If you are of the female gender, or know someone of the female gender (I’m going to step out on a limb here and assume we can all answer yes to at least one of these questions), you have probably heard about the image-driven social network Pinterest. Pinterest is relatively new in the realm of social media, but has quickly gained a large following. Believe it or not, Pinterest can be a valuable marketing tool for your business whether you are service-based or product based.
What Is Pinterest?
Pinterest describes their service as a “virtual pinboard” that you can use to redecorate your home, plan your wedding, or save your favorite recipes. Do not let that deter you! I like to describe Pinterest as visual bookmarks that you can share with the world. You can pin images and videos that link back to the source (We will talk more on this later.) and organize the pins into folders or “boards.” Are you still with me? Think about your computer. Most of us have a standard “My Pictures” or “My Documents” folder where you store your pictures or your documents. Those folders are the equivalent of boards on Pinterest. The pins? Your files are the pins. Imagine seeing each file in your folder as an image, and when you click on that image, your computer shows you the article or webpage where you found the image. It’s kind of like a visual bookmark, a bookmark that other Pinterest users can pin to their boards. Then, their followers can pin it to their boards. Pinterest is for sharing ideas, quotes, articles, blog posts, videos, products, and virtually any information that can be visualized.
How Can Pinterest Be Used For My Business?
So, we’ve got an understanding of what Pinterest is, now, we need to talk about how it can work for you. Do you remember how each of the pins or images link back to the source? Kind of like a bookmark? Well, what if every time someone clicked on your pins they were directed to your website? Or blog? Or YouTube channel? What if every time someone pinned or re-pinned a link to your content or product was circulating the globe? This is an opportunity to get more traffic to your website and get your name or brand more impressions.
Let’s say you have a bookstore that sells books online. How could your business use Pinterest? You can pin images of book covers and add a short description about the book as well as the price. If a Pinterest user is searching for “F. Scott Fitzgerald” looking for quotes perhaps, your pin of “The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald” will surface in their results. That’s one more opportunity to sell this book than you would have if you only listed it on your website.
But what if I don’t sell a product? Some of my favorite boards on Pinterest are organizations that aren’t necessarily known for a product. When you have some time, check out the boards below from Kauffman Foundation and Startup America.
These boards do not promote the organization necessarily. they showcase items that their audience would enjoy. Do you have cool videos? Kauffman pins their videos! Not only can you have a YouTube channel and share your videos through that outlet, but now, you can share your videos on Pinterest (for FREE!). So, why wouldn’t you want another free avenue to showcase your business and reach your audience?
Is Pinterest Right For My Business?
Maybe. Probably. If you have an extremely visually appealing product or if you’re in the wedding, food, fashion, or graphic design business there should be no question – Pinterest is for you! For the rest of us, I think this infographic by Intuit is the best quick answer to this question.
(Click on the image below to enlarge)
If you’re not sure about it, I strongly encourage you to do some research. If you’re still not sold and you have images on your site or content that someone else might want to pin, help them out by adding a “Pin it!” button to your website next to your other social share buttons. This allows your content to be easily pinned by others. I’ve listed some links to help you get started.
Information about Pinterest, on Pinterest: