Why Pinterest is Your Business’ New Best Friend

NOTE: the Link Roundup is beneath this post.

Why Pinterest is Your Business' New Best FriendIf you’re like most small businesses, you’ve likely focused a lot of your social media efforts on the big three: Facebook, Twitter and, especially if you sell B2B, LinkedIn.

A few weeks ago however, I found myself wondering why Pinterest, the latest social networking site, kept popping up all over the place. Whether it was a blog post, a newsletter or even a mainstream business press article, I kept seeing the Pinterest name and yes, being the online hound that I am, I got really curious about all the buzz.

You see, I had signed up for Pinterest earlier this year, but hadn’t had the time to work my way back to play with the site (this happens to me way to often :-(). Determined to remedy that, I logged into Pinterest late one Friday evening and, two hours later, realized that I was in trouble.

I was hooked.

Behind the Addiction

Favorite Geek T-Shirts

My First Pinterest Board

Simply put, Pinterest is an image content curation site where users can create “boards” to which they can add images and comments around a common theme. For example, my first board was a collection of my “Favorite Geek T-Shirts”.

In many ways, Pinterest is similar to some of the big social shopping sites (such as Kaboodle) where friends can share recommended products in specific configurations (think “outfit for the prom”). Pinterest however, allows you to add any image from across the web and does not limit you to adding products sold only by certain merchants.

The advantage to the other social shopping sites is that you can not only view the products, but you can click a button and buy them right there. Believe me when I say that this exact functionality is high on the Pinterest team’s “must implement” list. :)

Even without the ability to click and buy, there are a lot of reasons why Pinterest is addicting. In my mind, Pinterest attracts users with its ease-of-use, design and tone and attitude but it’s the social aspect really hooks you in.

Within minutes of adding my first board, I began receiving comments and “repins” from tons of folks.

For example, within minutes (really!) of adding my first board, I began receiving comments and “repins” (where others share your images on their own boards) from tons of folks.

In an attempt to figure out why these folks had shared my stuff, I visited their boards and was incredibly pleased to discover people with the same twisted and geeky world-view as mine. Soon I was repining their stuff on my boards and before I knew it, a lot of time had gone by and I was still having a blast discovering new people and the content they had shared.

This is powerful social networking.

A Real Contender

The growth of Pinterest has been nothing short of amazing and many compare it to Facebook in its early days.

Most compelling, the primary demographic of Pinterest users is composed of women, an attractive and hard-to-reach online demographic.

Given these two factors, is it any wonder why businesses have begun to take notice of Pinterest? In fact, many businesses, both large and small, have used Pinterest successfully for a whole host of things from contests to marketing campaigns.

Personally, I found Pinterest to be an excellent spot to create boards that focus on different types of online software solutions. Thus far, I have created three such boards:

Best Accounting Software Small Business

Best Accounting Software Small Business

E-Mail Marketing Services for Small Businesses

E-Mail Marketing Services for Small Businesses

CRM Software Programs for Small Businesses

CRM Software Programs for Small Businesses

Pinterest can even be a used as a tool to improve your business’ search engine optimization (SEO) efforts -  it’s a fact: many businesses have seen huge website traffic growth since they began using Pinterest.

Pinterest has become a social network that your business can no longer ignore.

Yes, Pinterest has become a social network that your business can no longer ignore.

So, to help you get started with this latest social networking phenom, I have included a whole bunch of useful links below.

I would love to hear about your experiences with Pinterest so please share your stories in the comments section below!

How to Get Started With, and Make the Most of, Pinterest

Overviews and Guides

These links lead to articles that will help you learn more about Pinterest in general and ease you into learning how it works:

Why and How to Use Pinterest for Your Business

These links lead to articles which present business cases for using Pinterest as well as ideas on how to use it for your business.

How to Use Pinterest for Your Particular Type of Business

While researching this post, I found some articles that addressed ways to use Pinterest for particular types of businesses. The links to these articles are below:

Non-Profits

Bloggers

Journalists

Lawyers

Libraries

TV Brands

Pinterest and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

As I mentioned earlier, many businesses have seen a large amount of growth in website traffic once they begin to utilize Pinterest. The links below lead to articles with information on how to make that happen for your business.

Weekly Link Roundup

Weekly Link RoundupEach week, I collect the 10 best posts that I’ve read and share them with you here.

These posts focus on web-based solutions, online resources and up-to-date news for small businesses.

Enjoy!

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9 Small Business Social Media Success Stories: Some great case studies, with take-away tips, of companies that have done social media right.

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7 Technologies Marketers Can’t Live Without: A great list of online solutions and tools for you to explore.

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Comments

  1. You just became my BFF! Look at all of this Pinterest information!!

  2. You had mentioned the site before – i went there, checked it out did not make any direct connection of its usefulness in my business.

