So a couple of weeks ago we finally had the opportunity to set up two Pinterest accounts. We’d been hearing about it on Twitter, Facebook and from blogger friends so we just had to check it out for ourselves. And now we’re OBSESSED. We can’t stop pinning! Pinterest is the most fun we’ve had in social media since Twitter came along (sorry Google+ but we’re still warming to you).
The people who started Pinterest describe the site as a “virtual pinboard” where you can collect and organize the images you find on the web. It’s also a social network where you can Like, Comment on or Repin images posted by other members. The site is visually appealing and very easy to use – setting up an account takes just minutes. Then you’re ready to pin to your heart’s content.
Pinterest provides suggestions for what to name your “boards” – that’s the place where you “pin” your images – but you can call your boards anything you please. Our main account @fathomco (see below) has just 6 boards for now but some members have dozens or even hundreds of boards so they can catalogue their interests and keep track of images that inspire them. It’s a great way to showcase your brand visually, whether you are a business or an individual. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
We know, we know…another social media site to follow. We thought the same thing but then once we started using Pinterest, we realized the potential for business:
- Trend spotting – Pinterest is a great place to see what’s hot and what’s registering on everyone’s radar. You can also follow what Pinterest calls “Tastemakers” – the members who get the most likes and repins. Yes anyone can become a Tastemaker, but you’ve got to start pinning!
- Finding inspiration – Being in a creative business, we find Pinterest to be a goldmine for ideas. It’s also a great site to visit in the morning to jumpstart your brain.
- Building content – Pinterest provides you with great visual content to feed out through your other social networks. So if you’re a business, you could post the top products for the season, best sellers, lifestyle boards featuring your products or even your trend forecast. Check out Nordstrom’s Pinterest account as an example. Best of all, every pin provides a link to your website.
- Web tracking– Pinterest provides an easy way to find out who has pinned something from your site. Simply type this into your browser: pinterest.com/source/nameofyourcompany/and a screen of images will appear. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what the Tastemakers think of your new product line?
- Online Collaboration – The site also allows you to add Contributors to your board so that it can be a place where you (and perhaps your client) can share ideas on a specific event, project or idea. Pretty cool huh?
And that’s just for starters.
You do need an invitation to join Pinterest. We got ours through the site itself but you can also ask people on Pinterest to send you an invitation. There are also some great YouTube tutorials on how to use Pinterest.
And yes it has its issues from time to time, and its iPhone app needs some work (remember the early days of Twitter?), but we think the site is definitely worth a look. We suspect this is just the beginning for Pinterest so jump in now and establish a following for your brand. Once you get started, don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest: @fathomco @markfathomco
(How are you using Pinterest? We’d love to know. Tell us below.)