Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What IS Pinterest?

Pinterest is totally addicting. Trust me on this one. I was an early adopter and 7800 pins later I'm still a daily user. But a LOT of people really don't know what Pinterest is!

My Pinterest Account Home Page

Wikipedia says "Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, 're-pin' images to their own pinboards, or 'like' photos."

So if you are redecorating your bedroom, you might create a BOARD called "Bedroom". Once that board is created, every time you see an image online that you like - from a paint color for the wall to a lamp, a rug, a window treatment - you can PIN the image to your "Bedroom" board for future reference. It's a combination between an inspiration board and a bookmark. When you go back and look at your board, you can see a visual pin board of ideas that you have saved. 

A board created for a bedroom redecorating project.

You can also "follow" other people on Pinterest, like interior decorators, your favorite stores, and other people's boards that they have created for bedrooms. Above you'll see the board for Experience Life Magazine.

Experience Life Magazine on Pinterest

Some new users say they are completely overwhelmed when they go to Pinterest.com for the first time. I think that was a big advantage to being one of the early users... There weren't as many pins and users when I jumped in. In February 2013, Reuters and ComScore stated that Pinterest had 48.7 million users. But even more impressive than that are what those visitors are doing once they land on Pinterest — they’re staying and they’re engaging

Reports say that the average Pinterest user spends 89 minutes interacting, sharing, and posting on the site. And that could be your content they’re interacting with, but only if you’re taking the steps to leverage Pinterest.

Getting StartedIf you don’t currently have a Pinterest login, you can create one for free. Once that is done, go into your "Settings" and take some time to fill out your profile.

Account Settings Page
You’ll want to set your email settings, fill out your About section, include a Web site and then decide how you want Pinterest to interact with your other social media accounts.

Do you want all of your pins to sync to Facebook? (I don't, but a lot of people do!) Do you want to link your Twitter account? (again, I don't...) Depending on how you plan to use the site, this will change. If you’re not sure yet how you want your pins displayed, don’t worry too much. You can always come back and edit these settings.

Create Your Boards

Now comes the fun part. Play around with creating boards. You may want to start with one board until you really get used to what you can find on Pinterest. If you like to cook, start with a RECIPES board. Type RECIPE into the search box at the top left and start re-pinning recipes that look good!

Search for "Recipes"

When you start creating boards for your business, try to think of things that are RELATED to your business, but not exactly what you do. Here are some examples:

Hair Salon: Hair Styles Short Hair, Medium Hair, Long Hair, Mens Hair, Girls Hair, Boys Hair, Products

Hair Salon Board
Hardware Store: DIY Projects, Home Improvement, Gardening & Landscaping, Organization, Tutorials

Hardware Store Board
Restaurant: Appetizer Recipes, Cocktails, Salads, Burgers, Wine Pairings

Restaurant Board
The boards should be ABOUT what you do - not literally about YOU. Users want new ideas, recipes, inspiration and tips to make life easier. If you can, be creative with your board names, but make them "searchable" so people can find you!

Once your boards are up and full of lovely pins, have fun with it! Find pins and repin them to your boards. The more you use Pinterest, the more you'll build a following of other pinners. Tell your waitstaff to let customers know that they can find a recipe for your signature drink on your Pinterest page.

A pin for a signature drink. Click on it to go to the recipe.
Or that they can find samples of all of your paint colors that you stock on Pinterest. The smartphones will definitely come out!

A pin for a paint matching program from Sherwin Williams.

It's a lot of work - and it won't happen overnight - but building a presence on Pinterest can be a LOT of fun. If you're not up to it, I'd be happy to set up a Pinterest account for you and start filling your boards. Just drop me a line or leave a message in the comments.

If you're already using Pinterest,  leave your username in the comments so others can follow you!

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