Adding Pinterest to Your Social Media Arsenal

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, social media is changing the way that companies do business and communicate with their clients. While Twitter and Facebook are becoming ubiquitous for most companies that are utilizing social media, there is a new platform, Pinterest, that is commanding substantial attention.

Using the definition from the official website, Pinterest is “a virtual pinboard [that] lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.“  And while this sounds all well and good, Pinterest is also a great way to generate free advertising for your company!

Pinterest boasts over 10 million members, and while it is currently accessible by invite only, it is the fastest growing social media platform available.  The good news is that you can request an invite on the company’s website. Most invites are sent within 48 hours or so, which means you can get started pinning your products, ideas, and inspirations very soon!

Like Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is, by inception, a social platform. When you “pin” an item to your pinboard, it automatically links the image that appears on Pinterest to the original website the image or video was taken from.  The act of pinning an image or video to your pinboard allows other users to repin your item to their pinboards, creating a viral effect.  If your pins are popular, the simple act of pinning a picture could drive hundreds or thousands of people to your company’s website.

In order to best utilize Pinterest for your company, it is important that you keep a few things in mind.

First, it is important , not to mention much more fun, to follow a variety of people.  Building up your Pinterest network by following people and repinning images and videos you find interesting or helpful is a great way to create an audience for your pinboards. But be patient. Like any social media platform, it takes time to build up a following.

Second,  the time of day you pin items makes a huge difference in how successful they become.  Typically, Pinterest users are most active first thing in the morning, during lunchtime, and immediately after the work day ends.  If you find yourself limited in the amount of time you can spend utilizing social media, it is best to set aside a few moments during these “prime” times as your pins are much more likely to be seen and shared if they are posted when the greatest number of users are on the site.

Just like Facebook and Twitter, try to create pinboards that have a wide appeal, rather than just focusing on your specific product line.  If you create a variety of pinboards, like “Great Promotional Products” or “Tradeshow Giveaway Ideas”  for example, you can not only add your products to these areas, but also create goodwill (and more followers) by including items from other companies that you find useful or inspiring.

While Pinterest is still a growing social media commodity, the simple, visual layout and customizable pinboards make the site extremely user-friendly and interactive. By leveraging these features, you can use the site to create great product awareness, company branding, and free advertising opportunities for you and your business.