Pinterest is a new virtual pinboard where people can create and manage theme-based image collections to share with the rest of the community. The pinboard-styled photo sharing social website has been growing rapidly since its launch in March 2010, with 10 million U.S. monthly users in January 2012. While Pinterest is typically used socially for people to share photos, recipes etc. that are interesting or intriguing, the site can also be used by companies to network and market themselves.
Setting up your company page
As of now, Pinterest membership is free but invite only. That means that you need to request an invite before you are able to set up a company page. It is important to note that you should use the same e-mail address that you use for your company Twitter account, since you are able to connect the two upon creation of your Pinterest profile. After requesting an invitation, it takes a few days to receive an e-mail from Pinterest allowing you to set up your account. Once you receive the e-mail, you will get a link to click to start setting up your account. After connecting Pinterest with your Twitter account, you are brought to a page to create your Pinterest profile. Select a username that is unique to your company, as well as an e-mail address (same one used for your Twitter account) and password. You are then brought to a welcome page where you are prompted to select categories that are of interest to you. Choose the category that is best suited to your industry, which leads you to follow people who contribute to those categories. When prompted to create boards, you can start developing topics relative to your industry.
Editing profile to market your company
In the top right hand corner of the page, click on your username then settings. The about section should include a description of your company, with inclusion of keywords relevant to your industry. Upload an image of your company logo as well as your company’s website. You can also link your profile to your Facebook and Twitter accounts by turning on those options. Also, make sure you have visibility option off so that your profile is indexed by search engines. The drop down option of pin it button in the about tab in the top right allows you create Pinterest buttons to share on your website to help visitors find your profile.
Boards are used to organize your pins (images) into categories to make it easier for the community to view what you share. In the top right hand corner of the page, click on your username then boards. Go to edit board, then create a title, then description with keywords relative to your industry. Choose Just Me option in who can pin and choose a category most relative to the topic.
The Add+ option in the top right allows you to start adding pins in your profile. Click Upload a Pin to choose an image from your computer or Add a Pin to choose an image from your website. Include a description filled with keywording and choose a board (or create a new board using the drop-down option) to upload the image to. Click the Twitter square and select Pin It. Click Edit, add a link to a page on your website where the photo can be found (such as a relative blog article on your site) and choose a board to add it to before clicking Save Pin. The Create Board option allows you to create a new topic or category for putting additional pins into.
Engaging the Pinterest community
You can gain exposure for your brand and interest in your profile by engaging the Pinterest community without bothering or annoying its members. Go through what others add to their pinboards and like or comment on their photos with positive feedback and praise for sharing the useful picture. You can also re-pin someone else’s picture onto your own profile by clicking the re-pin option. These options are available whenever you hoover over a picture with your mouse. When others start following your pinboards, be sure to follow some of their boards too.
What to share
People in a social community want to view valuable content, not sales pitches. They are not interested in pictures of your business or workers. However, this is a great place to put up pictures of your products or people using your services (such as hair and beauty). If your company is more relative to business management, such as advertising or marketing, then helpful graphs, designs or infographics/data visualizations relative to your industry are great images to share. Be creative, if it looks interesting or holds valuable information, then share it on your Pinterest profile to others who may be intrigued.