Pinterest is one of those social media sites that could be a real boon for small businesses. Big businesses are already finding clever ways to promote their business, perhaps the best is that of Peugeot’s. There are a number of tactics used on their page, and they all come together quite nicely. I said clever, and for some, it may be too clever. If you check out their page, the first thing you will notice is the clever use of photos on their first three boards. What I find very interesting is their use of the board titles to tell their story, try reading the titles left to right – very smart thinking. They have also made use of their introduction at the top of the page, prompting visitors to scroll to the bottom of a the page for their contest – an old strategy to get people to see the whole page, and it still works.
For those not in the know, Pinterest is one of the latest social media sites to take the world by storm. It has been up and running for over 12 months, and it is still in beta, but that hasn’t stopped it growing very quickly. The concept is simple, create a pin board then ‘pin’ images, videos, podcasts or blog posts to your board. Those ‘pins’ contain links back to the site the content was ‘pinned’ from so visitors to your pages can click on a piece of content and arrive on your website. You can think of Pinterest as a combination of the best of both Tumblr and StumbleUpon.
When ‘pinning’ content, you can add a description, and like most social media sites, you can also include keywords using the hash (#) symbol, for example, #Pinterest, #marketing. Don’t over do it, like all things social, the aim is not to push your business on others, rather, it’s to provide content that is useful to you and your followers, and keywords are there to help people find your content.
Whether Pinterest has a long future is still debatable. In the short term, it is proving to be more valuable than Twitter when it comes to driving traffic to websites, especially those with an appeal to women (women make up 80% of users). Pinterest may find itself in a minefield at some point if image owners decide to act – it seems that most of the images ‘pinned’ are not owned by the people who pin them. Right now, promote your business while you can, just don’t be too aggressive. For small businesses, this is a perfect online marketing tool since the playing field is equal, no matter how big the business.