What’s the interest in Pinterest?  Part 2: Let’s talk business

Since the last time I wrote about it, Pinterest, the virtual pinboard website, has gained a lot of momentum. Initially popular with women, the website is quickly catching on with men and businesses as well.

Just how popular is it? According to research conducted by Shareaholic, in December and January Pinterest pushed 3.6 percent of all referral traffic, which is more than Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. That is huge growth from just six months ago, when Pinterest drove only 0.17 percent of traffic, and it shows just how much the service can potentially help your business.

Pinterest is unique because it is a visual way to bookmark all of your favorite things on the Internet and visually aggregate them on a virtual pinboard. However, the social aspect makes popular “pins” spread like wildfire. Therefore, a strategic Pinterest account for your business can potentially create a valuable source for website referrals.

Here are five tips to consider when creating a Pinterest account for your brand.

  • Explore. Before determining if/how you should use Pinterest for a client, check out the website for yourself. While the service is intuitive, it takes some time to explore and begin to understand what makes Pinterest tick. Like any new service, the audiences and uses are quickly morphing, and it’s important to stay updated.
  • Determine your audience. Not all social networking services will work for each client. First, determine if your target audience already uses Pinterest. If they are already using the site, it’s probably a good fit. If Pinterest hasn’t caught on with your audience, you may want to hold off on directing your resources there and check back periodically to see if it gains popularity with the people you want to reach.
  • Know your brand. As with other social media channels, it is important to determine your voice before creating a Pinterest account for your brand. What ideas/products/lifestyles reflect your brand? Figure out if your brand is active, luxurious, environmentally conscious, crafty or something completely different. This will help to guide your brand’s boards and pins.
  • Avoid self-promotion. As mentioned in my last blog post, complete self-promotion is frowned upon by Pinterest. To follow “Pin Etiquette” and keep boards interesting, pin a mix of your products/services and pins from other sources that you think your audience might find interesting. Whole Foods is a great example of a company that has done this successfully.
  • Refrain from streaming posts. As Pinterest has gained popularity and many users link their account to Facebook and Twitter feeds, some of my male friends have complained about the excess Pinterest posts in their newsfeeds. To avoid a mass exodus from your social media channels, refrain from automatically posting all pins to other social networks. Save the sharing for the best pins.

Is your brand using Pinterest? If so, how are you using it?

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