I like Social Media and I love using it for my creative business, building links and seeing how it affects my business growth. I love Twitter, I get on well with Facebook and I probably could use LinkedIn more effectively. I like the look of Pinterest, but I'm not really sure how it works, what it does and how it can benefit my business. I know you may think I'm a bit late to the game as Pinterest has been around now for about two or three years but I thought I'd try to find a bit more out about it because I want to use it more and I want a bit of the Pinterest action!!
On my quest for pinning knowledge I asked Heather Maloney from creative design studio,The Design Engine if she could explain it to me in a way I could understand it a bit better.... This is what she had to say....
IntroThere is a real buzz about Pinterest at the moment and especially how it can benefit businesses, so I get asked about it a lot at the moment. In fact to say that there is a ‘real buzz’ about it is a massive understatement, I read only this week that Pinterest had 11million unique visitors in January alone, so it’s no wonder people are looking at how it can work for them.
What is Pinterest?Basically, Pinterest is like a giant online pinboard. For pinboard addicts like me, it’s a dream come true as it’s an awesome place to organise all of your inspiration all in one place. The basic premise is that once you have joined the site, you can set up a pin board and ‘pin’ images to it. And, you don’t have to stop at one board either, you can easily organise you pins into labelled pinboards so it’s quick and easy to reference them whenever you like. You are able to put a small description with each ‘pin’ and each ‘pin’ is linked to a relevant webpage of it’s own where people can visit if they want to.
When you ‘pin’ images, others can see them in the ‘pinfeed’ on the main Pinterest page, and if they like them, they pin them to their boards too. You can browse other peoples boards, follow, repin, like or leave comments on their ‘pins’.
Why it’s so good and how can it benefit my business?The main reason I started using Pinterest was for interior inspiration for my home. (The link to my personal board is right here.) However, it quickly became apparent to me that there were so many opportunities for businesses through this medium too and I immediately set up my business board too
- Number of visitors: From a business point of view, Pinterest can be an extremely powerful tool to help you get your products or services noticed, worldwide and to a phenomenal amount of people. Infact, in February 2013, Reuters and ComScore stated that Pinterest had 48.7 million users!!!
- Speedy results: Whereas older forms of marketing and advertising took time to get your products / services out to potential clients, the effects of Pinterest can be practically immediate. For example, if you pinned one of the images from your new range Sue, it would instantly be shown in the main Pinterest ‘pinfeed’ board and to your followers on their ‘followers’ board. Then, the magic begins. Each time your image is ‘repinned’ it’s shown again in the general ‘pinfeed’ AND to all of the followers of the person who just pinned it. Talk about a knock on effect!
- Raising your profile and product recognition: With more pins of your product, the higher the potential for your business / product to be seen. As each pin is connected to your website, the potential for people to visit your site (and possibly buy your product) goes through the roof.
- Variety of content: As a worldwide social media site, the content available is mind blowing. The way Pinterest is set up allows you to easily browse pins from a number of categories. Currently the categories that you can search include: • popular • everything • animals • architecture • art • cars and motorcycles • celebrities • diy & crafts • design • education • film, music and books • food& drink • gardening (one of my personal faves) • Geek • Hair and beauty • History • Holidays & Events • Home décor • Humour • Illustrations & posters • Kids • Mens’ Fashion • Outdoors • Photography • Products • Quotes • Science and Nature • Sports • Tattoos • Technology • Travel • Weddings • Womens Fashion. Not only is Pinterest a great tool to get your business / product seen in the above market places, but it also provides a unique tool for inspiration, market research and trend spotting, to name but a few.
- Connection: From a business point of view another big benefit is the potential for new connections. Pinterest provides you with the opportunity to follow other peoples boards, ‘repin’ other pins, leave comments and likes. Used strategically, this can again help you get noticed but can also help to build a solid foundation with complementary businesses.
A word of caution... As with all social media for business I always recommend approaching it with some caution and careful planning, and Pinterest is no different. The same rules for building your brand identity/tone still apply, the same professional approach should be adhered too and the same quality of content should be carefully considered. Like me, you would be forgiven for being tempted to set up a board on ‘dream shoes’ for example. But if you’re business is in catering for example having a board about ‘dream shoes’ isn’t exactly going to look professional or be what your followers want to read about.
Thanks for that Heather, it has given me a great insight into Pinterest but I'd love to find out more so I'm off to find out how to add the PInterest Pin It button to my favourites bar and I'm going to start pinning!! I may be some time!!