It seems like Pinterest has practically exploded onto the social media scene and has quickly garnered attention both from users and from folks in the marketing space. I first took note of Pinterest when I started seeing many of my friends sharing their “pins” of fashion, food and decorating ideas on their Facebook accounts. I found myself wondering what exactly Pinterest was, as you may be thinking too. Pinterest is a social network that lets people organize and share interesting visual content that they find on the Web. People can use “pinboards” where they can “pin” ideas around a particular topic. Users can also browse pinboards from other users to get ideas and inspiration on a particular topic or subject matter. It seems that part of the reason Pinterest has become such an instant hit, it its simplicity and ease of use.

While Pinterest has gained notoriety as being just for young women, don’t be fooled. Pinterest’s user base is quickly expanding and it is considered one of the fastest growing social networks out there. Not only this, but many companies are finding that Pinterest is an excellent resource for referring traffic to their Web sites.

Pinterest for the A/E/C Industry

When you consider all of this, it certainly makes Pinterest an appealing place to be for businesses. It’s undisputable that B2C companies, which tend to be more visually based, have the advantage here, but there are a number of ways that B2B companies can leverage Pinterest as well. This is especially true for companies in the A/E/C industry whose product is more visually based than other B2B firms. For many firms in the A/E/C industry, sharing visual portfolios of previous jobs, ideas, and designs is essential for their business. Would you hire an architect without first reviewing his portfolio of previous work? If you were looking to hire a building or construction firm, you’d most likely head to their Web site to see if they have a gallery of past work. Because A/E/C firms typically have a robust portfolio of images to share and prospects that are eager to see them, this makes Pinterest a well-suited place for A/E/C firms to showcase their work.

Getting Started

Interested in getting your firm set up on Pinterest, but not sure where to start? Take a look at the following ideas for creating compelling Pinterest content:

  1. Put your Portfolio on Pinterest. As an A/E/C firm, you likely have a hard copy or online portfolio of previous work. Why not share this same information on your Pinterest account? Architecture and engineering firms can create boards that display their projects by industry, while building and construction firms can organize boards by job type (i.e. homes, building renovations, commercial work, etc.).
  2. Showcase products and materials. On a similar note, A/E/C companies can use pinboards to showcase popular products, materials and technologies that are frequently used and recommended in their designs and projects. This way they can show, rather than have to explain their cutting edge capabilities.
  3. Show off your best asset – your team. While prospects for A/E/C firms will have a strong interest in seeing the type of final product they can expect from your firm, they also want to know about the people who deliver it. Pinterest offers companies an opportunity to demonstrate the culture, personality and expertise of their team using pinboards. Use pinboards to share photos that represent the social causes that are important to your business, what you do in the community, company gatherings, and photos of your top leaders or project managers.
  4. Leverage tradeshow participation. This excellent idea comes courtesy of Pauley Creative. I know that many A/E/C firms have excellent tradeshow booths that they are always looking for additional opportunities to make use of. Unfortunately there are only so many tradeshows in a year, but Pinterest is a great place to leverage your booth. Pauley Creative suggests using Pinterest to give people a preview of your booth and which tradeshow you are heading to next. They even suggest including video or photo documentation of a previous show with visitor and client interviews/ testimonials to communicate why your booth may be worth visiting.

Are you an A/E/C firm already using Pinterest? I’d love to hear the unique ways that you are engaging with clients and prospects on this new site!

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