinterest users 97% of them are female.
  • Brands can be successful on Pinterest if they feature a product with strong visual appeal and are willing to interact to promote it.
  • The Pinterest experience can be customized based upon whom you follow. If you’re all about self-promotion the likelihood of attracting and maintaining a large follower base is slim. You have to be willing to interact and connect with others.
  • A few websites have benefited from huge traffic increases from pins shared from their sites. If you position your brand wisely on the Pinterest network it can translate to large amounts of traffic being directed to your site.

The Challenges:

  • Be aware that everything posted has the potential to go viral. If it does, your business may not get credit for the image unless you have watermarked it in a way that cannot be cropped.
  • Initially all pins shared are linked to either a website or uploaded directly from a computer. As pins are shared and re-shared many of the links are lost in the process. Unfortunately, it’s not a guaranteed way to drive traffic to your site.
  • Upon signing up for Pinterest there is an option to integrate your pins with your Facebook Timeline. If you opt for this permission every item you pin will be posted to your Facebook Timeline and will be visible to your friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Not all content is family friendly, be mindful of what might show up if you have a young audience.

If you think Pinterest is something you’d like to try out for your business, here’s how to succeed:

  • Upload images that draw attention directly to your brand or item you’re promoting. Focus your viewer’s attention right where you want it.
  • Name and categorize your pinboards thoughtfully. The boards are searchable, so include SEO friendly keywords to boost traffic.
  • Follow big names. This was a proven strategy in Twitter. If you follow popular figures or other leaders in your industry they’re likely to follow you back!
  • Describe the benefits your brand can offer, not just the features.
  • Share more than just what products you’re selling. Offer tips, short stories, or innovative products from other companies.
  • Make sure that you’ve completely filled out all of your pinboards before you start following others. Make sure you’re giving them something they’ll want to follow back!
  • Pinterest is all about exploration and connecting. Follow things that interest you and you have fun sharing. That excitement will catch on and further promote your brand.
  • Allow time to log in daily to respond to comments, see what has been added, and expand your pinboards.

Happy Pinning!