Very Pinteresting for Small Business (Pinterest Business Pages)

I wrote a Blog in this column a few months ago (March 2012) when Pinterest was just taking off in the UK and more especially the first UK businesses were considering whether to add this Social Media outlet to their portfolio. At the time, I said that it would make sense if your business was involved in the sort of products that work well on Pinterest. For example, designer led items and those that have strong visual impact. This is still true, but also, as predicted, a full range of businesses have now started to take notice of Pinterest.  Perhaps in recognition of this, last month, Pinterest launched “Pinterest for Business Pages”.

Pinterest has been a big hit with individuals with well over 25 million accounts now active. This makes it the third biggest Social Media Network after Facebook and Twitter and ahead of LinkedIn.  As I have always said, if you want to catch fish, go where the fish are, so I think now is the time for small and local business to take the plunge and to create a Business Page on Pinterest.  The process is very straight forward, requiring you only to enter a few details about the nature and intent of your business and then to verify your account. Once you have done this, you can make your first post to Pinterest and it will appear with a little symbol showing that you are a bone-fide company.

I suppose the question is what to post?  Any striking images about the output of your business would be a good start.  If you have been running a Facebook account, it might be useful to look at your Posts and see if you can re-Post something to Pinterest.

Note that if you were ahead of the curve and already have a personal Pinterest account, you can and should convert to a Pinterest Business Page- just as in the same way that many businesses that had a personal Facebook account now use a Facebook Business Page. But what do you get as a Pinterest Business page Account?  Well apart from the verification and a little free publicity, the answer is not very much – yet.    But hang on; let’s not ignore the possibility to obtain free publicity in an environment where there may not be much business competition for your products and services.

Yes, if you are selling designer cup cakes, the chances are that in no way will you have “first mover advantage” on  Pinterest (quite the reverse in fact!). But if you are selling a novel and environmentally friendly way to clean conservatories, for example, you could be on to a winner.  What you will need really is to have some good “before and after” photographs- preferably with a human interest story attached.  In fact, maybe this is the time to invest in obtaining some professional quality photography for your business.   Yes, anyone can take a technically good photograph these days, but it is still an art to create a photograph of a mundane subject and make it striking enough so  that a complete stranger will notice it and share it on Pinterest by “re-pinning” it.

Beyond that, we can expect Pinterest to start to build out useful features for their Business Page customers.  What those features will be – we will have to wait and see, but Pinterest is very easy and stylish to use , and right now, with a little effort,  your Business Page will have nice medium to long term rewards.