December 30, 2013
These days most people use the Internet for all map-related pursuits, but back in the day it was cool to put a map of the world or even just the United States on the wall and add push pins to it representing all the destinations you’d traveled to or wanted to travel to. Well, just like Pinterest evolved the idea of the bulletin board, the social media site has now evolved the push-pin map. In November, it introduced Place Pins, which allow you to map your already existing pins.
For example, say you and some friends are planning to drive from New York City to Washington, D.C. You can make a board devoted to the trip and pin content to it based on geography, such as the menu from a restaurant you’d like to try in Philadelphia or a museum exhibit you want to see at the Smithsonian. Pinterest started the program after noting that more than 1.5 million places were being pinned each day.
You can give your business a big boost by making the Place Pins tool work for you. Here are some tips on how to use this new tool to bring your company to the attention of a larger audience.
How Place Pins Work
You can create a new Place Pin-based board by selecting “Add a Map” to a new board, or you can edit an existing board to add the map. To add the location of your pin, hit the red “plus” button on the right side of the image you want to pin to your map. Then type in the address. If you are adding your own business and you have more than one shop, you can specify which one you want to use for the pin.
Here’s the big advantage for businesses. It’s like adding a business card to every pin. Whenever someone repins the image, the address goes with it. It’s also advantageous because more than three-quarters of all Pinterest usage is now mobile. When users click on your location, it will also bring up their GPS, which can direct them right to your shop.
When you list your phone number with your Place Pin, anyone who clicks on it with their mobile phone can automatically call you simply by touching the number. And they can get directly to your web site from the pin as well when you list your URL.
Now that you know how to set a board up, here are some creative ways to use Place Pins.
Pinning From Your Store
If your business sells merchandise, a great way to showcase your wares is to pin them to a board on Pinterest. While you probably have boards that include other things, like craft projects or recipes, this is one case where it’s worth it to only pin your own products. Use Place Pins to add everything to a map, which will tell your customers what merchandise is available where.
For example, say you sell motorcycles and you have two separate retail locations with different choppers. You can pin the bikes you have on the floor to the separate stores, avoiding confusion over where the product is located.
Another smart idea is to partner with other local businesses in the area to create a map of local stores. Enable all the businesses to pin to this board, and allow each to make pins devoted to describing their shop and adding any reviews or pictures they’d like to showcase. If everyone shares the map board on their page, it encourages cross-store traffic and makes it more likely people will come out to shop when they can see all the choices. You can post based on themes, such as Halloween merchandise or Valentine’s Day specials. Make sure that everyone keeps the board active with new information throughout the year.
This is a cool resource that could be promoted during Small Business Saturday in November. You might even convince the local chamber of commerce to link to the page.
Make a Guide to Your Town
Who knows your hometown better than you, a business owner? Put together a guide to your town that includes pins from local restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions and sports arenas. Make sure you highlight things located near your business, and include your business as one of the attractions. Share the link to this board on your other social media sites, and be sure to tag the places that you included in your posts, in hopes of getting some retweets or shares.
Show Off Your Client List
If you have a wide national or international roster of clients, one fun way to demonstrate your global popularity is to create a board with pins in all the cities your customers live. You don’t have to reveal any personal details about them, but you can note what sort of work you did for them or products you sold.
Do a ‘Best Of’ Board
No one can resist clicking on a blog post that promises to reveal the “best of” this or that. Fodor’s found a clever way to make this work on Pinterest Place Pins. The travel guide publisher made a board called America’s Best Hot Chocolate and pinned the 15 best restaurants and shops to get hot chocolate. The board is visually appealing, too, with all the gorgeous pictures of the chocolate shops.
Those are just a few of the ways you can use Place Pins to promote your business. The possibilities for this new tool are endless, and so are the ways you can post creative marketing content.