The month of March is the perfect time for me to start pinning items on my Pinterest account. Why, you may ask. This month represents the two year anniversary since it’s launch date. To those who aren’t yet aware, and by aware I mean addicted, Pinterest might seem like a similar platform to other social photo sharing websites such as Flickr. However, Pinterest also allows for connectivity, and not through people, but through ‘things’. Since it’s centered on ‘things,’ as a user you can follow a particular board or a particular user if he or she is pinning items of interest to you on multiple boards. Like retweeting on Twitter and reblogging on Tumblr, on Pinterest items can be repinned to your own pinboard, which you can create and aggregate items of interest while organizing them by category.
Pinterest is simply not just for the average Joe consumer, it is also being utilized by businesses to drive traffic to their websites and ultimately from that traffic create leads. So what are some potential ways to drive traffic? Start with the easy and obvious, post photos you already have whether from your company blog, website or a company outing. Other items of interest to put on your Pinterest include clearly labeled graphs showing what your company has been doing recently or charts which show successful events your company was a part of and images of such events. It is important to remember that content posted to your business Pinterest account should be aesthetically appealing and visually easy to understand. The need for consumer involvement is at an all time high, so make a pinboard users can contribute to or highlight some of your customers by pinning photos of them. To increase incentive to participate develop a contest for the consumer who best demonstrates your brand’s culture or products through their various pinboards.
Let’s take a look at a few brands who have successfully began their Pinterest journeys. Etsy, a website for buying and selling homemade or vintage items, has used Pinterest very well in terms of representing what their brand stands for, while providing consumers with ideas of how to use their products, thus generating more of a demand. Another leader in utilizing the Pinterest realm is General Electric. One thing GE does is have an pinboard entitled “archive” where users can look at what products GE has had in previous years. They also use Pinterest to show their machines that they work with everyday and entitled the board “badass machines.” Instead of featuring their machines, Oreck, a vacuum cleaner brand, features images of room layouts and cute animals, both of which relate to having the clean home you as the consumer desire.
In the future, I hope to see Pinterest evolve to allow you as a business to connect your Facebook business page to the content on your pinboards. Being able to connect the two could increase visibility of both sites and generate a buzz about what your company is doing and all it’s already accomplished. Perhaps also in the future by clicking the ‘pin it’ button on your pages, it will be able to follow the link and can positively affect SEO results. At the moment, pinning pages does not provide a link that can be optimized as the ‘pin it’ button is a “no follow link.”
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networks on the map, so make sure you set your compass right and try out the ideas above for pinboards full of both business and pleasure! I am just getting started myself, come join me & Happy Pinning!
Vert’s Spring 2012 Intern
@ariel_danna on Twitter