Pinterest is the hottest, prettiest social network of the moment and everyone is talking about it. A “virtual pin-board” where users are invited to create “boards” on topics that interest and inspire them, users “pin” images they find on the web, can “repin” pins from other users, comment on pins, and follow boards they find inspiring. Interesting notes about Pinterest include it’s staggering reported growth from 1.6 million visitors in September 2011 to 11.1 million visitors in February 2012, it’s growing number of major brand profiles including GE and Asos, it’s users are predominantly female, and in February Pinterest drove more traffic to blogs than Twitter.
Although Pinterest states that boards should be used to curate and share interests rather than self promotion, major brands and many businesses are adopting the platform to visually communicate their brand personality, their work, and further their social reach. So, are you on board?
Pinterest For Your Online Business
- Secure your username now before someone else snaps it up – besides, it’s getting more popular every second so why not benefit from the buzz?
- Get your “About Us” section filled in and don’t forget to add a link to your website
- Add the “Pin” button to your own website so that user can pin from there and see that you are a forward thinking business embracing social networking
- Pinterest is visual – a bad image won’t inspire as much as a beautiful one so think about what’s likely to be repinned
- Don’t push products and steer clear of self promotion – Pinterest doesn’t encourage it and that’s not what its about. You are engaging with people on a very personal and aspirational basis so don’t force, inspire
- Connect your Pinterest account with Facebook and Twitter to maximise the exposure
- Copyright is a growing concern as more businesses adopt the platform so approach repinning and pinning from other website with caution – best case scenario, get permission
- Don’t download images from websites you don’t own and the upload the pin as your own
- Keep an eye on your own website stats to help you track what traffic you get from Pinterest whether from your own pins or from others pinning from your website
- Don’t be afraid to comment or “like” other pins – it will help get you noticed
- Describe your pins well – if they get repinned that message will find it’s way all over Pinterest, that said, be aware of point 5
- Include keyword in your pin descriptions so that you come up when users do a search
- If you pin one of your products be sure to add a price
Ideas For Pinterest Boards
- Behind The Scenes – You might have a good looking office or bricks-and-mortar shop, a great team of people, an office pet or a workshop so why not share what goes on behind the scenes allowing users to get a feel for your business personality, giving users insight into who your are as opposed to simply what you sell. It can prove invaluable when it comes to establishing a connection and trust with potential customers.
- Repin To Win – Why not run contests where you can offer a prize to one of your “repinners” .
- What’s New – Get new and inspiring products pinned with their prices to inspire those whose lifestyle or wishlists incorporate items from your online shop. It might also give you great insight into what user want and like by monitoring comments and repins.
- Your Style – You might engage with the personal style of other pinners by pinning images your customer have permitted of them wearing a dress they bought from you, or how they incorporated that piece of jewellery into their own style which lets you showcase how other see your brand and how they makeincorporate your products into their own lifes.
- What We’ve Been Up To – Do you run fashion shows or open evenings? Or sponsor and attend sports or lifestyle events? Why not share inspirational images and inspire others whose interest’s compliment your products?
- How To Wear It – You could create your own styled looks and provide styling suggestions for your products, or even post inspirational catalogue images to help users re-imagine your products.
- Themes & Seasonal – A great use of a Pinterest board is a seasonal theme for inspiring gifts for Christmas, Mothers day or travel and weddings. Or take it further and create board based on a colour or theme like “Perfect Red Lipsticks”
Lastly, A Note About Copyright
Despite the fact that Pinterest’s core value lies in the sharing of content found across the web, the increase in brands using the platform has lead to growing concerns about copyright especially in the case of business users. Should businesses be allowed to use the imagery of others to enhance their own brand and ultimately increase sales? It could be argued that having major brands or indeed anyone pin your images is a positive, especially when Pinterest encourages crediting and linking to the source of pins and this has been reflected in the traffic many blog owners are getting from Pinterest which in February outweighed that from Twitter. On the other hand, it could lead to confusion about who the owner or creator is especially if a photograph or piece of artwork. Keep in mind that Pinterest’s own terms and conditions clearly state that the responsibility is on the user to gain permission before pinning any images for which they do not own the copyright.
Visit www.pinterest.com to request an invite.