It’s official, Pinterest is becoming the latest craze in social media – the chic new visually stimulating social sharing site is quickly joining the likes of Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon.
And just like other social media platforms, there is a big rush of users joining the site to see what the fuss is all about.
If history holds true, eventually the active user base will slowly decrease until it consists of just those who are active in the community. So approach Pinterest with caution at this point. You should definitely begin leveraging its potential, but without making it the center of your marketing campaign. And just like all of the other social media services, if you’re not going to be an active and engaged user, you will not recognize the benefit of Pinterest.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is the newest member of today’s most popular social media websites, but instead of using written content as substance, it uses images and video. It allows users to “pin” images and video to a virtual bulletin board they create. They can be photos they took and uploaded, images found on other websites, videos they find online or videos they have created themselves.
A user then shares that pin with their friends, who can then like or repin it to their boards. The primary purpose is to share your interests with friends through images and video.
Right now, Pinterest is available by invitation only, although as it gains popularity they seem to be opening the invite list more and more. Eventually they will be opening the service up to the general public.
How can I use Pinterest for my Business?
Right now Pinterest has limited uses for businesses. They do not offer any advertising or paid placements like other services do. Although they are analyzing business models and will surely come out with a paid service in the future once a solid user base is established. But don’t be discouraged, there are still a few clever strategies you can use to build targeted traffic, leads and conversions from Pinterest.
Pinterest Isn’t for Everyone
First and foremost, if your business doesn’t have images or video associated with it, or is a business you can’t represent visually, you’re going to have a tough time finding any use in Pinterest. If you fall into this category, you need to come up with a way to represent your business visually, whether it is photos of your customers using your product or service, photos of your products or infographics representing the services you provide.
Once invited, you can create your own account and begin pinning images directly from your website. But this will not be enough.
You’re going to need to build a strong following and network with your friends from Facebook and other social media sites. The objective here is to get other Pinterest users to see your images and like or repin them. Because Pinterest notes which website the images came from (and provides a hyperlink), users will be encouraged to visit your site to learn more about your product or service.
It is important that the images you pin to your board are compelling enough to get a user to find interest in your website. Pinterest, like other social bookmarking services, offers an add-on to a user’s browser toolbar allowing them to pin images straight from the browser as they’re surfing the web.
For example, if you have a personal training business, take photos of your clients while working out (get their permission first obviously). Then simply upload those images to your website and pin them on a Pinterest board you’ve created. You can also encourage your clients to pin their own image from your website. If done right, and your images or videos are liked and repinned many times over, It’s possible to get your message in front of thousands and thousands of interested eyeballs in a relatively short amount of time. And since Pinterest adds a link to your website on the boards, you will not only be gaining valuable social backlinks to your website, you will also be increasing your website traffic with highly targeted visitors – increasing your leads and conversions.
Pinterest Potential yet to be Realized
Right now the Pinterest community is built on users finding interesting images and videos to share with their friends. The full possibilities of Pinterest have yet to be realized, so now is a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor, be creative, be innovative, and see how you can utilize the service to help your business grow.
Guest author: Grant Webb works extensively with Bisk Education, which provides continuing education and test preparation for professional accountants. Including accounting CPE programs and CPA Exam Review courses.