How to Use Pinterest in Your Business

pinterestIf your business has any sort of web presence at all, it’s likely that you have a Facebook account, and perhaps a blog and a Twitter account as well. One social media site that is relatively new but has grown exponentially since its launch in 2010 is Pinterest. If you’re not familiar with the site, it’s based on images, pictures and videos. Right away, your first thought may be to dismiss Pinterest because it does not seem to apply to your company or brand. Au contraire! Most businesses can benefit from getting involved with Pinterest. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Always attribute everything properly. This is probably the most important tip, because following it will keep you out of ethical and legal hot water. If you use an image from any source other than your own camera or website, you must make sure that it links back to the right place. Do not take other people’s or other companies’ work and fail to credit them; this amounts to stealing, and is a huge no-no when it comes to Pinterest (or anywhere, really!).

  • Remember your target audience. Your Pinterest account is not a personal site, but a business site, though you can certainly feel free to set one up for your own likes. On this work-related site, you want to keep in mind your target demographic. What types of articles are they reading? Make a list of several potential topics, and create boards for the top three. Add to the number of boards as you see fit.

  • Mix things up. If you are selling products, then here is your platform to feature some of your best images. If you’re selling services, however, you might feel that you don’t have enough material to share. Create a video, type out some great text about an upcoming sale or a fun fact about your industry, or create an infographic to put on your boards. Try to offer a variety of material, because you want to appeal to a variety of pinners.

  • Remember the point of Pinterest. Sharing your images only goes so far; the real point is to get people to re-pin your material without intentionally or unintentionally stealing it. What this means is that you should watermark your images with your website, so as it gets shared, viewers can always find you, even if your link ends up being improperly attributed. (If only everyone followed the very first tip above!)

  • Keep up the communication with your followers and sharers. Just like other forms of social media, Pinterest relies on its users to interact with one another. If someone shares your work, thank them by leaving a comment. You can tag them with the “@” sign, just like you would on Instagram of Facebook, and you can use hashtags (#) as well.

  • Share your thoughts and personality with your followers. Whenever you pin anything, make sure to add a thought or two to the pin. Also, feel free to give your boards interesting names. Taking the time to set up your boards in a witty or whimsical way will attract followers who will want to see what fascinating thing you’ll say next!

Pinterest is a great tool for just about any business, even one that might not seem to rely on images as a marketing tool. If you can set aside a couple of hours to explore the site, you’ll undoubtedly think of even more ways to use it in order to gain a following and make more of a name for yourself or your brand.

Do you have any tips for business owners wanting to use Pinterest? Share them in the comments section below.