So I’m back on the blog today after a long absence. I’ve been busy with baby and business, and suddenly it’s February 2012. Facebook’s rolled out timelines, Google Plus has launched pages for business, and the next big thing in social media seems to be Pinterest.
For the uninitiated, Pinterest is basically an online pinboard where you can share photos or images from around the web with your followers and other Pinterest users. Each photo is pinned to a particular board, with a theme you’ve defined. So if you’re planning a wedding for example, you can have a wedding style board. If you like to bake, you could have a cupcake inspiration board with recipes you’d like to try. You could have a quotes to live by board or a infographics board; the possibilities are fairly endless.
As an example, here’s my Need to Read board. Over the past few weeks, when I’ve been browsing online bookstores, I’ve pinned the books I’d like to read here – just in case I ever get time to read again.
At first, I thought this was all a bit of fun, but somewhat limited compared to other social media channels which allow a greater focus on text. Then I read a Shareaholic study showing that in January this year, Pinterest referred on more traffic to the websites in their sample than Google Plus, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined.
Therefore, if you operate a business that deals in products or has a strong visual element, you may want to investigate Pinterest as a way to bring new visitors to your website. Of course, the fundamentals of social media still apply here. Social media is all about connecting and communicating with others, and if you just use Pinterest to pin photos of your merchandise, you’re unlikely to get results.
Think about how you can bring value to the Pinterest community. If you run a local business, can you use Pinterest to showcase the best of your town? If you’re a photographer, can you pin photos and add your tips? Follow others you’re interested in and learn from how they’re using the tool.
For more tips on how small businesses can use Pinterest, take a look at Sarah E. Needleman’s article from The Wall Street Journal Online: 6 Tips for Tapping Pinterest’s Surging Popularity.
If you’ve seen a great use of Pinterest, whether it’s by a business or personal user, feel free to share a link in the comments below.