Using Pinterest to Promote Your Business

It can be difficult to keep up with all the different social networks on the Internet. At first glance, many of them look like they are largely designed to allow individuals to socialize with one another in some way. That’s because they are. Facebook was originally conceived as a way for students to interact and connect, but it has grown far beyond that and it has become an incredibly powerful tool for businesses and brands to promote themselves.

Pinning Your Way to Success

One of the newest entries into the world of social media is Pinterest. You’ve probably already heard about it, but the idea is that people can “pin” images, videos, and other web content that they find on the web to virtual pinboards. These are shared with their Pinterest friends and the pinboards are designed to focus on specific topics.

Pinterest

That’s part of my Pinterest profile above. Yes, Pinterest is still mostly female, but there is a growing male demographic on there too. While it may not necessarily be appropriate to create a “brand” profile on Pinterest just yet (that will surely come with time, just like every other social network), you can still establish an online presence there under your own persona.

The social aspect is reasonably easy to follow, but how can you leverage Pinterest to promote your business without violating the end user agreement? How can you use it as a tool without getting in trouble with the official terms and conditions?

The Embedded Link

What you may have noticed about Pinterest is that every “pin” is associated with the URL from which that image or video originated. The statistics on the click-through rate are likely still too early to draw any real conclusions, but the link is there and it’s a potential lead-in to your website, your product, your other social profiles, or whatever else.

See Also: Twitter for business: The interactive approach works

It’s important to balance your “promotional” content with more organic content, but you could easily have pinboards that circle around your niche. Let’s say that you are a clothing retailer. You could pin some of the hottest new designs coming out of Milan and Paris, but you could intersperse those with images of clothing that you sell through your online store. It’s a delicate balance, to be sure, but it is achievable.

Establish Your Expertise

Just as “retweets” are great on Twitter, getting “repinned” on Pinterest can be incredibly powerful. This is why you need to first establish yourself as a “pinner” who is worth following. Establish your expertise, establish your relevance, and show the people on Pinterest that what you pin is useful, interesting, and worth following.

With that foundation in place, it becomes much more acceptable and tolerable to have some self-promotional content in there. Especially if you are a product-based business, pinning your hottest new additions and your best sellers can be a great way to generate leads and interest, as well as increase your brand presence on the Internet.


A professional freelance writer and published author, Michael Kwan has a fervent interest in technology and is actively engaged in social media. Follow him on Twitter: @michaelkwan.

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