How Pinning Can Help Your BusinessAnita Kirkbride
Pinterest has certainly come of age since this article was originally written. Not only out of beta and well into advertising, using Pinterest for business is almost as common as the other big platforms!
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 favourite 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.
Pinterest is not a social network, per se, but a curation mechanism. It’s a place to save things you want to use for later. Think vision board meets recipe book.
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 card-making 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 has 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 colour 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 actually tries them out…and then shows us the results.
Go ahead now. Pin up a storm!