How to Use Pinterest to Grow Your Online Presence

March 31, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Pinterest is the newest social media platform to hit the ground running and start growing overnight. The idea involves a virtual pin board, where users can pin pictures they upload or re-pin pictures from other users. Re-pinning is seeing a picture on someone else’s pin board and then pinning it on your own. With pinning and re-pinning, Pinterest has potential to be a powerful tool for businesses that have an online presence. The question is what businesses, and how do they use it?

The pin boards are created based on users’ interests. For example, if a person is interested in home designs, he can pin pictures of amazing houses that he has seen or found. Another example is if someone makes wedding cakes, then she can post pictures of her current designs on a board and title it “my designs”. Users can then go to these boards and look at the pictures posted and either comment on them, “like” them, or re-pin them to their own board. Also, a picture can be pinned and then linked back to the website where it was found or to a site where it can be bought. This is can be a great move for local SEO, because it creates back links to your site. This could be a great way for a business to generate reviews for their product. Say a local chef posts a picture of a menu item on his website, he can then put that picture on Pinterest and link it to that his page. In theory that will drive more traffic to his site. This can be done with pictures across the web. For example say someone finds a product on Amazon, they can pin to their Pinterest account and that pin will be linked to that Amazon page. This kind of sharing and linking increases the importance of review monitoring. If company has a link to a product where people can review it, then the company needs to make sure that there are no negative reviews on that page. With the ability to review and comment on Pinterest, companies are going to need to monitor their reviews to ensure that pinners like their pins.

If a user finds a pinner (a person who posts pictures on Pinterest) or a business and he or she likes the pictures posted, that person can then choose to follow that pinner. Once someone follows a pinner or a business, then a feed will populate their home screen with new pins from that person. It is similar to following someone on twitter where their tweets show up on your wall.

So how can Pinterest be used to develop an online presence for local businesses and which businesses will benefit from it? The companies that should jump on Pinterest immediately are companies that rely on creativity, designs, and anything visual to set themselves apart. Which, when you think about it can be almost any business. Obviously, some businesses will benefit from it more than others, like restaurants, hotels, clothing companies, and landscapers. But it is a good platform to expand your online presence. Here are a couple creative tips to use to help get the wheels turning on how to use Pinterest in a business manner.

1.) Integrate your Twitter and Facebook pages with your Pinterest account. This will expand your online presence and will show your followers on your other sites what you are doing on Pinterest. It is like sending a new tweet or posting a new status, simply driving more traffic to your profile if people are interested in your activity.

2.) Build a product board, which is a board that will display your products. Whether you are a restaurant or a landscaper, you should get pictures of your items/work on Pinterest. Once your product’s pictures are online, you can tag it with a price and link back to your site where the customer can purchase it or get more information about the service. The great thing about the price tags is that the pictures will automatically be cataloged, so if someone searches for a wedding dress that is $150.00, only dresses that are listed for $150.00 will pop up in the search. There are different ways to take advantage of this feature. One picture I saw listed 4 items and the picture was tagged with multiple prices so that pictures popped up more often.

3.) Build a step by step tutorial on basic lessons that compliment your service or tutorials on how to do a certain task. This is a great way to help your customers understand your industry, engage your followers, and teach people about what your company offers. For example if you are a chef and you have a new way to make a great Panini you can post a video or step by step pictures that explain how to create this new recipe.

Pinterest has real potential to be valuable for businesses, however we believe it is still too early to have a clear understanding of the true benefits that will come from being active on Pinterest.

One thing to keep in mind with Pinterest and all other social media sites for that matter is that they are not a one time deal. With any effective social media strategy, the sites that a company participates in, must be active and updated consistently. This will increase your online presence and keep followers engaged.

With the explosion of different marketing channels, from local search to social to mobile, it can be difficult to track where you have a presence and where you should. Pinterest is the next social medium getting some traction and who knows of its future.

Chatmeter can help agencies and enterprise retailers determine where to focus their efforts in this fragmented world, for more information on how we can help, click here.

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