Pinterest is a not a staple in my daily social media diet, but I can tell you that foodies, fashionistas and hobbyists are flocking there in droves every day. Those topics are the most searched pins and boards on Pinterest. But, I can tell you that Pinterest is so much more than just that. Yes, you can search for Bacon, but then try searching for something more geeky like Apple Mac, Internet Marketing, or Avatar. There are so many topics you may want to search for on Pinterest and the results are amazing!
Some of you will remember the old cork boards we used to have in our bedrooms and classrooms. When I worked in corporate America, we had wall panels in our cubes where you could use push pins to post notes and documents all over your cube (including phone numbers, lunch menus, meeting notes and so on). That was the good ol' Days! (my home office still has them and I use clips, buttons and push pins to this day … please don't tell others or I may lose my geek Boy Scout badges).
That is what Pinterest is. You create digital boards, and you can add pins to them (including pictures, recipes, infographics and so on). You can pin your own original material, or you can scour Pinterest and pin ideas to pin to your own boards. People can then re-pin your pins to their boards. It is social media at it's best … posting and sharing with a purpose.
Each board has its own category. Some of mine include Bacon (of course), blogs, podcasts, infographics, my books, quotes, Google, funny stuff, music and more. Take a look at mine. Other people choose what their interests are and create boards that they want to save and repost or create custom pins.
There are two types of accounts. You can have a personal account and a business account at the same time – they do need to have different email addresses for each in the profile. There is a benefit to having both. You can keep your personal stuff, like hobbies and recipes on your personal account, while adding business stuff, including your business content to your business account.
A business account comes with additional benefits. The most important benefit is that it has analytics, so you can measure traffic, audience and demographics, and click back to your website(s) and SO MUCH MORE! You can also do promoted posts (advertising), if that fits with your business model.
- Create Original Content – You can pin other people's content to your heart's content, but what's your plan and purpose? I would suggest you create your own content and post it. Use free graphics programs, like Canva or Word Swag, to create graphics, quotes or infographics to share your thoughts and concepts with your audience. Read on to get some ideas of how to use them.
- Pin Images From Your Website – You can pin these directly to your boards in Pinterest, but if you want more web traffic, then take an extra step. Create a special blog category in your WordPress website for quotes, or infographics, and add the original content there first. Then use a pin-it button from your browser or a plug-in to easily add content from your website to your business Pinterest account. This will drive people back to your website where you control their attention and your own messages.
- Measure Traffic With Analytics – As I mentioned, you have analytics inside of your business pinterest accout, so use that for feedback. But then, don't neglect Google Analytics. See which posts (or types of posts) are driving the most traffic back to your website. This will tell you which types of posts are giving you the biggest return on your investment in Pinterest and social media in general – measurement is King (and Queen)!
You are probably in one of three camps … “What is Pinterest?”, “I know of it and I need to know more!”, or “I am an addict and I have 100 boards and 100 pins in each!”. If you are in the first two groups, then you owe it to yourself to take some time to explore it more, to see if and how it can increase traffic to your website and how it can help you create more business. If you are the Pinterest addict, then you may need an intervention (or not if you are happy).
Like most social media, it's all about trial and error. Give it a try and see if it could be an untapped resource for you and your business.
I would love to hear your thoughts, comments and experiences with Pinterest. Comment away!