The Worlds Hottest Social Media Platform And You: A Pinterest Primer For Small Business
I have to admit. Up until recently I had absolutely no idea what Pinterest was.
So much for having your finger on the pulse of social media, eh?
As it turns out, Pinterest is what is known as the “cat’s pajamas” as far as social sharing sites go (by the way, “cat’s pajamas” is a term widely used in the 1920s to describe someone that was the best at what they did, get it?).
For those of you who are as in the dark as I was about Pinterest, allow me to shed a bit of light on the subject.
Pinterest is kind of a virtual cork board. It’s a place where you can post, or “pin”, things that you find beautiful, inspiring, or just plain cool.
In a way, it’s a spin on Tumblr. Users can browse other peoples “pinboards” and, when they find something they like, they can choose to follow that specific board or if you like, you can choose to follow everything a user posts (pins) by simply clicking the “follow all” button.
Okay, let’s assume you're sold on the basic idea and move on to how you can start making Pinterest work for you and your business.
Yes, a new social media outlet is exciting. Especially when there’s the possibility of using it for more than just tagging pictures of Eva Green or uploading photos of your goldfish doing ballet.
For now, Pinterest is invite only, which means nothing since you can request an invitation via their website and you’ll find one in your mailbox in less than a week.
Once you’re in, it’s all about the settings. Your future clients will find you through your profile so do yourself a favor and take the time to fill it out. Then, if you like, you can link your Pinterest account with your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts - it’s up to you.
The Next Level
The heart of Pinterest lies in the boards. It’s not about showing off your newest products or the comprehensive packages your business provides. It’s about selling an idea. What your company stands for is more important than what it actually does. At least, on Pinterest it is. Learn the words that people respond to, these are the words that will compel people to follow your pinboards.
Pinterest Is As Pinterest Does
The only way you can take full advantage of what Pinterest has to offer is by making the most of what Pinterest offers you.
It’s just like high school. If you want to make friends, you have to get out there and meet people. You have to commit yourself to actually making friends. People aren’t going to just come to you.
Every time you follow someone, they receive an email saying they have a new follower. Naturally, they will be curious as to who is following them and, if your content is up to par, chances are you’ll have a new follower.
Make Others Contribute
One of Pinterests greatest features is that you can add contributors. This means that you can invite other people to post on your “pinboards,” which takes a substantial load off your shoulders. Plus, the more people you invite to contribute, the more people will be able to find your business.
Spread The Word
Just like the other Big Boys Of Social Media, Pinterest has a special button that you can add to your blog posts that will encourage new users to subscribe to your Pinterest feed or join Pinterest themselves. Remember, the easier you make it for people to share your content on the web, the better chance you have at becoming the small business behemoth that you were meant to be.
Daniel Cassady is an online media researcher, a consultant for small businesses, and a freelance writer for a global email marketing provider.