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Pinterest is the fastest up and coming social platform on the webisphere today (On no! Please not another one we need to keep up with I hear you say..), becoming a booming success almost overnight, but what actually is Pinterest? And how can it benefit you and your business?

We’ve put together some key points and explanations to guide you along your way in becoming a Pinto-Pro.

Pinterest explained

What is Pinterest?

in Lament’s terms, Pinterest is a visual way to show your interests online on a virtual notice board. With 10 million users (and rising) it is most definitely the cool new ‘social’ place to be, sharing content left, right and centre, with it generating more referral traffic to websites than You Tube, Linkedin and Google+ COMBINED.

Much like other social networks, you build a list of followers and followees, which impacts the content displayed on your homepage. You can follow friends from Facebook (and sync the two platforms) or follow ‘random’ people, as per your own interests and intentions.

How Does it Work?

Pinterest is most commonly referred to as a “virtual pinboard” , a site that allows you to grab images or video content from anywhere online, collect and organise them to your choosing. Every photo/video gives credit to its original source, and includes a link where the content was taken from.

First things first, here are a few phrases you’ll hear, and what they mean:

  • Pin: A ‘pin’ is an image or video added to Pinterest, with links to the original source, or as an upload from your computer. Pins can include relevant captions (“a great use of  recycled plastic” “fantastic flash mob”). Also, to make “pinning” easier, you can add a button to your main browser.
  • Repin: Once something is pinned, it can then be repinned by other Pinterest users, much like “sharing/+1/Retweets”, and can spread the best content viral on and offsite.
  • Board: This is where your pins live, with the option for multiple boards for different subject matters, such as music, cooking, weddings etc.

So Why Get Involved?

Once you have set up a business profile, the possibilities for building brand reputation really are vast if used correctly. The usual social etiquette applies of the appearance of ‘spam’ and excessive self promotion, but avoiding this, here are some ways to market your brand using Pinterest:

  • As always, content is ‘number 1’ for any social platform and for engaging your customer base. Creating interesting content (images and videos) and they will be shared accordingly. Whether its directly linked to your product or service (an infographic for example) or a photo from an event, or a view from an office window that is rather picturesque. Don’t waste time asking for ‘re-pins’: if you are deemed interesting, these will follow in due course naturally.
  • Include Pinterest into your on-going social media strategy. Get a ‘Pinterest’ button on your main website, encouraging visitors to share content. Of course, as above – give readers a reason to do so, this won’t happen if the content is not available to do so.
  • Post your pins to your other platforms (Facebook and Twitter) engaging your readers/followship on a multilevel plane, and encouraging followers to engage with you via Pinterest also.
  • Every social media platform has its uses, one of the key ones being your ability to engage with your audience on a more personal level. Make the most of the free customer feedback and interaction, gauge feeling on new services or products, new logos or branding of potential advertising campaigns.
  • If you have a company with products and prices, keep an eye on the gift section of the Pinterest site. Having your product images with price and descriptions available and displayed in this section is the most  (affiliate-esque)direct marketing approach that can truly benefit your business and revenue.
  • Are you a business without a tangible offering? Don’t worry – Pinterest is great for services/brands just like that. With creative content, your boards are the perfect place to engage your community and communicate your brand personality.

What This Means For Your SEO:

If you use SEO as part of your marketing strategy, Pinterest is a great way of building inbound links to your website -as each image pinned automatically links back to its original source.

Step up your on-site content, and link back to your page. Unlike other sites such as Flickr, Links on Pinterest are followed. Include your location within your description, and create your boards with location terms that give your local SEO a boost as well. Add descriptions to your pins which include your keywords to add further SEO benefit. However, use these cautiously, ensure that relevance is key, and content is genuine, and not used to spam the site and users.

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