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!