Social media seems to be part and parcel of business communication these days. You can choose from Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and so on; or you can have a finger in every pie. It is up to you what will or won’t work for your business, but today we are going to talk about using Pinterest for your business.
Pinterest has been around since 2010, but has grown steadily this year possibly due to the launch of their iPhone app and integration with Facebook. Today Pinterest is the third most visited website in America and has over 13 million users.
Pinterest is driving more online traffic to retail websites than social networks LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ combined, according to a January report from Shareaholic.
Basically Pinterest is a social network. As pinterest put it, this is a social network meant to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” It allows users to visually share, curate, and discover new interests by posting, 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 or pin things they find on the web using the pinterest bookmarklet, pin it button, or just a url.
You can see an example of netaporter’s Pinterest boards here.
You might want to add a ‘pin it button’ on your website to facilitate sharing on Pinterest. Pins added using the ‘pin it button’ link back to the site they came from, which will in turn, increase links and traffic to your site.
Like when Gmail first came out, access to Pinterest still operates under an invitation-only basis. That being said, you can request an invitation, and it shall be granted. Visit www.pinterest.com, click ‘request an invite’ and enter your email address to be notified when you have access to create your account. Or you can ask a friend who already has a Pinterest account to invite you, a much quicker way to gain access than waiting for Pinterest to grant your request.
Pinterest is not just about blatant self-promotion of your products. Like most other social networks, Pinterest is about communicating with others. It’s a conversation through visuals of common interest. You have to think a little more creatively that just posting a picture of all your products. You want to focus on the lifestyle your brand promotes. For example if you sell luggage online you might want to post a picture of your product and then all the great places each piece could go with you. What would go in the luggage in that destination etc.
Pinterest is great for ecommerce and promotion to consumers but can work for B2B too. You might want to use it to showcase your company culture or use great infographics. Link to customers using pictures of them using your product or service and quote their testimonials.
Naturally there are guidelines that you need to adhere to. You should pay special attention when it comes to Intellectual Property Rights and not ‘pin’ something that you are not legally allowed to, this means you should always have a link back to the original source.
If nothing else Pinterest forces you to think outside the square about how to visually market your brand.