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Last week I had the honour of presenting at the Atlantic Internet Marketing Conference for the first time. My topic was how to use Pinterest for business. I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous about the topic, after all, Pinterest is relatively new, being only two years old, so would anyone at the conference be interested? For that matter, would there be anyone at the conference who was the “ideal” business to use Pinterest or was I wasting my time?
Not every business is right for Pinterest…or any social media platform for that matter. If you are planning to get into social media with your own business, you need to spend some serious time getting to know the options and figure out where your customers are before you jump in. Yes, you actually do need to do some research and develop a social media strategy. It’s easy to assume that with 73% of Atlantic Canadian women on Facebook (according to MediaBadger), that you NEED to be on Facebook.
If you are thinking of making the jump to Pinterest, ask yourself these questions:
1. Do you have pictures to pin?
Having your own pictures isn’t necessary for a successful Pinterest campaign, but it sure does make it easier. For great examples of pinning products check out Wicker Emporium and Just Us Coffee Roasters. If you don’t have products to pin, you need to think seriously about what you’re going to pin. Colette Robicheau, professional organizer, does a great job of curating content from other sources. If you make widgets, what are you going to pin?
2. Are people already pinning things from your website?
Did you know you can check out whether or not your website has been pinned? To check, go to www.pinterest.com/source/YOURSITEHERE and if you’ve been pinned, it should show up. I checked for a client and found hundreds of pins from potential customers. What a treasure trove of information. If people are already pinning things from your site then chances are, you’re a good fit for Pinterest.
3. Do you fit the Pinterest culture?
The most popular things being pinned on Pinterest are arts & crafts, home decor, DIY projects, fashion and recipes. Does your product or service fit with those things? Colette fits because she’s helping us to organize all of those things, and sometimes spills over into home decor with her organizing.
4. Do you have the time to pin?
Right now there is no way to schedule your pins, so you need to be able to implement your Pinterest strategy at optimum times…and that’s not at 10pm on Saturday night unfortunately. If you cannot commit to getting to your Pinterest boards mid-afternoon every day, Pinterest may not be the best option for you. If you’re not in a big hurry, you can get in on the Pinerly.com beta which will soon be offering the ability to schedule your pins.
5. Can you look outside of your own business for things to share?
Just like Facebook and Twitter, you need to share other people’s content. Pinterest Terms of Service specifically state that a user cannot be “overly self-promotional”. That means that a business account cannot simply pin their own products. The business on Pinterest must engage with, and share, the content from other sources. Can you see how to do that in a way that helps your business? Wicker Emporium shares general home decor pins. Just Us shares coffee art.
What do you think? Are you ready for Pinterest? If you decide to take the plunge let me know so I can follow your boards.