Many years ago I took my first college art history class. I soon fell in love the subject; one would watch many slides of wonderful art in each class, and the assignments involved visits to art museums. Pinterest is a bit like that, but you can use your web browser or your mobile phone to view the images. And you can participate by pinning your own.
Pinterest is hot: Pinterest’s total visits have grown from 10 million to 17 million this past month. From the same article, “Pinterest had seen a 207% increase in unique visitors between November and December.” Many of the users of Pinterest are women using Pinterest. Hitwise found that 58 percent of the visitors in the past three months were women, and most, 59 percent, were between 25 and 44.
Basics of Pinterest
Pinterest is made up of pins, boards and pinners (those who pin). You pin images (not necessarily your own) unto boards. You can set up any number of boards on any topic (Pinterest likes when you categorize your topics, but I find my topics don’t fit neatly into their categories). There are two ways to find images to pin – you can use the Pin tool (scroll down the Goodies page) to pin any image on the web or you can repin what others have already pinned.
Bloggers Using Pinterest
Emily Segal (a food blogger) and Robin Epstein (a photographer) got into an interesting conversation on Facebook on whether one should pin ones own images. Robin thought it better to have someone else pin your images. Then Emily said she gets lots of blog traffic from pinning her own images. Then Robin decided she should indeed pin some of her own photos.
Here is Robin Epstein’s board of Inspiring Photography (photos by others that inspire her):
And here are some of Robin’s own photos, first pinned by others:
I first learned about Pinterest from Praveen Rajarao. Praveen uses Pinterest to pin blogger’s logos. I love the idea in theory, but I’m thinking he would get more interest in the pins if he posted some fabulous imagery that are on those blogs. I have one board for Pinterest articles, but not many of the people on Pinterest seem to be there to read an article. It’s about relaxing with beautiful imagery.
Highlight Local if Your Business is Local
Is your business geographically based? How about some boards related to your area:
If you know other local pinners, you could also set up a community board, like this one called The Jersey Shore Community Board. Get some of your fans and friends to help you find and pin great images of your area.
Pinterest Pinning Ideas for Small Businesses
Pinterest can be a platform for a business to publicize one’s brand. One should probably think carefully about the initial set up if using Pinterest for business (and experimenting by using a personal name first is probably a safe approach), but once you have some boards set up, pinning new images and repinning from the boards of others is easy.
Here’s one idea for businesses that may need some help with pizzazz – add some great imagery to your blog. Then pin it to one of your boards. If your business is mostly local, a local board might be appropriate. If you are an accountant writing a blog post on how winter can effect a budget, put a great image on the post of winter and later pin the image to a seasonal Pinterest board. You can write the summary of the blog post in the comments – perhaps someone will be drawn in to read the post. I’ve seen some snazzy charts on Pinterest – can a graphic designer help explain some statistics you want to present? Or maybe you can repin someone else’s charts.
Mrs. G TV and Appliances has some good pinning ideas – the appliance store ran a contest of painting refrigerators pink in support of breast cancer awareness back in September. She pinned the colorful winners unto a Pinterest board. Note also when she pins kitchen design elements unto a board, she leaves a detailed comment: “Yes this has a beautiful tiled backsplash but we noticed the exceptional detail of how the base columns on each side of the 48″ Wolf Dual Fuel Range matches exactly to the edge of the range. Now that is a Kitchen Design Detail we love! www.mrsgs.com/… photo compliments of astepinstone.com.” She got 7 repins on that image.
Another small business using Pinterest is Gray Car Travel. Look at all the beautiful imagery on this board:
What is missing, however, are repins and likes. Gray Car Travel needs to do a little more socializing to get others to see them as people and value what they are posting.
Which Images Get Repinned?
One of the images from my photo blog that has 25 repins is the dogwood flowers photo on the left. Another image I found that has 817 repins is this floral river image. Clearly, nature imagery with bright colors has a good chance of being repinned, but how you relate it to your own business might be a bit trickier.
Why Use Pinterest?
With so many social media platforms out there, why use Pinterest? One just has to ask, why is Pinterest growing so fast in use? Perhaps it is because few other platforms are so simple to use and so rewarding in visual imagery. There isn’t much I can do when I’m tired and it’s late at night, but liking or repinning is fun and easy. Maybe your future customers will feel this way, too.
A Few Pinterest Tips
- Leave the name of the artist or photographer if you have that information. Always good to give credit.
- Use Pinterest as an opportunity to get to know someone better. Ask a question about a choice of pin or “like” a few of their pins that you might not be interested in re-pinning to your own boards. If someone is posting from their own blog, go visit and comment there.
- Just as you might space out your tweets, you should probably space out your pins as well. For example, it might be better to pin 3 images in one hour than 330 images.
Your Turn, Please
Do you have any ideas on how a small business can use Pinterest? A blogger? An organization? Any ideas about how to connect to others by using Pinterest? If you have never used but are interested, feel free to ask questions. It’s easy to use once you get the hang of pinning an image from anywhere on the web.
And here’s the link if you want to follow me on Pinterest.
More posts on Pinterest:
- Why Pinterest is Your Business’ New Best Friend (lots of links on this article, including one to Pinterest for lawyers)
- Pinterest and libraries
- Tips For Local Search Engine Optimization On Pinterest For Local Businesses