If you haven't heard of the Pinterest phenomenon yet, you must have been living under a proverbial rock these last few years. The social networking site is generating massive interest, especially in the business world, and for good reason. The site that enables you to promote your products and services through something called ‘vision boards’, has an estimated traffic of 1.36 million visits per day.
Although Pinterest is classed as a Social Website, its aim is to help businesses increase their brand awareness. A massive 68 percent of all Pinterest users are women; a fact many big brands are taking advantage of. Consequently, Pinterest became a lively, fresh and imaginative social site that offers top trends, fashion tips, simply everything that is chic and in at the moment through masses of photo and video boards.
At the moment, you can join Pinterest by an invitation only. An existing user can invite you, or you can ask Pinterest to send you an invite.
If you are using Pinterest for personal use, you simply create an account on Pinterest and then the fun begins... You set up unlimited online boards and ‘pin’ items to them - this is your chance to be organized whilst having fun!
Now let's look at the difference between a regular user and a business user on Pinterest:
Let’s say, a regular user called Jane joins Pinterest; Jane creates different boards, such as Shopping, Handbags, Favourite Movies etc. She browses Pinterest for ideas using the ‘Search’ box; she types in the word ‘flowers’. When she finds a photo she likes, she hovers over the picture with her mouse and chooses from the following options:
Repin - Like - Comment.
If Jane chooses to Repin the photo, she will then have a choice of her boards to pin it to. Furthermore, she can share her chosen photo of flowers with her friends on Facebook and Twitter, as well as all her Pinterest followers.
Jane is doing all this for fun. For her, the site is a board of her dreams, her interests and her likes. She doesn't think of Pinterest as a business.
Now let us look at the business that owns Jane’s photo of flowers on Pinterest: A local store in, let us say, London, wants to promote their services through Pinterest. They create a business account, with their business name. The store then created boards for their products. They created ‘Fresh Today’, ‘Wedding’, ‘Special Offers’ and so on. It costs the florist absolutely nothing to set this up.
With each photo they pin to their boards, they include their contact details and marketing information. They also include their website, which lists store opening hours and delivery terms.
When Jane repins their photo along with their marketing information, she has an effect marketed their services for them, free of charge, amongst all of her friends and followers. If she shares this photo on Facebook and Twitter, the potential reach of users seeing this activity is huge - we're talking thousands of people. Will some of them visit this company’s website for more information, share the photo further and order their flowers? You bet!
Can you now see the massive marketing opportunity Pinterest offers?
You might say, well, it works for products - but what if I sell services? Is Pinterest going to work for me? The answer is yes, absolutely. Here's an opportunity for you to provide educational videos and boards with free help and advice. As long as you offer your potential customers lots of value and information, they will visit, share and buy.
Pinterest also gives you the tools to pin items to your board quickly and efficiently. You will have ‘Pin It’ tool at the top of your browser, which enables you to pin photos and videos off any website you're visiting. Please be aware of copyright - do not pin off a website that does not allow sharing. Pinterest does not work with Facebook, however, pinning videos off You Tube is allowed. Add your ‘Pin It’ button on your ‘Goodies Page’ here:
You can incorporate Pinterest into your Facebook Timeline for immediate sharing. Just go to ‘Settings’.
Will Pinterest work for you and your business? Approach it the right way and it will. You should see a growth of visitors to your site but, like anything else, Pinterest takes time and dedication to achieve the right results. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
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