How to Use New Social Network Pinterest as a Small Business

Pinterest logo
Pinterest can be a great platform for businesses selling emotive, visual products

Just as you were getting to grips with Twitter and Facebook, along comes another social media site to throw a spanner in the works.

Pinterest is a photo-sharing website that allows users to ‘pin’ images they have an ‘interest’ in to virtual corkboards, or scrapbooks if you prefer. Pretty much any image can be pinned, and a user can have loads of different scrapbooks, each with a different title – such as maybe “Dream Kitchen”, “Clothes I love” or, of course, “Look at these cats OMG”.

The pinning is done when a user is on the web and hits a ‘Pin It’ button on their internet browser. And behind each pin is a link to where it originated from.

So what does this mean for businesses?

If you are a company that sells emotive or visual products, Pinterest might be for you. It’s a site with a lot of buzz around it that hasn’t yet broken into the mainstream – but it’s a good time to get to grips with it.

How do I get started?
The easiest way to create an account is to use an existing Twitter business profile to sign up. Request an invite and then take it from there.

How do I use Pinterest for my company?
It’s a good idea to post the things you sell in the ‘products’ category, as this allows you to tag the image with a price. If you often think to yourself ‘if only more people saw this thing’, Pinterest could work well for you.

How do people find me and my products?
To get going, make sure you add as much keyword-rich information as you can to you product descriptions, in order to show up in search results. The aim is for your pin to be liked or repinned, a bit like Twitter. If people are interested in you they can follow you, or particular boards you have.

Another point to bear in mind is that Pinterest is big in the States at the moment – so if you are thinking that your products might sell well over the Atlantic, that might be another reason to get on board. Also, it’s slightly bad form to just post products – have a think about what else you could post in order to enhance your profile, even if this is just repinning other content already up on Pinterest.

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