You've heard about it – you’ve seen it on Facebook. It’s the hot new trend in social sharing. Just when you thought it couldn’t get more interesting, balancing the mix of Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook, here comes the new kid on the block – Pinterest – an image sharing site that has increased in unique visitor traffic by 155% between Dec 2011 and Jan 2012.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a visual social network that allows you, the user to share and discover by "pinning" images to your own "pinboards" (collections around a common theme) or by seeing and “repinning” what others have pinned to their pinboards. You can upload images from your computer, or pin things you find on the web using the Pinterest bookmarklet, the Pin it Button, or just uploading the image url. You can add video, and you can write keyword rich captions, though I don’t know how long it takes their search index to add things in. (more testing!)
Did I mention that you have to be invited by someone you know who is already in Pinterest – or request an invite directly from Pinterest? Not sure why - but you have to ask to play in their sandbox. Do it. Worth it. So many pretty pictures.
You can search, you can browse, you can follow friends (or strangers), and you can comment on the images. You can repin the images others have posted – the equivalent of “liking” I guess, and then they become part of your collection of pins too. You can also use the integrated Facebook “like” button to show off what you like on Pinterest. (pesky cross pollination).
But can you use it for business? You bet.
If your work life involves anything visual - even if that means stretching the definition of visual a bit – you can market yourself on Pinterest. For hair stylists, florists, jewelry makers, artists, fashion designers, crafters, cake decorators, even photographers, the uses are obvious – I would recommend watermarking your images with your copyright and your url to keep your ownership identity high – you can’t stop people from “stealing” your images, but you can slow them down. And Pinterest encourages “Sharing” – for enjoyment, vs. stealing outright for commercial use.
Less traditionally visual businesses might need to be creative and use some imagination, but I’m sure that there is a Pinterest angle for just about everybody. We can help by working with you to design a comprehensive social media strategy and action plan. Call us!
Why does Pinterest matter?
It builds traffic – increases blog subscribers - build brand and url awareness (but without direct SEO benefit as the links are nofollow!) – and puts your visual collateral in front of a growing and voracious audience – which is inextricably tied to other major social media channels. It gives you something to talk about via social media. You get fans. Friends. Likes. And ultimately, site traffic to your primary web domain. FTW!
I’ll be doing a webinar on May 31th at 11:30 am CST on how to use Pinterest for business. Seats are limited - but I’m prepared to do it twice if there are enough people interested. Reserve your spot now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – and I’ll get back to you with login information.
In the meantime, explore Pinterest and start thinking about how you can make best use of this dynamic new social sharing platform. Take a look around – pin something, and repin something. You can get lost in it – because a pinned picture is worth a thousand words (and a handful of website visitors).