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How To Use Pinterest for Your Business

Pinterest has been in the news a lot lately, and no wonder, it’s yet another cool way to aggregate and bookmark content you like. Similarly like social bookmarking sites, Pinterest allows you to create virtual bulletin boards and then “pin” things up on them like you did when you were a kid on your tangible cork bulletin board (did I just date myself?). The concept is cute, but in the end it seems like just another social bookmarking site, right? Not exactly.

How does it work?

(It is still by invite only, so if you want to be added, leave your email in the bottom in a comment or DM me on Twitter and I’ll send you an invite.)

You can pin something to your virtual bulletin board in two ways:

  1. You can add an article you find on the web to a virtual board you create. Keep in mind that Pinterest is image based so you can’t pin something that doesn’t have an image associated with it. (Another good reason for bloggers to include images with every blog.)
  2. You can browse Pinterest for content on everything from recipes to DIY to news/blog sites. Find something you like, hover the image with your mouse and click “re-pin” it. (Everything on Pinterest has already been pinned so you are re-pinning it.)

You can follow people and you can follow boards.

Following a board means you are not following everything that the person who created it has pinned, but rather only that specific board.

For a step by step guide on how it works, see Mashable’s How-to guide for beginners on Pinterest.

How can you use it for your business?

  1. You can create boards for types of products you sell.
  2. Add boards for “things we love this week” or “Sale items”
  3. Service providers can create boards for “Tips and Tricks”
  4. Create a public board where you can get input from your customers, such as “Top picks”
  5. Once Pinterest opens its doors to everyone (and no longer invitation only), consider offering a discount to just Pinterest subscribers – all they have to do is follow a specific board or like a specific pin.
  6. You can also tweet your pins.
  7. Add a Pin It button to your website, or specific product pages so you make it easier for others to share your products/company with others.

What else can you do on Pinterest?

  1. On a personal note, you can add it to your Facebook timeline, which you can’t do on any of the other social bookmarking sites yet.
  2. Curate lists on specific topics and share them, or keep them private. For example, maybe you are planning a wedding or redecorating your a room in your home, you can create pins of your different ideas.
  3. Bloggers, you can add a pin to your blog or website to allow easy sharing of your content.

 

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the info on Pinterest…I’ve been meaning to check this out, and would appreciate receiving an invitation. All best wishes, Dee

    Dee Davey l Creative Ideas Marketing
    Interim Marketing and Service Product Management

  2. Tracy, thanks for the interesting article and invite to Pinterest!
    S.T. LeGray

  3. Interesting. I’d like an invitation, please.

  4. Tracy, great post and perfect for a Pinterest newbie like me (who runs a small business). Thank you for writing it!

  5. Good post! Something to be careful of, though, is that it’s my understanding you aren’t to use Pinterest for commercial purposes. This is from their “Prohibitions”:

    * Use the Site, Application or Site Content for any commercial purpose or the benefit of any third party or in any manner not permitted by these Terms;

    I believe a brand creating a board promoting their product is prohibited. An unrelated third party could be free to do it. Not clear, but it seems they want to keep it “natural.”

    Regardless, I think the focus should be more on encouraging Pinterest users to pin your product. So that could be putting a “Pin it” button on all of your products or it could be simply having a Pinterest logo on your site as a reminder that customers should pin your stuff.

    Thanks for the post!

    • Tracy Sestili says:

      Hi Jon, thanks for your comment, I haven’t heard of examples where they’ve prohibited that and I do know of a couple of companies that do actually do it, so not sure how strict they are. Definitely worth keeping an eye on. I’ll try pinging them and see what they say.

  6. Tracy,
    Love it. Thanks!

    Cheers,
    Mark

  7. http://www.facebook.com/TheHomeTeamIL

    Interested to see the application of this concept. I would like to participate.

  8. christine says:

    Please send me an invite.

  9. Thanks for the useful information. Please send me an invitation.

  10. Please invite me. Thanks.

  11. Great info.. Please invite me

  12. Great article, I’ve been wondering what all the hype is about. Please send me an invite!

    Tom

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  2. [...] How To Use Pinterest for Your Business (socialstrand.com) [...]

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  4. [...] doesn’t seem to be stopping people from pinning. Some people post for pleasure and some¬†post for business, but the early adopters of techies and journalists don’t seem to be pinning any [...]