Looking for new, creative ways to further your brand? Social media consultant Kathryn Rose details how a hot new social network, Pinterest, can help
Ever heard of Pinterest? If not, you will soon. It is the fastest growing social network and is hot, hot, hot!
Basically, users create “boards” then “pin” interesting photos or videos to them. It is a very interesting and different type of social network and I really am enjoying using it. It can also be a major distraction. I spent over two hours trolling the Internet for pictures representing “Places I Love.” As a marketer and a business owner, I had to figure out how I could use Pinterest as a business tool. Turns out, there are great uses for Pinterest for business.
Here are a couple of things I discovered:
- Drive traffic to your blog or videos by pinning images in your posts or the videos themselves. Once a user clicks on a “pin,” the image is a link to your post or video. Note: be sure to have a license to use images if they are not yours. No one needs a copyright infringement lawsuit.
- Searchengineland.com did a great post on “How to Use Pinterest for Local SEO” and suggested that users create keyword-rich “about me” areas and board titles.
- If your business is well represented by a Google Places business page, consider using that as the landing page for your profile instead of your web site – particularly if there are great reviews of your products and services located there.
- Make sure to use attractive images; Pinterest users are all about the visual.
- If you add a price in an item’s description, a banner shows up in the corner of the image displaying the price.
- You can set up a Pinterest account in the name of a business, unlike Facebook. See this great Pinterest page by my friend Susan Goldberg Zimmerman, owner of the boutique SueB.do.
Pinning from the web is easy using the ‘pin it’ bookmarklet on the Firefox browser, you simply click on the image in your blog post and ‘pin them’ to a board. There are other ways to pin as well, you can upload photos from your hard drive or add pin it code to your posts.
In my research, I did find a couple of things to be aware of: First, it appears that Pinterest is “auto following” people based on your interests, so don’t be surprised when you first join and have not one pin posted, but you get e-mails saying “so and so is following you.” I’m not a big fan of this. Can you imagine how people would react if Facebook “auto friended” people based on your location or former high school or other interests? Second, there are absolutely no privacy settings. So, if you decide to create a board that has family pictures or pictures of your local town, people can view them and re-pin them. You must take care not to post private pictures on Pinterest.
Overall, I think it’s a fun, innovative network that businesses can definitely benefit from using. Keep in mind the privacy concerns and be careful when sharing. Also, like any social network, Pinterest can tempt you to fall into the rabbit hole. Use an egg timer or a downloadable timer on your desktop to prevent you from wasting time.
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