You have probably heard of a new “hot” social network called Pinterest. Yes, one more social network… I know, it might seem overwhelming but this one you just cannot afford to miss! Pinteres is one of the fastest growing sites whose unique visitors increased by 155% in just 1 (!) month, from December 2011 to January 2012; and it continues dominating the web!
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you can share, curate, and discover new interests by posting (aka ‘pinning,’) images or videos to your own or others’ pinboards. Since it is a social network, it is designed to create high interaction among its members through reposting it, sharing others’ pins on Facebook and Twitter or via email, and even embedding individual pins on your website or blogs. Here is an example of a Pinterest page:
Pinterest revolves around visual imaging. Therefore it helps people to communicate their lifestyles, interests, preferences and connect with like-minded individuals and companies.
Why use Pinterest?
1. To Increase Traffic
If you are a business owner, a teacher, a researcher or just a person who wants to build connections with others, using Pinterest can be very helpful for boosting your traffic.
NB! Research shows that Pinterest drives MORE traffic than Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or Google +
2. To Build Links
Every time you use “pin it button” your pins include a link to you. This means that anyone who finds your content on Pinterest can visit your site in just one click, which generates leads and followers.
3. To Create a Sense of Community Among Your Customers, Clients and Students
Pinterest allows you to connect with like-minded people, which in turn helps your followers to build a community with you and with each other. There are 2 ‘follower options’ that users can take when someone likes a piece of content they found: a person can follow a specific board by a Pinterest user or a user’s account.
NOTE: In order to get onto Pinterest you will need to send a request and wait for the invitation to be granted.
13 Steps to Building Connections on Pinterest
1: Attract your target audience.
Create a board containing pins that would appeal to your target market and add some images from your website and your blog to show how your business fits into their interests.
2: Connect with others in your industry.
One of the main rules of networking is actually connecting to others, not just waiting for others to connect to you. Follow companies, organizations or people that are similar to your field, and repin their pins. You will see that they will often return the favor, which in turn will make you visible to their followers.
3: Like and comment on other users’ pins
Any time you like or comment on someone’s post, you not only build connections with the post’s owner but also provide exposure to your profile. Remember that keeping it real and genuine in your comments is a surer way to gain popularity than blunt self-promotion.
4: Add a ‘Pin It’ or ‘Follow’ button to your website or blog.
Make it easy for people to pin your website or products by adding a ‘Pin It’ or ‘Follow’ button. The more people who pin your website, the more people who will visit it!
Note: If you want to share your pins on your Facebook page, click your username in the top-right toolbar, then -> Edit Profile. Then simply move the slider to ON to add your pins to your Facebook Timeline. You can also Tweet your pins by clicking the ‘Twitter’ box when you pin or repin an image.
5: Create targeted boards.
Don’t display all your passions on one board! By creating boards with targeted focus you will attract followers who are interested in that particular topic. Targeted boards create clarity and actually boost your connections with others
Hint: You can use boards that are based on your core keywords and those that you use in your SEO strategy.
6: Promote through other channels
In order to jumpstart your Pinterest presence, you can promote it through other platforms. You can add the Pinterest “follow” button to your website and use Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter to invite people to your site. You could also create Pinterest contest and promote it on your networking sites and your blog!
7. Use compelling images
Identify images on each of your top product or service pages that are most compelling. Try to avoid company logos or call to action images (like your BUY NOW button).
8. Update Your Site Regularly
You need to update your site at least once a week (better, daily!) to keep the flow of energy and the interest going. Otherwise people will lose interest and will stop coming back.
9. Have a daily or weekly theme
In order to entice your followers to keep coming back and keep piquing their interest you can have special themes for each week. For instance, a “blue” day where everything you post on that day is the color blue.
10. Learn from Others’ Success.
One way to learn about best Pinterest strategies is to follow its early adopters. Analyze which pins attracted more interaction and engagement and use similar strategies for your site.
11. Find your focus Groups.
In order to reach a particular demographic you can check out their boards on Pinterest & see what interests them. This will help you target your customers better.
12. Make it SEO -friendly
Use keywords and hashtags (#) for your posts. This will help add to the Search Engine Optimization for Pinterest.
13. Create Engagement with your community.
You should encourage your community to add their content. You can set your account so others can add pins to your boards, which will make your Pinterest page more interactive.
Although Pinterest is a new site, it’s viable and sustainable, and is even superseding Facebook, Google + and Twitter. Don’t let this one get away from you. Check it out and try to make sure that it fits in with your client’s social marketing plan.
WHAT TO DO NOW:
In the comments below please share YOUR strategies for successful use of Pinterest.
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