Heather is passionate about helping companies deliver marketing that is hyper-relevant to the customer and drives profit for the business. As an experienced strategist with 20 years developing integrated marketing strategies across a range of industries, she advocates a data-driven approach to marketing.

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Pinterest – What’s The Hype About?

Pinterest-logo350I know what you’re thinking – “Another social network!? Who can keep up?  Do I really need to care about Pinterest?” The answer is that like all social networks it will depend on your business, but probably.

What Is Pinterest?

Think of it as an online bulletin board where users “pin” (organize and share) images that they find interesting and inspiring.  A user is able to create several different boards, each with a different theme.

For example, I could have a board for “Home Decor Ideas” where I pin images of things that I might want to incorporate into an upcoming decorating or renovation project.  Another board might be “Food & Drink” with things like recipes, pictures of unique food items and photos of delicious looking edible delights.

My Pinterest followers can Like, Re-Pin, and comment on anything I’ve pinned.  The site makes sharing incredibly easy and it is an addictive way to discover new products and other content across the web.

What does this mean for business?

When people click on items that have been pinned, they are directed to your website where they can learn more about your products and perhaps even make a purchase. But how much traffic are we really talking about?

The site only has 4.9 million registered users (which is less than many other social networks, but it’s actually still in beta), yet Pinterest refers more traffic than Google+, YouTube,  and LinkedIn combined!  Keep in mind that Google+ has 90 million users and LinkedIn has 130 million members.This represents an incredible opportunity to promote your products and services in innovative, engaging ways.

If your business has a highly visual component, (I’m talking to you fashion, photography, and food!), then you need to start thinking about how you can incorporate Pinterest into your online marketing strategy.

Get Creative!

Pinterest can be as much about giving your brand a personality as it is about sharing your products and services.

Even organizations that have a less visual component to their business are jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon and establishing a successful presence.  General Electric has a board called Badass Machines and Southwest Airline has a board of Favorites. Pinterest is a great opportunity to invite users behind the scenes and add a personal touch to your business.

You’d also be surprised by just what people are pinning! For example, check out the images that appear when you perform a search for dentures.

Getting Involved

The rules of engagement on Pinterest are no different from any other social network – create/pin interesting content that’s easily shareable. Creativity is a great asset and Pinterest leaves the door wide open to be a bit playful with your brand – as long as you keep it professional.

Unlike other social networks that are extremely time-sensitive (think Twitter), Pinterest boards can be built over time, though some frequency in posting is advisable so people have a reason to keep coming back.

Above all, resist the urge to self-promote. Disingenuous communication will always be seen as exactly that.

Take a few moments to check Pinterest out. How do you see your business leveraging this new tool?