The latest craze in the social media world is the by-invitation-only site Pinterest. While the company has been around for almost two years, it’s just recently gained a lot of traction, growing by an amazing 4000% in the past six months to 11 million users! But what is Pinterest?
Pinterest is an online bulletin board. Think about when you’ve been clicking through websites and you find random things here and there that you want to remember and save away for later. Instead of bookmarking the link into a folder somewhere, you can “pin” the link to your bulletin board, which includes a picture for quick reference. And since it’s a social site, you can view other people’s boards and collections and “repin” their ideas onto your board and vice versa.
I’ve created my own personal Pinterest account in order to play around and get a feel for it and to see if it’s suitable for business use. On a personal level, I absolutely love it. It’s a great place for sharing DIY and craft ideas, decorating and art ideas and an insane number of recipes – all things I love!
So what’s in it for professional services firms? At first glance I would say not much. There are businesses on Pinterest, but these are mostly retailers that have a tangible product to promote and sell, such as Anthropologie and Etsy. On this site, they can share some of their latest products in the hopes that the listing will get shared around and generate online orders.
I do think there are some benefits that aren’t immediately obvious. Pinterest is about sharing ideas and discovering new ones for yourself, and social media is about connecting, not just shilling something. A firm can create an account that shares information such as recommended books, upcoming local events, company information blog posts and the like. This personalizes your brand, making your company more approachable. Additionally, it can generate backlinks to your website. The more interesting and engaging the posts from your website are, the more likely they are to be repinned across the site. This improves your search engine optimization, pushing you up in search engine rankings. Just remember to use colorful and engaging pictures in your posts, as this is what grabs the user’s attention.
There are several other methods of marketing your business on Pinterest, such as contests, product previews, etc., but the vast majority, as mentioned before, really work best for retail, If you find you are interested in these sorts of promotions on Pinterest, I recommend reading 7 Ways to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Business. Also, ask your staff members that have personal Pinterest accounts if they wouldn’t mind pinning your firm’s blog posts or other interesting items from your website, generating more of the backlinks discussed earlier.
Currently, Pinterest is very heavily focused on arts, crafts and DIY. However, since social media constantly adapts and evolves it’s reasonable to assume that more people will begin adding current events, industry news and business-themed advice. It now basically boils down to whether you want to be one of the first on Pinterest to do so, and thereby establish yourself as an early thought leader, or wait until others have paved the way. If you’d like to try out Pinterest, send us an email letting us know the email address you wish us to use and we’ll send you an invitation.
Have you tried Pinterest yet? Do you think there are marketing possibilities there for professional services firms? We’d love to hear your thoughts.