February 24, 2012
I must admit to only becoming aware of this new social media phenomenon fairly recently and, having done a bit of research, I thought I’d write about it in case any of you also fall outside the 11M+ registered subscribers it has up to now.
How Does Pinterest Work?
Pinterest is essentially a picture sharing site where subscribers ‘pin’ images to their own ‘pin board.’ This can be anything you like – it can be random stuff that you just have an interest in and want to share with others or it can be multiple images relating to a passion you have. For instance you may have a love for 60’s British roadsters, old business logo’s, antique men’s watches, or even a holiday home you really need to rent out. As a user you can easily browse topics and if you discover something you’ve got an interest in you can ‘follow’ it just as you do in Twitter and you’ll be notified when any new images are added to that board. You can also leave comments and join in discussions on each of the images that appear on the site.
How Will It Help My Business?
Well if you own a business that is selling or producing something which will benefit from good images (which is pretty much anything) i.e. clothes, photography, accommodation, artwork etc, this looks like it’s a very good opportunity to setup some boards to promote your products and services because your pictures can have links to your own web site’s sales pages. The most beneficial long term technique from a sales angle would be to be a part of the community spirit for a few weeks before ‘hard-selling’ your products. For instance ‘pin’ some personal images and then slowly add your products. This approach is possibly not absolutely essential, but it’s just my own choice when I join something which isn’t initially designed to be a sales platform.
In the holiday cottage hire example previously mentioned, it could be somebody has a cottage they want to let in Wales for the nine months of the year they don’t use it. They struggle on Google because the first four or five pages are dominated by the big holiday letting agents and so they get a board on Pinterest and fill it up with images of the cottage itself. They also upload photographs of the surrounding countryside, local places of interest etc. etc. and then wait for other Pinterest subscribers to
find the board, follow them and, perhaps, hire the cottage.
Why Haven’t I Heard Of It & Will It Be Around Long Term?
I’m not sure why its had such a low profile so far since there are 11 millions plus people already registered – (although it seems the majority are based in the United States). Just like Facebook & Twitter before them though, if they carry on at this pace of growth it’s only a matter time before everyone will be talking about Pinterest. You would probably question whether we have time to log onto another social media site, but Pinterest is clearly different & it’s very simple to use so it might fill a gap we didn’t know we had.
From a business perspective it’s another no-brainer – if your company has a product or service which would potentially benefit from a lot of visitors seeing photographs of what you have for sale you need to be on Pinterest. Its free to join and many millions of people go to it every day. One slight negative at the moment is that it’s invitation only. I’m not sure why this is but it’s a strategy which has been used to generate interest in joining an ‘exclusive club’ before (remember Gmail invites?) which I think will change in time.
Paul Cunningham has 11 years experience in website design & for the past five years has specialized in search engine optimization,in Stockport, UK. The team at http://www.websitedesignlab.co.uk have helped hundreds of small & medium sized local business maximize their revenues via cost effective SEO in Manchester and all over the UK.