In case you haven’t heard, Pinterest is the latest up-and-comer in the social media realm. It’s still in beta, so you’ll need an invite (ahem…ask someone you know politely and they might just let you in), but once you’re in your hooked. From a browser’s perspective, it’s ridiculously addictive.
What’s a Pin?
Put very simply, Pinterest is a website where you can showcase things you like. Perhaps you collect recipes, teapots or social media t-shirts. When you’re browsing your favorite online shops, blogs or websites and you see something that you like, you can now “pin” it and share that awesome item or idea with your Pinterest following. Yes, it is another place we have to build a following. Think of it as a public bulletin board that you get to design.
How can pinning be used for business?
It’s a little harder for a service business like Twirp Communications. I don’t have a product that I can take a picture of and pin. How about a photographer or an artist? You now have a great new way to share your latest works with the world. Pinning your own photos may seem a little weird at first, but why SHOULDN’T you pin your stuff? If you don’t like it, nobody else will either, as the saying goes.
Perhaps you sell knitted hats for kids? Or hand made earrings? Those types of businesses are easy, right? What if you are in the business of real estate? Why not pin that dream mansion you’re trying to sell? You can create a board dedicated to the house and show off every inch in all its glory. Pinners love fabulous design and decor ideas, and if you build up a local following, this COULD lead to a sale.
If you’re a graphic designer you could pin great samples of design, by you or someone else, to showcase your style. Anyone with any type of portfolio should be pinning their portfolio (mine is coming!). Can you pin your logo? While you can certainly use Pinterest to showcase your talent and/or portfolio, it’s also an amazing venue for sharing just who you are as a person–and we all know that’s what social media is all about.
Need some inspiration?
I’ll admit–I didn’t really “get” Pinterest at first. I’ve been on it since very early on, watching it take the scrapbooking and cardmaking industry by storm (we are a very visual bunch). It wasn’t until I met Sarah Hart at a Centre for Women in Business networking event and checked out her profile that I began to see just how a properly organized Pinterest could be fun…and useful.
Another local Halifax person who’s boards I enjoy is Colette Robichaud of Organize Anything. She uses Pinterest to share a multitude of storage ideas, planners, and of course organizing tips. She certainly makes getting organized look easy, but we all know it’s not…so that’s why someday I’m gonna hire her to fix our “little” toy problem.
Here are a few more pinners you might enjoy following:
Shari Tucker, Shari Tucker Photography (photography, travel, books and inspiration)
Melyssa MacIntyre-Connolly, Whimsie Doodles digital stamps (stamps, cards, crafts and design)
Katie Cotton is an amazing makeup artist.
Avril Brown, Prepit Home Staging (decor and color design)
Wait…what about the men?
Pinterest is heavily weighted towards women. There’s a lot of home decor, cooking, crafting and staring at pictures of hot men on there. Have no fear, men, you have your own place to pin, now www.gentlemint.com.
And if you still don’t “get it”…
Making fun of the Pinterest phenomenon has created a little sub-industry of its own. If you want to see the worst of Pinterest, check out Pinterest You are Drunk (PYAD) and WTF Pinterest. There’s also The PinTester who takes some of those wild ideas we see and actualy tries them out…and then shows us the results.
Finally, if you just can’t wait to get onto Pinterest and can’t find someone to invite you, there’s always the knock off Pinspire which is stealing away all the people Pinterest won’t let in.
Go ahead now. Pin up a storm!
Anita Hovey is the Head Twirp at Twirp Communications in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We provide social media training, workshops and management for small businesses and charities. Our specialty is women-focused organizations and women-owned businesses. If you need strategic advice, personalized training or someone to “just do it” for you, there’s a Twirp for that. You can find her on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/anitahovey.
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