Pinterest is the hot new social medium and recently eclipsed LinkedIn as the third most-popular (behind Twitter and Facebook). Pinterest is the modern equivalent of the college dorm room cork board, where people pin photos of stuff they like: cars, food, travel destinations, jewelry, etc. Pinterest can be a great way to get your fans and customers to talk about your business, drive traffic to your website, display your goods and services, and build your brand.
Pinterest is largely a female social medium one joke is that when you sign up and state your gender, theres only one box and it says female. Considering that women make more than 85 percent of U.S. consumer purchases and 50 percent or better in traditional male categories like automobiles and consumer electronics, Pinterest is a gateway to a very desirable audience. But Pinterest is evolving quickly and more men are joining. The age range is becoming more diverse.
I recently had Dennis J. Smith, a social media consultant and author, on the Social Media Yak radio show to help shed some light on how businesses can make themselves relevant through Pinterest.
Pinners usually dont upload photos from their computers (although they may); instead, they put up links to photos elsewhere on the Internet, so these photos display in their Pinterest boards. Pinners may add as many boards as they like about anything that interests them.
Pinners develop followers and get updates on what theyre pinning and can repin someone elses pin, getting it in front of their own followers. Popular images can be repinned hundreds of thousands of times.
Use vertical photos. Vertical photos get repinned more than squarish ones. All Pinterest thumbnails are 192 pixels wide and display at up to 554 pixels wide when clicked but can be any height. So, your pictures should be as close to 554 pixels wide and as vertical as possible.
Pin photos from your website. Pin your website photos, which may lead people to your website and improve your search-engine results.
Add keywords. Use the caption to write about your business, your industry and your people. This will assist your search-engine visibility.
Point people to Pinterest. Use your website, Facebook page, Twitter feed and other assets to promote your latest pins. Link your Pinterest and Facebook pages, so your pins automatically show up on your wall. Add a Pin It button to your website and blog to make it easy for visitors to pin your photos to their own boards.
You cant tag photos, so Pinterests functionality is much more limited than Facebooks. So whats the attraction? Facebook can be overwhelming, but Pinterest allows people to focus on compelling photos, free of distractions. Pinterests simplicity is what endears it.
Pinterest can show off your eye candy, but what if your business doesnt have much? One local auto repair shop, Plantation Tune Tech, includes boards of unusual and amphibious vehicles. Lake Harbor Dental has started a board of smiles. While these boards dont show off their business per se, the boards do have a logical connection to what they do and attract notice. Use Pinterest to show that your industry is fun, important and interesting, and that will reflect on your business.
MARTIN JOHNCOX: Social media consultant and producer of the Social Media Yak radio show, broadcast Saturday mornings on 580 KIDO. Contact him at 658-9100, firstname.lastname@example.org.