    I’m printing this out this to read, digest this weekend and will explore again, now armed with what looks like more relevant info. :-D

  3. Pinterest is really starting to gain traction and if your biz and if your products make good photographs, it’s now a must have social media!

    • I agree with your comment about photographs Niall.

      What I found useful in some of the articles above were the tips on assuring that your best photos are picked up and offered as the images for folks “pinning” your site on Pinterest.

      I have noticed that some of the sites I try to pin have great images, but Pinterest’s “Pin” feature passes them over – perhaps because they are background images.

      -Matt

  4. Does everything have to be about work? Can’t Pintrest be an escape or a place to capture creativity? that is what I use it for.

    • Well, no, not everything has to be about work.

      However, when people gather together, sure as rain someone is going to show up to sell them something (think public executions and food stalls in the middle ages – yes , I went there).

      As far as I’m concerned, there’s room for both. If a vendor takes the time to make great information available to me for easy re-pinning, who am I to say, “No”? Heck, I LOVE it when Amazon suggests books to me!

      I think the key is, as always in social media, to provide value and avoid selling.

      -Matt

  5. Wow, instant bookmark. I feel about Pinterest the way I felt about Twitter in 2007. Meh. But I was quickly proven wrong on that account, so I’m thinking I should give it a chance.

    I’m in marketing, so I couldn’t figure out how I could use it…until I saw your examples of pinning software programs. Hmm. Food for thought. Thank you.

    • Susan,

      Glad you found the post useful!

      Yeah, it’s always hard at the birth of a social network to judge if it’s worth your time or not.

      I think you have the right idea though: look for inspiration (of which the links in this post provide plenty!) and try it out. Worse thing that happens is that you learn it’s not the right platform for your business (or not YET the right platform if it needs to grow) and you have spent little time and money to find that out.

      I would love to hear how your re-exploration of Pinterest goes! Check back in when you’ve given it a second spin. :)

      -Matt

  6. What a brilliant post (and I rarely get so carried away) – on to share far and wide as indeed, Pinterest is going to be of great interest and use to many of us.

    Thanks, Matt

  7. Hey Matt,
    Thanks for all the links about how to use @Pinterest. What a comprehensive list!
    You are so right it is very addicting so we must be careful to limit our time or I know I could easily lose a whole day. Also, along with the women demographic I think it will become very valuable for anyone whose business is visual like artists, photographers or interior designers.
    It is especially easy to upload pictures from your smartphone. I just love the iPhone app!

  8. Morning Matt, I ran across this amazing, information jam-packed Pinterest resources article and wanted to compliment how awesome it is! Very helpful links to all kinds of juicy information. Seriously, well done.

    Also, I wanted to see about you adding my new Pinterest related site, http://PinFaves.com, to that list. I launched PinFaves as there will be a growing need in the future for individuals and businesses alike to get more exposure to their pins, which in turn will drive more traffic/leads/money to their respective sites. Few understand how much of a force Pinterest will be by the end of 2012. You know what I mean?

    Anyway, at the very least I wanted to introduce myself and wish you all the best. I’m sure that this wonderful article will receive tons of Pinterest-related traffic this coming year!

  9. Matt,
    I love Pinterest also, it has such great market appeal and will definitely be a great marketing tool. Thanks for all the great information on how to use Pinterest.

    Wendy

  10. I just joined the Pinterest Community last night. I already see the possibilities – and your article helps clarify what I was already thinking! Thanks, and keep up the great posts!

    Brandi

  11. It’s awesome to pay a quick visit this website and reaing the
    views of alll mates regarding ths piece of writing,
    while I am also eager of getting know-how.

Trackbacks

  1. BizSugar.com says:

    Why Pinterest is Your Business’ New Best Friend…

    Learn why Pinterest is your business’ new best friend thanks to its ability to drive traffic to your website and engage your customers like no other social network….

  2. [...] Why Pinterest is Your Business’ New Best Friend (lots of links on this article, including one to Pinterest for lawyers) [...]

  3. [...] Pinterest is receiving a lot of coverage on B2B and B2C blogs that provide guidance on the how and why Pinterest can be used by business. The next logical question for me is should Lawyers use [...]

  4. [...] A few weeks ago however, I found myself wondering why Pinterest , the latest social networking site, kept popping up all over the place. Whether it was a blog post, a newsletter or even a mainstream business press article, I kept seeing the Pinterest name and yes, being the online hound that I am, I got really curious about all the buzz. You see, I had signed up for Pinterest earlier this year, but hadn’t had the time to work my way back to play with the site (this happens to me way to often ). Why Pinterest is Your Business' New Best Friend | Matt About Business [...]

  5. […] Figure out how to use Pinterest for your business. […]

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