Want to boost referrals to your website? Pinterest may be your answer. This social media newcomer was the surprise smash hit of 2011. Pinterest users hit the 10 million mark, growing 430% in just three months. But here’s why business is getting in on the game: Pinterest directs more traffic to third-party sites than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube – combined.
A virtual pin board, Pinterest allows users to organize and share images and videos, from travel hotspots to family snapshots. Shared images – known as “pins” – are grouped on themed “boards.” Images can be uploaded, but are most often snagged straight from the web. Users free to curate unlimited boards waste no time developing a stunning visual array on topics from gardening to skydiving.
Pinterest for business?
Curious about those website referrals? Each pin contains a direct link back to its original page. Pinning images from your website creates a string of visually-appealing breadcrumbs.
A terrific market research tool, Pinterest offers a peek into the lives of consumers. Check in on your target market’s interests and passions. Trace the trends and styles of your industry or garner feedback on your new product line. Company boards become creative hotbeds for teams to brainstorm trending ideas and design schemes.
Finally, Pinterest may not yet match other social media giants in numbers, but its users are engaged, and, for business folk, engagement is worth its weight in gold.
No need for pins and needles…
Getting started is a snap. Step one: snag an invite. Despite its astounding growth, Pinterest remains invitation-only, although visitors can browse boards without an account. Scrounge an invite from a friend or request one directly from Pinterest.
The pinning process couldn’t be easier. Pinterest offers a bookmarklet “Pin It” button. Just drag it onto your web browser’s toolbar and click it anytime you see something pin-worthy. Categorize your pins by board, add a title or caption, and voila! Images can even be pinned via iPhone; just download the app.
Pinning a product? Add a price to its description. Users can search Pinterest in “Gifts” mode, which groups items by price range.
To pin or not to pin
Pinners don’t buy the hard sell, so promote the lifestyle, not the logo. Selling hiking boots? Rather than splashing around the boots and brand name, build boards that hype hiking’s fashions, tips, locales and histories. Cultivate the reputation of a caring and subject-savvy brand, nurturing a relationship with your audience.
Social media’s rising star, Pinterest lets you direct traffic to your website, keep on top of market trends and build consumer engagement with your brand. Start pinning today to find out why a picture’s worth a thousand words.
Become a business king-pin
Sync up Pinterest with your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Import your contacts while exporting your activity. Remember not to spam: each pin offers a simple check-box share option – only share the best.
From “best board” to “most popular pin,” encourage users to engage with your brand.
Admire a pin or board? Say so! Comment on, like, or re-pin it to one of your own boards. Follow relevant boards or people. Like Twitter, it’s an open network, so follows don’t require permission, and anyone can follow you.