Pinterest is a web-based image sharing platform. It is a tool for collecting and sharing images and photos. Millions of people use Pinterest personally and for their business. From a personal user perspective, Pinterest can be used to view, collect, and share ideas on products, designs, and styles. Pinterest also offers business accounts and a way for businesses to market their products and services. As of September 2012, Experian Hitwise statistics showed that there were 139 million U.S. visits to Pinterest, making it third most trafficked social site in the U.S. behind only Facebook and Twitter.
A pin is an image or video you add to Pinterest. Any pin can be “repinned” and all pins link back to the source, whether that is a website, blog, or the upload of a image to Pinterest. Users can pin via a Pin It bookmarklet, via uploading from a computer, or via the Pinterest mobile app.
A “Board” is where a Pinterest user organizes their pins by topic. A users creates their board topic and then they can add pins to that board as a way of organizing and grouping related pins. Boards can be public or private, and other users can be invited to join a board so that both can pin to that board. If a board is private, called “secret” in Pinterest lingo, only the user can view it. All other boards and pins are public so that others can find them and repin the image to their boards.
Pinterest has a “Follow” function so that a user can follow a board or all boards of another user. When a user follows someone, the followed users pins show up in the home feed of the Pinterest user, giving users a way to follow businesses, friends, and others that are posting content that they are interested in.
Business Uses for Pinterest:
First of all, to create a business Pinterest account, go here: www.pinterest.com/business/create/.
Once created, there are a number of ways that a Pinterest account can help your business. It allows visual storytelling in a place where people are spending time perusing images. Businesses can visually outline their uniqueness, as well as use Pinterest as a additional “web gallery” of their products. Another great use is to display recently completed projects, highlight pictures from recent events, or provide ideas for creative ways to use products.
Yes, Pinterest can be a great place for photographers to show their work, but retail shops, clothiers, fitness facilities, and even RV Manufacturers can benefit from showcasing some of their latest products on Pinterest. Images from a website that are pinned via a Pin button or Pin Bookmarklet ultimately lead back to the source site, so utilizing a method of pinning projects or gallery items from a company website makes Pinterest a great way to drive referral traffic to the company website.
As a fast growing social network and one where users are spending significant time looking at pins, consider an active business presence on Pinterest as another means to reach out to socially savvy potential customers.