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Pinterest – what?s it all about?

Following success in the US, it seems another new social medium is gathering momentum in the UK.

Pinterest is a site that lets you share visual information – as long as it?s pretty.   In the company’s words: ?Pinterest lets you organise and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.?  Once registered as a user, it basically serves as your online notice board, you ?pin? images of interest to your page, and can post comments to them.  In the US it?s been reported that over 13 million users have signed up during the last 10 months.  That figure is around 200,000 in the UK currently, but researchers are suggesting that it could grow here as quick as it did in the States.

As a business owner should you be spending time investigating its potential?  Here?s a quick summary to get you started.  From a business point of view, there appears to be 3 main areas of benefit to businesses offering brands or products that can be seen by a picture.

Boost Your Brand, Improve SEO

As a visual and social medium, Pinterest offers you enormous potential to extend your brand and build links. There?s a link behind every Pinterest post, which means every time someone pins your content, you’re building credibility and stronger SEO.  You can create a business page, and if people really like your stuff, it has the potential to go viral after a pinning frenzy.

Plus, you can do a bit of anecdotal market research. Who?s pinning your stuff? What else do they like? Pinterest allows you to get a sense for other brands your customers are into and other products they might be interested in.

Integrate With Your Existing Marketing Activity

As with the other social media sites, the key to using them successfully is to integrate them with your existing marketing, and use them regularly.  Become an active member of the Pinterest community.  Set up a business board or brand board.  It gives you another platform to interact with your customers or people who might be interested in your product.  Don?t just feature your own brands, also like, pin and re-pin other interesting posts or you will seem self-promoting.  Also, encourage your employees to become active Pinners and show interest in things other than your brand or products. Try to build a community.

Use Links

As with your other social media outlets, make it easy for people to find your pinterest page.  Create a pin button for your website and link to Pinterest boards from Twitter.

It seems Pinterest will only be useful for companies who can display attractive images of their products so is limited in that respect from a business point of view.

It is clear that at the moment interest in Pinterest in the UK is just starting, although it?s currently limited to younger social media types.  Evidence has shown that such sites can grow dramatically quickly in a short space of time, you just need to decide whether it?s a social media site you need to be spending time on.

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