Pinterest for Business: The Latest in Social Media Marketing

Pinterest for Business - LogoBy now, you’ve likely received at least one or two invitations to join Pinterest, the latest big social media network. You may even have accepted the invitation and started browsing the pins of your friends! But have you thought about using Pinterest for business?

Over the last two months, the Internet marketing blogging community has been exploding with Pinterest articles. Businesses are finding that Pinterest is generating more traffic than other social networks such as Google+ and LinkedIn.

Why? Because it’s visual, fun, and addictive!

Before we dive in to Pinterest for business, let me give you a brief introduction:

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest - Repin Like CommentPinterest is a social media site, which revolves around boards and pins. Huh? Let me explain: You create pin boards with different topics like “Gourmet Food” or “Baby Stuff” or “Hot Cars,” and then as you browse around the Internet, you can pin images to your boards. You can also add a brief comment to your pin.

It’s like bookmarking. But for pictures. And cooler.

You can follow people on Pinterest and “repin” their pins. Further, you can like pins and comment on them (see right).

Pinterest is hugely popular, because people like looking at beautiful, interesting and useful content. They also enjoy connecting with people with similar interests.

Get it? P-interests…

To add the “Pin It” button to your bookmarks bar, visit Pinterest Goodies.

Using Pinterest for Business

OK, let’s get to the good stuff. There are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of ways to use Pinterest for business.

Beth Hayden provided 56 ways to market your business on Pinterest in a Copyblogger article a while back. I encourage you to read this when you have some time.

I’m going to focus in on three main approaches:

Drive Traffic to Your Website with Fun, Useful Information

Colby Almond wrote a wonderful blog post on the SEOmoz blog about how to go viral on Pinterest. In this post, he introduces the concept of Instructographics:

Instructographics are a vertical representation of creative ideas or steps that guides the user to a specific deliverable. ~Colby Almond

He differentiates instructographics from infographics in the following manner: “…the instructographic walks the user through a series of instructions that will result in something useful in real life.” (See example in the above-mentioned article.)

There it is – useful. People like useful.

Use Boards to Communicate with Customers

If you are working on any type of visual project for a customer, boards can be a great communication tool. Consider the following:

  • Florist: Pin flower arrangements for an upcoming wedding.
  • Real Estate Agent: Use boards to suggest available homes to visit.
  • Photographer: Pin different settings and styles of photography for an upcoming photo shoot.
  • WordPress Developer: Pin different themes that you think your customer will like.
  • Interior Designer: Use boards to communicate style, colors, and ideas.

I’d love to hear other ideas for this category in the comments.

Build Your Brand by Pinning Relevant, Useful Content

You are your brand. If you are an expert in your given field, this will help your brand. As such, one Pinterest strategy is to pin information that your followers will find relevant and useful. Here are a few examples:

  • Author: Pin your favorite books and backdrops to your own books (e.g. scenery that inspired your work).
  • Real Estate Agent: Pin related content such as furniture, wallpaper, window treatments.
  • Retailer: Pin images of products you sell and provide useful comments – group products that go well together on a board.
  • Graphic Designer: Pin examples of amazing graphic design that you find on the Internet.
  • Lumberyard: Pin images of things your customers could build, like deck designs, fences, or play houses.

I’m not saying Pinterest will work for every single brand. However, it’s worth considering.

You can ask your website visitors to follow you on Pinterest using the “Follow Button” and enourage pinning by adding the “Pin It” button to your webpages. Learn more here.

Is Pinterest Worth Your Time?

Copbyblogger’s Tony Clark recently wrote an article with the provocative title, Is Pinterest Traffic Worthless?.

The point of the article is that all this traffic from Pinterest is not so useful unless you know what to do with it when it reaches your website. Clark takes a look at actual data to come up with the following key pieces of advice:

  1. You need to have specific goals for using the traffic from Pinterest.
  2. Work with the traffic as you would from any source — driving it to landing pages and through a conversion path.

This is a good reminder to take a good look at analytics, figure out what’s happening with your traffic, and devise schemes to drive the traffic into the conversion funnel. It’s important for any traffic source!

Only when you have done these things will you know if Pinterest is work your time.

Over to You!

Are you using Pinterest? If so, what do you think? Can you use it for business? Let us know in the comments!


tabita
About The Author:  is a freelance writer. She is passionate about helping small businesses and non-profits succeed online and takes every opportunity to write and speak about topics ranging from Local SEO to Social Media to PPC Management. Connect with Tabita on Twitter, LinkedIn & Google+.


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