Pinterest is the Latest Social Media Craze. Is it Right for Your Small Business?
March 13, 2013
Pinterest is the fastest growing website ever! It’s a virtual bulletin board to promote your product images and videos.
By Maureen McCabe
You may be old enough to remember the bulletin boards made of cork at school or the office. A push pin or stapler was used to mount the best artwork, inspirational message, or your ‘To Do’ list. In grade four (or as Americans say “fourth grade”) my artwork was never featured on the board. I likely should be in counselling for the artistic self-esteem issues caused by Mrs. Anderson!
Today, there are virtual bulletin boards. Pinterest is a social media site that enables you to share photos and videos. As a business owner you may be wondering if it’s the latest social media wonder and you should jump on the cruise liner or wait for the next boat. If your business has numerous products and nice images you’re likely a natural fit.
Pinterest the hottest new social networking media platform catapulted to number four on eBIZMBA’s report. Pinterest is designed to be quite visual and social. There are 19 reasons why you should include visual content in your marketing. The following are two gee whiz facts:
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text.
- 40% of people respond better to visual information than text.
Each social media site has its own vernacular:
- What is a ‘pin’? It is a bookmark that you share. For example you can share a photo, infographic, or video.
- What is a ‘re-pin’? When you share someone else’s pin.
- What is a ‘pinboard’? It is a group of pins grouped by topic on various boards or in your profile. Each board mimics a real-life cork board.
You can create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, repin images to their own pinboards, ‘like’ or comment on the images. Similar to other social media platforms you can ‘follow’ a user or a specific pinboard.
You can share your pins on Twitter and Facebook profiles automatically. However, twitter posts only the first 139 characters and spaces (used to be 140!) so beware. Facebook will post all of it.
You do not have to set up a profile or ‘join’ to view other pins. You can set up a personal profile and business profile. Here’s an excellent pin on how to set up a Pinterest business page.
A few months ago, I set up my business page and started pinning to learn how to use it. As a small business marketing consultant my clients expect me to be knowledgeable and have hands-on social media experience.
Yesterday, a client starting pinning with a little help from yours truly! Grauman Packaging designs and manufactures custom packaging – bags, boxes, and coordinated accessories from tissue paper ribbon, to labels. They are a natural fit with stunning product images to leverage Pinterest’s social media value and drive more sales leads to their website.
It is surprisingly easy to pin a video or image on Pinterest. Follow these steps and you can make a pin in less than one minute!
Step 1. Click on the ADD + button (located top navigation bar)
Step 2. Click on Add a Pin
Step 3. Insert the photo or video. (You can upload the image or link to a video on YouTube or Vimeo.)
Step 4. Choose the category or create one. (I recommend that you create a special category for videos and name it – ‘Videos’)
Step 5. Write a short description. (The maximum number of characters is 500 characters.)
TIP: remember to include a link to your website. Add a strong call to action such as request pricing or a free consultation!
NOTE: Any photo, video, or pin can be edited later. You can even delete it.
Have fun and explore Pinterest. I would recommend that you start with a personal profile to get some hands-on experience.
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