The media has christened Pinterest as the ‘hot frontier' of social media. It's ‘the cool new kid' on the block. And every small business needs to be hanging out with that cool kid. After all, the cool kid's parents can buy all the stuff you’re selling.
But seriously, Pinterest is an increasingly important social sharing destination that’s driving more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. If properly used, the site could extend your brand into a new demographic, facilitate link-building, bring you places Google won’t and allow you to better share your visual content.
What is Pinterest?
First things first: Know the medium and know the audience. Pinterest is built and designed for visual candy: photos, cool designs, infogaphics, art — almost anything that strikes your visual fancy. This is not a space for images of your ugly PowerPoint slides or the crappy logo you built in MS Paint late one night. In the company’s words: “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.” To put it simply: If it ain’t pretty don’t post it and don’t pin it.
Keep in mind, Pinterest’s US users are predominantly women (around 80 percent of them, in fact). If your product is designed for women, or under-used by women, this is a perfect opportunity to cater to your target market. Even better, if you’re a retail-based small business, Pinterest is the top driver of traffic for retailers. As an early-adopter of Pinterest, you have a window into a very specific, and potentially lucrative demographic.
Boost Your Brand, Improve SEO
As a visual and social medium, Pinterest offers you enormous potential to extend your brand and build links. There’s a link behind every Pinterest post, which means every time someone pins your content, you’re building credibility and stronger SEO. And if people really like your stuff, it has the potential to go viral after a pinning frenzy. Pretty soon, you’ll have entire boards, or user-created sections, dedicated to your brand!
Plus, you can do a bit of anecdotal market research. Who’s pinning your stuff? What else do they like? Pinterest allows you to get a sense for other brands your customers are into and other products they might be interested in. Say you’re a boutique coffee shop. Curiously all the people pinning your stuff are also pinning vanilla-frosted cake. Something tells me you’ll be offering vanilla-frosted cake next week.
The key to getting the kind of attention and recognition your brand deserves is to be an active member of the Pinterest community. Pin, re-pin, set up your own boards and interact with people who might be interested in your product. But don’t just promote your own product. The ‘social’ in media goes both ways. No one’s keen on self-Pinterest, so don’t use the site to shout your brand in people’s faces. Instead, allow your beautiful content to catch their eyes, and allow your own pins to attract the like-minded. You must be active on Pinterest by liking, pinning and re-pinning. Also, encourage your employees to become active Pinners and show interest in things other than your coffee shop. Try to build a community.
Make it Easy For Your Fans to Find You
Don’t forget to make it easy on people. Build pin-it buttons into your website. Make boards connected to your brand and beyond. Link to Pinterest boards from Twitter. Share your pinnings on Facebook. Take photos exclusively for Pinterest. Design infographics and pop them onto your page.
Guest Post provided by Matt Puettmann. Matt blogs about social media trends and veterans’ issues for Veterans United Home Loans, the nation’s leading provider of VA loans.
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