Pinterest. Is this a term that makes you scratch your head, or does it describe your latest obsession? I can definitely say around our office, it’s everyone’s latest obsession, and it looks like we’re not alone. In December, 2011, Hitwise listed Pinterest as one of the Web’s Top 10 and Time listed it as a Top 5 social network of 2011. comScore also reports that as of November, 2011, Pinterest had almost 5 million users.

And, according to Biz Report, new statistics, recently released by social sharing tools firm Shareaholic, reveal that Pinterest is pushing up the rankings to drive almost as much referral traffic (3.6%) as Twitter (3.61%) and Google (3.62%). In fact, Pinterest now drives more referral traffic than YouTube (1.05%), Reddit (0.83%) and Google+ (0.22%)!

Just check out this inforgraphic shared by the folks at Monetate:

So what is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social photo sharing pinboard and online community. It allows you to “pin” anything you find on the web, and organize it into themed image boards that you create. You can follow boards that others in Pinterest have created, find friends who’re already there, or invite friends to join. Anyone can follow what you pin and “re-pin” those images onto their own boards. Recently, more businesses have started to use Pinterest to showcase not only their products, but other items related to what they do or sell.

Below are three ideas to help get your business off to a great start on Pinterest!

1. Create Interesting Boards – Pinterest allows you to create image boards that contain information pertinent to your business. Boards are customizable: you name your boards and select the category they fall under (i.e., apparel, photography, science and nature, travel).

2. Content – This is the fun part! The sky is the limit and all you need to be able to pin something is a URL. If you sell products, this is a no-brainer: Just add images to your boards, of the products you want people to see and share. But you don’t have to sell products to use Pinterest. If you offer a service, pin that! Add images to your boards that complement the services you offer. The fun part of Pinterest is that you can pin things that are related to your products or services, not just the things you offer. The image to the right has two boards of specific products this company sells, but also a selection of items that are related to their products, and even a few random things they found cool.

3. Share! – Pinterest has a goodies page where you can get a button to add to your site, blog or products to make pinning easy. Just a few steps will make following your business or sharing your products or services easy. The image here shows a company that’s incorporated different ways for shoppers to share info about their products, including a Pin It button. This may or may not be my managers new headboard found while researching this post.

I’ve seen a few of the brands that I follow on Facebook also sharing their Pinterest boards. Using a social media platform to advertise another social platform? Awesome! All those followers you’ve cultivated will love to see more about your company in a new and exciting space. Plus, it gives you more resources that allow you to share and keep content fresh on social media. Also send an email to invite people to check out what’s happening on Pinterest. Just like your Facebook or Twitter pages, you may need to invite your customers to find out what’s going on and email (of course!) is great for that.

In just a small amount of time your business could see a boost via obsessed pinners! Adding a pin or two a week will also move your boards up in views, making it easy for people to find you. I can’t say how many ideas I’ve pinned while researching this blog, but luckily, my manager is just as obsessed with pinning as I am, so we’ll count it as work.

Are you currently using Pinterest for your business, and what other ideas do you have for using Pinterest for your business?

© 2012 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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