It’s quite likely that your customers (depending on the audience demographic) are addicted to it. While it may appear irrelevant for your business, I wouldn’t discount the social media darling quite yet.
I’m referring to the Palo Alto-based social networking and visual bookmarking site, Pinterest. Co-founded by Ben Silberman, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp, relatively unknown entrepreneurs (until recently), the three founders managed to secure financial backing from Silicon Valley and $37.5 million in venture capital to propel their growth.
Not too shabby for a company that has been hailed as the next big thing in social media. Rumor even has it that the site, developed in late 2009, is now driving more referral traffic than Google+.
And if that weren’t enough, now the site is reportedly looking to go international — “or shall we say, ‘pinternational.’”
Pinterest has taken an old concept — “vision boarding” — and made it new. Now, a user’s interests are accessible to the masses in an aesthetically-pleasing format. And if you own a small business and find the need to express yourself, what better way to do it than by pinning it up on your virtual wall for the world to see?
But before you spend too much time pinning for pleasure, here are five simple ways you can unleash your “pinning purpose” and actually boost your business using Pinterest:
1. Repurpose and curate your best online content. There’s no need to spend hours recreating the wheel. Repurpose your online website content and pin it up on Pinterest. Utilize Google Analytics to decipher your top-ranked content. Then, pin your most popular products on boards and share your company blog content with a world of potential prospects.
2. Stay organized and targeted. Create targeted and niche boards using industry-related keywords. As you pin, post relevant content to each board and write a brief description (using keywords). You get the point, targeted is better. Make it easy for online searchers to locate and share your vision.
3. Curate industry-related content. Believe it or not, social media is not all about your business. I know it’s a large pill to swallow, but in order to invoke thought leadership, you should keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your industry and share it with your Pinterest followers. Create an individual board that links to trends and integrate your logo-branded forecasts as well.
4. Follow other Pinners and repin their content. Pinterest is an interesting amalgamation of social networking and visual bookmarking – so don’t forget that while you’re pinning up your greatest hits, the conversational element is just as important. Showcase your favorite Pinners in a dedicated board and repin often.
5. Justify your presence on Pinterest. According to Social Media Examiner, you need to justify why you need a presence on Pinterest. For starters, you can pass along Monetate‘s influential infographic, Is Pinterest the Next Social Commerce Game-Changer?
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently published #FixYoungAmerica: How to Rebuild Our Economy and Put Young Americans Back to Work (for Good), a book of 30+ proven solutions to help end youth unemployment.