Pinterest is described as a “virtual pinboard” for sharing images and ideas of interest. It’s a unique social network, attracting all sorts of users – from people who love sports to pepole who love weddings.
As a business owner, there are a number of reasons you might want to consider setting your business up on Pinterest. But like all social networks, it’s key to figure out what you plan to contribute and what you hope to gain, before starting out.
How Pinterest Works
Very much like Twitter, Pinterest works by creating a profile, following other Pinterest users, pinning images to the pinboard, and re-pinning (just like retweeting) other users’ pins.
Going into it, you should have in mind what you want to share, and who you want to re-share your content among their friends. The key to any social media success is planning. Spend some time browsing Pinterest before joining so that you have an idea of what is popular and why.
Pinterest is currently open to new users but only by invitation. You can use their online form to request an invitation, or you can ask someone you know is on Pinterest to send you an invitation.
What to Share
I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing and planning your content in advance. Social networks start off by being popular among peers; often times, the business players don’t understand how to connect in a way that doesn’t come off as a marketing tactic.
Plan to inform, connect, and influence. Don’t attempt to sell; it will not work. Instead, educate people and intend to create a circle of influence in which you are a primary influencer. Show new ways to do things – new ideas. If you are a manufacturer of home decor, come up with creative looks for home interiors. Figure out what people want to learn, and then teach them.
Is Pinterest Right for Your Business?
Pinterest relies on the display/pinning of images, so you must know this going into it. You will need to create and continually create content in the form of images. Although this could be a daunting task for some organizations, the upside is that those images can be reused in various forms of marketing, presentations, slideshows, and even YouTube videos.
Social networking is right for just about all businesses, if it’s done well and done in the right places. Before jumping in with both feet, research Pinterest to be sure that it is the right network for your business and the people you would like to attract.
Tips for Using Pinterest As a Business
1. Maintain a high level of interest
Once you’ve determined that Pinterest is right for your business and that you can contribute great ideas to the virtual pinboard, come up with a plan to maintain a very high level of interest. Don’t get caught up in results, such as an increase in traffic or anything like that. Instead, focus on contributing items of interest and drawing a huge crowd, so to speak. Traffic will come as a result of that.
2. Share Others’ Content Often
Just like in Twitter and Facebook, it’s crucial to be a team player with social networking. If you expect users to share your content, be doubly sure that you are sharing other content, too. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you must share the content of everyone sharing yours. Instead, figure out what your target followers like, and then reshare that. That could mean becoming familiar with other businesses and brands that your target followers are interested in.
3. Have Fun
As with all social networking, what you put into it is what you’ll get out of it. Successful social media managers have fun with their followers and that makes it worth everyone’s while. Strive to create a fun, playful atmosphere because that is where followers are going to migrate naturally.
Your Turn: How can you see Pinterest fitting into your business’s social network program? What can Pinterest do for your business that the other social networks cannot do?