If you are a woman, or know one (I’m going to step out on a limb here and assume we can all answer yes to at least one of these questions), you have probably heard about the image-driven social network Pinterest. And you probably think you know what it's for, collecting websites (as pins on boards) to help plan weddings, store workouts and recipes, and remodel bathrooms.
But what you may not realize is what Pinterest can do for your business. Although it is relatively new in the realm of social media, it has quickly gained a large following--and is already proving to be a valuable marketing tool for business services and products.
Hold Up, So What Is Pinterest?
Pinterest describes their service as a “virtual pinboard” that you can use to redecorate your home, plan your wedding, or save your favorite recipes.
But do not let that deter you.
I like to describe Pinterest as visual bookmarks that you can share with the world. You can pin images and videos that link back to the source and organize the pins into folders or “boards.”
Think about your computer. Most of us have a standard “My Pictures” or “My Documents” folder where you store your pictures or your documents. Those folders are the equivalent of boards on Pinterest.
And the pins?
Your files are the pins. Imagine seeing each file in your folder as an image, and when you click on that image, your computer shows you the article or webpage where you found the image. It’s kind of like a visual bookmark, a bookmark that other Pinterest users can pin to their boards. Then, their followers can pin it to their boards.
So Pinterest is for sharing ideas, quotes, articles, blog posts, videos, products, and virtually any information that can be visualized.
Getting some ideas yet?
How Can Pinterest Be Used For My Business?
Let's spell it out.
How can Pinterest work for business or organization? Do you remember how each of the pins or images link back to the source? Kind of like a bookmark? Well, what if every time someone clicked on your pins they were directed to your website? Or blog? Or YouTube channel? What if every time someone pinned or repinned a link to your content or product was circulating the globe?
Pardon the pun, but the benefits of Pinterest may be beginning to click: this is an opportunity to get more traffic to your website and get your name or brand more impressions.
Let’s say you have a bookstore that sells books online. How could your business use Pinterest? You can pin images of book covers and add a short description about the book as well as the price. If a Pinterest user is searching for “F. Scott Fitzgerald” looking for quotes perhaps, your pin of “The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald” will surface in their results. That’s one more opportunity to sell this book than you would have if you only listed it on your website.
But what if I don’t sell a product? Some of my favorite boards on Pinterest are organizations that aren’t necessarily known for a product. When you have some time, check out the boards below from Kauffman Foundation and Startup America. Good stuff.
These boards do not promote the organization necessarily. they showcase items that their audience would enjoy. Do you have cool videos? Kauffman pins their videos. Not only can you have a YouTube channel and share your videos through that outlet, but now, you can share your videos on Pinterest (for free. So, why wouldn’t you want another free avenue to showcase your business and reach your audience?
Is Pinterest Right For My Business?
Maybe. Probably. If you have an extremely visually appealing product or if you’re in the wedding, food, fashion, or graphic design business there should be no question - Pinterest is for you! For the rest of us, I think this infographic by Intuit is the best quick answer to this question.
If you’re not sure about it, I at strongly encourage you to do some research. If you’re still not sold and you have images on your site or content that someone else may want to pin, help them out by adding a “Pin it!” button to your website next to your other social share buttons. This allows your content to be easily pinned by others.
Here are some links to help you get started.
Information about Pinterest, on Pinterest:
Content contributed by April Davis, ArkSourceLink,
ArkSourceLink and KCSourceLink are proud affiliates of U.S.SourceLink , America’s largest resource network for entrepreneurs.