Posted in: Blog by admin on May 18, 2012
When a new social media platform catches fire, it has the potential to mesmerize Internet users and create a dependency that leaves people wondering, “However did I get by before this?” With Facebook people can connect with friends and stay updated on favorite brands; with Twitter people receive news updates as they happen, and with YouTube people find common ground through emotional videos that go viral with astonishing speed. the ability to save and share information found on the Internet allows users to plan events, set goals, and easily recommend worthy products. It should come as no surprise, then, that Pinterest is fast becoming a top social networking tool.
Launched in 2010, Pinterest is a service that allows users to bookmark, or “pin” links of interest and categorize them onto custom “boards” on a person’s account. Pinterest users can follow other accounts and comment on entries, like them as one would a Facebook page, and “repin” entries to any of their own boards. One can also push Pinterest activity to Twitter and Facebook profiles for added exposure. Presently, more than three-quarters of overall US account holders are female, but demographics vary among international users.
Naturally, with the advent of a new social innovation, comes the interest among businesses to use it as a marketing tool. Whether your intent is to promote a store’s products, a travel destination, or even a professional service like home improvement or legal counsel, the potential for attraction attention via Pinterest exists. One needs only know how to properly use the site.
With Pinterest, you are looking at specific goals to achieve strong visibility:
- Gaining followers so pins from your boards show when they log in.
- Encouraging people to re-pin your entries to their boards and creating opportunity for viral sharing.
- Encouraging click-throughs on the entries to the site of origin.
This visibility will hopefully increase leads and sales to your business. Like with other social tools, it may only take one event to create viral interest. To make it happen, you need to nurture your account and keep it active. Some things you want to do regularly include:
- Create boards that inspire followers. One advantage to Pinterest is that you can let your creativity shine, and create multiple boards that focus on different aspects of your business. If you sell books, you can create boards for different genres or authors. Law offices can even create boards that focus on certain practices. Choose a name that is both descriptive of the topic and compelling.
- Use quality pictures. There are different ways to create a pin on your boards – you can simply enter a URL and use an existing photo on the page, or you can upload a photo and edit the pin to include a link. However you choose to pin your data, it’s important to use visuals that people will want to pin to their own boards. Small and/or blurred photos are likely to be passed in favor of something else. Don’t be afraid to pin something funny or daring, either. Photos spark the conversation, and re-pinning actions continue it through the network.
- Interact with other users. One reason why some businesses do not succeed in social media is because they spend more time posting information and not enough responding to other users. When you re-pin something from another user, make a comment. Comment on items you don’t re-pin. This activity lets people know you’re there, and in turn you may find people checking out and following your boards.
Whether Pinterest will eclipse Twitter and Facebook as the go-to social network remains to be seen. It is certain the hot new kid on the block right now, and if you are able to build a following through Pinterest it will help to interact with users well.
Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on social media writing and Virginia web design. Clients include Fairfax personal injury lawyers, self-publishing services, Virginia health care services, Norfolk real estate agents, global trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.