The concepts of a scrapbook and pinboard may seem old-fashioned in today’s world, but the latest social networking craze has dragged them both into the digital age.
In a world where businesses can quickly gain national and international prominence, the barrier of language can stall not only expansion, but the targeting of new markets and their valuable consumers. Pinterest is the latest social networking site to explode online, but differs from the rest by taking a more universal mode of communication, focusing on pictures rather than words. The site launched at the beginning of 2010, but has gained users exponentially thanks to a greatly increased media exposure in recent months, propelling it into the top ten most visited social networking sites.
What is Pinterest and how does it work?
Pinterest allows users to share images and links which they find interesting or inspiring, once shared these images become ‘pins’ that can be placed onto fully-customisable virtual ‘boards’ under similar themes. Once pinned, they can then be re-pinned by other Pinterest users onto their own boards, as well as being compatible with other social networks, easily linked to your Facebook profile, Twitter account or embedded in your blog. Each pin can be commented on and followed by other users, with their ability to re-pin your content greatly increasing the likelihood of viral success.
Getting started on Pinterest, like all social networking sites is a simple affair, just go to www.pinterest.com and click on ‘request an invite’ (currently the only way is via email invitation from the site or a friend already registered) and create an account.
Applying it to your business
The simplest way of seeing if Pinterest can profit your business is to give it a go. Set up an account with a small number of boards, but they don’t have to be directly business focused. Pin images that have inspired or influenced your services or products, customers using them, your presence at regional events or related sites or goods, allowing visitors to see the human background to your business.
New boards for your products can be added, featuring images, descriptions, prices and additional information, with each linked back to your company websites and other relevant pages, helping to drive traffic to business blogs, YouTube and Google+ accounts, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles combined.
There are internal as well external applications with the site potentially serving as a bulletin board for employees, giving notice of upcoming events, news and promotions, helping to increase staff morale and team spirit, key factors for heightened productivity.
Pinterest is currently free to use, the only thing it will cost is your time. But as is true for most things, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.