Pinterest – has it caught your attention yet? It should!

I have to admit that I’ve caught the Pinterest fever! It’s a dream for this wannabe Martha Stewart – all my favorite things in one place, neatly organized, and easily shared. Nirvana!

So, what is this new nirvana I’m drooling over? Pinterest is a relatively new site (a little under 2 years old) that is self-described as a ‘virtual pinboard’. Others describe it as a social bookmarking site that focuses on images.

In a nutshell, Pinterest allows you to organize and share things that interest you with your friends. Called a “pin” (much like a tag) the user posts something they find online or “repins” something that a friend has shared on their “pinboards”. Think of a pinboard as a corkboard that you have at home, which has tons of torn pictures or articles stuck to it for inspiration or as gentle reminders. You can create pinboards for any category that interests you: food, crafts, organization, fashion, interior design, inspirational sayings, etc…

For a very visually stimulated person like myself, this can become addictive.

At this point, I am sure you are thinking “Great- another time suck. How will this benefit me and my business?”

From a marketing and branding standpoint, the possibilities are endless.

A recent Ad Age article touts that the magazine Real Simple – probably one of the most perfect Pinterest audiences – receives more referrals from Pinterest than they do Facebook. Shannon King, GM of digital for Real Simple magazine, says that, “It speaks to the power of engaged audience members. We view it as an important part of our social media strategy.”

In the same Ad Age article, it notes that major retailers like Etsy, Nordstrom and Lands’ End are also jumping onto the Pinterest bandwagon and becoming early adopters of this new social platform. These retailers realize the potential to share info, but also to learn about their community and see what trends and styles they like, and what their purchasing cycles are.

Blogger Holly Hanna of The Work at Home Woman, recently wrote about ways that Pinterest can help small businesses. According to Hanna, product producers, online retailers and direct sellers are obvious candidates. Create pinboards with creative descriptions of your products and don’t forget to use your SEO keywords!

Hanna notes that graphic designers, artists and photographers are also obvious users.

But what about a service based business, such as a small restaurant or food product? What about a hair stylist or event planner? Think of Pinterest as a way to showcase your work (another portfolio area). Isn’t seeing a plate of gorgeous food one of the most wonderful things around?! And doesn’t that help you to decide whether to try a new restaurant? And what if you are searching for a new hair stylist? Wouldn’t you prefer to see their work first? Or see that they stay on top of new trends?

As with any social platform, do not forget that this is a conversation – a give and take. Use this opportunity to show consumers that you have good taste and style by repinning complimentary products. How about pinning a lovely wine that pairs well with your new dinner special? Or an amazing clip to accessorize your new “do”?

Pinterest is still a ‘by invitation only’ group – but getting an invite to join is easy. Just request an invite from Pinterest or ask a friend to invite you.

If you would like an invite to join – just leave me a comment below. And in the meantime, check out my pinboards!

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33 Responses

  1. Holly Hanna says:

    I’m totally hooked on Pinterest! It has become one of my favorite social networks – I can’t wait to see how it evolves, especially for small businesses.

  2. Lesley says:

    I think Pinterest is fantastic!! However it’s really hard to get an invite, so if you can, I’d love it if you’d invite me!! Thanks & Merry Christmas! :)

  3. luannsaid says:

    I must admit: I was so excited when you told me you were writing about Pinterest because I haven’t had a chance to investigate for myself. I love it when you do my research for me, dear. Thank you!

    • admin says:

      Always at your service, LuAnn. :) I hope you get a chance to play around in Pinterest soon. It’s fun and a marketers dream!

  4. Jacqui Hillas says:

    Ohhhh sounds interesting! Can I have an invite please jdhillas@hotmail.com

  5. Lana says:

    I would love to try pinterest! Thanks!

  6. Bunny says:

    I’ve requested an invite from interest twice over the past 3 months and nothing, nada! Would you be so kind as to send me one – I’m hurting over here! :) redesignrebuild@gmaildotcom

  7. Tim says:

    Hi, can someone please send me an invite, been on the waiting list for sooooooo long :(

    email address kyjuan85@hotmail.com

    Thanks

  8. Nancy J.Giacomini says:

    Could you please send me an invite to pinterest, love your blog and thank you for the information. Happy New Year!!!

    • Andrea Schulle says:

      Hi Nancy! Your invite is on it’s way. I am glad you enjoy our blog site and hope you visit again soon. Happy Pinning!

  9. I just started using it and I have been seeing great results already!

    • Andrea Schulle says:

      Thank you for your comment. We’d love to hear more about how you are using Pinterest and the results you are seeing!

  10. Kristin says:

    Why is it so hard to get in? I’ve requested an invite from the site over a month ago and still have not got one. Can you still send me one? I swear I had been on Pinterest a year ago to check it out, but my email doesn’t work! If you are inactive, do they close the account? Sorry for the questions, this is just on my mind. Thanks!!

    • Andrea Schulle says:

      They are getting too many requests, I suspect. I have just sent one to you and you should get it quickly. Happy pinning!

  11. Jen OOConnor says:

    Hi! I saw Pinterest while I am browsing on Facebook. It was love at first sight, I went to the website and I was so dissapointed that I am on waiting list to get in..please please invite me I desperately want to join! Thank you so much!

  12. I am madly in LOVE with Pinterest! Now I understand why everyone’s catching the fever! Follow me http://www.pinterest.com/christinercox – - – I can’t wait to share with you!

  13. Jennifer says:

    Can you send me an invite? I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!!!

  14. Amber says:

    So wanting to do Pinterest, but on the waiting list. Why do they do that? Can you please send me an invite?
    Thanks.

    • admin says:

      Hi Amber! I think the folks at Pinterest are overwhelmed right now with their success. I have sent you an invite. Happy pinning!

  15. mihunsup says:

    Hey, can you send me an invite too? I’ve been on the waiting list for 2 months now. Blergh. Dying to do some pin-ing for my wedding next year. Hihi. I’d appreciate it. Thanks!

  16. sarah says:

    Hey can I get an invite? I need it for work and I cant get register! help guys :) my email is francy_tlc@hotmail.com

  17. Gemi says:

    Hi! I just loved your pins and woul love to get on to pinterest, but it is so difficult.. would you mind sending me an invitation? Thanks a lot!

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