What is Pinterest and How Can You Use it for Marketing your Business?

It’s official, Pinterest is becoming the latest craze in social media – the chic new visually stimulating social sharing site is quickly joining the likes of Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon.What is Pinterest and How do I use it to Market my Business

And just like other social media platforms, there is a big rush of users joining the site to see what the fuss is all about.

If history holds true, eventually the active user base will slowly decrease until it consists of just those who are active in the community. So approach Pinterest with caution at this point. You should definitely begin leveraging its potential, but without making it the center of your marketing campaign. And just like all of the other social media services, if you’re not going to be an active and engaged user, you will not recognize the benefit of Pinterest.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is the newest member of today’s most popular social media websites, but instead of using written content as substance, it uses images and video. It allows users to “pin” images and video to a virtual bulletin board they create. They can be photos they took and uploaded, images found on other websites, videos they find online or videos they have created themselves.

A user then shares that pin with their friends, who can then like or repin it to their boards. The primary purpose is to share your interests with friends through images and video.

Right now, Pinterest is available by invitation only, although as it gains popularity they seem to be opening the invite list more and more. Eventually they will be opening the service up to the general public.

How can I use Pinterest for my Business?

Right now Pinterest has limited uses for businesses. They do not offer any advertising or paid placements like other services do. Although they are analyzing business models and will surely come out with a paid service in the future once a solid user base is established. But don’t be discouraged, there are still a few clever strategies you can use to build targeted traffic, leads and conversions from Pinterest.

Pinterest Isn’t for Everyone

First and foremost, if your business doesn’t have images or video associated with it, or is a business you can’t represent visually, you’re going to have a tough time finding any use in Pinterest. If you fall into this category, you need to come up with a way to represent your business visually, whether it is photos of your customers using your product or service, photos of your products or infographics representing the services you provide.

Getting Started

Once invited, you can create your own account and begin pinning images directly from your website. But this will not be enough.

You’re going to need to build a strong following and network with your friends from Facebook and other social media sites. The objective here is to get other Pinterest users to see your images and like or repin them. Because Pinterest notes which website the images came from (and provides a hyperlink), users will be encouraged to visit your site to learn more about your product or service.

It is important that the images you pin to your board are compelling enough to get a user to find interest in your website. Pinterest, like other social bookmarking services, offers an add-on to a user’s browser toolbar allowing them to pin images straight from the browser as they’re surfing the web.

Some Tips

For example, if you have a personal training business, take photos of your clients while working out (get their permission first obviously). Then simply upload those images to your website and pin them on a Pinterest board you’ve created. You can also encourage your clients to pin their own image from your website. If done right, and your images or videos are liked and repinned many times over, It’s possible to get your message in front of thousands and thousands of interested eyeballs in a relatively short amount of time. And since Pinterest adds a link to your website on the boards, you will not only be gaining valuable social backlinks to your website, you will also be increasing your website traffic with highly targeted visitors – increasing your leads and conversions.

Pinterest Potential yet to be Realized

Right now the Pinterest community is built on users finding interesting images and videos to share with their friends. The full possibilities of Pinterest have yet to be realized, so now is a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor, be creative, be innovative, and see how you can utilize the service to help your business grow.

Guest author: Grant Webb works extensively with Bisk Education, which provides continuing education and test preparation for professional accountants. Including accounting CPE programs and CPA Exam Review courses.

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  • http://twitter.com/joncombridges Jon Leland

    May I also recommend my own post, “Social Media Goes Visual: Why Pinterest is More than You Think”? FYI, there’s also a related post of resource links that includes a link back to one of your earlier excellent Pinterest blog posts. Keep up the great work, Jeff!

  • http://www.bigchiefcreative.com/ Alex Ribble

    Pinterest is a great tool for businesses, especially those trying to sell something. Because of the option to add a price and link to the item on a pin, it makes it easier and more visual for users to see an item they like on Pinterest and purchase it.

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic post. This information is very useful for those people who are really interested to start her new business and your tips are really interesting. I wanna download your post.

  • Brenda Reed

    May I? http://www.mypinterestblog.wordpress.com
    Here I select special pins and discuss why I chose them — a nice showcase for my writing and a great way to meet readers and pinners who share my interests. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/PaigeHolden PaigeHolden

    I agree with your post. I see a lot of value in Pinterest. I would like to add a point though. I’ve started pinning for one of the companies I work for. It’s a moving company, so we are very tips oriented. We haven’t launched our blog yet (1 more month) so I don’t have a lot of company visuals/content yet, but I am pinning other useful tips for DIY, Organizing, Moving, Packing, etc. because I want people to start associating our company name with helpful information. I started a couple of days ago and am already seeing interaction.

    So, I guess I would say, if you don’t have the content yet, but you know you will, then go ahead and get started! Other people’s content will help you build a platform, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=673922013 Tamara Vuorinen

    Great post! I have to sign up on Pinterest!

  • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

    Awesome post and great information. Thanks for sharing

  • Rgb200

    I have been pinning my product images on Pinterest.  About 2 weeks ago they stopped showing up in the category I have chosen (Products).  Do you know why I can no longer see my pins on the category page? 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/S2QS2RY37MVZPHIQMNU3PH7DYA TechGeek

    I’ve used pinterest to optimize my site and the result was amazing my site was jumped from #182 to #7 in 3 weeks time.

    The trick is we must got our website pinned and repinned by many people this is the hardest part. Most of pinterest users won’t doing repin when they aren’t like what we pinned.

    I do simple thing to outsource it on fiverr and got my site pinned by 75 people, I don’t know how can he did it just search by typing pinterest on fiverr and you will find it on the TOP. Many other seller offer pinterest service on fiverr but in my experience they can’t make my website increase in SEO. I don’t know why.

    Reasons why Pinterest is good for SEO:
    1. Google interest in social media signal so it will not tagged as links farm.
    2. Once our website pinned it has 3 backlinks counts. 
    3. Even not support anchor text (except the url link), it’s still perfect for placing our keywords in description. Google will READ it!! 
    4. You need to ping the links of your pins to the to get your website increase in SEO.

  • Michele Wasko Hlewicki

    I have a real estate client with a distinctive brand… we are using pinterest to not only pin real estate tips (moving, home staging, etc.) but we are pinning things that give her a personality and show her style…. like cooking and gardening tips. The key is to remain authentic to the pinner… clients can sniff out a fraud from a mile away!

  • http://www.inversionpoint.com/ David Christensen

    My first reaction reading this (April 2014) was ‘I would have made a similar comment 2-3 years ago but I am surprised the writer’s experience over the past 12-18 months at least hasn’t been more positive in the sense that Pinterest is increasingly delivering, not just promising to deliver in commercial terms’.

    But then I checked that most of the replies are dated 2 years ago.

    The absence of a date on the post is very common but it does tend to confuse people – and I also wonder if Grant would make the same comments if he were to post today … probably not … in which case the risk of an undated post in such a changing world is that people could easily conclude the writer is out of touch which is the opposite of what I am sure is the case.

    Jeff – maybe you should start a new movement and take a leaf from ‘Mission Impossible’ – give bloggers the choice of a regular font which should be next to immortal or another choice that decays or self-destructs after a year or two? Like the difference between chiseling something on stone and writing down on a banana leaf.