You find a neat recipe and want to remember it for later. Stick that idea up on a corkboard, in a folder, and… your online pin board? Yeah, that’s exactly what Pinterest, a new microblogging social site offers. Pinterest gives a new way to connect with customers, drive traffic to your site, and get your brand out to a new audience that isn’t active with you on Facebook, Twitter or your blog.
From recipes and decorating tips, to funny cat pictures and DIY projects, Pinterest is a vibrant community filled with people of all ages, brands, and businesses. While I could tell you more about what Pinterest is – an online board to share things that interest you and allows you to freely browse any other board (that means no privacy settings as of yet!) – I’m going to go straight to what Pinterest means for your business. If you want to find out more things like how to add a Pinterest button to your site (there’s a button to make it easier to pin things from ANY site and one to add to your site to let OTHER people pin and Solid Cactus can do this for you), how to start an account (you’ll need to request an invite from here or ask a friend to invite you), then take a look at Pinterest’s very simple Help section.
Instead, here’s what you need to know about Pinterest as a business:
- More so than any social network, Pinterest does not want you using it ‘purely as a tool for self-promotion.” This means you can post products from your site, but do so in a reasonable manner. When you look at brands like Real Simple, you’ll notice a lot of pins from RealSimple.com. You’ll also see Real Simple Finds boards which contain pins from other sites as well. Lesson? Be social.
- Pinterest is currently under a lot of flak for copyright issues. Namely for photographer’s rights, so be aware of any original photography you repin on the site. If you’re going to repin something, be sure to at least add your own comment below to make the pin’s content your own.
- Pinterest isn’t about getting to socialize with other pinners. It’s about sharing content and providing content that is worth sharing.
- Follow other boards. Not only will people notice your account that way, but you can get ideas for your own pins and find things you’d like to repin. If you’re selling tools, follow home decorating boards that offer home improvement ideas that can be achieved with your tools.
- If you’re pinning products that are priced competitively, include the price amount with the $ character before it. Your pin will then be displayed with an attractive price banner and included in the gifts category as well. (There are general categories that a person can sort by as well as Popular posts, and Videos.)
Once you understand the basics, ask yourself, should I be on Pinterest?
First look to see if people are already pinning from your site, then you know that your products will likely fit in naturally with other people’s ‘pins.’ You can do this by swapping out your site domain into this URL.
Next, check Google Analytics to see if your site is already getting traffic from Pinterest.
Then see if your services or products can be classified under any of the categories that boards are listed by such as, Cars and Motorcycles, DIY & Crafts, Fitness, etc.
Do you have a blog, informational articles on site, or other valuable content? These too would be suited well for pinning. Also, do people want to share your products? I may repin a recipe, and the recipe was linked to the bakeware used for the recipe (along with the recipe of course.) If you had a picture of the car that your car part goes into on the page, that would be a great repin as well. Pinterest keeps sites from being misleading or false by only allowing for a pin to pull from the pictures on a site. So part of pinning is keeping up a site with great images as well. Which you should be doing anyways!
Finally, do you have photos on site? Pinterest is a very visual platform. It’s not just about the words; you want to be able to say your message with a photo or very brief words. The attention span on the site can be gone in a wink. I’ve scanned through twenty or more pins in a few seconds just by scrolling, and then other times stopped and pinned ten in a row.
If you’re looking for more than guidance in stepping into yet another social network, Solid Cactus offers a Pinterest management offering that may be just what you need. The best thing you can do as a business owner is start an account and test the waters, see if it’s something that you need help with and can manage under Pinterest guidelines.
How have you seen Pinterest used by businesses?