A PR Practitioner’s Guide to Pinterest for Business
By Lyn Mettler
Tired of hearing about Google Plus and how it’s the latest and greatest place to be on social media? Well, we’ve got a new one for ya: Pinterest. It’s a good bet that by now you’ve received an email inviting you to this popular new invitation-only social network, but if you’ve never heard of it, it’s time to sit up and take note.
Last month, Pinterest cracked the top 10 most visited social networks at No. 9, besting the latest social media darling Google Plus at No. 10. Time magazine also declared it one of the top five social networks for 2011.
So what is this Pinterest? At its most basic, Pinterest allows you to create virtual “pinboards” with images you come across on the web. Your “pinboards” center around a specific subject matter or topic, say Arts & Crafts homes you’ve come across, purses you love, places you’d like to visit, birthday party ideas, decor for your baby’s nursery, you get the idea…
But it’s a whole lot more than that and the real reason I’m telling you about it is because of its potential to generate results for your business. Pinterest is a social network, of course, so for starters, you can follow others and their boards and vice versa.
Typically, the way a person uses Pinterest is they log on view pins (images) from those they follow, check out Pinterest’s recommended pins and search within the site for images specific to what they’re looking for. There is also a “pin” for your browser’s toolbar that you can click when you come across something on the web you’d like to “pin” to one of your boards.
When you pin an image, you can attach a web address to it and even a price. So if you’re a retailer who sells shoes, you might want to load up boards of your different styles of shoes and maybe even outfits that would go great with your shoes. Attach prices and websites to your products, and when Pinterest users come across your images, they just might go to your website and even better, purchase the product. On top of that, they may “repin” your image to one of their boards, thus sharing it with all of their followers.
We had a retail-based client who recently set up a Pinterest profile, and within days they saw a big bump in traffic from the site and even a boost in sales, better than they see from either Facebook or Twitter. We had another client with a women’s product who saw nearly 100 hits on their site from one pin someone posted of their product.
To get properly introduced to Pinterest, get on the site and play around. If you need an invite, shout and I’ll invite you from my profile. Feel free to take a look at Step Ahead’s Pinterest page at Pinterest.com/StepAheadInc/ to get a feel for what a company can do. It’s not a great fit for every business, but certainly those who offer something visually appealing should definitely poke around Pinterest. Have fun!
Lyn Mettler is the owner of Step Ahead Inc, an Indianapolis and Charleston, SC-based company specializing in social media management for business. Email her firstname.lastname@example.org for your Pinterest invite!