By Raquel Ross and Melanie Rausch
Never before has there been more of a demand for us to share, share, and share some more. After nearly a decade since the launch of Facebook, we’ve all become quite internet savvy. More often than not, the average Joe has learned to like, update statuses, blog, Skype, tag, and even tweet. And if that wasn’t enough, now we pin.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Good God, I just learned how to Facebook. What in the name of all things good and humane is a pin?? Don’t worry, my young social butterfly—this article will give you the wings to fly among the iClouds.
Pins belong to one of the largest and most innovative social media spaces that have emerged today—Pinterest. Lost? Think of Pinterest as your own personal bulletin board. Users find pictures on the site (or from anywhere on the web) and “pin” to their uniquely named categories or “boards.” A user’s boards could include favorite celebrities, recipes, travel ideas, or whatever strikes their fancy.
“But what about me, the humble business owner? Can I too use this Pinterest?”
The answer is a resounding YES. Here are just a few reasons that you should make Pinterest work for you.
1. Demystify Your Biz
At the end of the day, people don’t want to buy from corporate giants; they want to do business with people. Let Pinterest help make you more approachable, friendly, and all around more interesting than other companies in your market! Create boards that show staff favorites, what inspires you, and creativity that has sparked your business ideas. Share remarkable content and interact with your fellow pinners. Offer pertinent advice, repin your followers’ bright ideas, and keep a conversation going! Whole Foods Market utilizes almost 50 different boards to pin fun, relevant recipes and images of their products to reach its customers, including “Vegan,” “No-Meat Monday” and “Sweet Tooth.” Whole Foods has over 50,000 followers interacting and sharing pins on their boards at any given moment.
2. Showcase Your Products
If you play your cards right, Pinterest can be much more than just a fun, time-stealing pastime. The visual nature of Pinterest can be used to create your own virtual marketplace! Many businesses that have caught on to this utility have made boards specific to their product line. A clothing store may have “swimsuits and summer fun,” “prom,” and “loungewear” for example. This way pinners can quickly gaze through your entire collection and if they like what they see, promote by pinning back to their own boards. Sony Electronics has Pinterest boards showcasing their brand new products, products on sale, Sony gift ideas for Mom or Dad and images taken with Sony cameras among others. Almost 4,000 people follow their boards and can share their favorite items on their own boards with people in their network.
3. Increase Traffic
Ever wonder how you could get more visitors to your website? Spend your nights weeping to the winds about the decrease in traffic to your http? No longer! A handy tip to keep in mind is that pins always link back to the source! Have a fun photo gallery from your office Christmas party? Or a video of your CEO imparting a few wise words? Put it up there! Pinterest is your secret weapon.
4. Don’t Sell, Storytell!
Hold on, young padwan, you may be eager to share every nook and cranny in sight, but there is a delicate balance that must be struck when practicing the art of pinning. Though the notion to fill your boards strictly with products and spreadsheets may be a tempting one, remember that at its heart, Pinterest is a medium for creativity and that visual appeal is key. Share your vibrant story with your pinners and establish yourself as the expert of your field. The U.S. Army even has a Pinterest page, but instead of pinning about recruitment or services, they have boards dedicated to “Thank a Soldier,” “Honor the Fallen,” “Army Strong Families,” “Technology,” and “Welcome Home.” All of these boards contain images pinned by almost 3,000 people, which are shared across the web constantly.
Now that you’ve gotten down the basics, you’re ready to get out there and share! Pin the good, pin the bad, but definitely don’t pin the ugly. If you remember nothing else, remember this: in the famed words of many an inspirational board, “keep calm and pin on. “