How to use Pinterest

I’m a visual person. My eye is immediately caught by images, colours, something that draws me in and leads me to read more, to click, to comment, or to share. I’m exactly the kind of person that Pinterest was created for. Pinterest is essentially a visual pin-board. If you are one of those people that rips out recipes from magazines, sticks photos of furniture to your fridge, or has a stack of brochures piled up just in case you need to try and find something again, then you can do all of that with Pinterest – except you do it digitally.

The history

Pinterest was launched in 2010 and by 2011 it was already in the top 10 largest social network services, with 11 million visits per week. It was soon driving more traffic to retailers than LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+.

Why is it powerful?

Users use digital bookmarks (referred to as “Pins”) to tag content that they’re interested in and collate them by topic or theme on digital pin-boards. These can be shared and viewed by other Pinterest users. It’s a social media platform that is particularly popular with women and that drives the most most popular categories of content – food and drink, DIY and crafts, women’s apparel, home decor, and travel.

Use images to tell your story

Thinking visually requires a slightly different approach to the more traditional broadcasting of your marketing messages. The pins that you create need to be of compelling images that are published on a page that carries more information about your products or your business. One of the easiest way to do this is to use the blog functionality of your website to create some text and add a compelling image. In this way you are using Pinterest to hook your target audience, driving the traffic to your website where you can further present your offering. Think about your target audience, think about what will appeal to them, create images that will connect and engage.

Play to your strengths

Pinterest works best for big, visual images. If you are wondering how to showcase your products and services using Pinterest then your starting point needs to be “how do I inspire my audience?” You want your target audience to be looking at your images, to be thinking “that’s kind of like the chair that I’ve been looking for – I’ll add it to my Furniture pin-board.” That’s easy if you are working with products or services that translate well into compelling images, but what about those businesses that don’t lend themselves to photos that naturally draw people in? You need to work a bit hard, to think a bit more creatively – you still need to find a reason to share compelling images, but if that’s not going to be your products or services then look for images that reflect your brand, reflect your culture, or convey what has inspired you.

Pinterest requires creativity and flair. Think visually. Think about your audience, think about what images will connect to the people that you want to engage with.


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