Adding to the popular ranks of Facebook and Twitter comes the white hot social networking site Pinterest. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media site in history (yes, even faster than Facebook!). And like other social media platforms, Pinterest (when used properly), can be used as a powerful, and free, marketing tool for businesses by following these 10 easy tips:
1. Learn what Pinterest is
Pinterest is a hybrid site that is half social networking and half virtual scrapbook. Users create boards covered in “pinned” items from all over the web: products, photos, stories, and resources. Users can follow each other in a fashion similar to Twitter or Facebook, with a news feed of recent pinning activity. Unlike these other two sites though, you can simply follow interests or topics from “Pinners” – you don’t have to follow everything they post. This allows for very targeted streams.
2. Understand what Pinterest is not
The site is not exactly a place to actively promote yourself or your business the way Twitter is or Facebook has become. Instead, it’s more of a lead generator: a place where visibility of your business can be expanded.
3. Follow similar “Pinners”
Once your account is set up, follow others whose interests are similar to your product (or brand). You can also follow people who are located nearby physically, which could increase your business presence within your community.
4. Pin wisely
Every item you pin is communicated through your activity feed to your followers. Photos of offered items in your store or on your website can link back to your business page. Local news related to your field or that may be relevant to your followers should also be pinned. Re-pinning other users’ posts helps build a following and spread the word.
Don’t be afraid to pin items from other businesses. In fact, the more comprehensive your boards are, the greater legitimacy you’ll present to the community. A board that promotes only its own products will quickly lose its appeal to all but the most devoted fans. Pinterest is a way to let followers develop a “big picture” idea of what your business does and what it stands for; one clear way to paint that picture is by sharing your likes and interests.
6. Stay active
Like any social network, fresh content keeps followers interested, and Pinterest is no exception. With every new item pinned, and every share out to other followers, awareness of your brand will spread. It’s definitely in your best interests to keep your audience held captive.
7. Conduct market research
If you’re planning on launching a new product, or just want feedback on an already existing product without investing in expensive research marketing, pinning them can be an immediate catalyst for results. The comment feature of the site allows users to discuss the pinned items, so businesses can get an idea of the “word on the street.”
8. Increase site traffic
Every pinned item that leads back to your site will increase your traffic. This is particularly beneficial for smaller businesses, which may not have an overwhelming Internet presence and don’t see many visitors.
9. Plan for passive Income
If you’re a reseller through a site such as Amazon that offers an affiliate program, your pinned links can bring in cash with every click. This can add up to a significant amount over links posted right to your business site, which most likely sees only a fraction of the traffic.
10. Don’t get overwhelmed
Finally, although this is a social media site, it operates much differently than Facebook or Twitter. The number of followers is less important for gaining legitimacy here than it is on the other two sites. As long as you’re staying active and seeing others re-pinning your items, Pinterest is working for you.