So have you been hearing a lot of buzz about Pinterest and are curious as to what it’s all about? If you’re like I was just a couple of weeks ago, you might be wondering how it can really help you with your branding, marketing and social media strategy. I’ve recently started using Pinterest to connect with my online friends & contacts, and am having a blast with it. I’ve also made some wonderful new friends through Pinterest. If we’re not connected there yet, you can find me on Pinterest here.
What IS Pinterest, anyway?
Pinterest (rhymes with interest) is an online pinboard, and social photo sharing website. Basically you can share through photos your interests & the things you love. With your Pinterest account you can title & categorize your interests through ‘boards’ and then begin pinning unique images or video that visually describe the things you enjoy, activities, hobbies, and even create virtual dream boards. You can also re-pin images from other users.
At this time you can only get started using Pinterest by invitation, which you can receive by requesting one through their website, or you can be sent an invitation by another user. It can take a few days to receive an invitation request directly through their website, but an invitation from someone who has an account already can be used the moment you activate the invitation. If you would like an invitation to Pinterest, let me know, and I’ll send you one.
You can choose other Pinners to follow, by either following all of their boards, or you can select to follow just individual boards on topics you choose by any user.
Pinterest May Possibly be the Fastest Growing Social Networking Website
Pinterest launched in March of 2010, and by December 2011 had already entered the top 10 Social Networking sites. At the time I did my research, at any given time there are roughly 11 Million US users spending an average of an 90 minutes on the site. Pinterest made Time Magazine’s list of the Best Websites of 2011.
If you’re a home business owner like me, you might find yourself quickly discovering that Pinterest can be quite addictive, and just like the numbers above, you may spend more time on Pinterest than you intended. To re-focus and stay on track I went searching for really good information to learn how to leverage Pinterest for business growth. By the way, you might want to use a timer, or schedule a set a limited amount of time each day for Pinterest activity.
I encourage you to spend several days using Pinterest entirely for pleasure, setting up your boards, pinning, following those with shared interests, and connecting with people you already know. The last thing you want to do on Pinterest is jump on their and begin pinning and sharing all about your business. You’ll quickly be unfollowed by other pinners. Take time to educate yourself, and set your boards up the right way, become involved, and get a feel for the potential. Determine how you will add value to the Pinterest Community.
You can Integrate Pinterest with your other Social Networks
You’re able to create a brief written profile description, and link to your Facebook & Twitter profiles, as well as a link to your website, or blog. Pinterest has an automated RSS feed, and you have the option to post some, or all of your ‘pins’ to your Facebook and/or Twitter feeds as well. You can install the Pinterest Plugin on your website or blog and publish your most recent ‘pins’ onto your blog sidebar too.
In addition to uploading your own images to your boards, and re-pinning images from other users, Pinterest offers you a Pinmarklet tool. With this, as you’re browsing or visiting other websites online, you can pin and share photos from these websites onto your boards, which help create a link from your pin, back to where it’s hosted on the internet.
When you get started, type in your interests into the search box & you will locate related photos & videos pinned on the topic, boards created around the topic, or people related to your topic.
Drive Visitors to Your Website
If you’re a business owner; selling your own products, are a blogger, affiliate, Network Marketer, or in a Direct Sales/Party Plan you can use Pinterest in a powerful way to build brand recognition, add value, create new relationships, sell products, and even grow your team. If your image is hosted on your website or blog, when someone clicks your uploaded image, it’s linked to your website, and directs them to the page you have specified through your link.
I encourage you to educate yourself on how to use Pinterest the right way, so that it becomes one of your strongest assets in your marketing plan. Remember, there are people that make things happen, people that watch things happen, and people that wonder what happened. This is a time you really want to be in the front part of the curve.
If you’re selling items such as food, crafts, clothing, furniture, décor, etc it’s fairly simple to make the connection as to how Pinterest can help you create more visitors who already have an interest in what your selling. If you have a food, nutrition or recipe website you can create a recipe, or article that offers value to your reader, include an interesting related photo on your website page, and then ‘pin’ the photo, with a few words describing what your photo is related to that may benefit the person viewing your image.
If you are in a more service related industry, you will have to be more creative in connecting your images to your website and benefits offered through your business. There are numerous ways of doing this though and it’s well worth the effort. Some ideas are through inspirational, or motivational images, charts, and infographics.
Pinterest Drives More Traffic than Google+, YouTube & Linked in …Combined
Yes, you read that right…According to a study by Shareaholic, Pinterest has now surpassed in traffic the combination of these three very popular social networking websites. That’s impressive, and Pinterest is just getting warmed up.
Make Sure Your Photos are Interesting & Appealing to Encourage Users to Re-Pin
You want to gain as much viral exposure as possible through your pins. Make sure the images you pin offer value through humor, thought, encouragement, or direct benefit. You can link your images to video, or demos that offer instructions or a way to test drive your service.
Pinterest Creates Interaction with Your Audience
Unlike articles & blogging Pinterest has the potential to create a lot of interaction and traffic as the entire concept is built around sharing interests through visually appealing images, that are shared through the pinning activity. The search feature allows you to broaden your audience even further as you’re able to actively connect with your target demographic.
Pinterest is just getting warmed up, and is predicted to become one of the most influential social networking websites over the coming months and years. This is an opportunity for you to get started and capitalize on this amazing free resource to make many new contacts, build relationships, new customers, and create leverage online.
Here is a resource that has helped me immensely to learn how to apply the Power of Pinterest, and understand the impact and potential of the wonderful social networking site.
Be sure to connect with me on Pinterest, and happy pinning!
Infographic courtesy of Lemon.ly