The name gives it away – Pinterest is all about creating a set of virtual pinboards.
In other words, it’s a bookmarking tool. It enables people to save the web ‘stuff’ they like for later in one convenient place, by using a Pinterest browser button. When you, or anyone else, click a ‘pin’ of something you’ve saved, it takes you back to the original source.
Like Instagram, it’s a visually orientated social media network. Members might have a set of pins for pictures of clothes they like, Christmas decorations they want to make, toys they want to buy or recipes to follow. Essentially, groups of things they want to do, or remember, or that inspire them. It’s all about curation.
Just make sure that when you create an account, you choose a business one. You get access to different features that way, like analytics.
While users save whatever they want to their own boards, they can also ‘follow’ other people or search for particular topics. Nevertheless, it’s an interest-led rather than personality-led form of social media and the most important thing you need to focus on is creating good content, or good pinboards, yourself.
You have to think carefully about how your business fits into Pinterest. What content can you make that other people will want to save and share?
Learn how different types of pins work. For example, you can use ‘product pins’ to show where something can be purchased. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if more users were promoting your products and your shop with product pins?
However, when you create pinboards and pins, don’t make them too focused on your business. No one will follow if you’re ‘me, me, me,’ all the time. Have some boards that might relate to your business, but don’t necessarily link to you directly (proving you are the expert on your topic), AND have some boards that are just about you.
Check out trending topics and see if there’s a way you can capitalise on them.
Why not create a pinboard that’s a gift guide – include products from your company (if applicable) and other people’s.
As always, bear in mind that your Pinterest account is an important part of your brand identity, and a shop window of sorts – an insight into how your business ticks. You don’t want to give the wrong impression by half-heartedly pinning a few items and then giving up.
Unlike other social networks that are all about the ‘latest’ posts, Pinterest also rewards clever pinning over a longer period of time. A picture you put in the ‘favourite hats’ section three months ago might be your most repinned image. A little hard work early on can still pay off months or years later. That sort of reward for evergreen content is invaluable.
Pinterest won’t work for everyone – but make sure you seriously consider whether it could work for you.
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