I have just discovered an endless source of time-wasting opportunities – Pinterest. Seems I am a little behind the curve in my discovery, but no matter I am catching up fast, pinning things left right and center. I have found it most useful (so far) for meal inspirations and recipes, and the odd inspirational quote.
Pinterest is basically a virtual pinboard. You pin stuff to your board (well boards in actual fact as you can have one for each topic or idea as you fancy). Other users can then follow your board, or your account, and will see updates as you pin new things. A bit like twitter but in pictures, with comments and likes. Whatever you pin is available for the whole world to see via searches and shares. People can then also repin your posts to their own boards, or email them directly. Its quick, easy and loads of fun. The idea according to Pinterest is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting”.
Ok so it’s a fun diversion, but is this a tool that can be used for business and inbound marketing? Why does it matter?
Well, here are a few reasons:
- Pinterest has been shown to be more effective in driving traffic to your site than Facebook.
- If you are using the Pin It button on your page every single one of those posts will contain a link back to the source content, allowing people to discover your site and all it contains.
- People discovering your site could turn into customers, so Pinterest makes sense as an additional source of leads.
- Pinterest allows people to update Facebook and Twitter when they pin something new – this ensures a wider reach for the content posted, again bringing people on to your website.
In addition to having people share content from your website via a Pin It button you can also create a Pinterest account for your business, linked to your business twitter account and website (no Facebook Page option yet sadly). But as per Pinterest’s etiquette policy please be respectful, credit the original source of the material, and try not to only talk about yourself (yawn). Rather use the tool to showcase the lifestyle or outcomes your brand promotes rather than just the products or services you sell.
- Start a few key boards on specific topics linked to keywords you are already using in your SEO strategy and work towards making it the go-to board on that subject.
- Follow users that you would like to follow you back and are relevant to your business or customers.
- Highlight your best visual content – if you don’t have any get snapping or generate some fancy charts or infographics for upload.
- Create a guest board that your customers can pin to highlighting what they love about your product or service
- Include a link back to your site in the description of the pinned item.
- Make a video gallery (yes you can pin videos too) for even more exposure.
- If you are promoting something new create a board around a hashtag, and then use the same tag on twitter for extra visibility.
- Feature photos from offline events you have held (classes, seminars, functions).
- Share photos of your employees and staff to give people a glimpse of your organisation’s personality.
The brands that have been most successful are getting in on the pinning themselves.
With growth in users of 155% in just one month (December 2011 to January 2012) you really cannot afford to ignore this exploding social network. Remember to use Analytics (or similar) to track all those lovely leads you have generated, and to get an idea of which items are getting the most attention so you can do it all over again!
Thanks to: How to use Pinterest for Business by Magdalena Georgieva of Hubspot