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Friday, December 02, 2011


Okay, here's a new one... a virtual pin board.  I have to admit that I love learning about new social websites and online applications.  When I heard about the latest edition to the emerging list of novel sites I had to turn to a fellow social media users to better understand what this was all about. This week, Lianne Froggatt tells us more about a new site that serves as a virtual pin board to collect everything beautiful or meaningful on the web.
 

I confess I am completely addicted to Pinterest. I think this may be the most compelled I have been to a social media site since MySpace first came on the scene back in my youth.  However, since becoming embroiled in the world of online marketing and SEO, I can’t help but be drawn not only to the pretty pictures but the incredible potential that this site can offer.

Pinterest allows users to pin images from any site onto virtual boards under any topic from crafts to food. Described as a ‘virtual pinboard’, this image bookmarking site provides an interesting platform on which to create a buzz about a website and potentially lots of links back to it. As it currently stands, Pinterest allows followed links which means that every time something is pinned or re-pinned, the original source will receive a backlink to their domain from a powerful, authoritative website (unlike most other social media platforms)

Pinterest not only provides a bookmarklet that users can use to pin products and images whenever but there is also a Pin It button available for websites and blogs. The value of embracing Pinterest in this manner could be extremely beneficial for your company and social media profile.

Not only can Pinterest provide links in this fashion which proves extremely beneficial for search marketing, the very nature of the site is inherently different from the main other social network sites out there.

Twitter is getting better at displaying images, but is still very much a text based medium encouraging conversation and debate. Facebook has emphasized photo sharing to its user base, yet with the excellent tagging feature they put the focus firmly on the relationship between images and people. Facebook business pages can be brilliant for engagement and providing information about your company’s products and services, but Pinterest allows the emphasis to be primarily on the products.

Other sites that focus on images such as Flickr or Photobucket have a marked difference to Pinterest; the primary focus is on the organisation and sharing of your own photos as opposed to the Pinterest which encourages people to share anything that they like or enjoy.  Sites like these also don’t have the visual impact of Pinterest which is minimal in terms of text or surrounding space- it is all about the images.

So, what can this innovative and exciting social media platform mean for your business? Many companies have already been utilising Pinterest, creating their own accounts and using this platform as a tool to promote their business, a good example being Warner Bros shop’s Pinterest boards.

So, as promised, here are five top tips for using Pinterest to help market your company:
      1.  For visual businesses a Pinterest account will simply be a brilliant online gallery of your work, be that photography, clothing or crafts and help create an awareness of your stuff.  Make sure you update your boards regularly and keep the items you pin in keeping with the feel of the site.  Hand out flyers in your shop or at your gallery opening complete with QR codes that will take people directly to your online gallery.
2. Create an ‘online catalog’ using different boards for different item groups and help your potential customers navigate around what you have to offer.

3. A Pinterest led marketing campaign would be a brilliant and unique way to promote your business.  Create a hidden landing page on your site for an exclusive product that can only be accessed through the Pinterest link. Or run a teaser board in the run up to the launch of a new product or event, your pins alluding to what it could be and the final pin being a reveal. Having interesting boards will encourage people to follow them and share your content. 

4. 
 If you run a service as opposed to having products, take photos of your finished work, for example a hairdresser could create different boards of short styles, up do’s and so on. Currently Pinterest is mainly used by women so it will be particularly good for these types of services.
5. 
Get leaflets printed with QR codes linking directly to your boards. Hand them out at an opening or event, or simply have them lying around in your shop.  Take your customers directly to your boards and keep your work in the forefront of their minds.
As a relative new-comer in the social media network for businesses, there is a real opportunity with Pinterest to create a unique and exciting buzz about your company.  Currently the site is invitation only; you can request an invite or be invited by a current member. I do have a few invites left so feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email and I will send one over.

Happy Pinning!

This post is written by Lianne Froggatt, a fresh faced internet marketer at IdeasByNet, a UK promotional gifts distributor. Interested in social media marketing, SEO and general internet marketing, she would love your feedback. Find her at lianne.froggatt@ideasbynet.com or tweet her @Lianne_Froggatt.

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