With new social media platforms popping up like mushrooms, you could be forgiven for not having a clue why your business needs to use each one. Or perhaps you just can’t see the point of them all. With Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, the potential business applications are fairly obvious. But Pinterest? Isn’t that just a collection of pretty pictures? At first glance, yes. But don’t be fooled: there’s a lot more to the ‘online pinboard’ than just bookmarking a few images you happen to find appealing. Depending on the field you’re in, there are various ways that Pinterest can help you to promote your SME and achieve your marketing, image and customer service aims. Read on to find out how you can start making Pinterest work for your business. Over 70 million people , as well as more than 500,000 businesses, ‘share and organise beautiful things on the web’ (that’s Pinterest’s slogan). This makes using the platform ideal to make an enormous number of internet users aware of your brand, and to position yourself as an authority in your field. By pinning links and information related to your business area, you can start to increase visibility and make yourself the go-to person or business in your field, be it wine, clothing, novel gift ideas, or even something localised like plumbing services or counselling.
Pinning & repinning
Getting started on Pinterest is easy. For the completely uninitiated, the site is a way of keeping a visual scrapbook of your favourite web pages and images. You can sort and organise these ‘bookmarks’ by pinning them to various boards (which is why they’re also known as ‘pins’), as well as adding your own comments and captions to each image. Most importantly, each pin links back to the web page it came from, meaning that eye-catching pins are an ideal way to draw visitors to your website. Pinning some of the most interesting and appealing pictures from your site (or around the web) will get attention and shares (‘repins’). You can even pin relevant films from your own or someone else’s YouTube channel. If you have a webshop, you can’t really afford not to be on Pinterest. Pinterest offers an amazing opportunity to drive traffic to your site – traffic that is already interested in exactly what you have on offer.
Variety is key
Let’s say that your webshop sells sporting goods. You can create your own boards for various sports, and include pins and information on the items in your website. Don’t make the mistake of only pinning your webshop goods, though. Avoid recreating a (boring!) version of your website by adding a diverse range of pins relating to each sport. Variety is key here. In addition to pinning the items you sell, include plenty of related pins. If you sell soccer balls for example, you could pin the balls you have for sale, and then add pins of game fixtures, images of famous footballers, and even tips for snacks to take with you to games or to eat at home in front of the tv. In this way you create a varied and interesting board with pins that others will want to share. By showcasing ways that your products or services can be used, you begin to create a lifestyle image for your business and brand.
Make it personal
Pinterest can even help you with customer service, which is the ultimate way to set your business apart. Good customer service always has a personal touch, and Pinterest offers an opportunity to give a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse of your business away from your official site. By pinning relaxed photos of you and/or your employees and workplace, your customers can get to know the people behind the website, feeling more personally involved. The format allows you to be a bit more frivolous than you might be on a company blog. While you probably wouldn’t post a photo of your favourite coffee mug on your company website, a well-composed photo of your afternoon beverage is a cute way to make a connection with the public (and if you think people aren’t interested in photos of coffee mugs, think again). By using these tips, you can start to engage with those 70 million Pinterest users, increase your site traffic, build your brand – and have a lot of fun doing so!